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Since 2001, 20 homes in Bexley have de-registered.
Data collected up until 2001 by the Department included private hospitals and clinics, which were counted as nursing homes. These are now registered by the Healthcare Commission and are not included in data on care and nursing home numbers produced by CSCI.
Bexley local authority covers a smaller area than the Bexley and Greenwich health authority.
Mr. Ivan Lewis:
The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI), as the independent inspectorate for
all social care services in England, is the statutory body which inspects and regulates the care home sector. CSCI took over the regulation and inspection of care homes in England from the National Care Standards Commission (NCSC) on 1 April 2004, under powers given to it under the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003.
Independent healthcare providers in England, including independent nursing homes where care is provided by medical practitioners, must be registered with the Healthcare Commission. To register, they need to demonstrate compliance with the Care Standards Act 2000 and associated regulations.
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the financial cost saving to her Department of voluntary carers in the last year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: This Government recognise the valuable and vital role played by the estimated 6 million carers in the United Kingdom. The Government have made no estimate of the savings to public funds resulting from the activities of people who provide care on a voluntary basis.
Dr. Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent discussions she has had with carers organisations on their proposal for a carers champion within Government; and if she will make a statement; 
(3) what recent discussions she has had with the Welsh Assembly Government on its decision to appoint a carers champion within government and the implications of that decision in England; and if she will make a statement; 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: This Government have noted the call for the establishment of such a post but we believe that existing national directors, for example in relation to social care, older people and disease-specific groups such as cancer and diabetes, should already be taking the needs of carers into account.
In addition, we believe it is more appropriate that local health and social care professionals work together to support carers locally. This is why, in the White Paper, we encourage councils and primary care trusts to nominate leads for carers services.
We have not made an assessment of the policy towards carers in other European Union countries neither have we had any discussions with the Welsh Assembly Government on the implementation of the Carers Equal Opportunities Act 2004 in Wales.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which types of medical procedure may be provided to children under 16 years of age by a medical practitioner (a) without the consent of their parent or guardian and (b) where such consent can be waived by the medical practitioner; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Valid consent to treatment is central to all forms of healthcare, from providing personal care to undertaking major surgery. If a young person has the capacity to give consent for themselves then health professionals should seek consent directly from them. If a young person does not have capacity then consent should be sought from someone with parental responsibility.
In cases of life-threatening emergency where consultation with a person with parental responsibility is impossible, the courts have stated that doubt should be resolved in favour of the preservation of life. In such cases a health professional could undertake treatment to preserve life or prevent serious damage to health without consent.
Revenue allocations are made directly to primary care trusts (PCTs) and not to national health service trusts. The allocations are determined on the basis of the relative needs of PCTs populations. On 9 February 2005, PCTs were informed
of their revenue allocations up to 2007-08. The 2006-07 and 2007-08 revenue allocations represent £135 billion investment in the NHS, £64 billion to PCTs in 2006-07 and £70 billion in 2007-08. The Department has no plans to make extra funding available to PCTs.
As outlined in the recently published White Paper Our health, our care, our say: a new direction for community services, the Department aims to provide more care in more local and convenient settings. This will partially be achieved by introducing a new generation of community hospitals and the Department published Our health, our care, our community: investing in the future of community hospitals and services on 5 July which describes how the Department intends to invest up to £750 million over the next five years in a new generation of community hospitals.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what dental research projects are supported from public funds; at which research establishments such research is being conducted; how much has been allocated to each project in each year; and which researchers are in charge of each project. 
Andy Burnham: The main agency through which the Government support medical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council (MRC). The MRC is an independent body funded by the Department of Trade and Industry via the Office of Science and Innovation. Details of current and recent MRC dental and oral health projects are shown in the table.
|Principal investigator||Organisation/host institution||Project title||Total amount awarded (£)|
The Department funds research to support policy and to provide the evidence needed to underpin quality improvement and service development in the national health service. Current and recently completed research related to dental health and forming part of the NHS national programmes includes:
A systematic review of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of HealOzone for the treatment of occlusal pit/fissure caries and root caries.
Chief investigator: Aberdeen health technology assessment (HTA) group, University of Aberdeen
Cost: circa £50,000(1)
The cost-effectiveness of screening for oral cancer in primary care.
Chief investigator: Professor Paul Speight, University of Sheffield
Cost: £67,331 over five years
High performance bioactive structures for bone replacement and tissue growth.
Principal investigator: Dr. Russell Harris, Loughborough University, Leicester.
Cost: £237,943 over three years
Refinement and in-vivo performance of implanted composite structures.
Principal investigator: Dr. Colin Anthony Scotchford, University of Nottingham
Cost: £156,300 over three years
A new and emerging applications technologies programme feasibility study of advanced material/bone interface analysis using four computerised tomography.
Mrs. Sheila Fisher, University of Leeds
Cost: £34,351 for one year
The Department also supports the oral health research and development support unit based at university of Manchester. The units research director is Professor Martin Tickle. It receives an annual grant from the Department of £100,000. Its purpose is to:
expand research capacity in dentistry;
develop the research infrastructure in primary dental care; and
increase research outputs to improve dental services for patients.
Over 75 per cent. of the Departments total expenditure on health research is devolved to and managed by NHS organisations. Details of individual projects including a large number concerned with dental health are available on the national research register at www.dh.gov.uk/research
(1 )This project was commissioned by the HTA programme on behalf of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence on a call-off contract basis so an exact figure is not available.
Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the response by the Durham and Chester-le-Street primary care trust to the withdrawal of dentists from NHS service in Durham City. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The responsibility for the performance management of primary care trusts (PCTs) rests with strategic health authorities (SHAs). The Chester-le-Street PCT and the County Durham and Tees Valley SHA continue to receive support from the NHS dentistry support team in developing a commissioning plan for NHS dentistry provision in the PCT area.
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