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Staff Numbers

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff were employed in the Social Care Council at 1 April; and what proportion of those staff have clinical contact with NHS patients. [56870]

Jacqui Smith: For the purpose of reply, it is assumed that the Social Care Council referred to is the General Social Care Council (GSCC), established under the Care Standards Act 2000 and with the objective to register, regulate and raise standards in the social care work force in England.

The GSCC employed 82 staff as of 1 April 2002.

No GSCC staff have any clinical contact with national health service patients as their task is to regulate the social care work force and not to provide frontline services.

Assisted Conception

Martin Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what is (a) age range of patients accepted for treatment on the NHS, (b) age at which female NHS patients begin treatment and (c) waiting times for NHS patients on the lists at assisted conception units in England with NHS lists is the average; [57012]

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Yvette Cooper: The statistical information requested is not available centrally. The Department undertook a baseline survey of infertility provision in the national health service in 1999. A report on this "Survey of NHS Infertility Services 1997–98" has been published and copies are available in the Library.

We understand that the National Institute for Clinical Excellence expects to deliver its clinical guidelines on infertility by October 2003.


Mr. O'Hara: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will amend the Assessment of Resources Regulations 1992 to include a mandatory disregard of property in situations where a carer who is aged under 60 or is not a relative of the person he is caring for remains in the property of that person when that person moves into a care home; [57018]

Jacqui Smith: During the passage of the Health and Social Care Act 2001 through Parliament, Ministers gave a commitment to review the need for a mandatory property disregard in situations where former carers, not already covered under the current Assessment of Resources Regulations 1992, continue to live in properties of individuals permanently admitted to residential care. Ministers emphasised that progress could only be made should resources become available.

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For the time being the Government are aware that many properties of care home residents are disregarded by statute from the financial assessment for residential accommodation because they continue to be the main home of spouses and other family members listed in the regulations. In many instances these individuals will have cared for the residents prior to admission. Additionally many councils use their discretion to disregard the value of residents' property from the financial assessment when it continues to be the home of carers not covered by the regulations.


Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children were adopted in each year since 1990. [57193]

Ruth Kelly: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Registrar General. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Keith Vaz, dated 21 May 2002:

Number of adoptions in England and Wales from 1990 until 2001

YearNumber of adoptions