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31 Jan 2005 : Column 743W—continued

Clinical Trials

Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what support the Government provides to small independent drug and vaccine research companies in the preparation of cases for the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency for the registration of clinical trials. [209930]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the Department's agency responsible for the evaluation of proposals for medicines clinical trials under the
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legislation introduced in May 2004. It has introduced a number of services to assist companies in the preparation of their case applications. These include:

All of this support is provided promptly and freely for large and small companies alike.

In addition a number of workshops and symposia were organised during the period prior to introduction of new legislation, so that companies could prepare themselves for the changes.

Where more detailed advice and support is needed on scientific or regulatory matters concerning particular clinical trial applications, the MHRA offers face-to-face meetings with its professional assessment staff, followed by written advice. A fee is charged for the scientific advice service.


Mr. Soley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research has been carried out by his Department on the relative merits of (a) cognitive behavioural therapies (CBT) and (b) counselling in general practitioners' practices; what advice he offers on the provision of (i) counselling and (ii) CBT by primary care trusts; and if he will make a statement. [211240]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department has not undertaken specific research on the relative merits of different psychological therapies in primary care. However, our publication, Treatment choice in psychological therapies and counselling" (2001), which includes a booklet for general practitioners, sets out the evidence base for a number of psychological therapies including cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling.

In addition, Organising and delivering psychological therapies" (2004) contains information to support commissioners, providers, service users and researchers wanting to improve the quality and organisation of psychological services including services in primary care.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has issued guidance to the national health service in England and Wales on the use of computerised cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety and depression in 2002 and further review of this appraisal is currently being undertaken.

Departmental Staff

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of his Department's staff is based in London. [208034]

Ms Rosie Winterton: About 60 per cent. of the Department's staff are based in London.
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Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of people suffering from depression who are not receiving treatment. [210217]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department does not collect routine information about people with depression receiving support from family or friends or services in the non-statutory sector. However, the Office for National Statistics' survey, Psychiatric morbidity among adults living in private households, 2000", shows that 44 per cent. of those assessed as having a depressive episode were receiving treatment under the national health service for mental or emotional problems at the time of interview.

Diabetes Treatment

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prescriptions of analogue drugs for diabetes treatment were made in the last year. [210224]

Ms Rosie Winterton: In 2003–04, 1.4 million prescription items of analogue drugs used in the treatment of diabetes were dispensed in the community in England.

Doncaster Foundation Hospital

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on the basis of what percentage of Doncaster patients treated Doncaster Foundation Hospital's financial plan was based; and on the basis of what percentage of patients presented to Doncaster Foundation Hospital for hospital treatment the primary care trust is funded. [211582]

Mr. Hutton: This is a matter for the Chair of Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals National Health Service Foundation Trust. I have written to Margaret Cox, Chair, informing her of my hon. Friend's enquiry.

NHS foundation trusts (NHSFTs) are independent from the Department and are directly accountable to their local population and to Parliament. As a result of this independent status and NHSFTs' separate and local route of accountability, under the memorandum of understanding on handling parliamentary business relating to NHSFTs, the Department is no longer in a position to comment on, or provide information about the details of operational management within NHSFTs to Parliament.

East Sussex Hospitals Trust

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the financial deficits in the East Sussex health economy. [208114]

Ms Rosie Winterton: East Sussex health community faces financial challenges, which it has made significant efforts to resolve.

The Surrey and Sussex Strategic Health Authority continues to work with the East Sussex health community to address these challenges, while ensuring that adequate and safe services are delivered to local people.
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The health service in East Sussex has benefited from significant additional resources to the national health service. Between 2003–04 and 2005–06, the four primary care trusts in East Sussex will receive an increase of £130 million for health care services.

Evesham Community Hospital

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library a copy of the detailed patient environment action teams' results for Evesham Community Hospital for (a) 2004 and (b) 2003. [204360]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 13 December 2004]: The reports requested have been placed in the Library. The change in format of the reports between 2003 and 2004 reflects the move to an internet-based reporting system as well as the change in assessment which increased from 18 'areas' to a maximum of 130.

