HC Deb 28 November 2002 vol 395 cc408-9W
Dr. Cable

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many(a) care home inspectors are employed and (b) vacancies there are in each region for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [82022]

Jacqui Smith

The numbers of inspectors in post by region and the numbers of current vacancies are shown in the table.

Regions are currently in the process of interviewing for inspectors where it is expected an extra 75–100 posts will be filled, further boosting capacity.

Mr. Wray

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has for local authorities in the UK to put in place area child protection committees to look at safeguarding children. [81065]

Jacqui Smith

"Working Together to Safeguard Children", the Government's guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, published in 1999, states that local authorities, in exercising their social services functions, should ensure that there is an area child protection committee covering their area, which brings together representatives of each of the main agencies and professionals responsible for helping to protect children from abuse and neglect. Area review committees were first established in 1974 and became area child protection committees in 1991. This guidance applies only to England.

Mr. Paul Marsden

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of young children were classified as failing to thrive in each year since 1997. [82746]

Jacqui Smith

The information requested is not held centrally.

The category, 'failure to thrive', has not been used in the Government's child protection guidance since 1991. "Working Together Under the Children Act 1989", which was first published in 1991, and later replaced in 1999 by "Working Together to Safeguard Children—a Guide to Inter-agency Working to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of Children", narrowed the categories used when placing a child's name on the child protection register. The category of 'failure to thrive' is now, therefore, no longer recommended for use as a child protection register category.