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Learning Disability

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many local learning disability partnership boards

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have met to consider updated joint investment plans; and how many such agreed plans were submitted to regional offices of his Department before 1 February; [35582]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 13 February 2002]: The Government's strategy for improving services for people with learning disabilities and their families is set out in the white paper "Valuing People: A New Strategy for Learning Disability for the 21st Century" (Cm 5086), published in March 2001.

For progress made on implementation and arrangements for monitoring the difference the policies set out in "Valuing People" will make, I refer the hon. Member to the report I gave during the debate on this subject on 1 February 2002, Official Report, columns 535–78, progress includes:

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Both "Valuing People" and the implementation guidance (Health Service Circular/Local Authority Circular HSC 2001/016: LAC (2001)23) published in August 2001 set out arrangements for monitoring implementation (copies of both documents are available in the Library).

We will continue to monitor progress through a range of performance assessment mechanisms, a survey of learning disabled people, and measurement against specific performance indicators that are currently being developed. We will report progress annually to Parliament.

The implementation guidance issued in August 2001 reminded local authorities that Learning Disability Partnership Boards should be set up in each local authority area by 31 October 2001 to take forward implementation of the "Valuing People" proposals at local level.

Partnership Boards were asked to complete and return updated joint investment plans (JIPs) to the Department's Social Services inspectorate social care regional offices by 31 January 2002. The JIPs should include local action plans for implementing the "Valuing People" programme.

By 8 February all but two JIPs had been returned, most being received on or before 31 January. The outstanding JIPs are being followed up. All Partnership Boards have been constituted as required by the implementation circular, but information is not held centrally on how many have met or met specifically to consider their JIPs. The guidance made it clear, however, that updated JIPs should be agreed by all agencies represented on the Partnership Boards.

The first priority of the learning disability Implementation Team will be to establish links and contacts with learning disability partnership boards. The team will work with any boards whose JIPs are found, following the evaluation now under way, to be below an acceptable standard to help them take remedial action and ensure that improvements in local services are achieved.

Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the future management of Barnet Chase Farm NHS Trust. [36036]

Mr. Hutton: [holding answer 13 February 2002]: On 11 February, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State announced that the best National Health Service managers would be appointed to replace the chief executive at four zero rated NHS trusts. One of those trusts was Barnet and

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Chase Farm. The decision to move to franchising Barnet and Chase Farm NHS Trust follows serious concerns raised by the Commission for Health Improvement about radiology services at the trust.

The franchises for the trust chief executive posts will be open to NHS managers with a proven track record of delivery. Each franchise will run for three years and be annually reviewed to ensure improvements are being made. Franchises for these hospitals are expected to be made in April.

New chief executives will be appointed to the four trusts on the basis of a three-year franchise plan setting out how services will be improved. Franchise bids will address the specific weaknesses of the trusts that resulted in them being given a zero star rating and will also show how improvements in performance can be sustained throughout the trust.

Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust supports any initiative which drives up standards in hospitals and as such welcomes the franchise announcement and looks forward to more details about how this will directly affect the trust.

Following the resignation of the chief executive of the trust, as an interim measure Paul O'Connor, formerly Director of Operations at King's College Hospital NHS Trust, has been appointed as acting chief executive.

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients (a) overall, (b) from the London Borough of Barnet and (c) from Hendon constituency (i) were affected by the backlog in ultrasound tests at Barnet Chase Farm NHS Trust and (ii) remain to be seen; when they are expected to be seen; and if he will make a statement. [36038]

Mr. Hutton: [holding answer 13 February, 2002]: There were 2,700 ultrasound test requests delayed inappropriately at Chase Farm Hospital. I understand that none of these requests related to Barnet or Hendon residents. The 400 requests currently outstanding will be undertaken by the end of February.

Cancer Research

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money he allocated for cancer research in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [36048]

Yvette Cooper: In 2000–01, our investment in cancer research was about £190 million. The Department spent £83.8 million, and the health departments of the devolved administrations spent £12.4 million. The Medical Research Council (MRC) has estimated that it spent £58 million on cancer research, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has estimated that the universities spent £26 million of their allocations from HEFCE on cancer research. The other research councils spent a total of £9.9 million.

Comparable figures for previous years are not available, because, for example, the MRC has improved its methods of capturing data and identifying relevant expenditure. But the Department spent £77.4 million on cancer research in 1999–2000, £75.6 million in 1998–99 and £53 million in 1997–98.

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Waiting Times

Virginia Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of patients are waiting over one year for inpatient treatment (a) in West Surrey and (b) in

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Durham; and what percentage were waiting over one year in June 1997. [36907]

Mr. Hutton: The information requested is shown in the table.

Inpatient 12 month waiters—June 1997 and December 2001

West Surrey(96) County Durham(96)
June 1997
Number of patient waiting over 12 months for inpatient treatment1,45266
Percentage of patients waiting over 12 months for inpatient treatment8.90.5
December 2001
Number of patient waiting over 12 months for inpatient treatment8497
Percentage of patients waiting over 12 months for inpatient treatment70.1

(96) Health Authority


QF01 quarterly return, Department of Health

Mental Health Services

Virginia Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to improve mental health services for young people. [36932]

Jacqui Smith: Our strategy for the development of child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), initiated in 1999–2000, is ongoing with the aim of improving the overall quality and accessibility of local services for children and young people with mental health problems. In the three years ending 31 March 2002 we will have invested some £85 million across the national health service and local authorities, with each agency receiving funding to help support the implementation of jointly agreed local CAMHS developments in accordance with national objectives. We intend to build on these gains through implementation of the CAMHS strand of the planned Children's National Service Framework, on which work has recently started. This is expected to produce new standards and service models and will be one of the main drivers of future developments.

Work is also proceeding on relevant aspects of the NHS plan including improved early intervention services for young people with psychosis and better mental health services for young people in prison.

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