§ Bob Russell
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate he has made of the cost to the hospice movement in financial year 2003–04 of the increase in the level of charges for checks by the Criminal Records Bureau in respect of paid staff; 
(2) if he will provide a grant to hospices to compensate for the recent increase in the level of charges for checks by the Criminal Records Bureau in respect of paid staff. 
§ Miss Melanie Johnson
Responsibility for paying the fee for a criminal record disclosure rests with the individual applicant, although it is open to the employer to reimburse the cost. The Home Department has placed in the Library a regulatory impact assessment, which assesses the impact of the fee increase across all sectors.
The level of funding agreed is a matter for local discussion and decision. We have made available an additional £50 million per annum for specialist palliative care, including hospices, for the three years beginning 2003–04. This extra £50 million is to help tackle inequalities in access to specialist palliative care to enable the National Health Service to increase their contribution to the cost hospices incur in providing agreed levels of service.