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NHS Finance

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the budgets for (a) recurrent operating costs, excluding capital charges but including income from other sources, and (b) all operating costs, including both revenue and capital, of the (i) Health Protection Agency, (ii) National Radiological Protection Board and (iii) Public Health Laboratory Service have been in each year since 1997–98 in (A) nominal and (B) real terms. [23110]

Caroline Flint: The published accounts of each body give details of its operating costs, including revenue and capital, as well as income from other sources. The relevant accounts, which are available in the Library, are as follows:

Expressing the data in real terms would be likely to be misleading, owing to changes in functions over the extended periods involved.
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NHS Services

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much of the £250 million efficiency savings planned for the NHS will be re-directed to front-line services; what proportion will be allocated to Gloucestershire; and if she will make a statement. [24931]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The £250 million savings in management and administration costs will be re-directed in total to front-line services. The required savings have been apportioned over the 28 strategic health authorities (SHAs). The total apportioned required savings for the Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire SHA is £10 million. It is for each SHA to determine with its primary care trust (PCT) how the required savings should be apportioned over the SHA and each PCT in the area and this will depend on the configuration of the SHA and PCTs which is subject to public consultation over the coming weeks.

Parliamentary Question

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she will answer the question on Clostridium difficile, reference 9380, tabled by the hon. Member for Northavon on 29 June. [20131]

Jane Kennedy: I replied to the hon. Member on 17 October 2005, Official Report, column 763W.

Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will delay the standard branded generics review until the completion of the Office of Fair Trading market study into the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme; [25351]

(2) when a decision is expected on the current standard branded generics; and whether the Office of Fair Trading inquiry into the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme has an impact on its outcome; [25352]

(3) what discussions she has had with the Office of Fair Trading regarding its inquiry into the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme; [25353]

(4) whether standard branded generics are covered by the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme. [25360]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 7 November 2005]: Standard branded generics are covered by the provisions of the pharmaceutical price regulation scheme (PPRS), subject to the outcome of a public consultation on proposals to transfer them to arrangements for the reimbursement for generic medicines. The Department is currently reviewing the responses to proposals that a specified list of oral solid dose standard branded generics should be removed from the PPRS. These responses require, and will be given, careful consideration. The Department will not rush to a conclusion or set any deadline that may constrain its deliberations.

Departmental officials have held preliminary discussions with the Office of Fair Trading on its market study into the PPRS.
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Primary Care Trusts (Oxfordshire)

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) who will be responsible for the drafting of contracts between the Thames Valley Strategic Health Authority and private sector providers of management services for the Primary Care Trust in Oxfordshire; who will take responsibility for ensuring that such contracts comply with existing NHS rules on consultation and patient and public involvement; and if she will make a statement; [20398]

(2) what discussions she has had with the (a) chairman and (b) chief executive of the Thames Valley Strategic Health Authority on proposals to transfer the management of primary care trusts in Oxfordshire to the private sector; and if she will make a statement; [20406]

(3) under what statutory provision the Thames Valley Strategic Health Authority will appoint a board of non-executive directors to the Oxfordshire Primary Care Trust to oversee the awarding of a contract for the procurement of the management of primary care trust services in Oxfordshire; [20407]

(4) whether contracts for the commissioning of the management of primary care trust services in Oxfordshire will be (a) available for public scrutiny and (b) treated as commercial in confidence. [20408]

(5) what discussions her Department has had with the Royal College of Nursing on putting the management of the proposed new Oxfordshire primary care trust out to tender to the private sector. [20896]

Ms Rosie Winterton: No decision has yet been taken on the possibility of any strategic health authority (SHA) tendering for the private sector provision of management services for future primary care trusts (PCTs). Accordingly, no moves to facilitate this option, such as creating frameworks for drawing up tendering contracts or appointing non-executive directors have been taken, either.

SHAs, not the Department, are to lead discussions locally with stakeholder groups regarding options for the reconfiguration of PCTs, as they can give greater consideration to local contexts and nuances when developing proposals. As such, no discussions have been held with either the Royal College of Nursing or the chair and chief executive of Thames Valley SHA on the content of their proposals. All proposals will shortly be assessed by an independent panel representing a wide range of stakeholders, against the criteria identified in the document, "Commissioning a Patient-Led NHS". If proposals are adjudged to have met these criteria, they will be subject to a full, three month public consultation. Decisions on the suitability of any proposal will not be taken until this process has been completed.

Public Opinion Surveys

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many public opinion surveys were conducted by her Department and its arm's length bodies in the last six months; what the (a) subject matter, (b) date, (c) cost and (d) company used to conduct the research was in each case; and if she will place copies of the results of each survey in the Library. [26548]

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Jane Kennedy: The Department commissions public opinion surveys on various subjects when this is the most effective and appropriate means of building up an evidence base on which to take policy development forward. The information requested could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

The Department does not monitor the number, cost or subject matter of public opinion surveys commissioned by its arm's length bodies.

Rehabilitation (Milton Keynes)

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the average number of specialist rehabilitation beds per 1,000 people in North East Milton Keynes in the latest year for which figures are available. [22714]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Information about the number of specialist rehabilitation beds is not collected or held centrally by the Department. All data relating to bed provision which are collected by the Department are shown on its website at:


Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions she has had with Havering council regarding contingency plans in the event of a SARS or tuberculosis epidemic in that area. [22968]

Jane Kennedy: The Department has not had any direct contact with Havering council to discuss contingency plans for an epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) or tuberculosis (TB).

The Department's emergency preparedness division has regular liaisons and discussions with the strategic health authorities' (SHAs) emergency planning leads. The SHAs have responsibility for ensuring that all national health service trusts have major incident plans in place and are prepared to deal with a range of incidents that include SARS and other infectious diseases. These plans are developed with multi-agency input and are regularly tested and reviewed.

With regard to TB, the Chief Medical Officer launched the TB action plan in October 2004. The plan is a commitment to tackle rising rates of TB through 10 key areas of work, and identifies some of the underlying reasons for the rise in TB rates. This is a national plan for England and local TB services are expected to develop their own plans reflecting local conditions.

Local TB outbreaks are managed in accordance with standard procedures by local health protection units, which are part of the Health Protection Agency. In the event of a TB outbreak, the local consultant in communicable disease control would trace contacts of people who had significant exposure to someone with TB. Those contacts would be screened for disease and treated as appropriate.

The plan is available on the Department's website at

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SARS is not currently regarded as being a world-wide problem. The last cases were in China in 2004. However, the possibility of SARS re-emerging remains and there is a need for continuing vigilance. Clinicians and other healthcare professionals have been asked to remain vigilant to the possibility of SARS, even though the threat to the United Kingdom remains low at this time.

Information on SARS and guidance documents are available on the Health Protection Agency's website at

and also on the Department's website at

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