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7 Nov 2002 : Column 552W—continued

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will answer questions 76287 and 75990 from the hon. Member for Yeovil; and if he will make a statement. [80239]

Mr. Hutton: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him on 28 October 2002, Official Report, column 675W (Question 75990). I will write to the hon. Member in response to Question 76287 as soon as possible.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the annual cost was in 2001–02 to the NHS to social services of supporting people who suffer vision loss as a result of wet age-related macular degeneration; what assessment he has made of the impact of patients of the delay in NICE issuing guidance on the use of photodynamic therapy for age-related macular degeneration; and if he will provide funding for a nationally co-ordinated data collection exercise on the use of photodynamic therapy for age related macular degeneration; [76241]

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the NICE Committee will report its recommendations for age-related macular disease. [77842]

Ms Blears [holding answer 28 October 2002]: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) is currently conducting an appraisal of photodynamic therapy. This consultation has been extended to allow further consideration of the draft guidance. We cannot anticipate what NICE'S recommendations will be or assess what, if any, patients who are untreated at present will then be eligible for treatment. The Department will consider the implications of the final NICE guidance. We expect that guidance could be available to the National Health Service in January 2003, providing there are no appeals.

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In the meantime, guidance issued in August 1999 to all NHS bodies asked them to continue with local arrangements for the managed introduction of new technologies where guidance from NICE is not available at the time the technology first became available. These arrangements should involve an assessment of all the relevant factors including the available evidence on effect. The introduction of photodynamic therapy under these arrangements should be funded locally.

The Department does not collect data concerning the number of age-related macular degeneration patients currently receiving photodynamic therapy through clinical trials. We are also not in a position to estimate future access through clinical trials; the numbers involved would be a matter for the product manufacturer or others who are conducting the trial.

It is not possible to identify separately from the data collected from health and social services, the annual cost of supporting people who suffer vision loss as a result of the wet form of age-related macular degeneration.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what proportion of patients newly diagnosed with wet age related macular degeneration have access to photodynamic therapy for age-related macular degeneration through ongoing clinical trials; and what proportion of those patients will have access to this therapy as part of future clinical trials being planned; and if he will make a statement; [76336]

Ms Blears [holding answer 29 October 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave my hon. Friends the Members for Norwich, North (Dr Gibson) and for Stroud (Mr. Drew) today.

NHS Reform

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how his Department plans to hold strategic health authorities to account for the performance of the NHS within their area as set out in paragraph 7.2 of the document, Improvement, Expansion & Reform: The Next Three Years. [75715]

Mr. Hutton: From 2003–04, strategic health authorities (StHAs) will be required to produce local delivery plans, which will set out over a three year period their contribution towards the target and capacity assumptions detailed in Improvement, Expansion & Reform: The Next Three Years. Departmental monitoring systems will be aligned with these targets and assumptions to allow for regular monitoring and hold to account StHAs.

In addition Directorates of Health and Social Care are setting in place a series of regular performance reviews to manage performance with StHAs. These arrangements will be mirrored at StHA, primary care trust and trust levels.

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Social Workers

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the answer of 21 October 2002, Official Report, columns 128–9W, on social workers, what the provisional figures are for the numbers of applications for social work training; what action he is taking to make existing social workers realise that their work is valued; how he plans to inform the public about what social workers actually do; and how much funding has been allocated to this initiative. [78190]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 29 October 2002]: The national social work recruitment campaign was launched in October 2001 by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Health. It is aimed at informing the public about social work and social care and encouraging recruitment and retention. The funding for the campaign is #1.5 million in the year 2001–2002. This includes both national and local press and radio advertising and particular efforts are being made in some areas such as London and the south east that have more severe problems with recruitment and retention of social workers.

The third phase of the recruitment campaign was launched on 24 October 2002. The campaign consists of national advertising, leaflets, posters, local and national PR activity, a help line and a website. It has three aims:

Since the start of the campaign, there have been more than 40,000 callers to the telephone helpline and website. Applications have seen the first increase since 1995. The provisional figure suggests that over 5,000 have been received, which represents' a year on year increase of 8.3 per cent.

Silicone Cosmesis

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what sums were allocated for expenditure on silicone cosmesis for artificial limbs from the NHS community services budget in (a) 2001–02, (b) 2002–03 and (c) 2003–04; and what sums were identified by the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency as having been spent on silicone cosmesis for artificial limbs from that budget in (i) 2001 02 and (ii) 2002–03. [79041]

Ms Blears [holding answer 6 November 2002]: Baseline allocations of #0.5 million in 2001–02, #1.5 million in 2002–03 and #2.0 million in 2003–04 were expected to be used for the provision of silicone cosmesis for artificial limbs. Spending on silicone cosmesis through the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency was #81,858 for 2001–02, and #182,841 so far in 2002–03.

Prison Service (Mental Health)

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary for Health when he expects the Prison Service mental Health teams to have completed their review of the physical cell environment to reduce ligature points in (a) young offender institutions and (b) adult prisons. [78046]

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Mr. Hilary Benn: I have been asked to reply. The Prison Service's strategy to reduce self-inflicted deaths includes changes to the physical environment, such as the re-design of cell windows and furniture to reduce ligature points. It has already produced, tested and procured a safer cell design, a number of installations of which have already been completed and are in use. Safer cell designs address the design of furniture, toilets and basin fixtures, windows, lighting and heating. The Prison Service is also developing a second stage safer cell design as well as reviewing current cell furniture designs and producing new ones, so that standard-issue cell furniture may benefit from an improved reduced-ligature design.



Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will list the schemes and initiatives sponsored by her Department and its agencies which are not the subject of national roll out, showing (a) the authorities or areas covered by the scheme and (b) the budget of the scheme in the last year for which information is available. [75667]

Dr. Howells: The following schemes and initiatives are sponsored by my Department in partnership with other funding bodies.

Space for Sports and Arts Programme (SSA)

Space for Sports and Arts Programme (SSA), is a partnership between traditional public expenditure of #75 million from the Capital Modernisation Fund and #55 million from the three Lottery distributors: New Opportunities Fund (#25 million), Sport England (#25 million) and Arts Council of England (#5 million).

The SSA programme is being rolled out in 65 local authorities in deprived areas. The budget for the programme is #130million from the beginning of 2000 to March 2004, which is the life of the programme. Approximately 297 projects are planned in the 65 local authorities. The Local Education Authorities (LEAs) invited to bid were:

Portable Antiquities Scheme

The Portable Antiquities Scheme was established in 1997 to encourage members of the public to report all finds of archaeological objects. Since Autumn 1997 DCMS has been funding six pilot schemes to promote voluntary reporting of all archaeological finds. These pilots were established in

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A bid for a three-year funding for a national network of 41 posts at a cost of #1.5 million a year from April 2003 was approved by the Heritage Lottery Fund in May. This bid has 63 national and local partners each of whom is contributing 10 per cent. towards the cost.

In 2002–2003 the Department is providing #411,000 to support the current pilot schemes until the new funding comes on line.

The following schemes and initiatives are by public bodies sponsored by DCMS. These are not the subject of national roll out.

Splash Extra

This was a joint DCMS/Youth Justice Board programme of summer activities targeted on those 9–17 year olds identified as most at risk of offending in the areas covered across Government. A list of those areas covered will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses. Resourced by the New Opportunities Fund, and providing almost 300 estate-based schemes across England, Splash Extra established a menu of high quality sports, arts and personal development activities.

The budget was #8.5 million for the last financial year.

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