Generic Prescribing

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 16 December 2004, Official Report, column 1319W, if he will estimate what savings have been made by (a) increasing the generic prescribing rate for all practices in England and (b) moving at least half of those practices with a generic prescribing rate below 40 per cent. to above that level. [208115]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Specific generic targets were set to maintain the momentum to increase rational and cost-effective prescribing and were achieved in 2002, when the generic prescribing rate across all practices in England reached an average of 72 per cent.

We do not estimate potential savings that might accrue from incremental changes to overall generic prescribing rates or components within the overall rate. However, we estimate that current levels of generic prescribing and dispensing mean that the national health service spends around £750 million a year less than if only branded medicines were prescribed.

GP Development Schemes

Mr. Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what funds his Department has made available for GP development schemes in each year since 1997–98; [208178]

(2) what funds his Department proposes to make available for GP development schemes in (a) 2004–05, (b) 2005–06 and (c) 2006–07. [208179]

Mr. Hutton: The information requested on general practitioner premises developments is shown in the tables.

Table 1 shows spend from primary care trusts audited accounts for the period 1997–98 to 2003–04, the last year for which this information is available.

Table 2 shows the premises element of the primary medical services allocations in 2004–05 and 2005–06, allocations for 2006–07 have yet to be confirmed.

Table 3 shows enabling (start-up) funds allocated for the local improvement finance trust (LIFT) initiatives.
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Table 1: General medical service (QMS) premises expenditure (1997–98 to 2003–04)—discretionary and non-discretionary reported spend though statement of fees and allowances reported expenditure (old contract QMS only)
£ million

Spend on QMS premises (England) 1996–97 to
Non discretionary (non cash-limited)
Notional rents68.275.985.693.687.487.785.6
Actual rent18.224.728.218.617.32123.5
Actual rent—*health centres (including lease and licence payments only)18.120.719.837.536.134.338.3
*Health centre rates/water/sewage7.
On-going rental on vacated premises, SFA para550.
Non discretionary premises total168.5193.1212.8227.2219.6207.3202.9
Discretionary (cash-limited)
Cost—rents and local authority economic rents96.398.288.985.665.156.143.2
Improvement grants20.322.216.916,914.213.517.5
Improvement grants *(for health centres)
Grants to surrender leases on poor premises under SFA para 550.
Discretionary premises total123.7126.2108.7107.082.975.068.9

(i) Non discretionary: -non cash-limited. Please note that from 1997–98, actual rents were split to additionally show introduction of health centre rents incurred. Health centre rates were created in 1997–98 to identify costs incurred.
(ii) Discretionary -cash limited. Again with the introduction of monitoring health centre spend from 1997–98—Improvement grants have been split to separately identify health centre spend.
(iii) Please note that 2002–03 and 2003–04 information is based on final HFR/PFR discretionary and non-discretionary summarised accounts outturn.
(iv) Data from 1996 onwards is based on health authority (HA) returns. For 2002–03, data is split between 28 strategic health authority (SHA) quarter 1–2 reporting and 303 primary care trust (PCT) quarter 3 and 4 combined returns, owing to PCTs not having non-discretionary banking rights up until September 2003.
(v) Data on personal medical service (PMS) premises spend is not collected centrally.
(vi) Decreases in all premises spend in 2002–03 and fluctuations in 2003–04 are due to the impact on GP transfers from QMS to PMS and increased waves 1–4b PMS pilots going live.
(vi) Decreases in all premises spend in 2002–03 and fluctuations in 2003–04 are due to the impact on GP transfers from QMS to PMS and increased waves 1–4b PMS pilots going live.
(vii) Please note that all figures up to 2001–01 are cash based. Due to changes in Government accounting regulations, figures for 2002–03 onwards are now be resource based.
(viii) Data on premises spend under new QMS contract arrangements is not currently available.

Table 2: Premises allocations under the new primary care contracting arrangements
£ million

Premises element of primary medical services allocations to PCTsGrowth funding allocated to a lead PCT in each SHA areaAdditional investment
2006–07To be confirmedTo be confirmedNot applicable

Table 3: Allocated enabling funds for LIFT initiatives

Funding (£ million)
2005–06Not yet decided
2006–07Not yet decided

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