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Children with Disabilities and SEN

Lord Rix asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Ashton of Upholland: There are no plans at present to require joint inspections by Ofsted and the proposed new Commission for Healthcare Audit and Inspection. Plans for the new commission will be contained in a Bill to be placed before Parliament in due course. More broadly, the Government are encouraging all those in education, health and social services to work together to support improvements in the way children's special educational needs are identified and met.

A national service framework for children is being developed to promote an integrated approach to supporting children with disabilities and SEN, ensuring that services are designed around the needs of individual children and their families. Children's trusts will pilot new models of local joined-up working in planning, commissioning and delivering services for children with SEN and disabilities, and the forthcoming Green Paper on Children and Young People at Risk will look across government to address a number of key issues concerning preventive strategies and early intervention.

In relation to early intervention, we are promoting more coherent practice in co-ordinating services for disabled children aged 0–3 and their families through the Together from the Start guidance for education, health and social services professionals and our Early Support pilot programme, which will test the principles of the guidance and related guidance on early intervention/support services for deaf children and their families in practice. The programme is currently supporting 27 individual projects involving a

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variety of agencies at both local and national level. We recently announced additional funding of £12 million to extend the programme to March 2006.

We intend to publish later this year an SEN action programme setting out the Government's objectives and priorities for special educational needs. It will build on current activity and focus on improving outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs and their families. Improving multi-agency working will be the key theme.lynne

Sir William Stubbs: Payment

Baroness Seccombe asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Ashton of Upholland on 27 February (WA 54), under which departmental heading the sum of £95,000 was paid to Sir William Stubbs.[HL1959]

Baroness Ashton of Upholland: The money was paid from funds voted to the department for 2002–03 within the Department for Education and Skills Vote 1, Request for Resources 1, line A. Details of this provision are on page 20 of Central Government Supply Estimates 2002–03 published in May 2002 (HC795).


Lord Fearn asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What help has been given in the past, or will be given in the next 12 months, through the Arts Council or other body, to Stagetext which makes theatre accessible to people with hearing loss.[HL1938]

The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Baroness Blackstone): Stagetext has received support from the Arts Council over the past two years in recognition of its groundbreaking work in enabling access to theatre for people with a hearing loss. In 2001–02, Stagetext received £20,000 to develop its business plan. In 2002–03, it received £20,000 to test ways in which regional captioned performances can best be supported and £8,000 to develop a good practice guide for venues interested in captioning. The Arts Council is currently in discussion with Stagetext about future funding for the organisation.

Stagetext has also been very successful in attracting support from other funders, such as the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and the Linbury Trust.

English Heritage

Lord Fearn asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How much grant was given to English Heritage for the years 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002.[HL1939]

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Baroness Blackstone: The government grant-in-aid allocation to English Heritage was £114.9 million in 1999–2000, £116.8 million in 2000–01, £110.4 million in 2001–02, and £116.4 million in 2002–03.

Pharmacy Services

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How, in the event of any decision to give effect to the Office of Fair Trading report on the deregulation of pharmacy services, the Department of Health would be able to deliver managed healthcare services using pharmacy, as outlined in Pharmacy in the Future. [HL1855]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): We are considering the report from the Director General of Fair Trading and its findings and recommendations carefully, including the impact on our policy objectives set out in Pharmacy in the Future.

We have sought views from a wide range of interests, including community pharmacy and general practitioners, the National Health Service, patients and consumers. Their views and those of other interested parties will help inform the government response, which my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry is co-ordinating.

NHS Workforce

Lord Ouseley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What equality and diversity data are available on the make-up of general practitioners, nurses and consultants in the National Health Service.[HL1905]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Data on the National Health Service workforce are collected in a set of annual censuses (as at 30 September), one for NHS hospital and community health services (HCHS) medical and dental staff, one for NHS HCHS non-medical staff and one for general medical practitioners, their patients and their staff. Each census includes information about a range of equality and diversity factors, as set out below, alongside information about the type of work carried out (such as medical grade or speciality). NHS HCHS Medical and Dental: includes data on ethnicity, gender and age. NHS HCHS Non-Medical staff: includes data on gender, age and ethnicity. General Medical Practitioners: includes data on gender and age (not available for practice staff).

Some of these data are available in the following publications: Hospital, Public Health Medicine and Community Health Services Medical and Dental staff in England: 1991–2001; NHS Hospital, Public Health Medicine and Community Health Services Medical and

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Dental Workforce Census, England at 30 September 2001; NHS Hospital and Community Health Services Non-Medical Staff in England: 1991–2001; Department of Health NHS Hospital and Community Health Services Non-Medical Workforce Census England: 30 September 2001—Detailed Results; Statistics for General Medical Practitioners in England: 1991–2001; General & Personal Medical Services Statistics in England & Wales as at 30 September 2001.

These data are also available on the Internet at

NHS: Leaving Rates

Lord Ouseley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are the current estimates of the anticipated loss (due to resignations and retirements) of general practitioners and nurses over the next two years; and how many replacements will be recruited from abroad.[HL1906]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Department of Health does not currently collect information on leaving rates for either general practitioners or nurses.

Current training places are more than sufficient to replace leavers in the nursing and GP workforce. We anticipate however that international recruitment will make a significant contribution to the planned increases in the GP and nursing workforce.

NHS: Minority Ethnic Nurses

Lord Ouseley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many minority ethnic nurses apply for jobs in the National Health Service but fail to make shortlists; and what are the reasons therefor.[HL1907]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: This information is not held centrally. National Health Service organisations are individual employers and as such will need to comply with all legislation regarding recruitment practice.

NHS organisations will keep records of individual interviews and the reasons why applicants were unsuccessful but this information would not be routinely supplied to the Department of Health.

NHS: Vital Connection

Lord Ouseley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What benefits have arisen from the Vital Connection launched by the National Health Service in 2000; whether any of the initiatives have been monitored for effectiveness; and whether there is any intention to publish the results.[HL1908]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Vital Connection laid the foundations for mainstreaming equality, diversity and inclusiveness in every part of the

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National Health Service. This objective was reinforced by the NHS Plan, published in July 2000, which introduced the Improving Working Lives Standard. The standard makes it clear that every member of staff is entitled to work in an organisation which can prove it is improving diversity and tackling discrimination and harassment.

All NHS employing organisations are required to demonstrate progress against the equality targets set in Vital Connection as part of the Improving Working Lives assessment and accreditation process. Most NHS employing organisations are required to be accredited as putting the Improving Working Lives Standard into practice by April 2003.

The Positively Diverse Programme, introduced in 2001, further supports NHS organisations to implement equality and diversity and the targets in Vital Connection. Some 147 NHS organisations are now using the Positively Diverse Programme.

The Human Resources Directorate is currently examining its equalities and diversity programmes, including the Improving Working Lives Standard and the Positively Diverse Programme as part of the department's continued efforts to strengthen the delivery of equality and diversity within the NHS.

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