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27 Mar 2006 : Column 801W—continued


Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of graduate nurses are (a) employed as a nurse, (b) employed elsewhere in the NHS and (c) unemployed six months after graduation in (i)England, (ii) each region and (iii) each strategic health authority. [58864]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 16 March 2006]: This information is not collected centrally.

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many nurses graduated in each of the last five years; and how many nurses are expected to graduate over the next five years. [58865]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 16 March 2006]: In 2004–05, higher education statistics agency data shows that there were 17,513 students who successfully obtained a nursing or midwifery qualification (as recognised by the nursing and midwifery council) at a publicly-funded Higher Education Institution in England. Of these, 16,140 students were on a nursing course and 1,373 were studying midwifery.

These figures include both degree and diploma students as well as those who had graduated/diplomated in the previous reporting year but whose qualification was only reported in 2004–05. Similarly, there will be students who graduated in 2004–05 whose qualification will only be reported in the 2005–06 dataset.

Information prior to 2004–05 is not currently available.

The table shows the projected number of nurse graduates and diplomates from 2005–06 to 2009–10. This was forecast on the assumptions that numbers entering training each year will remain at current levels and the attrition rate during training is 18 per cent.

Higher Education Statistics Agency Student Record 2004–05.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to improve retention rates for nurses in training. [53745]

Mr. Byrne: Strategic health authorities (SHAs) on behalf of the national health service contract with higher education institutions (HEIs) for nurse training and it is within those contracts that standards are set which influence levels of attrition. We are currently introducing a new national contract framework which provides specific provision for local agreement to incentivise the reduction of attrition. The contract also formalises the need for SHAs and HEIs to work with the providers of practice placements to ensure good quality practical experience. This also helps to reduce rates of attrition.

We also ensure that NHS bursaries are provided to support nurses in training. These bursaries are increased annually. In addition, we have introduced child care
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allowances since 1 September 2004 to make it easier for students with child care responsibilities to complete their courses. From June 2005, we have implemented a trial period in which students who have to break their courses due to maternity or pregnancy leave are able to continue to receive their bursary for the period they are absent from their studies, up to 45 weeks.

Nutritional Profiling

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received on the Food Standards Agency's nutritional profiling model; what the content of these representations was; when they were received; and what she expects the nutritional profiling model to be used for. [60402]

Caroline Flint: The Department and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) have received eight representations on the FSA nutrient profiling model since it was adopted by the FSA board on 6 December 2005; four from food industry representatives and four from individual consumers and organisations representing consumers' interests.

Those from consumers and organisations representing consumers' interests have supported the model, while those from industry representatives have argued that it is not appropriate to differentiate between foods on the basis of their nutrient composition.

The FSA's nutrient profiling model is a tool for use by Ofcom, the United Kingdom's communications regulator, to enable them to target rules on television advertising of foods high in fat, salt and sugars, without having an unhelpful impact on the advertising of healthier options.

Ofcom is expected to consult on options for tightening the rules on broadcast advertising at the end of March.

Older People (Support)

Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many local authorities do not provide access to direct payments to older people; [59998]

(2) how many local authorities have refused direct payments to older people on the basis of an assessment of mental capacity in the last 12 months. [59999]

Mr. Byrne: The numerical data requested is not held centrally. Councils have a duty to make direct payments to all those 16-years-old and over who are assessed as needing support, regardless of their age. In the case of individuals under 16 years of age, the direct payment would be given to the person with parental responsibility.

It is up to councils to determine if a person has the capacity to consent to a direct payment and can manage one even if they may need assistance to do so. If a person does have capacity, councils cannot refuse them a direct payment.

Councils should not make blanket assumptions that whole groups of people will or will not be capable of managing direct payments.

OTC Medicines

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will publish the responses received to the proposals
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of the Better Regulation of Over the Counter (OTC) Medicines Initiative for the raising of fees for the validation of OTC medicines; and if she will make a statement. [58654]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 14 March 2006]: The proposals for fees for assessment of over the counter medicines formed part of a package of proposals for all fees relating to medicines regulation. I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on 16 March 2006, Official Report, columns 2480–81W.

Out-patient Appointments

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many out-patients appointments were made in each year since 1997, broken down by (a) general practitioner referrals and (b) other referrals. [48843]

Mr. Byrne: The number of first out-patient appointments made each year since 1997–98 following general practitioner (GP) or other referrals is shown in the table.

GP referralsOther referrals

The data provided is commissioner-based.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she will respond to Question 48215, tabled on 30 January 2006 by the hon. Member for Harrogate and Knaresborough, on sex offenders. [59376]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 20 March 2006]: A reply was given on 22 March 2006, Official Report, column 456W.

Private Finance Initiative

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 12 July 2005, Official Report, column 989W, on the private finance initiative (PFI), what the projected deficit is for (a) year end 2005–06 and (b) was for year end 2005–06 at month six for (i) Derby Hospitals NHS Trust, (ii) Cambridge University Hospitals, (iii) Gloucestershire Hospitals, (iv)Newham Healthcare NHS Trust, (v) Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, (vi)University College London Hospitals, (vii) Cornwall Healthcare NHS Trust and (viii) Norfolk and Norwich Health Care. [57512]

Jane Kennedy: The forecast outturn position for 2005–06, as submitted by national health service organisations at the mid-year point (month six), is a net
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deficit of around £620 million. The 2005–06 month six forecast outturn position for individual NHS organisations (strategic health authorities, primary care trusts and NHS trusts) is available on the Department's website at:

Copies of this information are also available in the Library.

The financial position for foundation trusts is not included. Monitor have responsibility for overseeing the financial performance of NHS foundation trusts.

Detailed in-year monitoring data is used for operational management of the NHS. It is not appropriate to publish the data on an on-going basis during the year.

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