Previous Section Index Home Page

RSI and Fibromyalgia

Dr. Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidelines he has issued to general practitioners and hospitals regarding RSI and fibromyalgia; and what recent clinical studies of these have been commissioned by the Department. [2960]

Mr. Hutton: The Department has not issued guidelines in respect of repetitive strain injury and fibromyalgia. However we are constantly reviewing the subjects in the light of research which is being commissioned. One such research project is entitled "A Randomised Control Trial of exercise prescription in fibromyalgia" which is due to be completed in September 2001.

The Department also provides support funding for research commissioned by the research councils and charities that takes place in the national health service. We are currently supporting 13 such ongoing projects on fibromyalgia and one on RSI. Full details can be found on the national research register.

17 Jul 2001 : Column: 112W

National Institute for Clinical Excellence

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health by what means NICE defines and identifies experts to advise their appraisal committees. [3289]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 11 July 2001]: Details of the appraisal process are a matter for the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. NICE has recently published details of the process, including a full description of the selection of experts. Experts are now nominated by stakeholder bodies, and the selection is made by the chairman of the appraisal committee using published criteria.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will review the membership of the Appraisal Committee following recent appeals against NICE. [4166]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 16 July 2001]: No. Appeals are a part of the Institute's process for developing robust and reliable guidance.

Road Accident Casualties

Mr. Hawkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money NHS hospitals have claimed from motor insurance providers to recover the cost of treating road accident casualties over the last three years. [4072]

Ms Blears [holding answer 16 July 2001]: Prior to 5 April 1999, National Health Service trusts had responsibility for collecting charges for hospital treatment following road traffic accidents under the provisions of sections 157 and 158 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. The system changed with the introduction of the Road Traffic (NHS Charges) Act 1999, which came into effect on 5 April 1999 and there is now a new centralised recovery system, which is undertaken by the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU). The table gives income collected for the last three years during which the system for recovery changed.

NHS trusts (England) income from activities: Road Traffic Act

£ million

(13) Income collected under the old scheme taken from NHS Trusts (England) Summarisation Schedules.

(14) Transitional year, this is income collected by the CRU under the new scheme as other income received by trusts as a spill over from the old arrangements cannot be identified separately in Trust Accounts.

(15) Income collected by the CRU under the new scheme.

17 Jul 2001 : Column: 113W

Fraud (NHS)

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he will take to tackle the rise in fraud in the NHS. [4612]

Mr. Hutton: Losses to fraud in the National Health Service have fallen since the creation of the NHS Counter Fraud Service (CFS) in 1998 and will continue to fall. The NHS CFS have achieved a reduction of £48 million in losses to patient fraud within pharmaceutical services and have recovered over £5 million within cases of fraud by pharmaceutical contractors.

The NHS CFS objectives are to minimise all fraud and corruption in the NHS and to ensure that money is not lost to fraud but is spent on providing better patient care and services. We will continue to work closely with all the associations representing those that deliver or use NHS services. This inclusive approach means we will be able to continue to take positive action that is in the best interests of the NHS.

Children Act

Dr. Naysmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the Government will report on the operation of the Children Act 1989. [4628]

Jacqui Smith: My right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Health, the Secretary of State for Education and Skills and the Lord Chancellor have today published a report on the Children Act 1989, pursuant to their duties under section 83 of the Act. Copies are available in the Library and Vote Office; and are being sent to all local authorities in England and to a wide range of organisations. A copy of this document can also be found at the following website address: childrenactreport2000.htm.

Nursing Homes

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to fulfil the pledge made in the NHS Plan to introduce free nursing in nursing homes. [5031]

17 Jul 2001 : Column: 114W

Jacqui Smith: We have today issued draft guidance and directions on implementing free nursing care in England and copies have been placed in the Library. The Department will introduce this from 1 October for those who pay for their care themselves. This will bring financial benefits to approximately 35,000 people who currently pay for their care from their own resources and could save up to just over £5,000 in a full year for some people.

It will also end the anomaly of people having to pay for care that is provided free of charge by the National Health Service in other settings.

Those people whose care is currently provided by councils and who receive free nursing care anyway will receive it free via the NHS from April 2002.

Organ Donors

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many people in the United Kingdom of Asian heritage have registered as organ donors; what percentage of the total this represents; and if he will make a statement; [3840]

Mr. Hutton: The National Health Service organ donor register does not provide any information on ethnicity.

The Department launched the South Asian community campaign in 1999 to recruit more donors from the community. The campaign involves a variety of community lead initiatives, using advertising in the broadcast media, press as well as public relations activities. This campaign has generated a great deal of interest—both in transplantation and in preventing the underlying causes of renal failure. The campaign is ongoing.

Patients on the national organ transplant waiting lists at centres in the United Kingdom is shown in the table.

Organ awaitedTotalTotal where ethnic origin is recordedAsian/ Asian-BritishAsian/Asian-British as a percentage of total where origin recorded
Renal (kidney, pancreas kidney/pancreas)6,2205,79382713.9
Cardiothoracic (heart, lungs, heart/lungs)464430184.2


This information was provided by United Kingdom Transplant

Acute Services

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of staffing levels in acute NHS hospitals in respect of the ability of the service to provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment within the agreed national clinical standards. [4342]

Mr. Hutton: The work force commitments to recruit additional nurses, doctors and therapists in the NHS Plan take account of the need to increase the number of staff necessary to deliver diagnosis and treatment within the agreed clinical standards set out in the National Service Frameworks.


Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the support available to those adults on low incomes and with child care needs who wish to enrol as (a) a trainee nurse and (b) for a nursing qualification. [4344]

17 Jul 2001 : Column: 115W

Mr. Hutton: National Health Service funded students are provided with a favourable level of non-repayable bursary and have their contribution to tuition fees, currently £1,050, paid in full on their behalf.

The diploma level route into nursing provides a generous level of bursary which is non-means-tested. No contribution is therefore required from the family income.

The means-tested bursary, available to degree level students, targets low income families as it provides a higher level of support for those in the greatest need. In addition, degree level students are also eligible for assistance through Student Loans (available from the Student Loan Company), Hardship Loans and NHS Hardship Grants.

Although the NHS bursary does not specifically provide help with childcare costs, extra allowances are available for single parents and for those who have dependants (including children).

A number of NHS hospitals have started schemes where they employ individuals as healthcare assistants/ nursing auxiliaries, train them to entry level standard for nurse training and allow them to retain their salary while they undertake the diploma nurse training programme.

Student families on low income are also eligible to claim Working Families Tax Credit.

Assistance with childcare costs is also provided for some students through charitable organisations.

Ministers aim to provide the widest possible access to nurse training, and continue to take a close interest in ensuring that student support arrangements promote this objective.

Next Section Index Home Page