|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
Lord Bach: Recent international systematic reviews analysing large numbers of evaluations of drug treatment programmes have concluded that, on average, drug treatment programmes reduce reoffending1. Drug interventions shown to be effective included: methadone treatment, heroin treatment, therapeutic communities, psycho-social approaches and drug courts. The most effective interventions to reduce drug-related crime seemed to be therapeutic communities, psycho-social approaches and drug courts.
The evaluations to date of drug treatment programmes in prisons in the UK are limited but suggest that these programmes can reduce reoffending2. For example, prisoners who completed the 12-step RAN programme had statistically significantly lower rates of reconviction after two years than a comparison group (40 per cent versus 50 per cent)although there may be selection bias3 here; for example, motivation to participate.
The best available measure of drug prevalence in prisons is the random mandatory drug testing (rMDT) programme, which routinely tests prisoners chosen at random for a panel of drugs. The rMDT positives level shows drug use in custody declining since 1996-97, down from 24.4 per cent to 9.1 per cent in 2007-084. For a number of reasons, MDT results cannot be a complete measure of the prevalence of drugs misuse in prisons. However, MDT results do provide a reliable and statistically valid way of measuring patterns and trends of drug-misuse5.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): No. SOCA has a UK-wide remit and engages closely with operational
4 Feb 2009 : Column WA125
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was meant by the Serious Organised Crime Agency's deputy director saying to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee that the agency had put a halt to some civil recovery proceedings in Northern Ireland; and whether he was representing government policy. [HL992]
Lord West of Spithead: Civil recovery proceedings are discontinued by the Serious Organised Crime Agency, in accordance with legislation and operational policy, only in cases where it is no longer possible or appropriate to continue civil recovery action. The published transcript of SOCA's evidence to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee does not make reference to SOCA having terminated civil proceedings in Northern Ireland.
There is considerable evidence, originating mainly from North America, to support the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural programmes in reducing reoffending (McGuire, 2002; Pearson et al, 2002; Lipton et al, 1998, Wilson et al, 2005).
There are positive indications that offender behaviour programmes may be effective in reducing reoffending for offenders in the community. For example, Offender Management and Sentencing Analytical Services (OMSAS) conducted an analysis on accredited programmes in the community (Hollis, 2007). It compared actual reoffending rates in 2006 with rates predicted on the basis of 2004 data. The reoffending rate for all offenders who had undertaken interventions was 55 per cent, based on a two-year reconviction rate. Programme completers did statistically significantly better than those who did not start or who dropped out of programmes. The rates were 38 per cent, 61 per cent and 64 per cent respectively. This analysis of management information, however, cannot determine whether these differences result from programme impact.
There is considerable international evidence (Wilson et al, 2005; Washington State Institute for Public Policy, 2006), to support the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural programmes in reducing reoffending. However, UK research examining the effectiveness of programmes in prisons has produced mixed results (Friendship et al, 2002; Falshaw et al, 2003; Cann et al, 2003).
A recent prison-based study showed that the one-year reconviction rate for both adult men and young offenders who had completed enhanced thinking skills (ETS) and reasoning and rehabilitation (R&R) interventions in prison represented a positive 2.5 percentage points difference in reconviction for adult male completers (17.0 per cent vs. 19.5 per cent) and a 4.1 percentage point difference for young offender completers (31.4 per cent vs. 35.5 per cent) compared to matched comparison groups. There was no difference in reconviction rates between programme starters and comparison groups. See tables 3 and 4 at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs2/r226.pdf.
A study of female participants of ETS and R&R (Cann, 2006) found no statistically significant differences in one- and two-year rates between offenders and a matched comparison group. See www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs06/r276.pdf.
The most robust evaluation of the sex offender treatment programme (SOTP) in England and Wales (Friendship et al, 2003) examined the impact of the prison-based programme. This compared two-year reconviction rates for prisoners who participated in the programme with those who did not. Findings indicated that the SOTP had an impact on reconvictions for sexual and/or violent offences (as a combined measure).
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answers by Lord Darzi of Denham on 21 April 2008 (WA 23236), 12 January 2009 (WA 9597) and 20 January (WA 19697), whether consultation of one research paper represents a broad range of available evidence in support of the authority's decision to permit culture of outgrowing human embryos beyond 14 days. [HL1058]
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answers by Lord Darzi of Denham on 29 September 2008 (WA 35254), 12 January 2009 (WA 9597) and 20 January (WA 19697), whether the evidence presented to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority by Professor Trounson in support of his view regarding outgrowing embryos in culture beyond 14 days represents a broad range of available evidence. [HL1059]
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answers by Lord Darzi of Denham on 29 September 2008 (WA 35254), 12 January 2009 (WA 9597) and 20 January (WA 19697), whether consideration was given by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority or the Department of Health to descriptions of the debate on Professor Trounson's view in an October 2002 report from the Australian Senate before evaluating his view. [HL1060]
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answers by Lord Darzi of Denham on 29 September 2008 (WA 35254), 12 January 2009 (WA 9596) and 20 January (WA 19697), to what extent the broad range of available evidence considered by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority was based on commentary provided by a member of the Authority whose compliance with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 was then in question; and what prior evaluation was made of potential conflicts of interest. [HL1061]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): On the matter of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) assessment of available evidence, in compliance with its statutory functions, I refer the noble Lord to the Answer I gave on 20 January 2009 (WA 197). The HFEA informs me that with regard to Professor Alan Trounson, it has not considered the report of the Australian Senate. The views of Professor Trounson were sought by the HFEA because he is widely considered to be an expert in the field of embryonic stem cells.
