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15 Jan 2003 : Column 682W—continued

National Radiological Protection Board

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health where the National Radiological Protection Board will have its headquarters after 1 April. [90090]

Ms Blears: There are no plans to move the headquarters of the National Radiological Protection Board after 1 April.

Overseas Treatments

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS patients have been treated in continental European hospitals since the ruling by the European court; which continental European hospitals have been used by NHS patients and what operations have been carried out; and if he will list the origin of NHS patients who have received treatment in continental European hospitals by PCT area. [89930]

Mr. Hutton: Since the ruling of the European Court of Justice in July 2001, a total of 234 national health service patients have received treatment abroad as part of the overseas treatment programme. All of these referrals have been to hospitals in continental Europe.

Patients have received treatment in two hospitals in France and eight hospitals in Germany. The French hospitals are Polyclinique de la Louviere, Lille and Institute Calo-Hadin, Berck Sur Mer. The German hospitals are Lutherhaus, Essen; Eduardus Krankenhaus, Cologne; Henriettenstiftung, Hanover; Das Klinikum, Osnabruck; Gilead, Bielefeld; Endo Klinik, Hamburg; Ostseeklinik, Damp; and a clinic in Celle.

Of the 234 patients who have received treatment abroad, 197 were orthopaedic patients and 37 were ophthalmology patients.

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Details of the origin of the patients are held by health authority area. Portsmouth, Isle of Wight and South East Hampshire health authority has referred 50 patients abroad. West Sussex and East Surrey health authorities have referred 50 patients abroad. East Kent health authority has referred 126 patients abroad. Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire health authority has referred eight patients abroad.

Pneumococcal Disease (PHLS Programme)

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many service level agreements he estimates will be required to maintain the programme co-ordinated by the PHLS on pneumococcal disease. [90048]

Ms Blears: There will be no service level agreements to maintain the Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) co-ordinated programmes on pneumococcal disease. All work for the Department of Health by PHLS on pneumococcal disease are part of the core funding provided by the Department.

Private Sector Services

Lynne Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the present annual cost is to the NHS of recurrent services provided by the private sector; what his estimate is of the likely cost over the next three years; and what proportion of total NHS spending this represents. [90040]

Mr. Hutton: Data are not held centrally on all service contracts held by national health service bodies with private sector organisations and could be collected only at disproportionate cost. Information is available centrally on private finance initiative (PFI) schemes and spending on healthcare provided by non-NHS bodies.

Data on the revenue consequences of NHS PFI schemes, for example estimated payments to the private sector under signed PFI contracts, is provided each year to the Health Select Committee of the House and to the Office of Government Commerce for their biannual returns to Parliament on PFI transactions contained in the budget report. Outturn figures for the last closed financial year (2001–02) and estimated payments for the following three years are in the table:

Payments (#000)As a proportion of total NHS revenue expenditure(12) (%)

(12) 2001–02 as measured on Stage 1 Resource Budgeting basis. 2002–03 onwards on Stage 2 Resource Budgeting basis.

In 2001–02 (the latest year for which information is available), NHS trusts, primary care trusts and health authorities in England spent approximately #1.8 billion on the purchase of health care from non-NHS bodies. This figure includes expenditure on services provided by all non-NHS bodies, including local authorities and other statutory bodies, as well as private healthcare providers, and cannot be broken down by type of

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provider. This represents around 3.8 per cent. of total NHS revenue expenditure. We have not estimated the level of equivalent spending in future years.

Residential Homes

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to improve surveillance of the elderly in residential homes in order to protect them from abuse. [90250]

Jacqui Smith: We believe that determining the appropriateness of specific measures for surveillance in care homes is best done locally, on a home by home basis. National Care Standards Commission area offices are best placed to assess the need for such measures in a particular care home within the broad statutory guidelines. In doing so they should take into account such things as the perceived needs of residents; the prevention of abuse; residents' right to privacy; staff training, numbers, and supervisory arrangements. These needs will vary from home to home and from area to area.

Residential/Nursing Home Beds

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many residential and nursing home beds were available in England in 2002, broken down by local authority. [90034]

Jacqui Smith: Information for 2002 is not yet centrally available.

Safer Travel to School

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money was disbursed under the safer travel to schools initiative; how many projects benefited; and what evaluation he has made of the initiative. [84021]

Ms Blears: Local safe routes to school schemes are being developed as part of local transport plans. The Department for Transport allocated #620 million to local authorities for small-scale schemes such as road safety and measures to encourage walking and cycling, including up to 800 more safe routes to school in the 2002–03 local transport plan settlement.

According to local transport plan annual progress reports (APRs) submitted to the Department for Transport in August 2002 1,782 safe routes to school schemes were in place in April 2002, with a further 1,543 planned for 2002–03. The APRs also showed that safe routes schemes to 8,006 schools, or about 35 per cent., of schools, are planned by 2006.

Between 1999 and 2001, this Department also developed and funded the safe and sound challenge scheme, which disbursed around #210,000 to over 80 schools to implement initiatives to promote healthy active modes of travel. We commissioned follow up monitoring and evaluation of some of the schemes, which had been funded in the first two years of the challenge. The results showed that schools had successfully implemented school travel initiatives with the funding that had been awarded. However, it was not possible to establish whether any real changes in school travel patterns had occurred, as most schools did not have baseline data for comparison.

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John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he is taking to discourage smoking in public places. [89056]

Ms Blears: The Government have no plans to implement a ban on smoking in public places.

This year the Department is funding local tobacco control alliances across England to carry out projects in close co-operation with local employers to tackle passive smoking and to increase the number of smoke-free environments. These projects vary in nature from the production of 'smoke free' guides to pubs and restaurants to the provision of advice and support to managers wishing to introduce policies. We hope that many will be suitable for national application.

We will also be increasing the visibility of health messages highlighting to smokers the risks environmental tobacco smoke presents. This is through regulations to transpose into United Kingdom law the EU Directive on the Manufacture, Presentation and Sale of Tobacco Products. These regulations require tobacco products to carry larger and starker health warnings, on both the front and back of the packet. The dangers of passive smoking are highlighted in two of the new warnings, which include XSmoking Seriously Harms You and Others Around You" and XProtect Children: Don't Make Them Breathe Your Smoke".

Sterile Service Facilities

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department plans to spend on centralised sterile service facilities for the NHS in England during the (a) 2003–04 and (b) 2004–05 financial years. [90292]

Mr. Lammy: The following figures represent money for investment in new and improved services, it does not include the cost of day-to-day running of sterile services departments or money invested by health bodies from their own resources:

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make a statement on his Department's plans for a new network of centralised sterile service facilities for the NHS in England; [90303]

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Mr. Lammy [holding answer 13 January 2003]: We envisage a mixed economy in decontamination services provided to the national health service. Local needs and facilities will determine the way in which the service is provided locally but all will be provided to a nationally agreed set of standards.

It is not possible to say at this stage how many centres there will be in total, nor how many procurements there will be, or when they will take place, but we expect the first—covering the Bradford Hospitals NHS Trust and The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust—to be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Communities (OJEC) before the end of 2002–03. All procurements will be carried out in accordance with the rules of the European Union.

The Department is actively seeking to develop the market in sterile services and is encouraging new entrants as well as existing suppliers to participate in procurements. To that end, officials have met existing and potential suppliers on over 100 occasions: in specially arranged conferences and workshops, private meetings with individual companies, visits to reference sites and meetings with trade associations. It would bea breach of commercial confidentiality to disclose the names of the companies involved.

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