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Lord Harrison asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Diabetes National Service Framework for England, which will be published later this year, will set national standards and define service models to improve the quality of care for people with diabetes. The aim of the framework is to improve health outcomes for people with diabetes by raising the quality of services and reducing variations between them. It will cover the prevention, identification and management of diabetes and its complications.

National service frameworks put in place strategies to support implementation and establish performance milestones against which progress within an agreed timescale will be measured.

Nursing Care

Earl Howe asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Draft guidelines and draft directions to implement free nursing care for those funding their own care from 1 October will be issued for consultation shortly. Once the consultation is completed, a decision will be taken about the

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commencement of Section 49 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001. It will need to be brought into effect for different groups at different times.

Earl Howe asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the basis of the calculation of the figure of £80 million to be allocated to health authorities for meeting the cost of nursing care for self-funders from October 2001 to April 2002; and whether this allocation includes any provision for the administration costs to the National Health Service of taking over the funding of nursing care in nursing homes; and[HL195]

    Whether any additional funding will be made available to health authorities if the proposed £80 million to be allocated to health authorities for meeting the costs of nursing care for self-funders from October 2001 to April 2002 proves inadequate to meet the cost of such nursing care.[HL196]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Government have estimated the additional cost to the Exchequer of providing free nursing care in England to be £80 million in 2001-02. This estimate assumed that nursing care would be provided for approximately 35,000 self-funding nursing home residents.

This figure includes the costs of assessing the nursing care needed and general administration costs for self-funding clients.

It will be for health authorities in partnership with primary care groups/trusts to manage their budgets in a way that ensures that people's needs for nursing care are met.

Earl Howe asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether those residents in a nursing home who as a result of the nursing assessment in October are found to require ''continuing National Health Service health care'' will have their fees met from the £80 million allocated for nursing care or from their health authority's current continuing care budget.[HL197]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: From October 2001, health authorities will have allocations for care by a registered nurse in a nursing home (free nursing care). Anyone in a nursing home or in any other setting who requires continuing National Health Service health care will be funded from health authorities' existing continuing care budget.

Earl Howe asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they intend to make information available on the number of nursing home residents who are found to fall within the ''continuing health care'' eligibility criteria and consequently qualify for fully-funded National Health Service care.[HL198]

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Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: There are no plans to collect this information centrally. Health authorities already monitor the number of people receiving fully-funded National Health Service continuing care in all settings, including nursing homes.

Mayor and Cabinet Executives: Referendums

Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will (a) list the dates which have so far been agreed by local authority referendums on adopting a system of executive mayor, or mayor and cabinet; and (b) set out the votes cast and results of those referendums which have so far taken place.[HL171]

The Minister of State, Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): (a) To date the councils set out below have sent proposals to the Secretary of State for a mayor and cabinet form of executive arrangement. Watford is holding its referendum today and the rest will be holding referendums on whether they should adopt a directly elected mayor and cabinet form of executive on the dates shown below:

    Doncaster on 20 September;

    Kirklees on 4 October;

    Sunderland on 11 October;

    Middlesbrough on 18 October;

    Brighton & Hove also on 18 October;

    Durham (City) in the first week of November 2001;

    Redditch between 1 September and 31 December 2001; and

    Plymouth either in January or February 2002.

(b) The following councils have held referendums on whether they should adopt a mayor and cabinet form of executive:

    Berwick upon Tweed referendum held on 7 June. No votes were 10,212 and yes votes were 3,617;

    Cheltenham referendum held on 27 June. No votes 16,602 and yes votes 8,083; and

    Gloucester referendum held on 27 June. No votes 16,317 and yes votes 7,731.

Railtrack: Government Investment

Lord Hoyle asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How much government money has been invested in Railtrack in each of the last four years; and how much more is planned in the next two years. [HL211]

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Lord Falconer of Thoroton: In the last four years, train operating companies (TOCs) have been paid support for passenger rail services (SPRS) by the Franchising Director and, since 1 February 2001, by the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA). Also, they have been paid grant by passenger transport executives (PTEs). In addition, freight operating companies (FOCs) have been paid freight grants by my department and, since 1 February 2001, by the SRA.

The table provides, for each financial year 1997-98 to 2000-01, details of SPRS and PTE payments to the TOCs and freight grant payments to the FOCs.

£ million cash prices

SPRS payments1,4291,1961,031847
PTE payments375337312283
Freight grant payments 21191735

Since Railtrack was privatised in 1996-97, no public money has been paid direct to the company, but its profitability is contingent on public money. Some 90 per cent of Railtrack's income is paid to the company by TOCs and FOCs in access charges, a substantial proportion of which are supported by public money.

In future, Railtrack will continue to receive income from TOCs and FOCs, the large majority of which will continue to receive subsidy from the SRA and PTEs. In addition, the company will receive network grants from the SRA. While the precise amounts of those grants will depend on future movements in the retail prices index, payments are expected to be of the order of £505 million in 2001-02 and £900 million in 2002-03.

Appellate Committee: Audibility

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked the Chairman of Committees:

    What progress has been made in improving the audibility of proceedings before the Appellate Committee.[HL212]

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Tordoff): During the Summer Recess of 2001 new sound amplification systems are to be installed in Committee Rooms 1, 2 and 3. At the same time, the rooms will be double-glazed to reduce disturbing noise from the river, and air conditioning will be provided.

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