30 Oct 2014 : Column WA169

Written Answers

Thursday 30 October 2014

Accident and Emergency Departments

Question

Asked by Baroness Manzoor

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many children under the age of five were taken by their parents to accident and emergency departments for treatment in 2012 and 2013.[HL2391]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): This information is not available in the format requested.

In the following table, we have provided information concerning the number of accident and emergency attendances1 (excluding planned attendances) for children aged under five by arrival mode, 2012-13 to 2013-142 (provisional data)3.

Please be aware that data for 2013-14 is provisional and is therefore, subject to change.

Arrival mode2012-132013-14 (provisional)

Brought in by ambulance (including helicopter/air ambulance)

220,277

223,571

Other

1,572,518

1,511,042

Not known

21,296

36,840

Total

1,814,091

1,771,453

Activity in English NHS Hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector

Source:

Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), Health and Social Care Information Centre

4

Notes:

1. HES is not the official source of total A&E activity, this is the NHS England situation reports collection: http://www.england. nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/ae-waiting-times-and-activity/

However, HES permits further analysis of A&E activity as there are a range of data items by which HES can be analysed.

2. HES figures are available from 2007-08 onwards. Changes to the figures over time need to be interpreted in the context of improvements in data quality and coverage and changes in National Health Service practice. For example, changes in activity may be due to changes in the provision of care.

3. The data is provisional and may be incomplete or contain errors for which no adjustments have yet been made. Counts produced from provisional data are likely to be lower than those generated for the same period in the final dataset. This shortfall will be most pronounced in the final month of the latest period, i.e. November from the (month 9) April to November extract. It is also probable that clinical data are not complete, which may in particular affect the last two months of any given period. There may also be errors due to coding inconsistencies that have not yet been investigated and corrected.

4. Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) are compiled from data sent by more than 300 NHS trusts and primary care trusts (PCTs) in England and from some independent sector organisations for activity commissioned by the English NHS. Health and Social Care Information Centre liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain.

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Asylum: Health Services

Question

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what access young asylum seekers have to health provision, once they reach the age of 18.[HL2228]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): They have access to NHS services free of charge while their asylum claims are under consideration.

Asylum: Housing

Question

Asked by Lord Beecham

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what response they have made to the conclusions and recommendations of the 54th report of 2013–14 of the Public Accounts Committee: COMPASS: Provision of asylum accommodation.[HL2004]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): The Government has responded to the 54th report of 2013-14 of the Public Accounts Committee: COMPASS: Provision of Asylum Accommodation by way of a Treasury Minute published on 19 June 2014. The response was published by Command under number: 8871. The responses to the six recommendations are shown on pages one to three of the attached document. The response is also available on the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/treasury-minutes-june-2014.

This Answer included the following attachment: Treasury Minute (Treasury Minute 54 - Asylum Accomodation .docx)

Children in Care

Question

Asked by Baroness Eaton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to help young care leavers who are not able to stay in foster care to make a successful transition to independence.[HL2360]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): The Care Leaver Strategy, published in October 2013, recognises that care leavers require support on a wide range of issues that affect their lives. It sets out the support that will be provided to all care leavers in relation to staying in education, finding accommodation, accessing benefits, experiencing good physical and mental health and finding work. [1]

The Department for Education will publish shortly a report on the progress we have made against the commitments set out in the strategy. This builds on a significant programme of work to improve support for care leavers, which has resulted in important changes such as the development of the Care Leaver Charter and the introduction of Junior ISAs for all children in care.

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As part of our continuing work to improve care leavers’ outcomes, the Department introduced a new duty on local authorities to support ‘staying put’ arrangements and have provided funding for local authorities to support this. For the first time, this will provide for children in foster placements to receive support to remain with their foster family until age 21, where this is what both parties want.

Similar arrangements do not currently apply to children in residential care. Further work is needed before introducing a legal duty on local authorities that would require them to extend staying put arrangements to all young people leaving residential care. We are consequently working with the sector to better understand what would be involved and have supported work through the Department’s Children’s Services Innovation Programme to identify how staying put arrangements might work for children in residential care.

We will continue to drive innovation in provision for care leavers, for example through funding projects like ‘New Belongings’, which has enabled 9 local authorities to develop a range of new and innovative approaches to supporting care leavers.

