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Mental Health

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what targets she has set for the mental health of (a) young people, (b) people of working age and (c) people older than working age; and if she will make a statement. [59144]

Mr. Byrne: Improving child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) is one of the priorities for this Government, as emphasised by the public service agreement standard of a comprehensive CAMHS in every area of England. This commitment to improve CAMHS has been backed by significant additional funding, over £300 million in the last three years.

The CAMHS module of the children's national service framework for England (September 2004) sets the framework for CAMHS for the next 10 years. It sets the standard that all children and young people, from birth to their eighteenth birthday, who have mental health problems and disorders, will have access to timely, integrated, high quality multidisciplinary mental health services to ensure effective assessment, treatment and support, for them, their parents or carers, and other family members.

Alongside the core and developmental standards set out in 'National Standards, Local Action: Health and Social Care Standards and Planning Framework 2005–06—2007–08', local national health service bodies are working towards the following for those of working age:


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice her Department offers to patients who are prescribed methadone on where the medicine should be administered. [58378]

Caroline Flint: Patients are told that methadone and other prescribed drugs must be kept out of reach of children, and it is required that all medicines be provided in child resistant containers.

The Department published Drug Misuse and Dependence—Guidelines on Clinical Management (1999)", which gives advice and assists general
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practitioners (GPs) and specialist drug treatment workers in giving appropriate substitute prescribing advice to patients.

The guidelines 1 advise that methadone dose consumption should usually be supervised by either the patient's GP, a nurse or community pharmacist for the first three months of prescribing. In the rare event that such initial doses are to be taken unsupervised, the dose should be set to minimise the risk of unsolicited use and methadone diversion.

Pharmacists are provided with training packs provided by the centre for pharmacy post-graduate education, Opiate treatment: supporting pharmacists for improved patient care" which pharmacists are recommended to complete if taking part in the enhanced service to provide supervised consumption. This specifically covers the risks to children and opiate naive individuals of overdose.

Best practice guidance 2 to pharmaceutical services for drug users was published in February 2006 to help ensure the provision of verbal and written information on the safe storage of controlled drugs. Additionally, guidance for administration of medicine within pharmacies, which includes methadone, The NHS community pharmacy contractual framework enhance service—supervised administration (consumption of prescribed medicines)", was published in September 2005.

NHS Audits

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of expenditure by NHS organisations on audits of local consultations in the most recent year for which figures are available; what assessment she has made of the merits of such audits; and how much has been spent by NHS organisations on contracts awarded to the communications consultancy Clear in the most recent period for which figures are available. [41996]

Mr. Byrne: Figures are not available centrally of any costs of audit relating to local consultations and a national assessment has not been made by the Department. National health service spend on communications consultancies are not collected centrally.

NHS Finance

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answers of 8 February 2006, Official Report, column 1322W, on NHS tariff uplift and 27 February 2006, Official Report, column 450W, on the health budget, why the extra costs of delivering the 18 week waiting time target in 2006–07 has not been reflected in the uplift to the NHS tariff in 2006–07. [59847]

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Jane Kennedy [holding answer 20 March 2006]: The extra costs of delivering 18 weeks are reflected in increased activity rather than increased unit costs. The uplift in the national health service tariff reflects pay, price and reform pressures on unit costs.

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the figure of £41 million which was referred to by the Minister of State, Lord Warner in the debate on the NHS Redress Bill, [Official Report, House of Lords, 15 February 2006, c. 1183] was arrived at. [59933]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 20 March 2006]: The calculation is based on the information, supplied by stakeholders, that the cost of independently investigating a complaint of a complex nature such as a clinical negligence case is on average approximately £2,500. At present, the number of claims settled for under £20,000 represents approximately 75 per cent. of settled claims. We expect a similar proportion to be covered by the new scheme. Exact numbers are hard to predict. However, as the scheme aims to make seeking redress more straightforward we expect more people to come forward. Modelling work within the Department, based on patient survey data, suggests that improved access to justice under the scheme may cause claims to rise by anything from 2,200 to 19,500 a year. In total, therefore, we expect the number of cases falling within the scheme to range between 5,800 and 16,600 in year one. If each case was subject to independent investigation, this would result in a total cost of between £14.5 to £41 million in year one.

NHS Litigation Authority

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to improve the information available to the public (a) on medical negligence matters via the NHS litigation authority website and (b) on the credentials of members of relevant advisory panels. [62077]

Jane Kennedy: All matters relating to the content of the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) website and the credentials of members of relevant advisory panels are the responsibility of the NHSLA board.

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many claims were made against the NHS Litigation Authority on behalf of severely disabled children in each year from 2001 to 2005. [62084]

Jane Kennedy: The NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) administers claims made against national health service trusts and is not the legal defendant for clinical negligence claims. The table shows numbers of claims by notification year received by the NHSLA.
Number of claims made against NHS trusts and referred to the NHSLA of severely disabled children, 2001–05

Notification year to NHSLATotal

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