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15 Nov 2005 : Column 1175W—continued

NHS Pay Review

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what appeal mechanism is in place for NHS staff in relation to their banding in the NHS Agenda for Change pay review; and which primary care trusts do not have such mechanisms in place. [19174]

Mr. Byrne: Within the Agenda for Change agreement, there are provisions for staff to request reviews of the payband to which they have been band matched. As the request for a review is to their employer, each national health service employer will need to have put the mechanisms in place.

NHS Trust Deficits

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the effect of NHS trust deficits on the number of nurses employed by them. [21655]

Mr. Byrne: It is the responsibility of strategic health authorities (SHAs) to deliver both overall financial balance for their local health communities and to ensure each and every body achieves financial balance.
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Organisations need to continue to look at the way they provide services to ensure they are delivering the best possible value for money.

The number of nurses in the national health service in England has grown by 25 per cent. or nearly 80,000 between September 1997 and 2004. Any changes in local circumstances need to be seen in that context.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the number of NHS trusts which will end the current financial year in deficit. [20794]

Mr. Byrne: The number of national health service trusts that ended the financial year 2004–05 in deficit was 66. It is too early to say what the position will be in 2005–06.

Out-patient Appointments

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what proportion of NHS patients booking out-patient appointments have done so through the choose and book system in 2005; and how many such bookings included full integration of service with a GP referral letter. [18174]

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many referrals to secondary care there were in the NHS in England in 2005; how many and what percentage were made under choose and book; and if she will make a statement. [18900]

Mr. Byrne: Approximately 20,000 general practitioner (GP) outpatient appointments or referrals have been made so far in 2005. The volume of bookings is increasing rapidly. choose and book new bookings are currently over 3,400 per week. This equates to around 2 per cent. of GP referrals per week.

Information on how many such bookings included full integration of service with a GP referral letter is not separately identified.


Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her estimate is of the savings to the Exchequer of introducing a pension scheme retirement age of 65 years for all NHS staff and employees of her Department and its agencies from 2025; and if she will make a statement. [21424]

Mr. Byrne: Delaying to 2025 the introduction of a normal pension age (NPA) of 65 for members of the national health service, teachers' or civil service would not reflect Government policy or be consistent with the principles agreed at the public services forum. Those principles provide for NPA 65 to be introduced for new entrants as soon as practicable, and for the pension terms of existing members to be discussed in scheme specific negotiations. The estimated net present value of the savings arising from reform of the public service schemes generally is expected to be around £13 billion over the next 50 years.

Savings to the Exchequer from introducing NPA 65 from 2025 have not been estimated and could be done only at disproportionate cost. It is, however, likely that delaying the introduction of NPA 65 until 2025 for the NHS, teachers' or civil service pension schemes would
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absorb a substantial part of the expected £13 billion savings that will arise from the immediate implementation of scheme reform within the framework of the principles agreed at the public services forum.


Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many physiotherapists are practising in the public sector; and how many of these (a) hold a degree in physiotherapy, (b) hold a degree in a related medical field and (c) hold a degree in another field. [23660]

Mr. Byrne: At September 2004, the number of qualified physiotherapists employed in the national health service was 19,139, which is an increase of 34 per cent. since 1997. Information is not collected centrally on the specific qualifications of NHS staff, nor on the number of physiotherapists employed elsewhere in the public sector.

Primary care trusts commission physiotherapy services from a range of providers on behalf of their local communities.

Primary Care Trusts

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list primary care trusts which have an unaddressed financial risk of over £1 million pounds. [22410]

Mr. Byrne: We have interpreted the issue of unaddressed financial risk to mean those primary care trusts (PCTs) that overspent in 2004–05 by £1 million pounds or more. This is shown in the table.

The latest data available on the financial position of national health service organisations (strategic health authorities, PCTs and NHS trusts) are for 2004–05. This information was made available on the Department's publications website on 19 September 2005.
PCTs that have overspent by £1 million or more in 2004–05

PCT nameFinal surplus/(deficits)
Kensington and Chelsea-17,976
Bedfordshire Heartlands-14,536
Suffolk West-12,510
Kennet and North Wiltshire-10,159
New Forest-8,592
Cambridge City-7,621
Southern Norfolk-7,152
North Stoke-6,810
Fareham and Gosport-6,757
North and East Cornwall-6,668
Selby and York-6,598
Suffolk Coastal-6,174
Yorkshire Wolds and Coast-6,116
Guildford and Waverley-5,887
West of Cornwall-5,669
Central Cornwall-5,294
North Norfolk-5,294
North Devon-5,263
North Somerset-5,202
East Hampshire-5,199
South West Oxfordshire-5,172
Vale of Aylesbury-4,916
Milton Keynes-4,860
Cotswold and Vale-4,809
East Lincolnshire-4,483
Cherwell Vale-4,404
North Hertfordshire and Stevenage-3,860
Central Suffolk-3,837
South Western Staffordshire-3,750
Staffordshire Moorlands-3,725
Maidstone Weald-3,714
Witham, Braintree and Halstead Care Trust-3,141
West Gloucestershire-3,110
West Wiltshire-2,803
Bexley Care Trust-2,749
Blackwater Valley and Hart-2,676
South Cambridgeshire-2,583
East Elmbridge and Mid Surrey-2,563
Waltham Forest-2,538
South and East Dorset-2,424
Canterbury and Coastal-2,276
Burntwood, Lichfield and Tamworth-2,111
Wyre Forest-1,968
North East Oxfordshire-1,938
Watford and Three Rivers-1,928
Sussex Downs and Weald-1,819
South Stoke-1,719
South Wiltshire-1,535
St Albans and Harpenden-1,526
Chiltern and South Buckinghamshire-1,494
Maldon and South Chelmsford-1,489
West Norfolk-1,482
North Birmingham-1,339
Eastleigh and Test Valley South-1,283
Cannock Chase-1,235
Charnwood and North West Leicestershire-1,200
Billericay, Brentwood and Wickford-1,123
Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley-1,086

2004–05 data must be treated as provisional until signed off by National Audit Officer/Chief Executive.
Audited summarisation schedules 2004–05.

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Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which providers each primary care trust has commissioned under the requirement to offer a choice of at least four secondary care providers to patients by 1 January 2006 in each of the top 15 specialties. [23116]

Mr. Byrne: The information requested can be supplied only at disproportionate cost.

The Department is putting in place a programme of support to help patients exercise choice of hospital, which includes the development of a patient information leaflet tailored to each primary care trust (PCT) The leaflet will show patients the choices available to them locally as commissioned by their PCT.

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