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9 Jan 2006 : Column 111W—continued

Birth Costs

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average cost was of (a) a home birth, (b) an out of hospital birth and (c) a hospital birth in each NHS trust providing maternity care in 2004–05; and what assessment she has made of the reference cost for each category of birth. [37422]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 13 December 2005]: The information requested is not collected centrally.
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Reference cost data are collected against three specific health care resource groups: normal delivery with or without complications or co-morbidities, assisted delivery with or without complications or co-morbidities and caesarean section with or without complications or co-morbidities.

Reference cost data are assessed annually and it is anticipated that 2004–05 data will be available in the new year.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mental Health Partnership Trust

David Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the policy of theCambridgeshire and Peterborough Mental Health Partnership Trust in relation to direct contact between members of its staff and the media on matters of public concern; and if she will make a statement. [37969]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 15 December 2005]: The responsibility for the management of local services lies with the local national health service. It is for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust to plan and develop its own internal and external policies and services to meet the needs of the local population.

Cancelled Operations

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients had their operation cancelled (a) twice, (b) three times, (c) four times and (d) more than four times in each year since 1997; and if she will make a statement. [35198]

Mr. Byrne: The information requested is not collected centrally. However, data on the number of cancelled operations are available on the Department's website at: requests/cancelled_operations.htm

Children's Diet

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 2 December 2005, Official Report, column 544W, on children's diet, whether the Food Standards Agency's rolling programme of surveys will collect data on daily calorie intake. [38101]

Caroline Flint: Yes. Information on daily energy (calorie) intake by all age groups, including children, will be collected in the rolling programme.

Children's Hospices

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Healthwhat her policy is for the future support of the respite and terminal care of children with life-limiting illnesses. [30392]

Mr. Byrne: Primary care trusts (PCTs), working with their local authority partners and stakeholders, remain best placed to decide the level and range of palliative care needed by the children and young people in their locality and are able to respond directly to their needs. We have made a manifesto pledge to increase funding for end of
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life care and this includes care for children and young people. We will make further announcements on this funding in the near future.

In our guide Commissioning Children's and Young People's Palliative Care Services", launched on 29 November, we give commissioners important advice about the key aspects of children's palliative care which will improve the quality of commissioning and provision of services. This practical guide will stimulate improvements in commissioning and promote quality care for children young people and their families in a range of settings, for example, palliative care at home, in hospital or in a hospice.

On 19 October 2005, we announced the setting up of a review of National Health Service Specialised Services. The review, headed by Scotland's former Chief Medical Officer, Professor Sir David Carter, will investigate how the NHS currently commissions specialised services and consider ways of tightening these commissioning arrangements so that there is greater consistency across the NHS.

The review will also look at ways of ensuring PCTs work together to commission specialised services so that the financial risk is shared. It will consider whether the balance is right between PCT commissioning collaboration and a more national or regional commissioning approach. The review team will report in spring 2006.


Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of adults in England suffers from high cholesterol according to the Joint Society Guidelines. [36611]

Caroline Flint: The new Joint British Societies guidelines on prevention of cardiovascular disease in clinical practice were published on 21 December. They recommend that lipid-lowering therapy should be offered to people with:

They recommend that the audit standard for this group should be 5.0mmol/litre or less, and that wherever possible the aim should be to reduce cholesterol to 4.0mm/litre or less.

We do not hold the information in the format requested. However, information from hospital episodes statistics (HES) data for people who suffer from high cholesterol is shown in the table. HES does not hold a standard definition of high cholesterol, which will be clinically determined.
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All diagnosis count of finished consultant episodes and patients for high cholesterol.National health service hospitals, England 2004–05

Finished consultant episodesPatient counts

Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), Health and Social Care Information Centre

We estimate, from prescribing data, that approximately 2.5 million people in England are on statin therapy for the control of cholesterol levels. Statin prescriptions have been rising at 30 per cent. per year.

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1)whether her Department plans to run a campaign to raise the awareness of the dangers of high cholesterol levels; [38688]

(2) whether she plans to promote the awareness of the risks of unhealthy levels of cholesterol during the implementation of the Choosing Health White Paper. [38689]

Caroline Flint: Currently, the Department has no plans to run a campaign or promote the awareness of the risks of unhealthy levels of cholesterol among the general population. However, as set out in the Choosing Health White Paper, the Department will launch in 2006 a social marketing campaign to increase consumer awareness of the health risks of obesity and promote practical steps that can be taken through diet and physical activity to improve the health of the general population, with an early focus on children.

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her Department's policy is on those adults with cholesterol levels between 4 mmol/l and 7 mmol/l and not eligible for prescribed statins but who are now deemed to have unhealthy cholesterol levels according to the new Joint British Societies Guidelines. [38690]

Caroline Flint: The national service framework for coronary heart disease (NSFCHD) recommends that preventative treatment and lifestyle advice should be offered to patients with established CHD, then to those at a 30 per cent. 10-year risk of developing CHD, with a view to moving on to treating patients at a lower risk once these high-risk groups are treated. One of the key risk factors is high cholesterol and the NSF states that for both groups the target is to use statins and dietary advice to lower serum cholesterol concentrations either to less than 5 millimoles per litre (mmol/litre) or by 30 per cent., whichever is the greater.

The new general medical service contract includes quality indicators for measuring and managing cholesterol in high-risk groups, such as those with CHD. The target is to reduce cholesterol levels to five mmol/litre or less.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is currently consulting on the final recommendation for its health technology appraisal (HTA) of statins. The HTA will identify the level of risk at which statins should be prescribed by the national health service. Publication is due early in 2006.
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