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3 Apr 2003 : Column 855W—continued

MS Drugs

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list for each nominated prescribing centre in the risk sharing scheme for MS drugs the (a) planned and (b) actual establishment by (i) type of occupation and (ii) grade; what the total population covered is; how many people with MS each covers; if he will estimate how many MS sufferers are likely to be eligible for each under ABN guidelines; and how much has been spent to date by each on (A) prescribing and (B) staffing. [105396]

Mr. Lammy: We do not hold this information centrally.

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NHS Staff

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) patient pathway supervisors, (b) customer relationship managers, (c) Sure Start managers, (d) National Five-A-Day Co-ordinators, (e) facilitators, (f) assertive outreach managers, (g) bilingual advocates, (h) liaison officers and (i) strategists are employed in the national health service; and what their average salary is in each case. [104075]

Ms Blears: The information requested for patient pathway supervisors, customer relationship managers, facilitators, bilingual advocates, liaison officers and strategists is not collected centrally.

There are 11 Five-A-Day co-ordinator posts, of which three are part-time in the regions with eight co-ordinators having been recruited so far.

Salford Primary Care Trust was awarded a grant by the New Opportunities Fund to employ Five-A-Day co-ordinators in each region plus one supra-regional co-ordinator. The salary of the supra-regional co-ordinator will be around £35,000. The regional co-ordinators' salaries are between £25,000 and £30,000.

In October 2001, there were 191 assertive outreach teams and 90 whole-time equivalent assertive outreach managers.

There are currently 439 sure start programmes. The number of managers in these areas and their average salary is not collected centrally.


Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has conducted into (a) the cost to the public sector and (b) the impact on public spending between 2003 and 2020 as a result of children currently classified as clinically obese; and if he will place copies of the research in the Library. [103804]

Ms Blears: The Department of Health has not carried out any research into the cost to the public sector and the impact on public spending between 2003 and 2020 of clinically obese children.

The National Audit Office report, Tackling Obesity in England, published in February 2001, estimated that the direct cost for both children and adults to the National Health Service to treating obesity in 1998 was £9.4 million. Treating the consequences of obesity cost the National Health Service approximately 480 million per year, or about 1.5 per cent. of the total NHS expenditure for that year. The National Audit Office report predicted that if theprevalence of obesity continues to rise at the present rate until 2010, these annual costs would increase by £1 billion, or over a third, to around £3.6 billion, by that year. Extrapolation beyond 2010 can not be calculated with any certainty.

The Government is committed to halting the current trend of increasing overweight and obesity in both children and adults through cross- government work on diet and physical activity.

Passive Smoking

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has undertaken into

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levels of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke using (a) examinations of hair, blood, saliva and urine to detect constituents of metabolites of tobacco smoke, (b) personal monitors to gather data, (c) surveys and questionnaires on the time and frequency of exposure and (d) measurement of air concentration of constituents of second-hand tobacco smoke. [97573]

Ms Blears: Research was recently commissioned to develop new and more accurate methodology to determine the constituents of sidestream smoke. The final methodology developed was published last year as "Sidestream smoke collection using a harmonised linear smoking machine" by Fiona Thomas and Keith Darrall in Beitrage zur Tabakforschung International, volume 20, part 2, pages 69—76, June 2002.

The Department has not commissioned research into any of the other areas mentioned.

Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the percentage of cases of lung cancer that are caused by passive smoking in the workplace. [103486]

Ms Blears [holding answer 20 March 2003]: The information is not available in the form requested.

The independent Scientific Committee on Tobacco and Health (SCOTH) examined the increased risk of prolonged exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in its 1998 report. It was concluded that long term exposure of non-smokers to environmental tobacco smoke caused an increased risk of lung cancer which, in those living with smokers, is in the region of 20 to 30 per cent. The numbers of people exposed are not known precisely, but an estimate would suggest about several hundred extra lung cancer deaths a year are caused by exposure to passive smoking. A separate estimate for lung cancer caused by exposure to tobacco smoke in the workplace has not been produced.

Patients' Complaints

Martin Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements are in place to handle Wandsworth patients' complaints after September; what plans he has for (a) the Wandsworth pilot Patients' Forum and (b) the Wandsworth pilot Independent Complaints Advocacy Service; and which of these will deal with complaints. [105813]

Mr. Lammy: It is our intention that Independent Complaints Advocacy Services (ICAS) will be available throughout the country from 1 September 2003.

In the new system of patient and public involvement, local delivery of ICAS is the responsibility of primary care trust (PCT) patients' forums. As an interim measure, while patients forums are being established and are building their capacity and networks, we shall be working with the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health (CPPIH) to put in place national coverage of ICAS through a contract with specialist complaints support providers.

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I recently announced an extension to the ICAS pilots, including the Wandsworth pilot, to 31 July 2003.

The CPPIH has a specific remit to set national standards for ICAS and to monitor compliance. The ICAS pilots currently work to draft national standards and are developing local operational protocols, which will inform future provision.


Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to safeguard access to pharmacy services for people living in rural areas. [104809]

Mr. Lammy: Under the National Health Service Act 1977, it is the responsibility of national health service primary care trusts (PCTs) to arrange the provision of pharmaceutical services in their area. This includes determining whether it is necessary or desirable to secure adequate provision of services by granting new applications. The Health and Social Care Act 2001 also empowers PCTs to devise contracts for local pharmaceutical services which address particular local needs.

The Essential Small Pharmacy Scheme provides additional financial support to pharmacies which might otherwise be unviable.

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many pharmacies (a) opened and (b) closed in (i) the UK, (ii) Suffolk and (iii) the Bury St. Edmunds constituency in each of the last five years. [104811]

Mr. Lammy: The table shows information on the number of pharmacies opening and closing in England and Wales and in the former Suffolk Health Authority in the five years to 31 March 2002. Such information for Bury St. Edmunds is not held centrally, but there has been no change in the number of pharmacies in Bury St. Edmunds over this period. Information for Scotland and Northern Ireland should be requested from the relevant administrations.

Number of NHS pharmacies
Year ending(39) OpeningClosing
England and Wales
Suffolk health authority

(39) 31 March

Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish the contribution his Department made to the Office of Fair Trading's recent report on entry controls for pharmacies. [105445]

Mr. Lammy [holding answer 31 March 2003]: Officials from the Department of Health met staff from the Office of Fair Trading during the course of their enquiry into entry controls for pharmacies and provided

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factual material. The Department did not provide a contribution to the text of the report. Decisions about content are the responsibility of the Director General of Fair Trading.

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