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Mutual Organisations

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on what support his Department has made available to those wishing to set up mutual organisations in the field of health and social care. [62986]

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Mr. Lammy [holding answer 19 June 2002]: The Department is considering a range of options for the legal status of foundation trusts and a form of mutual organisation may be considered. A new organisational form—the public interest company—may be considered. To date, the Department has not offered specific support available for either option.

MS Patients

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the establishment of the structures necessary to assess MS patients in respect of their suitability for the use of beta interferon; [63147]

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Mr. Lammy: It has been estimated that up to 9,000 multiple sclerosis patients in England and Wales may be eligible to receive treatment under the risk-sharing scheme, which started on 6 May 2002. Some centres have now started prescribing under the scheme, though the guidance in Health Service Circular 2002–004 recognises that appropriate national health service infrastructure may not yet be in place in some localities. The scheme co-ordinator will collect information on progress and activity under the scheme, but as yet such details are not available centrally.

Empty Properties

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what empty properties in the London borough of Wandsworth are owned by (a) his Department and (b) other public bodies for which he has responsibility. [63590]

Mr. Lammy: There are no empty properties owned by this Department within the London borough of Wandsworth.

There are five former residential cottages on the edge of the Springfield Hospital site currently empty which are part of the national health service estate (owned by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State). They are known locally as Burntwood Villas (two), and Myrtle Cottages (three) all of which are situated on Burntwood Lane.

These properties are currently in the process of being transferred to the local South-West London and St. George's Mental Health NHS Trust, who plan to turn Burntwood Villas into staff accommodation and to redevelop Myrtle Cottages into new general practitioner property.

These developments are part of the continuing expansion of health care activity on the Springfield Hospital site.

Enzyme Potential Desensitisatia

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the health authorities which provide enzyme potential desensitisatia on the national health service. [63531]

Mr. Lammy: Information is not held centrally on the types of treatment available to patients on the national health service by health authority.

Cane Hill

Richard Ottaway: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the answer of 10 June 2002, Official Report, column 1088W, on Cane Hill, Coulsdon, which part of his Department is responsible for (a) the day to day management of Cane Hill and (b) making decisions as to its future. [63791]

Ms Blears: The day to day management of the non-operational areas of the Cane Hill site is carried out by NHS Estates. The operational areas are managed by South London and Maudsley National Health Service Trust.

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Similarly, decisions on the future of the surplus areas of the site are made by NHS Estates following discussions with South London and Maudsley NHS Trust and any other relevant parties, and decisions for the future of the operational areas of the site are made by the trust.


Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the value is of Remploy products purchased by his Department in each year since 1995. [63824]

Mr. Lammy: Payments by the Department to Remploy for goods and services in the last five financial years are £76,005 (1997–98), £14,962 (1998–99), £33,819 (1999–2000), £19,473 (2000–01) and £1003 (2001–2).

Information prior to 1997–98 is not available. This answer does not include the national health service.

Crèche Provision (NHS Employees)

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the adequacy of crèche provision for NHS employees. [63821]

Mr. Hutton: A national survey of national health service provision, undertaken early in 2001, found that 114 NHS trusts provided nursery facilities for their staff. The Government recognise that there is a need to provide support for parents working in the NHS in order to be a good employer, to improve the working (and home) lives of staff, and to recruit, retain and return key staff. For this reason, we have made over £70 million available for the NHS child care strategy, to develop an additional 150 further on-site nursery schemes by 2004. 60 new nursery schemes were funded last year and a further 30 have had funding allocated already this year. In addition, we expect all new build hospitals to include an on-site nursery in its plans.

We are expanding the NHS child care strategy to cover other forms of child care and to ensure that all staff groups are included. We have pledged additional funding for the NHS child care, building up to £100 million, to do this.

Director of International Recruitment

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the proposed budget is for the Director of International Recruitment for Health Services in the next two years; [63874]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 24 June 2002]: The Department currently has no plans to recruit a Director of International Recruitment.

Hospitals (Zero Stars)

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the progress of franchising the management of those hospitals with zero stars. [64326]

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Mr. Hutton: Five zero-rated national health service trusts appointed new chief executives under franchise arrangements in May and June. The hospital trusts concerned are: Dartford and Gravesham National Health Service Trust, Ashford and St. Peters Hospital National Health Service Trust, Portsmouth Hospitals National Health Service Trust, Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals National Health Service Trust, and University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire National Health Service Trust.

A sixth trust, East and North Hertfordshire National Health Service Trust is in the process of being franchised. The remaining six hospital trusts which received a zero-star rating in September 2001 have been making progress under existing management arrangements and continue to be monitored closely.


Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether, with regard to bed blocking, local authority social service departments will be penalised if a patient in hospital is awaiting a place in a home of their choice. [64458]

Jacqui Smith: The new approach we have proposed is about putting in place the right incentives to ensure people are able to leave hospital as soon as treatment is completed and it is safe for them to do so. Local authorities and the national health service will need to develop more appropriate settings than an acute hospital ward for patients to await a place in a home of their choice. We will be consulting on the details of the charging system later in the summer.

Beta Interferon

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress is being made to make beta interferon available for MS sufferers by (a) primary care trusts and (b) hospital trusts serving North Yorkshire. [64457]

Ms Blears: On 4 February 2002, Health Service Circular 2002/004, was issued to the national health service announcing the risk-sharing scheme for drug treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS). The scheme makes provision for an estimated 9,000 MS patients to be eligible for treatment on the NHS.

In total 49 patients from North Yorkshire were receiving beta interferon therapy by March 2002. Following the implementation of the risk sharing scheme it is expected that the number of North Yorkshire residents receiving treatment will double to over 100.

Given the potential number of patients who may be eligible, representatives from all four North Yorkshire primary care trusts and the North and East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire health authority met with clinicians and managers from York Health National Health Service Trust in May 2002 to discuss local implementation of the guidance. The trust prepared an initial assessment of introducing the scheme. An agreed action plan and the timetable for implementing the guidance will be available by the end of July 2002.

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For North Yorkshire residents who will not use the York assessment service, the following actions are being undertaken:

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