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17 Mar 2005 : Column 432W—continued

Mental Health

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to improve the detection of mental illness in older people. [216171]

Dr. Ladyman: The national service framework (NSF) for older people, launched in March 2001, sets out a model for the development of services for older people with mental health needs. The NSF makes it clear that early detection and diagnosis of mental health problems should be an integral part of the development of services for older people.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children and young people aged under 18 years are suffering from a mental disorder, broken down by type of disorder. [216172]

Dr. Ladyman: In a survey of 10,000 children and adolescents by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)—Mental Health of Children and Adolescents in Great Britain, ONS 2000—among five to 10-year-olds, 10 per cent. of boys and 6 per cent. of girls had a mental disorder. In the 11 to 15-year-old age group, the proportion of children with any type of mental disorder was 13 per cent. for boys and 10 per cent. for girls. Another report by the ONS—Psychiatric Morbidity Among Adults in Private Households, ONS 2000"—gives prevalence rates for mental disorders among the 16 to 19 years age group.

Prevalence rates for individual disorders are shown in the reports, which are available in the Library.

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 2 March 2005, Official Report, column 1229W, on mental health care, if his Department will contact all NHS trusts to ask whether they (a) supplement the income of and (b) provide goods in kind for people in hospital for more than a year. [221717]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department has no plans to contact all national health service trusts to ask whether they supplement the income of and provide goods in kind for people in hospital for more than a year.

Myasthenia Gravis

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the average waiting time is for patients diagnosed with myasthenia gravis in (a) the East Midlands and (b) England; [222128]

(2) what steps he will take to increase awareness of myasthenia gravis among NHS health professionals. [222129]


 
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Dr. Ladyman: Figures on waiting times for the treatment of neurological conditions are published, but myasthenia gravis is not separately identified.

We have no specific plans to raise awareness of the condition among the medical profession. The Department is not responsible for setting curricula for health professional training; that is rightly the responsibility of the statutory and professional bodies. However, we do share a commitment with those bodies that all health professionals are trained so that they have the skills and knowledge to deliver a high quality health service to all groups of the population with whom they deal.

The national service framework for long-term conditions focuses on improving services for people with neurological conditions. While the framework does not cover myasthenia gravis specifically, it does recommend improvements in standards, care and support that will benefit everyone with a neurological condition.

Neonatal Care

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding he made available to support (a) all neonatal care services and (b) neonatal intensive care services in each year since 1999–2000; and what funding will be made available in 2005–06. [218111]

Dr. Ladyman: Neonatal care services are provided through national health service general funding allocations. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health recently announced an increase in the level of NHS general funding allocation to £135 billion for the financial years 2006–07 and 2007–08. The table shows additional funding for neonatal intensive care services. The additional revenue funding in 2004–05 is recurrent in 2005–06.
Additional funding to improve neonatal intensive care services
£ million

Funding
CapitalRevenue
2000–016.55
2001–025
2002–035
2003–042012
2004–0520

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many managed clinical networks providing neonatal care there are in England; what the ratio is of nurses to infants in (a) neonatal special care units, (b) neonatal high dependency care units and (c) neonatal intensive care units for each clinical network; and if he will make a statement. [218113]

Dr. Ladyman: There are 25 neonatal managed clinical networks. Information on the ratio of nurses to infants within units is not collected centrally. The ratio is not constant, but relative to the criticality of the infants. This varies according to demand both within and between units providing a range of special, high dependency and intensive care. Research suggests that, in practice, the ratio of nurses to infants in special care is between one nurse to three and one nurse to four
 
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infants. In high dependency care, the ratio is in the order of one to two. In intensive care the ratio is one to one, and with some more specialised procedures, such as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, the ratio increases further.

NHS Direct

Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he plans to make changes in the status of NHS Direct. [222533]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The NHS Direct special health authority is due to change its status as part of the Department's review of its arm's-length bodies.

NHS Prescriptions

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many (a) NHS prescriptions and (b) NHS prescription items were issued in each of the last 10 years broken down by (i) those attracting a charge and (ii) those receiving an exemption; [221416]

(2) how many (a) NHS prescriptions and (b) NHS prescription items were issued under an exemption in each of the last 10 years, broken down by reason for exemption. [221417]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested about national health service prescriptions and prescription items has been placed in the Library.

Peter Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average cost per item prescribed was of prescriptions issued by (a) dispensing and (b) non-dispensing general practitioners in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [221967]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 15 March 2005]: The average net ingredient cost per item of prescriptions issued by dispensing and non-dispensing doctors that were dispensed in the community in England in each year since 1998, is shown in the table.
Average net ingredient cost per item
£

Dispensing doctorsNon-dispensing doctors
19989.199.19
19999.9110.04
20009.9610.18
200110.2410.46
200210.7611.14
200311.0911.60




Note:
Data for 1997 is unavailable.




Patient Transfers

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he will take to ensure that cardiac patients awaiting transfer from the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother hospital in Margate to London hospitals for surgery are able to travel expeditiously by ambulance. [222356]

Ms Rosie Winterton: It is for acute trusts together with primary care trusts to ensure that when patients need to be transferred to another hospital; this is done in a timely and clinically safe manner. The Department
 
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recently announced the allocation of £14 million to Kent cardiac services to enable more patients to be treated locally, with fewer patients having to travel to London.

Patients (Learning Disabilities)

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to improve the provision of health services for those with learning disabilities; and when he expects the targets for service improvements for adults with learning disabilities set out in the White Paper, Valuing People", to be achieved. [218115]

Dr. Ladyman: The Government's objective is to enable people with learning disabilities to access a health service designed around their individual needs. The Valuing People" (March 2001) White Paper included key actions on health and steps taken to achieve these; including the appointment of expert health advisers by the Valuing People" support team.

The health of people with learning disabilities should be part of mainstream health plans to ensure that all national health service services are accessible to everyone. The Public Health White Paper will address the issue of health inequalities. We are supporting the Disability Rights Commission's investigation into inequalities in access to health care services for people with learning disabilities and mental health service users. We are also discussing with the National Patient Safety Agency a scoping project into the confidential inquiry into premature deaths of people with learning disabilities. There will be an announcement shortly.

We are improving access to primary care services through a new performance indicator in 2005–06 to monitor registration of people with learning disabilities by primary care trusts. In addition, the Healthcare Commission is raising the profile of services for people with learning disabilities through the appointment of a learning disability specialist. We are further supporting the health needs of learning disabled people through funding given to the voluntary sector.

The Valuing People" White Paper did not define targets; instead, it set out various actions and objectives. Many of the actions have been taken and the objectives achieved. Where work is in progress and the associated aims and objectives have not yet been achieved, we are working with the Valuing People" support team to take remedial action to ensure their achievement in the near future.


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