[1]

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment _data/file/266484/Care_Leaver_Strategy.pdf

Class Sizes

Question

Asked by Lord Browne of Belmont

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the current pupil to teacher ratio in (1) primary, and (2) post-primary, schools broken down by sector; and how that figure compares with 2011.[HL2105]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): The information requested is as follows:

Table: Pupil:teacher ratios and pupil:adult ratios in publicly funded schools. November 2011-2013, England
November
201120122013

LA MAINTAINED NURSERY

PTR (Qualified teachers) within-schools

1, 2

16.7

16.5

17.1

PTR (Qualified and unqualified teachers) within-schools

1, 2

16.2

15.9

16.7

PAR within-schools

3

5.1

4.9

4.8

LA MAINTAINED PRIMARY

PTR (Qualified teachers) within-schools

1, 2

21.0

20.9

20.8

PTR (Qualified and unqualified teachers) within-schools

1, 2

20.5

20.5

20.4

PAR within-schools

3

11.7

11.5

11.3

PRIMARY ACADEMIES

PTR (Qualified teachers) within-schools

1, 2

21.9

21.4

21.9

PTR (Qualified and unqualified teachers) within-schools

1, 2

21.3

20.6

21.2

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PAR within-schools

3

12.5

11.7

11.8

TOTAL PUBLICLY FUNDED NURSERY AND PRIMARY

PTR (Qualified teachers) within-schools

1, 2

21.0

20.9

20.9

PTR (Qualified and unqualified teachers) within-schools

1, 2

20.5

20.5

20.5

PAR within-schools

3

11.7

11.4

11.2

LA MAINTAINED SECONDARY

PTR (Qualified teachers) within-schools

1, 2

15.5

15.4

15.4

PTR (Qualified and unqualified teachers) within-schools

1, 2

15.0

14.9

14.8

PAR within-schools

3

10.6

10.5

10.3

SECONDARY ACADEMIES

PTR (Qualified teachers) within-schools

1, 2

15.6

15.5

15.9

PTR (Qualified and unqualified teachers) within-schools

1, 2

14.8

14.8

15.1

PAR within-schools

3

10.6

10.6

10.7

TOTAL PUBLICLY FUNDED SECONDARY

PTR (Qualified teachers) within-schools

1, 2

15.6

15.5

15.7

PTR (Qualified and unqualified teachers) within-schools

1, 2

14.9

14.9

15.0

PAR within-schools

3

10.6

10.5

10.6

PUBLICLY FUNDED SPECIAL

PTR (Qualified teachers) within-schools

1, 2

6.3

6.3

5.9

PTR (Qualified and unqualified teachers) within-schools

1, 2

5.9

5.8

5.4

PAR within-schools

3

2.1

2.1

2.0

TOTAL ACADEMIES

PTR (Qualified teachers) within-schools

1, 2

15.9

16.1

16.8

PTR (Qualified and unqualified teachers) within-schools

1, 2

15.2

15.3

15.9

PAR within-schools

3

10.7

10.6

10.7

TOTAL PUBLICLY FUNDED

PTR (Qualified teachers) within-schools

1, 2

17.8

17.7

17.8

Overall PTR (Qualified and unqualified teachers) within-schools

2, 4

17.2

17.2

17.2

Overall PAR

3

10.5

10.3

10.2

Source: School Census and School Workforce Census

Notes

The within-school PTR (Qualified) is calculated by dividing the total FTE number of pupils on roll in schools by the total FTE number of qualified teachers regularly employed in schools. The within-school PTR (Qualified and unqualified) is calculated by dividing the total FTE number of pupils on roll in schools by the total FTE number of qualified and unqualified teachers regularly employed in schools.

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For statistical purposes only, pupils who do not attend both morning and afternoon at least five days a week are regarded as part-time. Each part-time pupil is treated as 0.5 FTE.

The PAR is calculated by dividing the total FTE number of pupils on roll in schools by the total FTE number of all teachers and support staff employed in schools, excluding administrative and clerical staff.

