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Care Homes

17. Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the availability of care home places in the south-west. [67280]

Jacqui Smith: At 31 March 2001, there were 44,791 registered residential care places and 24,073 registered nursing care beds in the south-west.

25. Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions he has had with Government Departments and other organisations about the treatment of elderly people in residential and nursing care for the purposes of the standard spending assessment. [67288]

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Jacqui Smith: I have had a number of recent discussions with other Government Departments and organisations about the older people's standard spending assessment formulae. I also commissioned independent research into this formula. As a result of these discussions and research there are a number of possible options for change to the existing formula that we are considering. A consultation document was issued on 8 July setting out these options and councils have 12 weeks to comment on them.

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many new admissions to care homes during each of the last five years in England and Wales he is aware were previously resident in Scotland. [69439]

Jacqui Smith: Information is not centrally held on the previous place of residence of residents in care homes in England. Questions relating to Wales are a matter for the National Assembly for Wales.

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many residents of England and Wales he is aware have chosen to enter into a care home in Scotland in each of the last five years. [69438]

Jacqui Smith: Information is not held centrally in respect of individuals normally resident in England and in care homes. Information in respect of residents in care homes in Scotland and of individuals normally resident in Wales and in care homes are the responsibility of the respective devolved Administrations.

Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will provide a list, by region, of the publicly funded elderly care homes in the last five years; and how much money they received in real terms. [68527]

Jacqui Smith: Prior to April this year, local councils were responsible for the registration of residential care homes. Lists of registered homes were not maintained centrally. Nor are there central records of the size of contracts entered into with individual homes either by councils or by people who used income support to purchase care which they had arranged for themselves. However, the following table shows the gross expenditure on residential care and nursing provision by councils with social services responsibilities in each region in England at 2000–01 prices for the five years from 1996–97 to 2000–01.

Elderly residential and nursing homes placements—gross expenditure by local authorities at 2000–01 prices
£ million

North West475486512533568
North East143161174202237
Yorkshire and the Humber294319337355411
East Midlands233242258286305
South East405428443457483
South West244265298325357
West Midlands278312330353371
Total England2,7212,9013,0773,2623,565

(7) 2000–01 figures are inclusive of overhead costs.


Form RO3 (PSS EX1 from 2000–01)—annual return of social services expenditure made by local authorities.

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Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will commission a study comparing the quality of care between public and private care homes. [68528]

Jacqui Smith: There is no need for such a survey. Under section 7(1)(b) of the Care Standards Act 2000, the National Care Standards Commission has a duty of keeping my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State informed about the quality of services regulated under Part II of the Act.

MS Sufferers

18. Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many registered respite care homes for MS sufferers there are; and how many have closed since 1997. [67281]

Jacqui Smith: We do not collect this information centrally.

I understand from the MS Society that there are 204 registered nursing or residential homes providing respite care, where staff have attended an MS study day and so have a basic knowledge of the condition.

In addition, I understand that the society provides respite specifically for people with multiple sclerosis at three registered nursing homes in England. It also operates three homes which provide holidays for people with MS who have lower dependency, for carers, and for people with other conditions.

The management of these homes is a matter for the MS Society.

29. Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the availability of drug treatments for patients suffering from multiple sclerosis. [67293]

Jacqui Smith: Up to 9,000 patients in England and Wales may be eligible to receive a drug treatment for their multiple sclerosis under the risk-sharing scheme, which started on 6 May 2002. Patients are now being treated under the scheme, but we recognise that appropriate infrastructure is not yet in place in some localities.

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if Copaxone is available at St. Bartholomew's Hospital; and for what reasons a valid prescription for Copaxone would be inadmissible. [66741]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 4 July 2002]: Copaxone (glatiramer acetate) is available on the national health service under the risk-sharing scheme for disease modifying drugs for multiple sclerosis (MS) that came into operation on 6 May 2002.

Barts and the London NHS Trust met with specialist commissioners on 5 July and agreed funding arrangements for MS therapy. A clinical discussion forum took place on 11 July. As a result of these discussions, all patients who are under the NHS for their MS care but are receiving MS therapy on a private prescription, are now eligible for NHS treatment, as long as the Association of British Neurologists criteria has been met. Consequently, all patients in this category will now be called in for review.

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19. Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on funding for hospices in Lancashire. [67282]

Ms Blears: During 2001–02, primary care trusts in Lancashire provided a total of £2.5 million to hospices in their respective areas. These included: Trinity Hospice in Fylde; St. John's Hospice in Lancaster; St. Catherine's Hospice in Preston; Derian House Hospice in Chorley; Burnley and Pendle Hospice; Rossendale Hospice; Springhill Hospice in Rochdale; East Lancashire Hospice; St. Joseph's Hospice, Jospice International; and Queenscourt Hospice.

23. Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his oral answer of 18 June 2002, Official Report, column 140W, on hospices, what evidence he used to base his estimate of the need for funds for palliative care in hospices. [67286]

Ms Blears: It is for the national health service locally to make arrangements for financial support for hospices based on the agreed strategic plans for palliative care provision within each cancer network's service delivery plan.

The National Council for Hospices and Specialist Palliative Care Services undertake an annual survey on investment in palliative care. They estimate the total expenditure on adult palliative care services to be around £300 million of which around £170 million is provided by the voluntary sector and £130 million by the NHS. The Government have pledged in the NHS Cancer Plan that funding for specialist palliative care services, including hospices, will increase by £50 million by 2004.

NHS Menus

20. Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on progress in introducing the new NHS menus. [67283]

Mr. Lammy: Good progress is being made in introducing the new menu and ward housekeeping. This long term initiative, supported by £38.5 million, is already delivering more choice and better quality to patients across the NHS. Two thirds of trusts were on course to include three leading chef dishes by April.

Cystic Fibrosis

21. Mr. Best: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans there are to ensure that neonatal screening for cystic fibrosis will be made universally available and free of charge. [67284]

Jacqui Smith: A developmental programme is in place to plan for the NHS provision of neonatal cystic fibrosis screening. Further advice from the UK National Screening Committee about time scales and details on the implementation of a national programme, is expected in the autumn.

Mr. Best: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will add cystic fibrosis to the list of conditions exempt from prescription charges. [67339]

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Mr. Lammy: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. O'Brien) on 20 June 2002, Official Report, column 544W.

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