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27 Feb 2006 : Column 491W—continued

Treatment Centres

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when her Department will reply to the Freedom of Information request by the Centre for International Public Health Policy, School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh reference number PO 00000055787, made on 7 December 2005 requesting
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the source of the research referred to in her Department's press release of 2 February 2005, Faster access and more choice for cataract patients, about the performance of independent sector treatment centres. [50424]

Mr. Byrne: The request was replied to in full on 10 February 2006.


Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in implementing the proposals in Stopping Tuberculosis in England in (a) Southend and (b) England. [50474]

Caroline Flint: The Department is working with key partners and stakeholders to deliver the objectives of the tuberculosis action plan. Progress to date includes:

Establish high quality TB surveillance, with monitoring of outcomes

Health Protection Agency (HPA) work by streamlining disease surveillance, in conjunction with Department of Health officials, and an expert TB laboratory and surveillance working group, is approaching culmination.

Improve case finding of TB

The Home Office launched its five-year strategy on immigration in 2005, which included a programme of overseas screening for TB for people applying to come to UK for six months or longer. Implementation of screening started in four countries: Tanzania, Thailand, Sudan and Bangladesh in October 2005. A roll-out to a further 13 countries is planned from April 2006. There will be a long-term evaluation of both phases.

Develop strong commitment and leadership for TB control

The Department policy on Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccination has been changed from the schools based programme to a targeted neonatal vaccination programme following advice from the BCG sub-group of the joint committee for vaccination and immunisation (JCVI). This provides greatest benefit to the recipients of BCG vaccine.

Progress on delivering the key actions on TB in Southend are a matter for the local primary care trusts and the Department does not collect such specific information.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which 10 areas in England had the highest rates of tuberculosis infection in each of the last three years for which figures are available. [50475]

Caroline Flint: The 10 local authorities with the highest rates of notified cases of tuberculosis in England for 2002, 2003 and 2004 are shown in the following tables:
Leicester UA90.3
Tower Hamlets73.0
Slough UA54.5

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Slough UA65.7
Tower Hamlets64.9
City of London62.2
Luton UA52.9

Slough UA68.0
Tower Hamlets57.8
Leicester UA56.5
Luton UA47.3

Statutory Notifications of Infectious Diseases (NOIDS), Health Protection Agency Centre for Infections. Data as at 8 February 2006

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of tuberculosis were reported in each of the last five years in the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust area. [51322]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The table shows the tuberculosis notifications for the Peterborough and South Kesteven local authorities (LAs) for the period from 2000 to 2004. The majority of the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals National Health Service Foundation Trust area is within the boundaries of the Peterborough LA. However it also falls within the boundaries of the Kesteven LA.
Statutory notifications of tuberculosis excluding chemoprophylaxis.

Peterborough unitary authoritySouth Kesteven
local authority

Health Protection Agency Centre for Infections

Turnaround Teams

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her answer of 17 January 2006, Official Report, column 1294W on turnaround teams, if she will publish the turnaround team's assessment of Chelmsford primary care trust. [44548]

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Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 24 January 2006]: Chelmsford primary care trust (PCT) was subject to a baseline assessment exercise. The aim of this exercise was to ensure there was an agreed understanding of the local financial problem and that actions are in hand to address this. The PCT will now agree a tailored package of turnaround support with their strategic health authority.

A report from the Director of Finance of the Department was released by the Department on 25 January 2006. This gives the results of the assessments.

Vending Machines

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Food Standards Agency is developing guidance for vending machines in public service buildings; and if she will make a statement. [49858]

Caroline Flint: The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Department have published guidance for schools on practical ways of developing approaches, which provide healthy drinks and snacks. The FSA has no plans to develop guidance on vending in other contexts.

Waiting Lists/Times

Ed Balls: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children in (a) West Yorkshire and (b) Wakefield District have had to wait more than (i) one month, (ii) two months and (iii) three months for an appointment with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in the last 12 months. [51604]

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

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average out-patient waiting times for (a) all hospital referrals and (b) referrals to hospitals from general practitioners were on (i) 1 January 1997, (ii) 1 January 2001 and (ii) 1 January 2005. [42393]

Jane Kennedy: Out-patient waiting times are measured from general practitioner (GP) referral to first out-patient appointment and are collected on the final day of each quarter. Figures are not collected centrally on waiting times from other referrals. Estimated average waiting times from GP referral are shown in the table.
Estimated average waiting time for first out-patient appointment following GP written referral—All specialties, England, provider based

Quarter endedMedian wait (weeks)
December 19966.1
December 20007.4
December 20046.9

Department of Health form QM08

Walk-in Centres

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether NHS walk-in centres are funded centrally; and when their funding will become the responsibility of primary care trusts. [46589]

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Mr. Byrne: The initial national health service walk-in centres were developed as pilot sites with substantial central capital and recurrent revenue support from the Department. As the NHS walk-in centre service model has established itself as a mainstream service subsequent centres have been developed with less central funding. The only exception is the centres which are now being developed with a commuter focus. Their core service is being centrally funded for the first three years in recognition that their services are intended primarily for people who live outside the primary care trust area.

Our aim is that all NHS walk-in centres should be funded locally and sustainably. The recently published White Paper, Our Health, Our Care, Our Say: A New Direction for Community Services" commits the Department to review NHS walk-in centre funding arrangements to deliver this. Until that review has been completed it is not possible to set a timeframe for this change.

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