The overall PTR is based on the total FTE number of pupils on roll in local authority maintained nursery, primary and secondary schools and the FTE of all teachers in these schools (including: centrally employed; occasional teachers; those on employment based routes to QTS; others without QTS, those on paid absence and any notes to replacements).

November 2013 figures are calculated using the most current figures e.g. January 2014 pupil numbers and November 2013 teacher numbers.

Sources used are School Census for pupils and School Workforce Census (for November 2011 to 2013 teachers and overall teachers).

The information requested is also published in table 17 in the statistical first release ‘School Workforce in England, November 2013’, which is published online at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-workforce-in-england-november-2013.

Defamation: Northern Ireland

Question

Asked by Lord Lexden

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Northern Ireland Law Commission has set a date for the publication of its report on the law of defamation in Northern Ireland; and, if not, whether it will now do so.[HL2295]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Wales Office (Baroness Randerson) (LD): The Northern Ireland Law Commission is an independent advisory, non-departmental public body. The Northern Ireland Department of Justice is the Commission’s sponsoring Department. The Noble Lord may wish to contact the Commission or the Northern Ireland Department of Justice directly for information relating to this report.

Dementia

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to help care for dementia patients in the community.[HL2289]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Dementia is a key priority for this Government and we are committed to ensuring people with dementia and their carers receive the best possible care in all care settings. That is why in 2012 we launched the first ever Prime Minister’s Challenge on dementia to increase diagnosis rates, raise awareness and understanding and double funding for research in dementia by 2015.

A number of steps have been taken to help care for dementia patients in the community:

- On 1 April 2014 we put in place a new Dementia Directed Enhanced Service, which has had over 80% take up by general practitioners to reward practices for facilitating timely diagnosis and support for people with dementia.

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- In the hospital setting, through the Dementia Commissioning for Quality and Innovation reward (introduced from April 2012), with around 4,000 referrals a month, it is clear that more people with dementia in hospitals are being identified and assessed.- The Dementia Care & Support Compact, the care sector’s own response to the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia, sets out a commitment to support the delivery of the challenge and improve care and support for people with dementia, their carers and families.- Health Education England, Skills for Care and Skills for Health launched pilots for the new Care Certificate on 28 April 2014. Taking place across a range of health and social care settings, the pilots are testing a set of standards designed to help employers to assess not only workers’ skills, but also the knowledge, behaviours and values that are required to deliver compassionate and quality care. The pilots are nearing completion. Subject to evaluation, we plan to introduce the Care Certificate by 1 April 2015.- The Government’s refreshed Mandate to Health Education England, published on 1 May 2014, builds on the existing ambition to have 100,000 National Health Service staff receive Tier 1 training on dementia by setting an ambition for a further 250,000 NHS staff to receive Tier 1 training on dementia by March 2015, with the tools and training opportunities being made available to all staff by the end of 2018.- 70 communities across England have signed up to the national Dementia Friendly Communities recognition process, with an increased ambition to reach 75 by March 2015.- On 7 May 2014 Public Health England and the Alzheimer’s Society launched a major new campaign with the aim of securing one million people to become dementia friends by March 2015. The campaign is aimed at improving understanding and attitudes about dementia and towards people with the condition. There are currently over 520,000 Dementia Friends.- We have made available £50 million capital funding for 2013-14 for the NHS and local authorities to work with providers to create better care environments to help people with dementia live well with the condition. The projects are now in the process of being evaluated and we will disseminate the key recommendations by the end of the year.

Doctors’ List of Patients

Question

Asked by Lord Blencathra

To ask Her Majesty’s Government (1) what is the average length of a general practitioner practice list; (2) what has been the level of net immigration since 2000; and (3) what is the number of additional general practitioners they estimate to have been required because of that immigration change since 2000.[HL2329]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Figures for 30 September 2013, the latest date for which published figures are available, showed the average number of patients per general practitioner practice was 7,034.

Information on the level of net immigration for 2000 to 2012 is published by the Office of National Statistics at:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/migration1/long-term-international-migration/2012/table-2-01a.xls

Final data, for 2013, will be released on 27 November 2014.

No estimates are made of the number of additional general practitioners needed specifically related to immigration changes.

