Previous Section Index Home Page

8 Dec 2004 : Column 552W—continued

General Medical Council

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent discussions he has had on the five year limitation for lodging a complaint with the General Medical Council; [201511]

(2) if he will take steps to ensure that complaints submitted to the General Medical Council outside the five year limitation period are investigated if it might have a bearing on a doctor's fitness to practise; [201512]

(3) what discussions took place between his Department and the General Medical Council prior to the introduction of recent changes in the time limit for lodging complaints. [201513]


 
8 Dec 2004 : Column 553W
 

Mr. Hutton: The recent changes to the General Medical Council's (GMC) fitness to practise procedures were made by amendment of the Medical Act 1983 under The Medical Act 1983 (Amendment) Order 2002. These changes came into force on 1 November 2004. The Department discussed the changes with the GMC as part of the preparations for the making of the Order, which was subject to a statutory consultation before it was laid in Parliament for approval.

The time limit during which an allegation must be made to the GCMC was changed by the GMC amendment rules in November 2002 (SI 2002/2572). As is usual practice, these rules were discussed with the GMC while they were being drafted. The General Medical Council (Fitness to Practise) Rules Order of Council 2004, which also came into force on 1 November re-enacted this previous change. The rules already provide in rule 4(5) for an allegation made outside the five-year period to be proceeded with if in the exceptional circumstances of the case the registrar considers it is in the public interest to do so.

Health Professions Council

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what purposes the Health Professions Council is advertising on radio; what the cost of radio advertising used by them is in the past 12 months; and what estimate has been made of the cost of planned radio advertising. [202176]

Mr. Hutton: This is a matter for the Health Professions Council (HPC), which is an independent regulator funded by membership subscription. The HPC has a statutory duty under article 3(13) of the HPC order to inform the public about its work.

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding has been allocated to the Health Professions Council (a) in the current financial year and (b) for each of the next three years. [202177]

Mr. Hutton: We have no funding allocated to the Health Professions Council for this year or for future years. The council is an independent regulator funded by membership subscription.
 
8 Dec 2004 : Column 554W
 

Health Trainers

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the process will be for accrediting NHS health trainers, as defined in the White Paper, "Choosing Health", Cm 6374. [199484]

Mr. Hutton: Health trainers are a new initiative for the national health service and we will be working in consultation with the Health Professions Council and others with an interest to develop processes for accreditation building on the experience gained by piloting the health trainer model in spearhead primary care trusts from 2005. These processes will be based on completion of formal training with built-in standards and quality assurance.

Junior Doctors (Working Time Directive)

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the strategic health authorities which did not achieve full compliance with the European working time directive for junior doctors in each month since August. [201261]

Mr. Hutton: Compliance with the working time directive (WTD) is a local matter and the Department of Health does not routinely collect validated information on WTD compliance.

From informal discussions with strategic health authorities, we know that the vast majority of trusts achieved compliance across all specialties by 1 August. These discussions also revealed that implementation of the WTD has resulted in a handful of trusts experiencing teething problems in a limited number of specialties.

Mental Health

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the net ingredient cost (a) in total and (b) per head of population was of (i) tranquilisers and (ii) anti-depressants in each strategic health authority in each of the past three years. [202708]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Information on the net ingredient cost of antidepressants and tranquilisers in total and per head of population in each strategic health authority in the last two years is shown in the tables. It is not possible to provide similar information for 2001, as data is held on the prescribing analysis and cost system for only 36 months.
Net ingredient cost (£ million) and net ingredient cost per head of population of antidepressant drugs prescribed in GP practices in England that were dispensed in the community in 2002 and 2003, by strategic health authority

Net ingredient cost
(£ million)
Net ingredient cost
per head of population (£)
Strategic health authority2002200320022003
Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire16.417.07.527.74
Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire10.911.16.766.88
Birmingham and The Black Country15.816.76.977.33
Cheshire and Merseyside22.323.29.499.84
County Durham and Tees Valley10.811.29.469.81
Cumbria and Lancashire17.318.09.069.38
Essex11.411.77.037.19
Greater Manchester22.924.09.099.47
Hampshire and Isle of Wight16.116.99.019.43
Kent and Medway11.311.87.137.36
Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland11.111.47.077.22
North and East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire11.311.76.917.13
Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire20.021.09.119.47
North Central London7.27.55.956.14
North East London7.57.74.905.05
North West London9.19.45.035.16
Northumberland, Tyne and Wear13.514.09.7110.05
Shropshire and Staffordshire12.012.39.048.19
Somerset and Dorset8.58.87.107.26
South East London8.38.55.475.63
South West London7.07.15.325.46
South West Peninsula12.412.87.827.98
South Yorkshire11.311.78.929.19
Surrey and Sussex20.121.07.858.16
Thames Valley14.715.47.007.30
Trent19.219.97.237.45
West Midlands South10.110.66.596.83
West Yorkshire16.817.08.028.11
England375.5389.37.567.81

