Previous Section Index Home Page

13 Dec 2004 : Column 950W—continued

Childhood Spinal Deformity

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress is being made on the review of
13 Dec 2004 : Column 951W
services for children with scoliosis and spinal deformity; when he expects this work to be completed; and how the recommendations of this review will be taken forward. [203193]

Dr. Ladyman: This review, which has wide stakeholder representation, is being led by the London specialised commissioning group. It produced its first report in May 2004. The review group is now doing some detailed work on clinical guidelines, a framework for commissioning services, workforce issues and patient information. This is due to be completed in the next year and the London specialised commissioning group will be taking its recommendations forward in partnership with all the other specialised commissioning groups throughout England.

As part of the implementation of the children's national service framework, we also propose to publish an exemplar on a child with a spinal deformity early in 2005.

Communication Masts (Health Effects)

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research he has commissioned on the cumulative effects of multiple mobile phone/Tetra masts on the health of people living nearby. [203199]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The mobile telecommunications and health research programme supports about 30 studies of the potential effects of mobile phone telecommunications. Many of these are generic and accordingly relevant to TETRA. Some studies include a specific examination of the effects of TETRA. The programme is described on the web site An associated programme, specifically on TETRA, is being funded by the Home Office In general, the studies are concerned mainly with mobile phones rather than base stations (masts) because the public exposure from base station emissions is very much lower than the international guidelines.

The public health implications of mobile phones base stations were reviewed recently in a report by the National Radiological Protection Board's advisory group on non-ionising radiation (AGNIR). The report, entitled "Health Effects from Radiofrequency Electromagnetic fields", (Documents of the NRPB, Vol 14, No2, 2003) concluded that "Exposure levels from living near to mobile phone base stations are extremely low, and the overall evidence indicates that they are unlikely to pose a risk to health" In 2001, at the request of the Home Office, AGNIR reported on TETRA and concluded that "current evidence suggests that it is unlikely that the special features of the signals from TETRA mobile terminals and repeaters pose a hazard to health" (Documents of the NRPB, Vol 12, No 2, 2001).

The Department supports the World Health Organisation's electromagnetic fields project, which is currently reviewing worldwide research and is due to publish a health risk assessment of radiofrequency effects in 2007. This will be available on the WHO'S website at
13 Dec 2004 : Column 952W

Departmental Costs

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on energy costs incurred by his Department in each of the last two years. [200792]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Costs for the provision of energy to the Department's main London estate for 2002–03 and 2003–04 are shown in the table.


The other main departmental building, situated in Leeds, is managed by Land Securities Trillium on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. The Department of Health pays an annual charge for energy for its occupation, as shown in the table.
Gas and electricity (£)

Dermatology Treatment

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) average and (b) maximum time was that a patient waited for a first dermatology outpatient appointment in the last year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement [203060]

Dr. Ladyman: The data held centrally are shown in the tables.
Average waiting time from general practitioner (GP) referral to first dermatology outpatient appointment.

QuarterMedian (weeks)
Q3 2003–048.04
Q4 2003–047.51
Q1 2004–056.98
Q2 2004–057.51

Maximum waiting time from GP referral to first dermatology outpatient appointment

QuarterNot seen within 13 weeks or moreNot seen within 17 weeks or moreNot seen within 21 weeks or moreNot seen within 26 weeks or more
Q3 2003–0411,5592,1851,377174
Q4 2003–042,521131,069217
Q1 2004–055,60120286(32)
Q2 2004–058,04220123(32)

(32) Not collected.
Department of Health QM08R Commissioner Based


Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of NHS organisations in implementing the National
13 Dec 2004 : Column 953W
Institute for Clinical Excellence guidance technology appraisal, published in May 2003, on patient education models on diabetes. [203612]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) technology appraisal on the use of patient-education models for diabetes is due to be reviewed in February 2006. The diabetes dataset currently being developed will include the type of structured education offered, the date it was offered, and the date it was received.

The diabetes national service framework (NSF) and the NICE technology appraisal of patient-education models for diabetes make it clear that primary care trusts should offer structured education programmes to people with diabetes from the point of diagnosis.

Two national structured education programmes for people with diabetes are currently being rolled-out. These are DAFNE (dose adjustment for normal eating) for Type 1 and DESMOND (diabetes education and self-management for ongoing and newly diagnosed) for Type 2.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many people inject Insulin daily for the treatment of their diabetes; and what proportion of these people inject animal insulin. [203614]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Data on the numbers of people who inject Insulin are not available. However, the table shows the number and net cost of insulin prescription items that were dispensed in the community in England and the proportion of these derived from animals, up to September 2004.
Number of prescription items and net ingredient cost of Insulins that were dispensed in the community in England, year to September 2004

Number ofNumber of prescription items (£000s)Percentage of total itemsNet ingredient cost (£000s)Percentage of total net ingredient cost
Highly purified animal166.44.05,703.53.0
Human sequence
(GM Insulin)
All Insulins4,117.8100.0189,244.1100.0

1. The data is from the Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) system which covers all prescription items that are dispensed in the community in England. This does not include drugs dispensed in hospitals or private prescriptions.
2. Insulins are those defined in the British National Formulary (BNF) paragraph 6.1.1, "Insulins". Insulin drugs have been grouped into highly purified animal and human sequence (GM) insulin in line with the British National Formulary (BNF)
3. Doctors write prescriptions on a prescription form. Each single item written on the form is counted as a prescription item. The net ingredient cost refers to the cost (which the dispenser is reimbursed) of the drug before discounts and does not include any dispensing costs or fees.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what proportion of primary care general practices have a diabetes clinic attached to them. [203616]

Ms Rosie Winterton: This information is not centrally available.
13 Dec 2004 : Column 954W

Various models of diabetes care have been established, following publication of the national service framework for diabetes. We are encouraging diabetes networks to agree a model of care that crosses organisational boundaries.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many diabetes datasets defining minimum standards have NHS Information Standards Board approval. [203626]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The diabetes summary core dataset was given national health service information standards board (ISB) approval in March 2003. This dataset was developed to support implementation of the national diabetes audit, rolled out in 2004.

A wider continuing care reference dataset will be submitted to the ISB for approval as a national standard in January 2005.

Specialist extension datasets to support paediatric care, eye care (and national retinal screening) and foot care have been developed and will be submitted to the ISB for national approval within the next year.

Next Section Index Home Page