East Coast Railway Line

Question

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the annual average income earned by each seat on the East Coast rail service in (1) standard class, and (2) first class.[HL2186]

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): The average revenue per seat on the East Coast rail service, calculated by dividing the annual farebox revenue by the number of seats is as follows:

1) Standard Class: £27,9922) First Class: £28,021

Electricity Generation

Questions

Asked by Baroness Worthington

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the list of electricity generating plants that has pre-qualified to bid in to this year’s planned capacity auction, how many gigawatts of existing coal plant are eligible for contracts of over one year and how many gigawatts of new gas capacity have qualified to bid for 15 year contracts; what is the total gigawatt capacity of new plant qualifying for 15 year contracts that is under the current threshold for the application of emissions controls under the European Emissions Trading scheme; and what is the breakdown in terms of fuel type of these smaller pre-qualifying units.[HL2385]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma) (Con): In total 67.3GW of capacity has prequalified to participate in the first Capacity Market auction in December this year.

This is extremely positive and indicates that the auction will be competitive, which will help to keep costs down while providing security of supply for consumers.

Information relating to the eligibility of each plant that has successfully pre-qualified is publicly available on National Grid’s website as the Delivery Body for the Capacity Market.

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Asked by Baroness Worthington

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the list of electricity generating plants that have pre-qualified to bid in to this year’s planned capacity auction, of the plants eligible for 15 year contracts, what proportion are new build compared to those subject to substantial refurbishments.[HL2386]

Baroness Verma: Information relating to the eligibility of each plant that has successfully prequalified and is eligible for a 15 year capacity agreement is publicly available on National Grid’s website as the Delivery Body for the Capacity Market.

It should be noted that E.ON, the owners of Ratcliffe-on-Soar, have publicly stated that they will not seek an agreement in excess of 3 years.

Asked by Baroness Worthington

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the rules governing capacity market auctions, what measures have been included to guard against undue market dominance by any of the companies bidding in the capacity market mechanism; and whether OFGEM has a role in overseeing fair competition in the mechanism.[HL2388]

Baroness Verma: The Capacity Market has been designed to mitigate the risks of gaming. We commissioned expert external advice from Charles River Associates on this issue and implemented the recommendations contained within that report which is available on the DECC website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/252746/CRA_Report_on_the_Capacity_Market_Gaming_Risks.pdf.

Anti-gaming measures include having in place an auction monitor who will ensure that the rules are properly followed by all participants during the auction. If the auction monitor were to find any irregularities, the Secretary of State ultimately has the ability to annul the auction after it has taken place.

Ofgem has the power to investigate any company bidding into the auction should they consider this necessary.

Email: Fraud

Questions

Asked by Baroness Smith of Basildon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made of the number of individuals falling victim to e-mail and internet phishing each year; and what is their estimate of the total value of the amount of money involved.[HL2410]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): I would refer the noble Baroness to the reply I gave to the noble Lord, Lord Stone of Blackheath on 14 October 2014, Official Report, column 30W.

It is not possible to give an exact figure for the number of individuals falling victim to email and internet phishing attacks each year as data held centrally cannot separately identify phishing scams. Phishing is

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an enabler to commit fraud or computer misuse offences, it is not in itself a crime, and the methods by which offences are committed are not collated centrally. Action Fraud will record the relevant fraud, or computer misuse offence, in instances where a phishing email has been used. It is therefore also not possible to estimate the total amount of money this would involve. However, a survey by the Oxford Internet Institute shows that 19 per cent of internet users experienced phishing attempts in 2013, down from 22 per cent in 2011.

Asked by Baroness Smith of Basildon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many cases of phishing have been reported to the police in each of the last five years.[HL2411]

Lord Bates: The number of cases of phishing that have been reported to the police is not centrally available.

Phishing is an enabler to commit fraud and is not in itself a crime. Where a phishing e-mail has been used to commit fraud or computer misuse offences, the relevant fraud or computer misuse offence would be recorded by Action Fraud, who are now responsible for the central recording of fraud offences previously recorded by individual police forces.

Fraud offences recorded by Action Fraud, including those relating to computer misuse crime, are published on a quarterly basis by ONS.

