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NHS Foundation Trusts: Model Constitution

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): The Government will make available a template constitution for applicant National Health Service (NHS) foundation trusts, which will set out the minimum legislative requirements for the constitution of an NHS foundation trust. Applicants will need to consider how they use the template to develop a constitution that is consistent with their local needs and circumstances. The template will be available shortly.

Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities: Supporting Staff

Lord Janner of Braunstone asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Warner: Data on the numbers of staff in the independent sector supporting adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities are not available centrally.

As at 30 September 2002 (the latest date for which data are available), the whole-time equivalent number of staff employed by councils with social services responsibilities in England supporting adults with learning disabilities was (i) 10,600 in residential care and (ii) 13,200 in day care.

Data on the numbers of staff supporting adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities in residential care and day services for Northern Ireland are not available centrally.

Staff working in the learning disability teams and programmes of care cannot be broken down into residential and day services. Information has been provided for staff (social services staff, nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff and medical staff) working in these departments by health and social services (HSS) trust. Only departments with learning disability in their title have been included. The information is as at 30 September 2002 to match the information supplied by England and is provided in the following table.

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Staff working in Learning Disability Teams or Programmes of Care by Health and Social Services (HSS) Trust as at 30 September 2002

HSS TrustHeadcountWTE
North & West Belfast HSS Trust143132.47
Armagh & Dungannon HSS Trust219203.93
Foyle Community HSS Trust120117.99
South & East Belfast HSS Trust7872.28
Ulster Community & Hospitals HSS Trust5651.47
Down Lisburn HSS Trust9176.22
Causeway HSS Trust1714.07
Homefirst Community HSS Trust119.60
Craigavon & Banbridge Community HSS Trust2217.92
Green Park Healthcare HSS Trust1816.10
Newry & Mourne HSS Trust42.90
Total779714.95

This includes figures for social services staff, nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff and medical staff.

Bank staff who cover for staffing shortfalls and fluctuating workloads in order to maintain service delivery have been removed from these figures. Home helps have been removed due to their variable working patterns. Student nurses have also been removed.

Whole time equivalent.

Information for Scotland and Wales are the responsibility of the devolved administrations.


Disabled Living Foundation:Self-assessment Project

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What recent correspondence Ministers in the Department of Health have had with the Disabled Living Foundation further to the ministerial announcement that the foundation would work with the department to create a self-assessment project to assist older and disabled people to access equipment; and how the project is progressing.[HL4005]

Lord Warner: The Disabled Living Foundation (DLF) has recently written with an update on progress on the project to create, pilot and evaluate a computer-based system to enable older and disabled people to access equipment (the self-assessment and rapid access (SARA) project). Since the announcement in November 2002 officials have arranged with the DLF to develop the required software. There is frequent contact between them and work is progressing well. It is expected that public trials of the system will start in October 2003 and that these will be evaluated in spring 2004.

Fluoridation

Lord Monson asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the incidence of dental caries in children is higher in the non-fluoridated cities in France, Germany, Italy and Sweden than in broadly comparable cities in Great Britain where the water

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    supply is fluoridated; and, if not, whether they will investigate how France, Germany, Italy and Sweden manage to achieve good dental health without resorting to fluoridation.[HL4012]

Lord Warner: The introduction of fluoridated toothpaste in the 1970s is credited with an overall improvement in oral health, but an association between high levels of tooth decay and economic and social deprivation has been identified in most countries, including cities in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe.

While the Department of Health maintains contact with dental institutions in Europe, we do not yet have sufficient information to make more detailed comparisons between levels of dental caries in the different countries. However, a survey undertaken in Ireland in 2001–02 is relevant because 71 per cent of the population of the Irish Republic receives fluoridated water, but there are no fluoridation schemes in Northern Ireland. The survey found that 30 per cent of five year-old residents of fluoridated communities in the Republic of Ireland have one or more decayed, missing or filled tooth while, in the non-fluoridated communities in the Republic and Northern Ireland, 47 per cent of this age group had dental decay. The attraction of water fluoridation is its potential for reducing inequalities in oral health, in particular by protecting those families who may not buy toothpaste or establish regular toothbrushing regimes.

Commission for Health Improvement: Annual Report 2002–03

Lord Carter asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they will publish the Commission for Health Improvement's 2002–03 annual report.[HL4156]

Lord Warner: The Commission for Health Improvement's 2002–03 annual report, entitled Delivering Improvement, has been published today. Copies have been placed in the Library.

NHS Pensions Agency: Annual Report 2002–03

Lord Carter asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they will publish the 2002–03 annual report and accounts of the National Health Service Pensions Agency.[HL4157]

Lord Warner: The 2002–03 report and accounts of the National Health Service Pensions Agency have today been laid before the House of Commons pursuant to Section 7 of the Government Resources and Accounts Act 2000. Copies have been placed in the Library.

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NHS Pensions Agency: Quinquennial Review

Lord Carter asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What the outcome was of the quinquennial review of the National Health Service Pensions Agency.[HL4158]

Lord Warner: We are today publishing the executive summary of the quinquennial review of the NHS Pensions Agency.

We have accepted all of its recommendations, including a change of status for the agency. From 1 April 2004, the NHS Pensions Agency will become a special health authority.

Health Select Committee Fifth Report: Government Response

Lord Burlison asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they will publish their response to the fifth report of the House of Commons Select Committee on Health, on the control of entry regulations and retail pharmacy services in the United Kingdom.[HL4159]

Lord Warner: The Government's response to the fifth report of the House of Commons Select Committee on Health, on the control of entry regulations and retail pharmacy services in the United Kingdom, Cm 5896, has been published today. Copies have been placed in the Library.

Independent Complaints Advocacy Service

Baroness Nicol asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What arrangements will be made for the provision of independent complaints advocacy services in September 2003.[HL4160]

Lord Warner: Section 12 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001 places a legal duty on the Secretary of State to make arrangements to provide independent advocacy services to assist individuals making complaints against the National Health Service. We intend to commence this section on 1 September 2003.

Our intention is to deliver arrangements for a national independent complaints advocacy service (ICAS). These intentions were set out in Written Answers given to the honourable Member for Eltham on 19 March 2003 (Official Report, cols. 849W–851W). The new service will be provided by four contractors who will deliver ICAS across England from 1 September 2003 on a one-year contract. These contractors are The Carers Federation Ltd, POhWER, South East Advocacy Projects and the Citizens Advice.

Delivering ICAS through these contracts will allow primary care trust patients' forums, who will in due course have delegated power to commission or provide ICAS under the NHS Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002, time to establish their networks and capacity.

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Learning from the experience of community health councils and ICAS pilot projects, this will be a completely new service that will provide consistent support to patients with complaints about the NHS across England. ICAS will be provided to standards piloted across the country. The Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health (CPPIH) will, as indicated in its functions in the NHS Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002, monitor ICAS services against the standards.

We have worked with the CPPIH to set in place arrangements for it to act as the department's agent to manage these interim contracts on our behalf. We intend shortly to lay amendments to the CPPIH regulations to reflect this additional function.

The new ICAS providers will begin recruiting staff and preparing publicity for patients and others during July and August for the commencement of the service on 1 September 2003. We will be notifying our partners in the NHS about the new arrangements so that they can offer the contractors full co-operation before and during the contracts and help to direct patients to the new service.


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