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Care Homes

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he is planning to issue guidance on standard 27.3 of Care Homes for Older People National Minimum Standards to (a) set out the ratios of care staff to service users and (b) provide a system for calculating staff numbers required. [63816]

Jacqui Smith: The Department commissioned the residential forum to produce the guidance. This was published on 27 March. On the same day I issued statutory guidance to the National Care Standards Commission, under Section 6 of the Care Standards Act. The guidance sets out how the Commission should apply the regulations and standards in relation to staffing levels in care homes, to ensure that the approach to staffing levels is not rigid and that it avoids placing additional burdens on care homes.

Copies of the Residential Forum's guidance are available from:

My guidance to the Commission on applying the Residential Forum's guidance is available on the Department's internet website at:

Mr. Watts: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what (1) assessment his Department has made of the impact the new care standards proposals will have on the level of care home fees; [61980]

Jacqui Smith: The Government is providing records levels of funding for social services. Resources have increased nationally by 20 per cent. in real terms between 1996–97 and 2002–03, an average real terms increase of 3 per cent. per annum. In addition, as announced on 17 April, we are increasing the resources for personal social services by an annual average of 6 per cent. in real

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terms from 2003–04 to 2005–06. Councils have been incentivised to use some of their 6 per cent. annual increases to stabilise the care home market and fund home care services for older people.

Included within these additional funds are resources provided to meet the cost care homes incur in meeting the care standards. We expect local authorities to reflect this in the fees they pay homes, as laid out in the "Building Capacity and Partnership in Care" agreement. The Department will continue to review the progress that is being made in the implementing of the agreement.

The setting of fee levels are a matter for local decision and we have no plans to intervene in local negotiations.

Care Home Fees

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of local authorities who are not making up the shortfall between preserved rights income and care home fees at the point of change; and if he will make a statement. [61512]

Jacqui Smith: We have issued guidance to local authorities on how to implement the abolition of preserved rights. When negotiating fees, councils should take account of the additional resources they are receiving to meet any shortfall between the old income support rates and the cost of care.

Lynde House Care Home

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place a copy of the report into Lynde House care home in Twickenham carried out by Mary McClaren in the Library. [61786]

Jacqui Smith: No. The report into Lynde House Nursing Home was commissioned independently by Kingston and Richmond health authority, which regulated Lynde House under the Registered Homes Act 1984, and is not the responsibility of the Department. Under the Health Authorities (Establishment and Abolition) (England) Order 2002, responsibility for the findings of the report will fall to Richmond and Twickenham Primary Care Trust and the South West London health authority, which replaced Kingston and Richmond health authority on 1 April 2002.

The National Care Standards Commission took over responsibility for the regulation of all care homes in England on 1 April 2002. The Commission will, of course, bear in mind the findings of the report and any other relevant information when inspecting the care home in future.

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Carers' Special Grant

Jeff Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much carers' special grant has been allocated to (a) Barnsley and (b) Doncaster in each of the last four years. [61789]

Mr. Lammy: The table shows how much carers' grant has been allocated to Barnsley and Doncaster in each of the last four years.

Carers' grant

Metropolitan borough council


Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, (1) pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Warrington, North (Helen Jones) 24 May 2002, Official Report, column 691W, on chiropody, for what reason the Government have decided not to publish Feet First II; [62065]

Jacqui Smith: We currently have no plans to publish the review of "Feet First", nor to place a copy in the Library. Since the review was undertaken the focus on policy has shifted from professionally-led guidance to patient-led services. We want to ensure national health service organisations like the new primary care trusts make decisions on services based on their local populations' clinical needs. To help them make these decisions, and to ensure clinical input, chiropodists have been involved in the development of national service frameworks (NSF) for older people and diabetes. The NSF for older people, which was published in March 2001, sets performance measures for accessing chiropody/podiatry services.

Children in Care

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many, and what percentage of children who left (a) a residential care home and (b) foster parents at the age of 16 years were not in education, employment and training at any one time between the ages of 16 to 18 years in the last five years for which figures are available. [61784]

Jacqui Smith: At present, the Department does not hold statistics that would allow us to answer this question. Since the introduction of the quality protects programme, individual local authorities should be compiling their own data about the progress of young people who they were looking after on the sixteenth birthday from August 1998, so that they have information about the education and employment outcomes of young people who have been in their care.

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The Children (Leaving Care) Act was commenced in October 2001. As part of the arrangements for monitoring the Act, local authorities are now required to submit details to the Department about the education, training and employment of 19-year-old care leavers, who had been looked after in their seventeenth year. The first set of data from this sample will be published in autumn 2002. It would then be possible to match this data with other information about young people's last placement prior to leaving care, to research whether for this cohort of young people there are significant correlations between placement type and education and employment outcomes.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 17 June 2002, Official Report, column 151W, on children in care, if he will provide such information as the Department has on the numbers of (a) mentally and (b) physically disabled children in care. [63872]

Jacqui Smith: The Department carried out a children in need census in February 2000 which showed that in a typical week, there were about 29,000 children who were receiving services and were regarded as disabled, of whom 8,000 were children looked after. This report can be found on the children in need home page of internet at cin/2000.htm (paragraphs 30–32 refer).

These figures were considered too unreliable to publish at local authority level, because of confusion in some authorities as to whether to include all disabled children or only those who need services by virtue of their disability or disabilities. No further breakdown is made in relation to children who are mentally disabled and/or physically disabled.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 17 June 2002, Official Report, column 151W, on children in care, which survey the information regarding the number of children in care births came from. [63870]

Jacqui Smith: The results of the survey, funded by the Department, were published in 1992 by the national children's bureau under the title "Prepared for living? A survey of young people leaving the care of three local authorities" (authors: N. Biehal et al.). The publication is available in the Library.

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