 
8 Dec 2004 : Column 555W
 

Net ingredient cost (£ million) and net ingredient cost per head of population of tranquilisers prescribed in GP practices in England that were dispensed in the community in 2002 and 2003, by strategic health authority

Net ingredient cost
(£ million)
Net ingredient cost
per head of population (£)
Strategic health authority2002200320022003
Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire1.51.50.690.70
Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire0.90.90.550.56
Birmingham and The Black Country1.71.70.740.74
Cheshire and Merseyside2.22.20.920.93
County Durham and Tees Valley1.21.11.040.97
Cumbria and Lancashire2.12.01.091.06
Essex1.21.30.750.77
Greater Manchester2.52.61.011.02
Hampshire and Isle of Wight1.21.20.650.65
Kent and Medway1.31.30.800.81
Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland1.01.00.640.64
North and East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire1.21.20.720.70
Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire1.81.90.840.84
North Central London0.60.60.520.52
North East London0.70.70.470.46
North West London0.90.90.500.49
Northumberland, Tyne and Wear1.11.10.770.75
Shropshire and Staffordshire1.11.10.730.73
Somerset and Dorset1.00.90.800.78
South East London0.70.70.470.48
South West London0.60.70.500.50
South West Peninsula1.41.40.880.90
South Yorkshire1.01.00.830.81
Surrey and Sussex2.32.40.910.92
Thames Valley1.11.20.540.55
Trent1.81.80.700.69
West Midlands South1.01.10.670.69
West Yorkshire1.81.70.840.83
England37.037.20.750.75




Notes:
1. This information was obtained from the Prescribing Analysis and Cost (PACT) system, which covers prescriptions prescribed by GP practices in England and dispensed in the community. Prescriptions written within a GP practice but dispensed outside the strategic health authority will be included in the SHA in which the GP practice is based. Prescriptions written in England but dispensed outside England are included. Prescriptions written in hospitals/clinics that are dispensed in the community, prescriptions dispensed in hospitals and private prescriptions are not included in PACT data. It is important to note this as some British National Formulary (BNF) sections have a high proportion of prescriptions written in hospitals that are dispensed in the community. For example, BNF chapter 4, "Central Nervous System" has a fair proportion of items written in mental health clinics that are dispensed in the community—these prescriptions are not included in PACT data.
2. Net ingredient cost (NIC) is the basic cost of a drug. It does not take account of discounts, dispensing costs, fees or prescription charges income.
3. The sum of all SHAs does not equal the total England figure, because the total England figure includes unidentified doctors (not possible for the PPA to allocate to a PCT).
4. Tranquilisers have been defined as all drugs in the British National Formulary section 4.1 "Hypnotics and anxiolytics". Antidepressants have been defined as all drugs in the British National Formulary section 4.3 "Antidepressant drugs"
5. 2002 and 2003 mid-year population estimates based on the 2001 Census have been used to calculate net ingredient cost per head of population.
Source:
Crown copyright, Prescription Statistics (SD1E), Department of Health.
Website: http://www.publications.doh.gov.uk/prescriptionstatistics/index.htm.





 
8 Dec 2004 : Column 557W
 

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the (a) fitness for purpose of current information technology used by mental health services trusts and (b) delivery of appropriate modern information systems to those trusts; and if he will make a statement. [201890]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Information technology systems used by mental health provider trusts have been evaluated as part of the national programme for information technology (NPfIT).

The NPfIT will procure, develop and implement modern, integrated IT infrastructure and systems for all national health service organisations in England by 2010. There are four key elements: electronic appointment booking, an integrated care records service, electronic prescribing and an underpinning IT infrastructure with sufficient connectivity and broadband capacity to support the critical national applications and local systems.

The NPfIT is an essential element in delivering the NHS Plan, focusing on the key developments that will make a significant difference to improving the patient experience and the delivery of care and services.


Next Section Index Home Page