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Community Nurses

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which primary care trusts employ community nurses (a) at, (b) above and (c) below grade E. [144481]

Mr. Denham: The information requested is not available centrally.

Sheltered Housing

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if it is his policy that very sheltered housing should completely replace residential care. [144186]

Mr. Hutton: No. While we recognise the important role that "very sheltered housing" plays in the provision of long term care, there will continue to be a need for good quality residential care. Commissioners of care, working with housing authorities, need to ensure that a range of services is available to meet the needs of all those who require long term care.

Care Trusts

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the practical implementation of the proposals for the functioning of the new care trusts. [144192]

Mr. Hutton: The introduction of care trusts signals an important step towards the closer integration of health and social care services. Their focus will be to meet the needs of local communities by arranging and providing care for users across a broad spectrum of care, from acute hospital to community health and social care at home.

Care trusts will be responsible for all the care needs of a particular client group, such as older people, this will enable the seamless delivery of care for patients and the most effective use of resources for partnerships.

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We will be working closely with local government organisations and primary care professionals to develop the detailed arrangements, which will support the introduction of care trusts, once the necessary legislation has been approved by Parliament.

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health against what standards local councils will judge the care trusts which commission care for older people. [144194]

Mr. Hutton: Proposals for monitoring the integrated delivery of health and social services by care trusts are currently being developed. The work will build on the performance assessment frameworks of both health and social care, and will monitor delivery of the standards which will be set out in the National Service Framework for Older People.

The performance management system for care trusts will build upon the principles of best value, integrating existing clinical governance and performance assessment frameworks, and will ensure that existing responsibilities are properly fulfilled.

The care trusts will be required to co-operate fully with the local authority in discharging this duty.

Patients Advocacy Liaison Service

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if advocacy, liaison and facilitation will be core functions of the Patient Advocacy Liaison Service. [144191]

Ms Stuart: Patient advocacy and liaison services will be available in all trusts and will act as a welcoming point for patients and carers and as a clearly identifiable information point. They will act as a facilitator to handle patient and family concerns, and have direct access to the chief executive and the power to negotiate immediate solutions. Where necessary, they will steer patients and families towards the complaints process and additional independent advocacy support.

Great Ormond Street

NHS Trust (Chairmanship)

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Health in which papers and journals the vacancy for the chairmanship of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children NHS Trust was advertised; and on what criteria the publications were selected. [144444]

Mr. Denham: A decision was made to publicise this vacancy in both the general and ethnic press in the host health authority area. The papers selected were the New Camden Journal, the Asian Times, Eastern Eye, Caribbean Times and New Nation on the basis that they would reach a large number of local readers.

In addition, candidates were drawn from the London regional register of those who had responded to a national advertisement in 1999 for generic chair and non-executive appointments. These candidates had been previously interviewed by panels including independent assessors and had been deemed suitable for appointment.

This combined approach assured a wide choice of high calibre candidates through national and local advertisement.

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Pressure Sores

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many legal claims have been made against (a) health authorities, (b) health trusts and (c) local authorities that relate to pressure sores in each of the last five years; [R] [143954]

Ms Stuart: Centrally held data on complaints and claims do not go into the level of detail needed to provide the information requested.

Child Protection Register

Mr. Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list in descending order the number of children per 1,000 children who are on the child protection register in each standard planning region of the United Kingdom. [144174]

Mr. Hutton: The proportion of children per 1,000 children who are on the child protection register in each Government office region of the United Kingdom (in descending order) is as follows (figures correct as of March 31 2000):

Number of children on the Child Protection Register per 1,000

South East England3.8
West Midlands3.5
Yorkshire and Humberside3.4
East Midlands3.1
East England2.8
North West England2.7
South West England2.4
Northern Ireland1.4

(52) As at 31 March 1999

Child protection registers are geared to the protection of the child and are primarily operational rather than statistical. The registers are not intended to be a list of all children who have been abused and who have come to official notice, but of those for whom there are currently unresolved child protection issues.

A child may be on the register of more than one authority at a time if the protection of the child merits it. This may occur, for example, where the child is looked after by one authority but placed with foster parents in another authority, or where the child's family has moved between authority areas on many occasions. These figures should therefore not be interpreted as a record of all child abuse.

NHS Computer Systems

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the target turnaround time is for the assessment of full business cases for computer systems of a value in

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excess of £1 million submitted by NHS hospital trusts by (a) regional offices accredited for approval of business cases up to a value of £20 million and (b) regional offices without such accreditation. [144254]

Mr. Denham: The target turnaround time for the assessment by National Health Service Executive regional offices of full business cases (FBCs) for NHS trust computer systems is two months from submission of the final version of the FBC to approval. This target is contained in the indicative project timetable for smaller schemes contained in guidance to the NHS on the private finance initiative but it is applied to all FBCs for computer systems, whether or not PFI is used.

The target time applies whether a regional office is accredited or not. If a regional office is not accredited, the FBC must also be approved by NHS Executive headquarters, but the headquarters and regional office assessments of the FBC are carried out simultaneously to minimise delay.



Mrs. Browning: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if all bovine carcases imported from EU countries have been subject to post mortem tests of (a) brain tissue and (b) the central nervous system; and if he will identify those parts of the central nervous system that are tested. [141719]

Ms Quin [holding answer 11 December 2000]: Such testing has not taken place in the past. However, post mortem tests for BSE on bovine carcases aged more than thirty months and entering the food chain will be a Community requirement from 1 January 2001. When this requirement is implemented the tissues taken for testing will depend on which test is used. The validated tests available are Prionics and CEA tests on samples of brain or ENFER tests on cervical spinal cord. The carcases will be retained until the test results are known.

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what the approved method is of disposal of cattle slaughtered as an anti-BSE measure; how many cattle have been disposed of by this method; what are the unit costs; and how much has been spent to date on the disposal of carcases. [143317]

Ms Quin [holding answer 20 December 2000]: The preferred method of disposal for BSE suspects, offspring cull animals, and selective cull carcases is incineration at a commercial incinerator. However, prior to 1991, when there was insufficient carcase incinerator capacity, some were disposed of by incineration on waste ground or local authority site, incineration on farm, or burial on farm or on a local authority landfill site.

In the early stages of the selective cull, a large number of cattle had to be sent to OTMS plants for slaughter and the carcases disposed of by rendering prior to final incineration.

Up to 30 November 2000, the total number of cattle disposed of in anti-BSE measures is 4,364,664, of which 6,246 have been buried. The remainder were rendered or incinerated.

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To date some 470,000 animals have been consigned for direct incineration under the over-thirty-month and selective cull schemes (SCS). The vast majority of animals, however, which have been processed under these two schemes have been slaughtered and rendered prior to final destruction by incineration.

There is no unit cost for disposal. It varies according to the charges at each incinerator and how far the carcase has to be transported.

The total disposal cost incurred between 1 August 1988 and 30 November 2000 is approximately £711 million of which £660 million has been spent on the slaughtering, transport and disposal of OTMS and SCS animals.

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the extent to which residual ash following the incineration of cattle may still contain proteins. [143320]

Ms Quin [holding answer 20 December 2000]: In June 1996 SEAC studied the issues surrounding the incineration of potentially infected cattle and concluded that there was no risk to humans from ash incinerated either in power stations, cement kilns or in dedicated incinerators.

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