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6 Jun 2005 : Column 435W—continued

Neonatal Care

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she plans to publish the Government's response to the Neonatal Intensive Care Review consultation. [1477]

6 Jun 2005 : Column 436W

Mr. Byrne: The neonatal intensive care review group was an expert group convened by the Department. Its findings were the subject of a consultation, which ended in July 2003. While there are no plans to publish a response to that consultation exercise, we have incorporated many of the lessons learned from it into the national service framework for children, young people and maternity services, published last year.

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average occupancy rate for neonatal units was in each year since 2002. [1476]

Mr. Byrne: The occupancy rates in neonatal and children's beds were 59.7 per cent. in 2001–02, 59.6 per cent. in 2002–03 and 61.3 per cent. in 2003–04. For beds in neonatal intensive care wards the occupancy rates were 70.5 per cent. in 2001–02, 69.7 per cent. in 2002–03 and 72.7 per cent. in 2003–04. We do not yet have any figures for 2004–05.

Department of Health KH03 returns

NHS Administrators (Pay Rates)

Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many administrators working in Hertfordshire NHS trusts receive pay in excess of £100,000 per annum; and if she will make a statement. [784]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is not held centrally. However, the pay ranges for administrative and clerical staff, jointly working in national health service trusts in Hertfordshire, are shown in the table.
Salary and earnings for administrative and clerical staff on national(55) pay-scale, August 2002

Average annualised actualAverage full time annualised(56)Lower quartile(57)Upper quartile(57)

(55)Or their equivalents. Staff on local pay-scales are not included.
(56)Data uprated to reflect what would be earned should each individual work on a full time basis.
(57)Based on full time annualised salary and earnings.
1.Figures rounded to the nearest 100.
2.The NHS earnings survey information is based on payroll data taken from a sample of approximately 50 per cent. of trusts during August.
Department of Health earnings survey.


Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to review the (a) pay and (b) working hours of nurses in the national health service. [567]

Mr. Byrne: In 2005–06, national health service nurses are subject to the last year of a three-year pay deal. The nurses and other health professions review body will review the pay rates of nurses for 2006–07 in due course. There are no plans at present to review the standard
6 Jun 2005 : Column 437W
working week of 37.5 hours per week excluding meal breaks established by the Agenda for Change" agreement in November 2004.

Nursing Homes

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the average change in the fees charged by private sector nursing homes was in (a) 2002, (b) 2003, (c) 2004 and (d) 2005; [409]

(2) what her assessment is of the effect regulations relating to nursing homes introduced in the last five years have had on fees charged by nursing homes; and if she will make a statement. [414]

Mr. Byrne: The Department does not collect information on care home fees. However, for-profit nursing home fees between March 2000 and March 2004, from Laing and Buisson's Care of Elderly People Market Survey 2004", are shown in the tables.

Private sector nursing homes are free to set their own prices. Price increases therefore reflect considerations such as the firm's required rate of return, as well as costs including the cost of other standards designed to protect users and their families. Local social service departments and the national health service pay for over two thirds of the cost of residential care, and significant extra resources have been made available as well.

Funding for social services has increased by 6 per cent. a year over the three years 2003–04 to 2005–06. These increases follow a 20 per cent. increase in the level of funding for social services between 1996–97 and 2002–03. This enables local councils to contract with providers at realistic prices.
Average weekly fees—private homes for older people, United Kingdom
£ per week

For-profit homes20002001200220032004
Nursing single room387399427464508
Nursing shared room356370393421436
Nursing weighted average379393421457496

Year on year change in average weekly fee level, United Kingdom

Financial year April
to March
Nursing single room+3.5+6.4+7.9+7.4
Nursing shared room+3.4+5.6+7.1+7.4
Nursing weighted average+3.5+6.0+7.8+7.4

6 Jun 2005 : Column 438W

Ophthalmic Services

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she intends to begin the review of general ophthalmic services. [2279]

Ms Rosie Winterton: We are preparing for the review and will make an announcement shortly.


Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her latest estimate is of the gross (a) gain and (b) loss to the UK economy of parallel trade in pharmaceuticals; and if she will make a statement. [2275]

Jane Kennedy: In terms of the impact on national health service expenditure, information is not routinely collected on the source of products, but from the data currently available, the Department estimates that parallel imports saves the NHS in England approximately £60 million per year in the community sector. No estimate is available for the hospital sector.

Parallel importing is legal within the European Union. The United Kingdom parallel import licensing scheme allows medicinal authorised products in other EU member states to be marketed in the UK, provided the imported products have no therapeutic difference from the equivalent UK products.

The medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) liaises closely with the relevant competent authorities to obtain the necessary information to ensure that only those products which fully comply with the stringent criteria for parallel import are granted a licence. This information is published at monthly intervals on the MHRA website at

Primary Care Trusts (Leeds)

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what change in funding has been determined for Leeds primary care trusts for 2006 to 2008. [2116]

Mr. Byrne: The latest round of primary care trust (PCT) allocations was announced on 9 February. The table shows the amounts allocated to Leeds PCTs.
Primary care trust2006–07
East Leeds212,69515,8728.1230,02717,3328.1
Leeds North East192,07314,3458.1207,74315,6708.2
Leeds North West208,94117,1178.9228,46319,5229.3
Leeds West145,98210,8968.1157,88211,9008.2
South Leeds192,33314,3728.1208,25215,9198.3

Prisoner Screening

Mr. Laxton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make it her policy to screen all prisoners on reception into prison for (a) hepatitis B and (b) hepatitis C. [1703]

Ms Rosie Winterton: All prisoners are given a health screening on first reception into custody to identify any who have immediate health needs or who are at a high risk of having a significant health problem. However, as in all other health settings, they are not compulsorily screened for blood borne viruses. The possibility of being tested for blood-borne viruses is likely to be raised
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with them on a number of subsequent occasions such as during health and drug education programmes, when seeing a drugs worker or while being counselled about hepatitis B vaccination. If, as a result, a prisoner requests a blood test, one will be arranged according to national health service guidelines.

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