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17 Dec 2003 : Column 995W—continued

Head Lice

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will put in place a strategy for tackling head lice similar to the one in place in Scotland. [143031]

Dr. Ladyman: No. Primary care trusts are best placed to develop strategies for dealing with head louse infestation within their area. This will take into account local circumstances.

Our policy, which is shared by the Department for Education and Skills, is to encourage a "whole school approach" to the detection and treatment of head lice. This entails encouraging parents to check their children and other family members for head lice as need arises, and arranging treatment—either through a combing regime or insecticides—where necessary with such advice and support from the local primary health care team (general practitioner, health visitor, school nurse or local pharmacist) as they may require. If this exercise is successfully undertaken at the same time by all parents of children within a school, then the spread of head lice will be arrested.

Healthcare Cartels

Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures he will put in place to avoid the risk of health care providers forming cartels under the policy of giving more choice to patients. [140618]

Mr. Hutton: By December 2005, primary care trusts (PCTs) will offer, at the point of general practitioner referral, a menu of four to five choices for patients who may require elective surgery. To do this, PCTs will commission services from an appropriate range of providers to secure real choices for their local populations; avoiding any potential for 'cartels' being formed. The new national tariff will strengthen PCTs' position, making it easier for them to move activity and funding between providers.

Hip Braces

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost to the National Health Service was of hip braces imported from the United States of America in each of the last five years. [143805]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 16 December 2003]: This information is not held centrally.

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons hip braces are not purchased from United Kingdom manufacturers. [143806]

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Dr. Ladyman [holding answer 16 December 2003]: The NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency has a national framework agreement for the supply of orthoses, which includes hip braces. This agreement is available to all national health service trusts and health authorities in England, although it is not mandatory. There are 59 suppliers on the agreement, all of which are based in the United Kingdom.

Mental Health Services

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department has met its most recent target to deliver assertive outreach for severe mental illness; and if he will make a statement. [143708]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department has met the NHS Plan target to establish a total of 220 assertive outreach teams for patients with severe mental illness and complex problems who regularly disengage from services. We are encouraged by the progress made so far and we will be reviewing the level of need for assertive outreach services by the end of the financial year.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many child and adolescent mental health services in-patient beds were provided in each year since 1997 (a) in total, (b) in England and (c) in each local authority; how many are planned to be provided in the next two years; and if he will make a statement. [143709]

Dr. Ladyman: The information is not collected in the form requested. The table shows the average daily number of beds available in the national health service classified as 'Mental Illness: Children'.

In the three years to March 2006, we will be investing an additional £250 million in child and adolescent mental health services provided by the national health service and local authorities for them to further develop their services.

Average daily number of available beds by ward classification, England, 1997–98 to 2002–03

Department of Health form KH03
Mental illness:Learning disabilities:
1 998–99538363


1999–2000 and 2001–02 incomplete data.

There is not a separate ward classification in the data collection for adolescent beds. NHS Trusts providing services specifically for adolescents may record the beds as "Children's" or as "Other ages"—the latter includes all the adult provision.


Department of Health form KH03

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (a) how much and (b) what proportion of mental health expenditure has been spent on child and adolescent services in each of the last five years. [143710]

Dr. Ladyman: This information is not available centrally. However our estimate for likely mental health expenditure in 2002–03 and the proportion spent on child and adolescent services is shown in the table.

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We recognise that much still needs to be done to improve child and adolescent mental health. The work of the child and adolescent mental health module of the children's national service framework will do much to inform future plans.

Estimated mental health expenditure 2002–03

Child and adolescent mental health servicesAdult mental healthElderlyTotal
Hospital community health service (millions)3313,4762484,055
Personal social services (millions)2817394181,438
Total (millions)6124,2166665,494

Notes:1. The table above is based on estimated projections of expenditure, not actual expenditure. HCHS figures, for instance, are only available up to 2000–01 and PSS figures are only available up to 2001–02. Relevant figures are taken from this year's Departmental Report (Chapter 6) and have been used to update the projections given previously. The actual figures for 2000–01 HCHS spend on mental health were higher than had been previously projected.

2. CAMHS costs are based on estimates from 2002 projected forward in line with increases in overall expenditure. They may underestimate CAMHS expenditure, as they do not account for any new policy developments.

3. HCHS costs exclude the cost of drugs. PSS costs include children's social services where relevant

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the findings in the Wanless Report of April 2002 relating to the spending increases required to implement the National Service Framework for mental health by 2010–11. [143716]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Following the Wanless final report, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his 2002 Budget, announced the biggest ever-sustained real terms growth in history of national health service, to create a world-class health system. Health spending is to grow on average by 7.2 per cent. per annum in the United .Kingdom in real terms over next five years—from £68.1 billion to £109.4 billion in 2007–08.

In line with "Shifting the Balance of Power", primary care trusts have not been given allocations specifically for mental health but have received a block allocation with which to provide the services as set out in the NHS Plan , the national service frameworks and to meet local need. A proportion of the increases for total health spend will relate to mental health service and the Department will be monitoring the increase through annual financial mapping exercises.

Memory Clinics

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what definition the Department uses of a memory clinic; and how many memory clinics have been set up (a) in total in England and Wales and (b) in each strategic health authority. [142959]

Dr. Ladyman: There is considerable variation in the way in which memory clinics are run, in order to meet the needs of different localities. However, in general

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they are used to help diagnose whether a person has dementia and to help people with dementia access the treatment, care and support they need.

Information on the number of memory clinics is not collected centrally.

Midwifery Units

Mr. John Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many closures of midwifery-led units since 1997 were due to a shortage of staff; and what the other reasons for closure were; [144658]

Mr. Hutton [holding answers 16 December 2003]: The information requested is not collected centrally.

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