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Nursing Care (Elderly)

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the Government's plans for the funding of the costs of nursing care for the elderly; when the first payments for funding will be made; and if payments will be made directly to elderly people. [3646]

Jacqui Smith: Detailed guidance will be issued for consultation shortly.

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what definition his Department will apply to nursing care in a residential home. [3647]

Jacqui Smith: The national health service, through local community nurses, already provides for the nursing needs of residential care home residents. There is no need for this to be defined.

A definition of what constitutes care by a registered nurse is set out at section 49 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001. When commenced, this will remove the ability of councils to provide nursing care by a registered nurse in nursing homes, paving the way for NHS nursing care.

Pilgrim Hospital, Boston (Neurology Waiting Times)

Mr. Hogg: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what action he is taking to reduce waiting times for an appointment to see a consultant neurologist at the Pilgrim hospital, Boston; [4018]

Yvette Cooper: The vast majority of neurology outpatients—about 95 per cent.—are seen within 26 weeks and the average waiting time in England is 11.04 weeks. More than 58 per cent. of hospitals are able to give appointments within 13 weeks. However, we recognise that on occasions, some patients, like those at Pilgrim hospital, Boston, can wait a long time for neurology treatment.

The service at Pilgrim hospital is provided by consultants from Queen's medical centre, Nottingham. There have been difficulties in recruiting to this outreach service, but provision has been made to recruit to two additional posts, one of which will be based at Boston.

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Additional clinics and support are also being provided from Sheffield. This will help us to meet the waiting times targets in the NHS plan.

Stroke Patients

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidance he has issued to NHS trusts on ensuring that stroke patients are assessed by social services before discharge; [3493]

Mr. Hutton: The information requested is not collected centrally. However, many hospitals already have, or plan to introduce, specialist stroke services.

The Department published the National Service Framework for Older People (NSF) on 27 March 2001. It sets out a comprehensive strategy to ensure fair, high quality integrated health and social care and reduce variations in services for older people.

The NSF addresses a number of specific conditions which are significant for, although not limited to, older people. It includes a standard on stroke and service models which should apply to all who need them regardless of age.

The stroke standard provides for stroke prevention, immediate care, early and continuing rehabilitation, and long-term support as components of a service model for integrated specialist stroke services which will build on current arrangements and be in place in all general hospitals which care for people with stroke by April 2004.

Community Equipment Services

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans he has to monitor the effectiveness of community equipment services; [4064]

Jacqui Smith: The NHS plan set targets for integrating community equipment services by 2004 and, by the same date, increasing the number of people benefiting from these services by 50 per cent. To reach these targets, all councils with social services responsibility are expected to draft plans for integration, agree them with the national health service locally, and have budgets agreed with NHS colleagues by April 2002. Information on early achievement of these targets is not held centrally.

The effectiveness of community equipment services will be monitored in a number of ways. These include regular statistical returns from councils with social services responsibilities and health authorities, monitoring through the social services inspectorate and scrutiny of local action plans. The Department is keeping the need for further performance measures under review, being advised by those in the field, service users and others with an interest.

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Kayleigh Glenn

Mr. John Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement about the case of Kayleigh Glenn of Summerfield road, Solihull, and her need for emergency surgery. [4165]

Yvette Cooper: First, may I say how sorry I was to hear about the distressing circumstances surrounding this case.

I can confirm, however, that a new clinical team has been assembled at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford and that Kayleigh was admitted on the evening of Thursday 12 July and an operation was carried out on Friday 13 July. I understand that Kayleigh's condition is stable.


Electronic Conveyancing

Laura Moffatt: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when he will publish the responses to the consultation paper "Electronic Conveyancing: A Draft Order under Section 8 of the Electronic Communications Act 2000" (cp.5/2001) published on 16 March. [4605]

Mr. Wills: The consultation paper period closed on 25 June. Copies of the responses have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. My Department is currently preparing an analysis of the responses and that will be published shortly.


Departmental Responsibilities

Llew Smith: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the departmental responsibility for (a) regional policy, (b) regional development agencies, (c) planning policy, (d) urban regeneration, (e) rural regeneration and (f) regional assemblies under the new departmental structure; and if he will make a statement on the factors underlying these new departmental responsibilities. [3965]

The Prime Minister: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Eastbourne (Mr. Waterson) on 9 July 2001, Official Report, column 408W.

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Black Police Association

Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Prime Minister if he has received a copy of the letter dated 7 June to the Permanent Secretary at the Home Office from Chair of the Black Police Association. [4353]

The Prime Minister: As far as I am aware, I have not received a copy of this letter.

Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Prime Minister when he last met representatives of the Black Police Association. [4352]

The Prime Minister: I have meetings with a wide range of organisations and individuals. As with previous Administrations, it is not my practice to provide details of such meetings.


Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister how many pictures of the House of Commons he has signed since 1 May 1997 which were intended to be given as gifts to businessmen; and what his policy is in respect of such gifts. [4306]

The Prime Minister: I am asked to sign a range of material by MPs. I understand that the majority of this material is intended for auctions and presents for staff.

Ministerial Group on Biotechnology and

Genetic Modification

Mr. Breed: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the membership of the ministerial group on biotechnology and genetic modification (MISC6). [3752]

The Prime Minister: MISC6 has now been dissolved. It has been replaced by a new ministerial sub-committee on biotechnology (SCI(BIO)). I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, Central (Mr. Jones) on 10 July 2001, Official Report, column 452W.

Dredging (Tidal Water)

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Prime Minister which Department has responsibility for controlling estuarine maintenance dredging in England. [4299]

The Prime Minister: The Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions has responsibility.

Incapacity Benefit

David Winnick: To ask the Prime Minister if he will meet national organisations representing the disabled to discuss changes to Incapacity Benefit; and if he will make a statement. [4366]

The Prime Minister: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave him on 4 July 2001, Official Report, column 261.