HFEA members, including co-opted members of HFEA committees, are routinely asked to declare any interests regarding agenda items at the beginning of every committee meeting. The advice and views of all committee members are equally taken into account before the authority makes decisions. This is reflected in the minutes of committee meetings.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Environment Agency has archived all the data relating to extreme floods from before 2000 to the present day; and whether the retrieval system allows for cross-relating information by location, flood type and flood source. [HL1032]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Environment Agency's national flood and coastal database holds records of extreme flooding from rivers and sea since 2000 but also has information which dates further back.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 28 October 2008 (WA 154), whether, following the introduction of the National Framework for Continuing Care in October 2007, primary care trusts have completed the reassessment of eligibility for continuing care; and, if so, when the new criteria and resulting table of eligibilities will be published. [HL1034]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The department published The National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS funded Nursing Care in June 2007. This document details the new criteria to be used by primary care trusts in assessing eligibility for continuing care. A copy has been placed in the Library.
If the National Health Service is providing any part of a patient's care, a case review should be undertaken to reassess care needs and eligibility for NHS continuing healthcare no later than three months following the initial assessment, and then as a minimum standard on an annual basis. There is also the right to request a review if an individual, or their representative, considers that the wrong decision has been made.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they will engage with local NHS commissioners to ensure that there is an adequate provision of services for people with epilepsy in all primary care trusts and acute trusts in England. [HL1046]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they will take to address the findings in the recent report by Epilepsy Action, Epilepsy in England: a time for change, that despite National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines stating that all people with suspected epilepsy should be seen by an epilepsy specialist within two weeks, over 90 per cent of trusts in England have waiting times of longer than two weeks, and almost half of acute trusts in England do not currently employ an epilepsy specialist. [HL1047]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they will take to address the findings in the recent report by Epilepsy Action, Epilepsy in England: a time for change, that despite National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines stating that epilepsy specialist nurses should be an integral part of the medical team providing care to people with epilepsy, 60 per cent of acute trusts and 64 per cent of primary care trusts in England do not employ one. [HL1048]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The National Service Framework for Long-Term Conditions is the key tool for delivering the Government's strategy to support and to reduce health inequalities among people who live with long-term neurological conditions, including epilepsy.
It is the responsibility of local health commissioners to ensure that they commission local services to meet the needs of their population. This includes ensuring that all relevant guidelines, including those issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), can be implemented where deemed appropriate.
NICE guidelines have the status of clinical guidelines for health professionals. It is the responsibility of health professionals to use their clinical judgment, in consultation with individual patients, to decide on the most appropriate treatment options, taking into account all relevant guidelines.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Information about the number of mixed-sex wards is not collected centrally. Our guidance to the National Health Service has always required single-sex accommodation rather than single-sex wards. Even within a mixed ward, good single-sex accommodation can be achieved by using single rooms or single-sex bays and toilet facilities.
The department continues to engage strategic health authorities about their plans to deliver a reduction in mixed-sex accommodation and the East of England Strategic Health Authority is able to provide more detail about its plans to deliver improvements in both Essex and other counties in the eastern region.
On 28 January 2009 the department announced a six month programme to eliminate mixed-sex accommodation. This includes a £100 million privacy
4 Feb 2009 : Column WA130
To ask Her Majesty's Government which department is accountable to Parliament for the activities of the various bodies responsible for implementing the recommendations of the Cooksey report on improving the translation of medical research into improved services for patients. [HL1003]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The National Institute for Health Research and the Medical Research Council are together taking forward the improvements in translational research prompted by Sir David Cooksey's review of United Kingdom health research funding. Accountability to Parliament for this work rests, therefore, with the Secretary of State for Health and the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills.
To ask Her Majesty's Government why long service medals are awarded by the police service after 22 years and the fire, ambulance and prison services after 20 years; and what steps are being taken to bring parity to the awards between the services. [HL625]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The 22-year qualification criteria for the police long-service and good conduct medal was decided after lengthy consultation with police partners and was introduced prior to the other UK civilian emergency service medals.
|Next Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|