Asked by Baroness Smith of Basildon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action is being taken to support victims of phishing.[HL2412]

Lord Bates: The Home Office has been working with Action Fraud and the NFIB to improve victim support, including support to victims of phishing. Victims who have reported to Action Fraud are provided with feedback about their case, including whether it has been sent to a force for investigation, and if so the name of that force. The NFIB or the force managing the report will ensure effective victim support, under obligations laid out to Government Agencies within the Ministry of Justice’s Victims Code (2013), is received. This can include referrals to support services such as Victim Support, and regular updates on the progress of the investigation through a series of the victim ‘fulfilment’ communications. In urgent cases local police forces will be called in to provide a direct service to vulnerable victims and to prevent re-victimisation.

We are also reviewing the victim experience and what aspects of the victim code are of particular importance for victims of cyber crime, including phishing and cyber crime more generally.

Floods: Somerset

Question

Asked by Lord Patten

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of (1) the feasibility of constructing a permanent flood defence barrage to protect the village of Westonzoyland in the Somerset Levels, and (2) the likely effectiveness of temporary demountable flood defences in the coming winter. [HL2284]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord De Mauley) (Con): 1. The Environment Agency is constructing a permanent scheme to replace temporary defences. Steps are being taken so that protection is maintained should there be an increased flood risk during construction.

2. Demountable defences were considered as an option. However, after consulting local residents the Environment Agency took the decision to construct a permanent solution.

Fracking

Question

Asked by Lord Browne of Belmont

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many objections to fracking they have received in 2014. [HL2175]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma) (Con): The data is not collected in the format requested. We recognise that members of the public have concerns about the potential impact of development of shale gas and oil in the UK. The Office of Unconventional Gas and Oil (OUGO) addresses these concerns with our publicly-available information on the Gov.uk site:

https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/providing-regulation-and-licensing-of-energy-industries-and-infrastructure/supporting-pages/developing-shale-gas-and-oil-in-the-uk.

General Practitioners: Dismissal

Question

Asked by Baroness McDonagh

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many general practitioners have been dismissed by primary care trusts, or by the Care Quality Commission, in each year since 2005.[HL2243]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The information requested is not centrally collected. Departmental officials are aware that the General Medical Council does collect some demographic data about doctors and this is published in its annual report ‘The state of medical education and practice in the UK’.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England, has registered all general practitioner (GP) practices since April 2012. The CQC’s role is to inspect and regulate GP practices, including those practices run by single-handed GPs. The CQC regulates at a provider level and may remove a practice’s registration where care is not meeting the required standard. Actions taken against an individual GP would be the responsibility of NHS England for contractual issues and the General Medical Council for professional issues.

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Genetically Modified Organisms

Question

Asked by Lord Hunt of Chesterton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the current stage in decision-making on European Parliament and United Kingdom regulations about permitting genetically modified organisms to be used in agriculture in the United Kingdom and other European countries.[HL2310]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord De Mauley) (Con): Regulatory decisions on the use of genetically modified (GM) products are taken collectively at EU level. The EU has authorised the marketing of over forty different types of GM crop as imported food or feed products, and GM soya in particular is being widely used in the UK and across the EU as an animal feed ingredient. However only one type of GM crop is approved for commercial planting in the EU, an insect-resistant maize of no practical interest for UK farmers. That authorisation was granted in 1998, since when the EU has struggled to reach decisions on GM cultivation because of different views among the Member States. A proposal is being discussed that should make it easier to reach EU decisions, by giving Member States more national discretion to avoid GM cultivation in their own territory. The European Parliament is now considering the proposal and it could be adopted next year if the Parliament and Council can reach agreement on the specific provisions.

Health Services and Social Services

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what response they have given to the Care Quality Commission’s annual State of Care report.[HL2263]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The Secretary of State for Health has said “The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) State of Health and Adult Social Care in England 2013-14 report highlights examples of excellent care but it also exposes unacceptable levels of variation. It also confirms that the NHS has seen a period of “hard realities and rapid change” following the scandal at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. We need to keep building on this to ensure greater cultural change, continuing transparency and a focus on safety to drive up standards of care across the country.”

Immigration Controls

Question

Asked by Lord Browne of Belmont

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much has been spent on immigration security at United Kingdom airports since January 2013.[HL2110]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): During the period from January 2013 to September 2014, Border Force estimated spend was £1.066bn to secure the border. Costs are not disaggregated to the level of immigration security as border officers carry out a range of duties across immigration, customs and crime prevention.

