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14 Dec 2005 : Column 2157W—continued

New Vaccines

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) role and (b) process is of (i) the National Institute for Healthcare and Clinical Excellence and (ii) the Joint Committee for Vaccines and Immunisation in (A) approving and (B) licensing new vaccines; and if she will make a statement. [31202]

Jane Kennedy: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) was set up to give advice to the national health service on best clinical practice including clinical and cost effectiveness of drugs and other treatments. Details of NICE'S processes and methodologies are available on NICE'S website at

The Joint Committee for Vaccines and Immunisation (JCVI) has no role in licensing new vaccines. The Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is responsible for licensing vaccines. In this work MHRA would seek advice from the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM), the Government's independent safety experts.

The JCVI's role is to advise the Secretaries of State for Health, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on matters relating to communicable diseases, preventable and potentially preventable through immunisation. The JCVI does make recommendations to the Secretaries of State on the suitability of new vaccines for the national immunisation programme.

The JCVI committee and the institute have collaborated to work on topics such as the use of antiviral agents for influenza.

NHS Doctors (Suspensions)

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps her Department (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to ensure that national health service doctors suspended by hospital trusts have their cases dealt with (i) justly and (ii) speedily; and if she will make a statement. [35966]

Jane Kennedy: We took steps in 2001 to improve the performance of the NHS in dealing with suspensions by establishing the National Clinical Assessment Authority, which is now part of the National Patient Safety Agency. New suspensions procedures agreed in 2004 gave the National Clinical Assessment Authority a key role in advising on the management of all suspensions. By April 2005, the total of long-term exclusions of all types, including what was previously called gardening leave, had halved from 56 in June 2003 to a figure of 25.

A new disciplinary framework agreed with the medical and dental professions was implemented in June this year. It is mandatory across NHS trusts and will speed up local procedures for handling disciplinary cases.

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NHS Bodies

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people are employed by the (a) Dental Practice Board, (b) NHS Logistics Authority, (c) NHS Pensions Agency, (d) Prescription Pricing Authority and (e) NHS Counter Fraud and Security management service; and where each of their main centres of employment is. [32022]

Jane Kennedy: The establishment numbers, in whole time equivalents, (wte) as at 1 April 2005 and the centres of employment for the organisations requested are:
OrganisationCentres of employmentEstablishment (wte)
Dental Practice BoardEastbourne273
NHS Logistics Authority(55)Mainly Alfreton, with other distribution centres in:1,313
Bury St. Edmunds
NHS Pensions AgencyFleetwood367
Prescription Pricing AuthorityMainly Newcastle with smaller operations divisions in:2,123
Liverpool Manchester
West Bromwich
NHS Counter Fraud and Security Management ServiceLondon251

(55) Represents the actual headcount (in wtes) and does not include open vacancies

NHS Logistics

Mr. Mike Hall: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much was spent by NHS trusts in 2003–04 on consumable goods not purchased from NHS Logistics; and how much of that sum is represented by (a) drugs, (b) medical and surgical equipment-maintenance, (c) x-ray equipment purchase, (d) x-ray film and chemicals-purchase, (e) x-ray equipment-maintenance, (f) laboratory equipment maintenance, (g) contract hotel services (including cleaning), (h) postage, (i) telephones, (j) advertising, (k) travel, (l) subsistence and removal expenses, (m) other transport costs, (n) electricity, (o) gas, (p) other fuels, (q) water and sewerage, (r) external general services contracts, (s) furniture, office and computer equipment, (t) computer hardware, maintenance contracts and data processing contracts, (u) business rates, (v) rent, (w) building and engineering equipment, (x) building and engineering contracts, (y) total purchase of healthcare from non-national health service bodies, (z) total external contract staffing and consultancy services and (aa) auditors' remuneration; [32879]

(2) how much each NHS trust spent in 2003–04 on consumable goods (a) purchased and (b) not purchased from NHS Logistics; [32878]
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(3) pursuant to the answer of 28 October 2005, Official Report, column 585W, on NHS Logistics, how many of the products and services were purchased direct from the manufacturers and service providers by NHS trusts. [32880]

Jane Kennedy: The following table shows those categories of products and services used by NHS Trusts which are not purchased through the NHS Logistics Authority, or where, as indicated, there is minimal activity.

