|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
(3) what powers doctors possess to prescribe drugs in contravention of local authority policy; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Blears: Health authorities and primary care trusts are under a statutory obligation set out in Directions to provide appropriate funding for treatments recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). The Directions were made using powers in the National Health Service Act 1977 and came into force on 1 January 2002. The Directions were introduced as part of the Government's strategy to ensure consistency of access to treatments recommended by NICE and deemed appropriate by clinicians for their individual patients. Funding is provided in baseline allocations to meet these commitments.
Jacqui Smith: The main Government agency for research into the causes of and treatments for disease is the Medical Research Council (MRC) which receives its funding via the Department of Trade and Industry. The MRC supports a large amount of basic underpinning work on how the brain responds to injury of all types and on neural regeneration, which will inform research on rehabilitation after traumatic head injury. The MRC's expenditure specifically on rehabilitation after traumatic head injury (i.e. excluding the underpinning work) was £835,000 in 200102.
The Department commissions research to support policy and the delivery of effective practice in health and social care. The Department has directly funded projects relating to brain and head injury, some of which are on rehabilitation, with total estimated expenditure of about £125,000 for 200102. The Department funded a major
17 Apr 2002 : Column 1026W
project on rehabilitation of brain injured adults, which was completed in 1997, at a total cost of approximately £1.2 million.
In addition to specific projects, the Department also provides support for research commissioned by charities and the MRC that takes place in the NHS. Management of much of the research supported in this way is devolved, and expenditure at project level is not held centrally.
Details of ongoing and recently completed research projects taking place in, funded by, or of interest to, the national health service are available on the National Research Register (NRR) at www.doh.gov.uk/research/ nrr.htm. The NRR shows that there are considerable number of research related to brain and head injury.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the timetable is for the publication of NICE guidelines on the handling of brain-injured patients; whether the guidelines will include long-term rehabilitation issues; and if he will make a statement. 
Jacqui Smith: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence provisional publication date for their Head Injury Guideline is February 2003. I understand that the guideline will not address the rehabilitation or long term care of patients with a head injury, but the guideline will provide criteria for the early identification of patients who will benefit from rehabilitation.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the proposed National Service Framework for long-term conditions will include those arising from head injury; and what interim action will be taken to improve rehabilitation services before publication of that framework. 
Jacqui Smith: Ministers will decide the scope of the National Service Framework (NSF) for long-term conditions shortly. The Government's response to the Health Select Committee third report, "Head Injury: Rehabilitation", states that the NSF is expected to set standards for the care and treatment of people with long-term conditions, including head injury. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence is producing a clinical guideline for the initial assessment, management and first referral of patients with head injury, which is likely to inform the development of standards for the NSF.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 15 March 2002, Official Report, column 1289W, on assaults on NHS staff, when he expects to complete the analysis of the reported violent incidents on NHS staff; when he expects to publish the report; and if he will place a copy in the Library. 
Mr. Hutton: The analysis of data collected on the levels of reported violent incidents, together with data on the levels of reported accidents and sickness absence should be complete by the end of May and a copy placed in the Library.
17 Apr 2002 : Column 1027W
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 18 March 2002, Official Report, column 172W, on nursing care, when he expects to publish the core contract; and if he will place a copy in the Library. 
Jacqui Smith: The model contract was issued to the national health service on 8 March. A copy is available on the Department's website at www.doh.gov.uk/ jointunit/freenursingcare.htm. Copies have also been placed in the Library.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 26 March 2002, Official Report, column 941W, regarding no secrets guidance, when he expects the Centre for Policy on Ageing to conclude its analysis; and if he will put this document in the Library. 
Jacqui Smith: We expect that the Centre for Policy on Ageing is to conclude its analysis by the beginning of July 2002 and it will be placed in the Library. At that time we will consider what good practice issues have emerged and decide whether some dissemination of the findings would be beneficial.
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 1 March 2002]: The aim is that NHS Professionals will be used by all NHS organisations as the primary supplier of all temporary staffing requirements for the NHS with, as and when necessary, contracts agreed with commercial agencies to meet any surplus demand.
Ms Blears [holding answer 25 March 2002]: The NHS Plan made clear our objectives of improving the patient environment and announces further significant investment in the national health service estate.
The cost required to eliminate this backlog depends on a number of factors, including the extent to which major capital investment and disposals of property impact upon the amount of additional capital required. Since investment plans are currently under review it is not possible to provide a cost for the elimination of backlog costs at this point in time.
17 Apr 2002 : Column 1028W
Ms Blears [holding answer 25 March 2002]: In 1999, we set targets for the reduction in health and safety backlog within national health service trusts in England one of which required health and safety backlog costs to be reduced by 90 per cent. by 31 March 2002. In addition, we planned to invest £7 billion in the NHS estate to bring the quality and safety of NHS buildings up to acceptable levels.
We have an ongoing monitoring and performance programme to support the NHS in delivering these targets. The speed at which NHS trusts are meeting these targets depends on a number of factors, including the pace of investment and disposals, and figures are constantly changing.
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 25 March 2002]: General practitioner (GP) out of hours services are provided in Barnet and Hendon by three GP co-operatives and by two commercial deputising services. Out of hours health services are also provided by NHS Direct and by local accident and emergency departments, as well as by the urgent treatment centre at Edgware hospital.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|