Local Government: Lighting

Questions

Asked by Baroness Smith of Basildon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which local authorities have applied for funding for LED lighting under the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s Salix project.[HL2172]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether Essex County Council has applied for funding for LED lighting under the Salix project from the Department of Energy and Climate Change.[HL2173]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma) (Con): DECC funds the Salix energy efficiency loan scheme in England, with funding decisions on individual energy efficiency projects made by Salix Finance Ltd in accordance with objective criteria.

According to Salix Finance Ltd, Essex County Council has not made an application at any time to the scheme.

Salix publishes an annually updated list of organisations in receipt of funding on its website at:

www.salixfinance.co.uk/about-us/successes

Information provided by Salix Finance Ltd is that, from the start of the scheme in 2004 to 31 March 2014, 83 local authorities applied for and received funding for energy efficiency projects that include LED lighting.

Missing Persons: Children

Question

Asked by Lord Black of Brentwood

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many children remain missing of those reported missing since 1 July 2007.[HL2325]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): This information is held with individual police forces. The National Crime Agency publishes annual statistics on Missing Persons which includes missing children http://missingpersons.police.uk.

The last published report shows that in 2011/12 there were around 313,000 missing persons incidents. This report also finds that 64% of missing incidents involved cases of missing children.

Data within this report shows that the majority (70%) of missing people return or are located within 16 hours with only 2% missing for longer than a week.

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NHS: Cost Effectiveness

Question

Asked by Lord Sharkey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the “Nicholson Challenge” still operates within the National Health Service; if so, what efficiency savings have been identified to date; and, if not, why not. [HL2354]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The 2010 Spending Review protected health funding in real terms. However, in order to continue to meet rising demands while improving services, it was estimated that up to £20 billion of efficiency savings would be required over the four years from 2011-12 to 2014-15.

The National Health Service response to this challenge was organised through the Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) initiative, also known colloquially as the ‘Nicholson challenge’ after Sir David Nicholson, who was Chief Executive of the NHS at the time that QIPP originated.

The NHS is on track to deliver up to £20 billion efficiency savings, having reported around £15 billion of efficiencies in the first three years, all of which will be reinvested into frontline care.

Nursing and Midwifery Council

Question

Asked by Baroness Manzoor

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to ensure that the Nursing and Midwifery Council reduces the number of cases that have been awaiting investigation for more than two years.[HL2394]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is an independent body and responsible for matters concerning the discharge of its statutory duties, including pursuing Fitness to Practise (FtP) investigations against its registrants. Statistical information about NMC FtP cases is not routinely collected or held centrally. However, the NMC advises that as at 30 September 2014, it was dealing with 4271 FtP cases, of these 231 cases were aged over 24 months. This compares with 320 such cases as at 8 October 2013.

On 13 October 2014, the Government laid a draft Section 60 Order in Parliament to amend the Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001, the governing legislative framework of the NMC. This Order contains a number of proposed amendments that subject to approval will give the NMC powers that will help it to carry out its FtP regulatory function more effectively and reduce the time it takes the NMC to deal with FtP cases.

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Overseas Trade: Republic of Ireland

Question

Asked by Lord Browne of Belmont

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their estimate of the number of jobs in the Republic of Ireland associated with direct trade with the United Kingdom.[HL2176]

The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Livingston of Parkhead) (Con): The most recent official figures available (calculated by the Irish government and estimating the figure at 198,000 jobs) are now 5 years old. We were unable to find an estimate more current than this.

In this case, we consider that the time and the associated costs involved in generating an estimate of the number of jobs would be disproportionate to the outcome.

Figure calculated by Cambridge Econometrics analysis based on Trade in Value-Added (TiVA) data. Source : British – Irish Relations - Joint Economic Study 2013 Vol.1 Evaluating the value of the economic relationship between the United Kingdom and Ireland (PA Consulting Group).

Police: Health

Question

Asked by Lord Blencathra

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have plans to introduce fitness tests for all operational police officers, with different attainment levels for officers over 40 years of age.[HL2330]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): Annual fitness testing was introduced on 1 September 2014 for officers required to undertake personal safety training, so that they meet its aerobic demands. There are no plans to alter the standard for any age group.

