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Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of the number of prisoners in each of Her Majesty's prisons with special educational needs. 
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Beverley Hughes: No reliable information is available on the total number of prisoners with special education needs. The Prisoners' Learning and Skills Unit located in the Department for Education and Skills is implementing new procedures to collect this kind of information.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent consultations he has had regarding reducing penalties in youth courts for (a) criminal damage (b) shoplifting and (c) offences involving airguns. 
Mr. Keith Bradley: Sentencers in the youth court have discretion within the statutory framework laid down by Parliament. The maximum penalty for criminal damage above £5,000 is a two-year Detention and Training Order. Below that a range of non-custodial orders is available. These were enhanced by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with the Judicial Studies Board with regard to downgrading penalties issued by magistrates for low seriousness offences. 
Mr. Keith Bradley: There have been no discussions between the Secretary of State for the Home Department and the Judicial Studies Board regarding the downgrading of penalties issued by magistrates for low seriousness offences. However, Lord Justice Auld's Report 'Review of the Criminal Courts of England And Wales' recommended that there should be a systematic review leading to fixed penalty and/or notice-to-correct schemes for a wider range of infringements than are presently the subject of criminal prosecution. Lord Justice Auld's report is currently out to a public consultation. Officials in the relevant departments are also considering these recommendations. An assessment of the feasibility of taking them forward will be made after a full consultation.
Mr. McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will take into account the implications of the Bristol inquiry report before making further decisions on the national specialist commissionary advisory group report; 
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Mr. Hutton: We have published our intention to keep all six cardiothoracic transplant centres open in the discussion document "National Adult Heart and Lung Transplant Service" published on 21 September. We will receive comments on these proposals until 7 December.
The report by the National Specialist Commissioning Advisory group was an internal Department of Health paper. However reference to the paper is included in discussion document the "National Adult Heart and Lung Transplant service".
Mr. Pollard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will allocate funds to increase the number of small birthing units, led by midwives in hospitals without a maternity unit; and if he will make a statement. 
Jacqui Smith: The National Health Service provides a variety of types of care for women during pregnancy and childbirth including care in midwife-led births units. We expect this variety to continue and do not support any one single model of maternity service provision in preference to all others. It is for health authorities and NHS trusts to decide on the pattern of service provision taking into account the needs of local service users, evidence of effectiveness and available resources.
Jacqui Smith: National Health Service and social services community equipment services have their funding determined locally. Additional funding being made available to enable them to meet the NHS Plan targets is allocated through health authority allocations and local council personal social services spending assessments.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the NHS trusts and social services departments that have received funds from the community equipment services budget this financial year. [R] 
Jacqui Smith: In addition to pre-existing levels of funding for community equipment services by health and social services, all National Health Service health authorities received additional funding for community equipment services in their general allocations in 200102. Where authorities have identified that additional funding is required, they will have allocated it to the appropriate organisation running the equipment service which may be an NHS trust, a primary care group or a social services department. Similarly, all local councils with personal social services received allocations from which they are expected to contribute not just previous funding but an increased amount towards achieving the community equipment services targets in the NHS Plan.
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Jacqui Smith: £12 million has been allocated nationally to support the National Health Service to work towards achieving the NHS Plan targets in relation to community equipment services. We also took account of the need for additional investment in the personal social services settlement for 200102 to 200304 to enable councils to contribute an appropriate share to the expansion of these services. These amounts are in addition to pre-existing local funding for equipment services.
Peter Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what levels of investment have been made and what initiatives have been taken to promote access to NHS dentists in Shropshire since 1997. 
Shropshire health authority also received £414,000 in 200001 to develop a dental access centre (DAC) and £80,000 from the Dental Care Development Fund to promote access to NHS dentistry. The DAC now operates from Shrewsbury, Donnington, Oswestry and Market Drayton and two further sites opening shortly in Ludlow and Craven Arms.
|Local personal dental service funds:||50,000|
|Dental care development fund:||50,000|
|Quality assurance (to implement clinical governance)||17,000|
In addition, the anticipated spend on the Shropshire Dental Access Centre in 200102 is £656,000 revenue and £33,000 capital. The exact level of expenditure may vary depending on the opening date of the two new sites, in Ludlow and Craven Arms, and the numbers of patients needed in year.
Following changes in Regulations it is now possible for health authorities to use their own resources to respond to local patterns of unmet demand for NHS dentistry identified in their dentistry action plans.
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and bottom 14 social services departments as set out in the publication of Social Services Performance Assessment Framework Indicators 200001 on 19 October. 
had on average three quarters or more of its indicators banded as three or higher over the past three years.
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Banding of the performance indicators was introduced last year to help clarify what level of performance is generally good in relation to a performance indicator. Bands range from "investigate urgently" to "very good". Band three represents a council performing at a level which is "acceptable but with possible room for improvement".
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