Previous Section Index Home Page

NHS Reorganisation

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the cost of office moves resulting from NHS reorganisation in the last three years. [42214]

Ms Blears [holding answer 11 March 2002]: The Department has not collected any data which would enable an assessment to be made of the cost of office moves resulting from NHS reorganisation. For example, mergers of NHS trusts may involve the need to consolidate at one of those merged, or new offices entirely. The cost of this is not readily identifiable from trust accounts.

MMR Vaccine

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to review the target payments paid to general practitioners for MMR vaccination rates. [42269]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 11 March 2002]: There have been calls for a moratorium on the target payment system in the wake of the public debate on the MMR vaccine. We recognise the hard work of general practitioners and health visitors in responding to parents' concerns around MMR and trying to sustain high rates

20 Mar 2002 : Column 442W

of immunisation in the current climate. However, we consider it would be inappropriate and counter-productive to change the target payment system at this time.

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of children in the Cynon valley have been immunised before their fifth birthday against measles, mumps and rubella in the last year for which figures are available; what the national average is; and what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the Government reach their target rate for vaccination. [39521]

Mr. Paul Murphy: I have been asked to reply. These are matters for the National Assembly for Wales. I am, though, aware that the Assembly has taken a number of steps over the past year, aimed at improving uptake of the MMR vaccine.

In April 2001, they launched the Mythbuster initiative, to assist health professionals in counselling concerned parents and dispelling myths surrounding the safety of MMR. This was followed up with a comprehensive information programme which included an in-depth technical pack, leaflets, posters and videos.


Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will reply to the hon. Member for West Chelmsford's letter of 22 November, with reference to Mr. Raybould (Ref column: POH (3) 5499/G). [42969]

Ms Blears: A reply was sent on 15 March.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 11 March 2002, Official Report, column 843W, on parliamentary questions, if he will give details of the work that has been re-prioritised in order for the backlog of outstanding Questions to be answered. [43904]

Ms Blears [holding answer 18 March 2002]: Clearing the backlog of outstanding parliamentary questions has been handled without the need for a major re-prioritisation of work. It has been cleared either through staff working extra hours, by using staff between postings or by temporarily seconding a member of staff whose duties were covered by colleagues.

NHS Widowers' Pensions

James Purnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate he has made of the cost of including women doctors' pension contributions prior to 1988 in the calculations for NHS widowers' pensions; [43652]

Mr. Hutton: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the former Member for North Norfolk (Mr. Prior) on 13 January 1999, Official Report, column 212.