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11 Jan 2006 : Column 729W—continued

Long-term Conditions (Policies)

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the roles are of (a) the national service framework for long-term conditions and (b) the long-term conditions strategy. [37297]

Mr. Byrne: The national service framework (NSF) for long-term conditions aims to make sure that services for people with long-term neurological conditions and their families and carers are:

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The purpose of the long-term conditions information strategy is to ensure that the implementation of the 11 quality requirements, detailed in the NSF, is facilitated by the availability of the appropriate information for patients, families and carers, the general public and care professionals.

Mental Health

Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the NHS has taken to improve (a) mental health and (b) well-being in the community. [36278]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Mental health services are continuing to implement the national service framework for mental health in order to improve access to effective treatment and care, reduce unfair variation, raise standards, and provide quicker and more convenient services. In line with the targets set in the NHS Plan" 343 crisis resolution, 262 assertive outreach and 109 early intervention teams were established in England at the end of March 2005. On the same day, 1,520 community gateway, 654 carer support and 648 graduate workers were in post.

Progress is also being made towards meeting the Department's public service agreement target to reduce the death rate from suicide and undetermined injury by at least 20 per cent. by 2010. The rate is now 6.6 per cent. below the baseline.

The Choosing Health" White Paper recognised the importance of supporting the mental health and wellbeing of children and adults. To that aim, the White Paper included a set of actions to strengthen individuals and communities and reduce structural barriers. These actions to strengthen individuals and communities and reduce structural barriers. These actions include developing day services further to provide support for employment, occupation and mainstream social contact beyond the mental health system; encouraging employers to adopt policies to promote better mental health at work; expanding help for people with mental health problems by improving access, care planning and referral arrangements; offering new models of physical healthcare for people with mental health problems and developing new approaches to helping them manage their own care; and making available information on all aspects of health and wellbeing.
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Morning-after Contraception Pill

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people have purchased the morning after contraception pill in London in each of the last five years; and what assessment she has made of the reasons given for purchase. [40809]

Jane Kennedy: Data are not held centrally in respect of over the counter purchases of emergency hormonal contraception, or the reasons for purchase.

Neurological Conditions

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 7 November 2005, Official Report, columns 265–6W, on neurological conditions, what the planning recommendations to strategic health authorities were. [34525]

Mr. Byrne: The planning recommendations for the workforce are published by the Workforce Review Team and are available at:

NHS Care (Private Providers)

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been paid to private providers for treatment given to NHS patients in each year since 2000; and what the projected figure is for 2005. [37311]

Mr. Byrne: Expenditure on centrally procured independent sector treatment providers was £78.8 million for 2004–05. Data prior to 2004–05 is not available. The projected spend for 2005–06 is £203.5 million.

Expenditure on locally procured independent sector treatment providers is not separately identified in the annual financial returns of national health service trusts, primary care trusts and health authorities.

NHS Direct

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 28 June 2005, Official Report, column 1521W, on NHS Direct, whether she has (a) undertaken an assessment of, (b) (i) commissioned and (ii) evaluated research into and (c) considered the impact of the operation of NHS Direct on staff recruitment in NHS accident and emergency departments. [31816]

Mr. Byrne: No such specific assessment or research has been commissioned or undertaken.

NHS Finance

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 7 November 2005, Official Report, column 266W, on NHS finance, what role the Department's recovery support unit plays in assessing recovery plans. [34526]

Mr. Byrne: The Department manages the financial performance of the national health service through strategic health authorities (SHAs). NHS organisations that overspend are required to develop recovery plans to return to financial balance. Recovery plans are agreed and managed by SHAs. A number of NHS organisations and SHAs will be supported in this by the
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turnaround teams that were recently announced. The turnaround teams will report to the chief executives of the local NHS organisations. The Department's recovery and support unit will continue to performance manage SHAs on the delivery of all key targets including financial performance.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the impact on the stability of local health economies of her plan to penalise overspending NHS organisations. [34658]

Mr. Byrne: The impact of any deficits in 2005–06 will be discussed with each strategic health authority as part of the financial planning process for 2006–07. The planning process for 2006–07 will be completed before the start of the financial year.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the Written Statement of 1 December 2005, Official Report, column 37WS, on NHS finance data, how many turnaround teams she intends to establish; who will staff the turnaround teams; how staff in turnaround teams will be remunerated; whether (a) strategic health authorities, (b) NHS trusts and (c) primary care trusts are being supported by turnaround teams; whether there are specific trusts to which she intends to send turnaround teams; who will take the decision to send turnaround teams to trusts in financial difficulty; under what legislation the powers available to turnaround teams have been made available; what the total budget for operating turnaround teams will be in (i) the current financial year and (ii) 2006–07; and if she will make a statement. [36346]

Mr. Byrne: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on the 1 December 2005 that teams of financial and management experts are to be sent to support the strategic health authorities, national health service trusts and primary care trusts that have the biggest delivery problems.

An initial assessment began on the 7 December to ensure that the organisations that are forecasting the most significant deficits, expected to number 63, have financial control and that there are an agreed set of actions to restore financial balance.

Following the initial assessment, the SHA, the Department and the organisation will agree on a tailored package of turnaround support. The chief executives of the most challenged organisations will then be supported in delivering turnaround. The type and length of engagement will be tailored to the needs of specific organisations. The chief executives will remain responsible for delivery in their organisations. The Department has always provided additional expert advice to challenged organisations to support delivery and the turnaround teams are no different as they are not operating under any specific legislation.

The teams will bring together specialists from the NHS and the commercial sector, including NHS staff with a track record of helping challenged NHS trusts, to provide more locally focused support than the existing performance management systems.

The contract for the initial assessment was awarded in accordance with the Department's tendering arrangements. The amount of the contract is to be treated as commercial in confidence.
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The cost of the further turnaround support will be dependant on the type of engagement.

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