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5 Oct 2005 : Column 2864W—continued

NHS Estates

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons NHS Estates was not dissolved on 1 April, as envisaged in the Department's Implementation Framework for reconfiguring the DH arm's length bodies; and what further slippage is expected in implementing the results of the review. [10037]

Jane Kennedy: We are on course to achieve the main arm's length bodies (ALB) review objectives by April 2008, including a reduction in the number of ALBs from 38 to no more than 20. There have been some alterations to the timing of a small number of the major organisational changes contributing to the achievement of those objectives.

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NHS Walk-in Centres (Essex)

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to develop NHS walk-in centres in Essex. [14320]

Mr. Byrne: The development of national health service walk-in centres is a matter for local health communities. We are, however, keen to see more such centres and are supporting this with an investment of £50 million over the three years to 2006.


Mr. Havard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will review the process by which (a) strategic health authorities and (b) primary care trusts make decisions on funding for treatments not approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence; [12990]

(2) if she will commission research into how effective HSC 1990/176 has been in providing clear guidance to NHS bodies on the use of treatments not approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence; and if she will make a statement; [12991]

(3) what measures her Department has in place to monitor the compliance of (a) strategic health authorities and (b) primary care trusts with the requirements of HSC 1999/176 in relation to the funding of treatments not approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. [12994]

Jane Kennedy: In 1999, the Department issued Health Service Circular (HSC) 1999/176, which asks national health service bodies to continue with local arrangements for the managed introduction of new technologies where guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has not yet been issued. These arrangements should include an assessment of the available evidence. Compliance with HSC 1999/176 is the responsibility of strategic health authorities.

There are no plans to commission research into the effectiveness of HSC 1999/176. HSC 1990/176 does not exist.


Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of state-registered nurse training is allocated to dealing with termination of pregnancy; whether nurses are allowed to opt out of abortion training under section 4 of the Abortion Act 1967; and if she will make a statement. [14285]

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Mr. Byrne: It is for the education providers and their partners locally to determine the detailed learning outcomes for each programme, including the amount of time spent on different aspects of the curriculum, such as termination of pregnancy, what is required to be demonstrated in theory and/or practice and how this is assessed.

The preparation of nursing students is closely aligned to the Code of Professional Conduct and nursing students would be able to object conscientiously to participating in a termination of pregnancy. Education providers should take adequate measures to ensure that nursing students are aware of their rights and are supported in making decisions.

Students equally have a responsibility to make their supervisors aware of their objections if asked to participate in the care of a woman undergoing such treatment. They also need to be helped to understand that as registrants they will always have a duty of care to all patients irrespective of the treatment they are receiving.

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many nurses on average staffed an intensive care bed for (a) adults, (b) children and (c) new born or premature babies in the last period for which figures are available. [13658]

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


Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children were classified as obese in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK in each year since 1997. [8356]

Caroline Flint: Figures from the Health Survey for England are shown in the table, although not exactly in the form requested. Figures for the north east are given by the north east Government office region (GOR). No figures are available for the Jarrow constituency or South Tyneside. Although figures are requested for the United Kingdom, information in respect of obesity prevalence in Scotland and Wales is the responsibility of the devolved administrations. While the institutions in Northern Ireland are dissolved, responsibility rests with Ministers in the Northern Ireland office.
Obesity prevalence among children in the north east and in England

North east GOR
Children classed as obese as a proportion of the total sample (percentage)
Number of children surveyed

1. Aged 2–15 with a valid body mass index (BMI) measurement. UK National BMI percentile classification used to classify obesity in children.
2. Figures prior to 1998 are not available by Government office region
3. Data are age-standardised to the mid year 2003 population estimates.
Health Survey for England

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Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the progress being made on the new General Medical Services Contract in relation to tackling obesity. [13654]

Mr. Byrne: The quality and outcomes framework is currently being reviewed by all parties as part of the new general medical services contract negotiations led by NHS Employers. The Department has submitted proposals for new indicators on obesity for the expert panel's consideration as part of this process.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she will reply to Question reference 9440 tabled by the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam. [14636]

Mr. Byrne: I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave him today.

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