The spend by NHS trusts for 2003–04 for these categories was as follows.
Products and services—2003–04£
Drugs (including Gases)(56)2,307,732,964
Medical and Surgical Equipment—Maintenance114,079,014
X-Ray Equipment—Purchase32,698,714
X-Ray Film and Chemicals—Purchase58,124,105
X-Ray Equipment—Maintenance63,116,985
Laboratory Equipment—Maintenance27,427,273
Contract Hotel Services (Incl. Cleaning)406,385,852
Travel, Subsistence and Removal Expenses(57)363,547,841
Other Transport Costs (Includes Transport and Moveable Plant)304,926,808
Other Fuels (Including Oil And Coal)36,304,157
Water And Sewerage59,349,315
External General Services Contracts267,412,996
Furniture, Office and Computer Equipment(56)272,320,110
Computer Hardware, Maintenance Contracts and Data Processing Contracts220,932,679
Business Rates220,256,280
Building and Engineering Equipment125,835,348
Building and Engineering Contracts265,638,567
Total Purchase Of Healthcare From Non-NHS Bodies3,326,347,129
Total External Contract Staffing And Consultancy Services230,988,111
Auditors Remuneration78,720,480
Total Non-Pay Revenue Expenditure9,697,539,332

(56)Minimal activity through the NHS Logistics Authority
(57)Not able to break this down into individual categories of (k)travel,(i) subsistence and removal expenses.

The information requested in relation to consumable goods (a) purchased and (b) not purchased from NHS Logistics is not readily available and could be only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

The quantities of products and services purchased direct from the manufacturers and service providers by NHS trusts is not readily available and could only be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

NHS Pensions Agency

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment she has made of the likely impact on staff employed to deliver NHS student grants and bursaries at Hesketh House in Fleetwood when the NHS Pensions Agency based on that site is contracted out of the Department; [26422]

(2) how many organisations put in bids to take up the contract to run the NHS Pensions Agency; [26424]
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(3) if she will place in the Library the business case produced on the contracting out of the NHS Pensions Agency; [26425]

(4) what assessment she has made of the likely impact on jobs at Hesketh House in Fleetwood of the contracting out of the work of the NHS Pensions Agency; [26426]

(5) what consultation she expects the new NHS Business Services Authority to undertake when it implements the process of contracting out the NHS Pensions Agency; [26427]

(6) if she will list those she consulted on the decision to contract out the work of the NHS Pensions Agency; [26428]

(7) when the decision was made to contract out the work of the NHS Pensions Agency based at Hesketh House in Fleetwood. [26429]

Jane Kennedy: The NHS Pensions Agency is to become part of the Business Services Authority (BSA) on 1 April 2006. This was first announced in the report, Reconfiguring the Department of Health's Arm's Length Bodies" published in July 2004. This report reflected Government policy to reduce costs of administration through modernisation of systems and use of private sector capability where appropriate. The Implementation Framework for Reconfiguring the DH's Arm's Length Bodies:, redistributing resources to the NHS frontline" published in November 2004 built on this approach. In implementing these reports, consideration is being given to market testing a wide range of the BSA's functions, not just those of the NHS Pensions Agency.

Following a review of the NHS Pensions Agency by KPMG, a report recommending full outsourcing of this mostly administrative business was published on 21 May 1998. The decision to outsource elements of the business was announced on 6 March 2000. The KPMG report was placed in the Library of the House on the same day. Expressions of interest were invited through the official Journal of the European Community on 20 June 2000 and 33 organisations responded.

The outcome of the procurement process was to award a contract covering about half of the NHS Pensions Agency's functions to Paymaster (1836) Limited with an option to expand to all its functions at a point in the future. The contractual terms agreed at that time obliged the NHS Pensions Agency to negotiate with Paymaster (1836) Limited first on any proposed expansion of the outsourcing arrangements.

Should a decision be made to expand the existing outsourcing arrangements at the NHS Pensions Agency, full consultation will be undertaken with both trade unions and employees.

If outsourcing some or all of the NHS Pensions Agency is extended as a result of current negotiations, employees dealing with NHS Pensions and the student bursary scheme will transfer to the private sector partner under the provisions of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations.
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The resulting contract with the private sector supplier will reflect the principles of the Joint Statement of Good Practice issued on 6 October 2005 by the Department, NHS Employers, the Confederation of British Industry and the Business Services Association, together with a number of trade unions. That statement commits private sector suppliers who contract with the NHS to meet minimum standards on pay, conditions of service and work force issues.

Similarly, contractors are required to offer all transferring NHS employees membership of a pension scheme broadly comparable to the NHS scheme.

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