Primary Education: Sports

Question

Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to increase support for head teachers and school leaders in directing the Primary Physical Education and Sports Premium to combat childhood obesity.[HL2290]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): One of the objectives of the PE and sports premium is to improve children’s health outcomes. Schools may use this funding as part of their wider programme to improve the health and well-being of their pupils, and we will ensure that case studies of good practice are available to help them do this. Our research has found that the premium is already having

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a positive impact in this area; 96% of schools report that their pupils are now living healthier lives as a result of the funding.

Railways: North West

Questions

Asked by Baroness Massey of Darwen

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the case for improving inter-regional rail links in the North West of England, particularly between East Lancashire and Greater Manchester. [HL2361]

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): The case for improving inter-regional rail links in the North West of England has been assessed in a number of studies including the Northern Hub and Network Rail’s Lancashire and Cumbria and North-West Route Utilisation strategies. The case will be further addressed in respect of Network Rail’s Control Period 6 (2019-2014) and beyond through the Northern Route Study as part of Network Rail’s Long Term Planning Process to inform decisions on the Government’s Rail Investment Strategy for Control Period 6.

Asked by Baroness Massey of Darwen

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to improve rail links between East Lancashire and Manchester; and what factors were considered when making judgements about which projects to support.[HL2362]

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): Plans to improve rail links between East Lancashire and Manchester including the scheme to install a two-mile loop between Darwen and Sough tunnel (near Entwistle) to facilitate additional services between Blackburn and Manchester and the introduction of improved Burnley – Manchester services using the recently-constructed curve at Todmorden are being promoted by the relevant local authorities. The judgement of which projects to support is a matter for the promoters.

Asked by Baroness Massey of Darwen

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many representations have been made to Ministers at the Department for Transport by Members of Parliament about regional rail link improvements from Manchester to East Lancashire since May 2010 including (1) to Clitheroe, (2) to Burnley, and (3) to Rawtenstall. [HL2364]

Baroness Kramer: A number of representations have been made by Members of Parliament since May 2010 concerning rail improvements in the North-West. In addition there has been one Adjournment Debate on improving rail services between Clitheroe, Blackburn and Manchester, one letter regarding improvements to Clitheroe, twelve Parliamentary

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Questions and six letters concerning the Todmorden curve or services to Burnley, and two Parliamentary Questions concerning the Rawtenstall rail extension project.

Respiratory System: Diseases

Question

Asked by Baroness Manzoor

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to raise awareness of bronchiolitis among parents with very young children.[HL2392]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Bronchiolitis is a common lower respiratory tract infection that most commonly affects babies and young children under a year old. Most cases are mild and improve without specific treatment within about two weeks, although some children have severe symptoms and need treatment in hospital.

Information for parents on bronchiolitis, including the symptoms, causes and potential treatments for the condition, is provided by the NHS Choices website at the following link:

www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Bronchiolitis/Pages/Introduction.aspx

In addition, the British Lung Foundation has produced a free leaflet on bronchiolitis in babies for parents:

www.blf.org.uk/Publication/Detail/Bronchiolitis-and-your-baby

and for clinicians the Clinical Knowledge Summary Service run by National Institute for Health & Care Excellence contains easily accessible information about the usual causes of acute chest signs in children and their management:

http://cks.nice.org.uk/cough-acute-with-chest-signs-in-children

Type 26 Frigates

Question

Asked by Lord West of Spithead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have considered naming two of the new Type 26 global combat ships after the cities of Plymouth and Portsmouth.[HL2194]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): The Ships' Names and Badges Committee (SNBC) is responsible for considering and assessing possible names for a new ship or class of ship. The Committee considers all names that have been proposed, formally and informally, and presents its recommendations to the Navy Board. The name(s) chosen by the Navy Board are forwarded to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence before being submitted to Her Majesty the Queen for approval. A final decision with regards to this process in respect of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship is not expected until the programme has completed its Assessment Phase and any subsequent investment decisions are complete. The SNBC has noted the proposal to use names HMS PLYMOUTH and HMS PORTSMOUTH.