Previous Section Index Home Page

14 Dec 2004 : Column 1079W—continued

NHS Staff (Pharmaceutical Company Funding)

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on hospitals employing nurses and doctors funded wholly or in part by pharmaceutical companies. [203205]

Mr. Hutton: The Department's, "Commercial Sponsorship(Ethical Standards for the NHS", a copy of which is available in the Library, clearly defines the steps to be taken by all national health service bodies and staff involved in any collaborative partnership with outside industry. NHS employers have to satisfy themselves that sponsorship arrangements are properly conducted and are in the best interests of the NHS. They must ensure that monitoring arrangements are established so that all sponsorship deals are documented and audited. Where collaborative partnerships involve a pharmaceutical company then the proposed arrangements must comply fully with the Medicines (Advertising) Regulations 1994 (regulation 21 'inducements and hospitality').

NHS Staff Profile

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of NHS (a) nurses, (b) doctors and (c) other staff are from (i) other EU countries, (ii) Commonwealth countries and (iii) other countries. [202990]

Mr. Hutton: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Patient Education

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research is being undertaken into patient education and long-term condition self-management strategies. [203622]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The expert patients programme, funded by the Department, provides group based training on self management and self care to
14 Dec 2004 : Column 1080W
people with long term conditions. A randomised controlled trial is under way to evaluate its effectiveness. This is due to report in a year's time.

Primary Care

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the connection between the level of deprivation in an area and the quality of its primary care facilities; and if he will place in the Library the research and evidence on which this assessment is based. [203056]

Mr. Hutton: The Department is not aware of any formal research on levels of deprivation and the quality of primary care facilities. Decisions on the allocation of resources to support improvements to the primary care built environment are taken by primary care trusts (PCTs) on the basis of local knowledge of service need and other factors including levels of deprivation within their communities. Locally focused research may have been undertaken by some PCTs to support this function.

The targeting of the national health service local improvement finance trust implementation programme is intended to make a major contribution to investment need within deprived communities.

Rare Diseases (Funding)

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding streams are available to organisations seeking to research medical treatment for rare diseases. [203272]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The main agency through which the Government support medical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council (MRC). The MRC is an independent body, funded by the Department of Trade and Industry via the Office of Science and Technology. The MRC always welcomes high quality applications for support into any aspect of human health and these are judged in open competition with other demands on funding.

The Department allocates over 75 per cent. of its research and development budget to national health service organisations, some of which conduct research related into rare diseases.

The Department does not allocate funds directly to charities for research; nor does the MRC normally do so.

Regional Public Health

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the estimated public expenditure on the (a) regional public health observatories and (b) regional public health groups was in England in the latest year for which figures are available. [203557]

Miss Melanie Johnson: In 2003–04, expenditure on the regional public health observatories was £3,334 million and expenditure on the regional public health groups was £11,929 million.
14 Dec 2004 : Column 1081W

School Nurse Service

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many school nurses have been employed in each of the last 10 years. [203188]

Mr. Hutton: Information is not available on the number of school nurses employed in the national health service in each of the last 10 years. The Government collected information on the school nursing workforce in the September 2003 non-medical workforce census but this information was incomplete. Reliable information will be available from the September 2004 workforce census and we intend to publish the data in February 2005.

Skills for Health

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding Skills for Health has received in each financial year since April 2002. [203615]

Mr. Hutton: This is a matter for Skills for Health, as it is an independent United Kingdom-wide organisation, which receives funding from all four UK health departments, as well as other bodies. The hon. Member may wish to contact Ms Chris Hannah, Chair of the Skills for Health board.

St. George's Hospital (Walk-in Centre)

Tom Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients have been treated at the NHS walk-in centre at St. George's Hospital in each year since it was opened. [204088]

Dr. Ladyman: The Tooting national health service walk-in centre, based in the grounds of St. George's hospital, is the responsibility of the Wandsworth primary care trust. The centre officially opened in April 2000 and data on attendance are available from May 2000. These are shown in the following table.
May 2000 to December 200010,221
January 2001 to December 200126,220
January 2002 to December 200231,447
January 2003 to December 200339,970
January 2004 to October 200435,333
Total activity since opening143,191


Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his estimate is of the cost of (a) the mobile
14 Dec 2004 : Column 1082W
screening service for tuberculosis and (b) all screening services for tuberculosis in the latest year for which figures are available. [200102]

Miss Melanie Johnson: National health service mobile chest radiography services for tuberculosis screening were disbanded in the early 1980s.

The Health Protection Agency does not collect data on costs associated with screening services for tuberculosis.

Waiting Lists/Times

Mr. John Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients in (a) Solihull parliamentary constituency and (b) the Borough of Solihull have waited for more than six months for foot and ankle surgery in 2004. [203639]

Dr. Ladyman [holding answer 9 December 2004]: This information is not available in the format requested.

The table shows the time waited for foot and ankle surgery for patients within Solihull Primary Care Trust, which includes residents from the Solihull constituency and the Borough of Solihull, during 2003–04.
Waiting list and booked cases: count of finished in-year admission, distribution of time waited for foot and ankle surgery for Solihull PCT in national health service hospitals in England 2003–04

Foot and ankle surgery
Time waited
Under 3 months72
3 to 6 months77
6 months and over23
Total admissions173
Mean days151
Median days109

Ungrossed data
Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in data, i.e. that data are ungrossed.
Time waited
Time waited statistics from HES are not the same as the published waiting list statistics. HES provides counts and time waited for all patients admitted to hospital within a given period, whereas the published waiting list statistics count those waiting for treatment on a specific date and how long they have been on the waiting list. Also, HES calculates the time waited as the difference between the admission and decision to admit dates. Unlike published waiting list statistics, this is not adjusted for self-deferrals or periods of medical/social suspension.
Finished in-year admissions
A finished in-year admission is the first period of in-patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider, excluding admissions beginning before 1 April at the start of the data year. Please note that admissions do not represent the number of in-patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year.
Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), Department of Health.