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Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with the Scottish First Minister about Scottish NICE advice about glivec. [50822]

Ms Blears: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has not had any discussions with the Scottish First Minister about Scottish guidance on glivec.

Care Home Workers

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what measures he proposes to take to overcome delays in processing applications for screening criminal records of care home workers; [53539]

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Jacqui Smith: This Department and the National Care Standards Commission are in close contact with the Home Office and the Criminal Records Bureau about the processing of applications. In order to improve the throughput of applications the bureau is currently recruiting additional staff and redeploying others over 100 in all. The bureau is also reviewing its application processes to streamline them where possible without compromising security, for example returning incorrectly completed forms to the registered body before the application is entered onto the system.

The decision as to whether or not to prosecute a registered provider or registered manager of a care home for employing someone in the home without receiving a criminal records disclosure as required under regulation 19 of the Care Homes Regulations 2001, will be a matter for the National Care Standards Commission. We expect the commission to consider each case separately. In doing so it will need to determine what other checks the employer undertook before employing the worker and whether or not they would have been in breach of other regulations or conditions of registration relating to staff numbers, or the health and welfare of service users, if they did not fill the vacancy. Where a registered person employs someone and deliberately fails to require that person to apply for a disclosure from the bureau we would expect the commission to seek prosecution for breach of the relevant requirements.

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many applications for screening for criminal records of care home workers have been (a) made, (b) completely processed and (c) awaiting processing, since the relevant regulations came into force; [53537]

Jacqui Smith: The information about applications for disclosures for care home workers is not available in the form requested.

NHS Dentistry

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the Government plan to publish their Options for Change: NHS Dentistry proposals; if he will make a statement. [53536]

Ms Blears: The Options for Change group, led by the Chief Dental Officer, and including key stakeholders, have submitted their draft recommendations to Ministers to restore national health service dentistry, building on the Government's strategy document "Modernising NHS Dentistry: Implementing the NHS Plan", published in September 2000.

The ideas behind 'Options for Change' need practical testing and we announced on 25 April that we plan to set up demonstration sites across the country, with the

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assistance of the NHS Modernisation Agency. The sites will explore a variety of new methods for providing NHS dentistry, such as allowing primary care trusts to commission all NHS dental services and allowing dentists to choose to work in different ways at different times.

We plan to publish a report on their work in due course.

Blood Donations

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many blood donations there were in (a) 2001 and (b) 2000. [53326]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 29 April 2002]: The National Blood Service has reported that the number of blood donations from April 1999 to March 2000 were 2,928,443 units and from April 2000 to March 2001 2,910,104 units were donated.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Woodspring (Dr. Fox) of 25 March 2002, Official Report, column 770W, on blood donations, what the Government are doing to encourage blood donations by those aged 17 to 20 years. [53325]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 29 April 2002]: The National Blood Service (NBS) is undertaking a number of activities to encourage blood donation by 17 to 20-year-olds. Blood donor sessions are taking place at sixth form colleges and universities. The NBS is also sending text messages to students about up and coming blood donor sessions, promoting blood donation at student fresher fayres and writing articles on blood donation for inclusion in student magazines.

MMR Vaccinations

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures his Department is taking to contact parents of children who have not received (a) the MMR vaccination and (b) appropriate single injections to urge them to have their children inoculated. [53270]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 29 April 2002]: In February the Department held a meeting of immunisation co-ordinators at which they were all asked to ensure the accuracy of their databases on MMR immunisations, especially for those children appearing not to have received this vaccination. A special initiative had already been undertaken in London districts to identify children who were apparently unimmunised. The 20 districts with the lowest MMR coverage have been asked specifically to concentrate efforts on identifying unimmunised

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children or those who have had incomplete courses of single vaccines, clarify their immunisation status, and provide information to their parents, if so wished.


Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions he has had with central and eastern European Governments on sharing smoking cessation campaigns information. [53317]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 29 April 2002]: On 18 and 19 February 2002, I attended the World Health Organisation's (WHO) ministerial conference on a tobacco-free Europe in Warsaw. I met with representatives from a number of central and eastern European Governments and discussed smoking-related issues, including cessation. The Department also works closely with the European region of the WHO to share information about activities on smoking cessation.

Hepatitis C

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what national guidance his Department has issued to combat the hepatitis C virus. [53273]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 29 April 2002]: The Department has issued the following publications relevant to hepatitis C 1 :

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Income Tax

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average income tax paid per household was in each of the last four years in (a) current and (b) 1997 prices. [26227]

Dawn Primarolo: Estimates of the average income tax liability per household in the UK over the past four tax years are shown in the table.

Income tax paid by UK households

Tax yearAverage income tax liabilities (£)Average income tax at 1997 prices(38) (£)Average income tax as a percentage of gross household income

(38) Using the GDP deflator at market prices

These figures have been calculated using estimates of income tax liabilities based on the Survey of Personal Incomes, and estimates of the number of households based on the Labour Force Survey. Gross household income estimates are taken from Family Spending.

Mr. Salter: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how much more in income tax the average pensioner would pay if all the spending increases announced in the 2002 Budget were funded from income tax rather than national insurance contributions; [53609]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer my hon. Friend to table A.1 in the Financial Statement and Budget Report, April 2002, for the yield from additional national insurance contributions. The direct effects of illustrative changes in income tax are given in table 4 of the "Tax Ready Reckoner and Tax Reliefs" published in November 2001, a copy of which is held in the Library of the House. This table will be updated in the statistics area of the Inland Revenue website on 31 May. The amount of income tax that any individual would pay depends upon how the additional income tax is levied.

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