§ Mr. Burstow
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what (1) representations the Department has received following the announcement that continence pads would be provided free of charge to all care home residents from October 2001; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what proportion of the amount made available for NHS continence services for 2003–04 will be earmarked for (a) continence adviser recruitment, (b) continence adviser training, (c) continence pads and (d) other continence products and services; 
(3) whether an equivalent amount to the money made available in the period April 2002 to April 2003 for NHS continence services for self-funding residents will be made available for non self-funding residents post April 2003; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) what factors were taken into consideration when deciding to allocate the initial £6 million for NHS continence care in the period October 2001 to April 2002 to all care home residents; 165W
§ Mr. Burstow
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funds will be made available for NHS continence services in the period(a) 2003–04, (b) 2004–05 and (c) 2005–06. 
§ Jacqui Smith
The information requested is not available as specific budgets of health authorities and primary care trusts for continence services are not determined centrally. They receive unified allocations to cover the costs of hospital and community health services, discretionary funding for general practice staff, premises and computers and primary care prescribing.
The level of funding made available for continence provision is therefore a local decision. It is for health authorities in partnership with primary care groups/trusts and other local stakeholders to determine how best to use their funds to meet national and local priorities for improving health, tackling health inequalities and modernising services
The details of a transfer of resources from local authorities to cover nursing care/continence from 2003–04 will be the subject of a separate consultation over the summer.
No representations were received about continence payments for self funders.
The £6 million figure was arrived at on the basis that approximately two thirds of the population receiving nursing care in care homes (over 40,000) are incontinent and this figure represents an average cost to the national health service of providing continence services to them.
§ Mrs. Calton
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what Government funding has been made available in the last 12 months to promote management of continence by(a) constituency and (b) region. 
§ Jacqui Smith
Information requested relating to funding by constituency and region is not available centrally. Specific budgets of health authorities and primary care trusts for continence services are not determined centrally. They receive unified allocations to cover the costs of hospital and community health services, discretionary funding for general practice staff, premises and computers and primary care prescribing.
£6 million of the £100 million allocated to national health service funded nursing care from 1 October 2001 was for the continence needs of self-funders who had previously had to pay nursing homes for continence services. £12 million will be available to the NHS for this year's 2002–03 full year costs for this group.
§ Mr. Steen
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the staffing establishment is at the National Care Standards Commission; what the annual costs are of running it; how many nursing and residential homes were inspected by the NCSC in April and May; and if he will make a statement as to the reasons for delays in dealing with applications; 
(2) if he will place in the Library a copy of the application form for nursing and residential homes to be registered; and if he will explain what the procedure for registration is; 
(3) what the estimated time is for the National Care Standards Commission to send out application forms for (a) residential and (b) nursing homes to register, if they 166W are sent first or second class; how long on average it has taken to inspect (i) nursing and (ii) residential homes which have applied for registration; who carries out the inspection; what the criteria for inspection are; and how the criteria differ from the local inspection previously carried out by local authorities; 
(4) if he will make a statement as to why the costs for registration and inspection of nursing and residential homes have risen since 1 April. 
§ Jacqui Smith
The National Care Standards Commission (NCSC) took over responsibility for the regulation of all care homes in England on 1 April 2002, including care homes not previously required to register. The NCSC is responsible for regulating care homes in accordance with national minimum standards to ensure consistency and improve the quality of life and level of protection for the most vulnerable people in society.
The NCSC is currently dealing with a heavy load of applications under the new arrangements and there is some delay in dealing with some applications. The NCSC is taking steps to deal with this and expects the average time for processing applications to reduce as the number of applications comes down to more normal levels.
The NCSC's staffing establishment is 2,352 of which 1,874 staff are currently in post. As this is the NCSC's first year of operation, we have no historical data as yet on actual running costs of the NCSC. However, the NCSC is planning its work for 2002–03 on the basis of a budget of £131 million revenue and £1.5 million capital. The NCSC's programme of inspections was not expected to get fully under way before June 2002 due to factors such as completing office accommodation moves and information technology set-ups, transferring staff, finalising inspector training and giving due notice to providers of the inspections. Nevertheless, from the information currently available, 66 inspections were carried out in April and 612 in May. 2,034 inspections are planned for June.
Application forms for registration are usually sent out by first class post. Information is not available on the times taken to send out packs containing application forms. Requests for packs are responded to within two working days where possible, although some delays have occurred due to a higher than planned volume of demand requiring forms to be reprinted. Information is currently not available on the times taken to inspect nursing and residential homes which have applied for registration, but this will become available later this year.
Details of registration procedures and application forms for nursing and residential care homes are available on the NCSC's website www.carestandards.org.uk
Regulatory fees for care homes increased on 1 April this year. This is the first increase in fees since 1 May 1998. The increase reflects the effects of inflation on the value of fees but also our longer-term aim of moving to full cost recovery. Despite this increase, care homes currently only pay 31 per cent. of the actual cost of registration and inspection. We recognise that fees are not the only extra cost of the new regulatory system to care homes. We are increasing total resources available for social services by an average of six per cent. a year in real terms over the next three years (2003–04 to 2005–06). These increases follow average annual real 167W terms increases of more than three per cent. between 1996–97 and 2002–03 including a 3.6 per cent. real terms increase this year (2002–03). These substantial increases in resources, in particular over the next three years, will enable local authorities to deliver the improvements to social services to which the Government are committed. It also means that local authorities have the resources they need to purchase services at realistic prices.
Under the previous regulatory system, care homes were inspected by around 250 local authorities and health authorities each applying its own, sometimes contradictory, local conditions for registration. This system had been criticised over several years for lacking independence, consistency and coherence. The NCSC will, by contrast, inspect care homes using national standards. Due to the large number of different standards set under the previous regulatory system, I cannot say in detail how national standards may differ from them. This will vary from area to area. However, national standards were widely consulted on and the finalised standards were set at a level already being met or exceeded by many providers and which others should be able to meet over time.