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7 Dec 2005 : Column 1400W—continued

BCG Inoculation

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the cost of a BCG inoculation per person. [32489]

Caroline Flint: Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination is provided free of charge to any individual defined as at increased risk of tuberculosis in the chief medical officer's letter of 6 July 2005.

Bed Utilisation

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average percentage level of bed utilisation was in acute hospitals in the Cheshire and Merseyside strategic health authority area, including Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust in the last year for which figures are available. [26374]

Mr. Byrne: The information is not available in the format requested. The table shows data on average bed occupancy rates for all providers in the Cheshire and Merseyside strategic health authority (SHA) area with beds open overnight.
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Average occupancy rate, Cheshire and Merseyside strategic health authority: 2004–05

NameTotal (percentage occupancy)
Cheshire and Merseyside Health Authority85.9
5 Boroughs Partnership National Health Service Trust91.7
Aintree Hospitals NHS Trust92.2
Central Liverpool Primary Care Trust88.8
Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust92.9
Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology NHS Trust67.9
Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Trust87.2
East Cheshire NHS Trust84.5
Ellesmere Port and Neston PCT88.0
Liverpool Women's Hospital NHS Trust61.9
Mersey Care NHS Trust90.0
North Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust82.7
Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust89.2
Royal Liverpool Children's NHS Trust71.0
South Sefton PCT83.5
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust87.3
St. Helens and Knowsley Hospital NHS Trust88.3
The Cardiothoracic Centre—Liverpool NHS Trust66.2
The Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust81.2
Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery NHS Trust87.7
Wirral Hospital NHS Trust81.8

Published 30 September 2005
Department of Health form KH03

Cancer Drugs

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will ensure that NHS trusts give priority to the funding of licensed cancer drugs for the next financial year. [33036]

Jane Kennedy: We are already putting record amounts of new investment into the national health service, between 2003 and 2008 NHS expenditure in England will increase on average by 7.5 per cent. each year. It is for primary care trusts to decide how best to spend these resources taking into account local circumstances.

PCTs have many competing priorities but cancer is a national and local priority. Every PCT will have a sizeable number of people in their area who will be diagnosed with the disease, live with the disease and who die from the disease each year. PCTs will need to ensure they allocate sufficient resource to meet their local contribution to tackling cancer care or other areas.

Castle Hill Hospital

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) capital value of and (b) total expected repayment to the private finance initiative contractor is for phase 5 of the Castle Hill Hospital. [32975]

Mr. Byrne: The capital value of the phase 5 project is around £8.8 million. The Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals National Health Service Trust will make monthly unitary payments to the phase 5 private finance initiative consortium totalling approximately £48.1 million (this figure includes an estimate for annual retail price index uplift) over the duration of the 30-year contract. This amount includes the provision of radiology medical equipment service by Phillips Medical Systems for the first 10 years, including lifecycle replacement and maintenance. The private finance initiative consortium is also providing
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the hard facilities management service (maintenance) for the building including full lifecycle replacement over the 30-year contract.

Cheshire and Mersey Strategic Health Authority

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the work being done by McKinseys on the reconfiguration of services across Cheshire and Mersey Strategic Health Authority is expected to cost; and when it is expected to be (a) completed and (b) reported to hon. Members. [32819]

Mr. Byrne: The information requested is not held centrally. Cheshire and Merseyside Strategic Health Authority (SHA) expects to consider the outcome of this work in the new year. The process of informing local stakeholders, including hon. Members, falls within the remit of the SHA.

Child Protection

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) designated doctors and (b) designated nurses for the protection of children from abuse and neglect are employed by primary care trusts in England. [26897]

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


Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how long the Food Standards Agency was given to respond to the European Commission's recent proposal to amend the Annexes of Directive 2001/15/EC in relation to creatine; what steps she has taken to satisfy herself that the Commission's consultation processes were (a) in accordance with best practice and (b) involved all key industry stakeholders; when she expects the relevant Council Standing Committee to consider the proposal in question; what her objectives are for this proposal; and if she will make a statement. [34619]

Caroline Flint [holding answer 5 December 2005]: The European Commission informed the United Kingdom and all other EC member states in late October that an amendment to the Directive would be discussed and possibly voted upon at the beginning of December. As a result of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) consulting stakeholders about the proposal, an unintended issue over the status of creatine was brought to its attention. The FSA consequently contacted the Commission and a vote on this aspect has been postponed. The FSA has pointed out to the Commission that its own consultation procedures did not appear to have reached the sector concerned in this case and that these should therefore be reviewed.

Interested parties in this country will be informed and consulted on any revised proposal concerning creatine.

Criminal Records Bureau Checks

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the impact on health professionals decisions on whether to work as locums
7 Dec 2005 : Column 1403W
rather than permanent trust staff of the time taken to process enhanced Criminal Records Bureau checks; and if she will make a statement. [25925]

Mr. Byrne: We are not aware of any impact of Criminal Record Bureau checks on decisions of health professionals to work as locums or permanent staff.

Cystic Fibrosis

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will take steps to reduce prescription charges for young cystic fibrosis sufferers who want to take up employment. [32981]

Jane Kennedy: We have no plans to extend the existing list of medical conditions that give exemption from prescription charges. The list has been reviewed on a number of occasions but no clear-cut case for extending it has emerged. There is no consensus on what additional conditions might be included in any revised list of medical exemptions, or how distinctions could be drawn between one condition and another.

The extensive exemption and change remission arrangements mean that 87 per cent. of prescriptions are dispensed free-of-charge. As a result, many people with medical conditions not on the exempt list already get free prescriptions on other grounds. Anyone in work may claim help through the NHS low income scheme.

Departmental Staff

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff were employed in communications roles in her Department on 1 October (a) 2003, (b) 2004 and (c) 2005; and if she will make a statement. [32632]

Jane Kennedy: The Department routinely carries out an audit at the end of each financial year on the numbers of communications staff employed by the Communications Directorate, the result of which (in relation to Press Officers") is placed in the Library. For each of the periods requested the numbers are as follows:
Press officersOther communication staff

The Special Advisers Code of conduct sets out the sort of work a special adviser may undertake on behalf of their Minister. This includes communications activity. This activity has not been identified within the above figures.

The Department does not hold any figures for the numbers of staff on the actual dates quoted, as its audit is scheduled around the end of the financial year.

These figures are for the Department's Communications Directorate only.

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