|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the funding of new GP surgeries in Gloucestershire, with particular reference to the surgery proposed in Churchdown. 
Caroline Flint: The Government are committed to improving local health care facilities but the decision to modernise health care services has been devolved to the local level and improvements to such services will be based on local need.
I understand that West Gloucestershire PCT acknowledges that the current GP premises are in urgent need of replacement. The PCT is completely behind the Churchdown scheme and has been working in partnership with the practice in developing plans for a number of years.
The GP practices need to continue to consult with the existing strategic health authority and PCT and then with the new bodies when the reorganisation takes place, in order that business continuity is maintained.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what requirement there is for (a) primary care trusts and (b) hospital trusts to balance their annual budget in the 2006-07 financial year; what exceptions she has allowed to this requirement; and if she will make a statement. 
Strategic health authorities (SHAs) are responsible for delivering both overall financial balance for their local health communities, and ensuring that each and every body achieves financial balance. There is flexibility in how this objective is achieved. SHAs can agree a recovery plan for an organisation that phases the recovery of deficits over a number of years. However, for the NHS as a whole to balance, any overspending in one organisation must be matched by underspending elsewhere.
(2) how many hospital patients in Cornwall had their discharge delayed by (a) up to eight days, (b) between eight and 14 days, (c) between 15 and 27 days and (d) more than 28 days in each year since 2002. 
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people have been offered ex-gratia payments where they were infected with hepatitis C by the national health service blood or blood products; and how many people have been refused payments under this scheme. 
Caroline Flint: The Skipton Fund has made payments to 3,480 people who developed chronic hepatitis C infection due to national health service blood or blood products. It has refused 316 such claims. A further 492 payments were made to claimants who developed cirrhosis of the liver or primary liver cancer, while 104 claims for these complications have been deferred.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Information on the total number of home help hours delivered during the year is unavailable. The table shows the estimated number of contact hours during a sample week in September provided or commissioned by councils with social services responsibility in England for the years 1997 to 2005. Information on the number of privately arranged home help hours is not available centrally.
|Estimated number of contact hours of home care provided in England, 1997 to 2005|
|Survey week in September (year)||Contact hours for the week|
| Notes: 1. Estimates for missing data are included in the national total and the figures are rounded. 2. Households receiving home care purchased with a direct payment are excluded from these figures. Source: Department of Health, HH1 return.|
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what lessons were learned from the National Treatment Agencys clinical team study visit to Switzerland in 2004; and if she will make a statement on her policy on (a) safe injecting rooms and (b) models of injectable heroin prescribing. 
Caroline Flint: Safe injecting rooms for the supervised injecting of legally prescribed opiates such as pharmaceutical diamorphine, are an accepted part of clinical practice; the need for its use in individual cases is based on clinical judgement. Such injecting facilities are available in this and a number of other countries that prescribe injectable opiates for the management of opiate dependence and we fully support this. The Government do not, however, support the development of injecting rooms for the use of illegal drugs.
The Department, with the Home Office and the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) commissioned guidance from an independent expert working group chaired by Professor John Strang(1) on injectable opiate prescribing. This guidance(2) can be accessed through the NTA website, www.nta.nhs.uk We have also supported the funding of the pilots of injectable diamorphine prescribing that are currently underway in England which are looking at a new model of supervised diamorphine prescribing in the United Kingdom.
(1) Professor John Strang MBBS, FRCPsych, MD, Professor in Addiction Research, Director of the National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry Kings College London & Maudsely Hospital (South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, SLAM)
(2) Injectable heroin (and injectable methadone): potential roles in drug treatment NTA, DH, HO (June 2003)
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost was of the Making it Better, Making it Real Consultation conducted in the Greater Manchester, Cheshire and High Peak Primary Care Trust areas. 
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many mothers had home births in each year between 1997 and 2005, broken down by primary care trust; and what the ratio of midwives to birth was for home births in each case. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Information on the number of home births in each year between 1997 and 2004, broken down by primary care trust, has been placed in the Library. The information requested on the ratio of midwives to birth for home births in each case is not collected centrally.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 3 March 2006, Official Report, column 1046W, on medicines, what steps she plans to take to ensure that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency complies with target processing times. 
Andy Burnham: The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is taking a number of steps to improve its performance with respect to the assessment of product licence applications and variations and its ability to meet the target processing times. These include:
the recruitment of additional information processing and assessment staff, including pharmacists and physicians, to deal with the growing complexity of licence applications and approval procedures;
extended working hours and bonus payments to staff for their information processing and assessment outputs;
additional professional assessor training to enable each assessor to deal more efficiently with a wider range of scientific issues in each application; and
improvements to the recently introduced data, document and workflow management system to improve its processing times.
The MHRAs progress in dealing with the backlog of licence variation applications is already published on its website at www.mhra.gov.uk Once this special project is complete the MHRA will ensure that the future process provides for sustainable throughput against target times for all types of licence applications.
Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many mental health patients have been admitted to (a) Whitcliffe mental health ward in Ludlow Hospital in Shrewsbury and (b) the mental health ward at Whitchurch in Shropshire in each month since January 2004. 
Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients who live (a) within and (b) outside South Shropshire district council area have been admitted to Whitcliffe mental health ward in Ludlow in each month since January 2004. 
The current contract expires on 31 May 2006 and will be replaced by an Office of Government commerce framework agreement from which the Department will obtain an increased rebate of 5.84 per cent. of the room rate.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what status Muscular Dystrophy has under the national service framework for long-term conditions; and whether she plans to change that status. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Although the national service framework for long-term conditions (NSF) does not address individual long-term conditions separately as there are so many elements of service provision that are common to different conditions, muscular dystrophy is one of the neurological conditions specifically mentioned in the NSF.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions she has had with Hillingdon social services about the National Framework for Continuing Care; and what the content of those discussions was. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The national framework for national health service continuing healthcare and NHS-funded nursing care has been developed in consultation with a wide range of representatives from health and social care, voluntary organisations and patients and carers.
Hillingdon local authority social services attended an open discussion forum hosted by North West London Strategic Health Authority in December 2005. The purpose of this forum was to discuss an early draft of the proposed assessment tool which supports the national framework policy on eligibility for NHS continuing healthcare.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the operation of section 35 of the National Health Service Act 1977; and what recent representations she has received about the operation of this (a) section and (b) Act. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
The Select Committee on Health concluded in March 2001, following its inquiry into access to national health service dentistry, that the general dental services (GDS) remuneration system was at the heart of the problems facing NHS dentistry and that there was an urgent need to bring dentistry into the mainstream of the NHS. NHS Dentistry: Options for Change, published in August 2002, set out proposals to give primary care trusts direct responsibility for commissioning primary dental care services to meet the needs of their local populations and to alter the system of GDS remuneration. The Health and Social Care
(Community Health and Standards) Act 2003 provided the legislative framework for implementing these proposals, replacing section 35 of the National Health Service Act 1977 with new responsibilities upon primary care trusts to commissioning dental services.
Andy Burnham: In England and Wales advice on the use of gonadotropins is provided in the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellences clinical guideline Fertility: assessment and treatment for people with fertility problems.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the NHS Litigation Authority will conclude assessing the risks to the NHS from claims arising from the recent equal pay settlement for women working in Cumbrian NHS hospitals; whether the NHS Litigation Authority will make any estimates of future NHS liabilities; and if she will make a statement. 
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|