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13 Jun 2006 : Column 1159W—continued

13 Jun 2006 : Column 1160W

Gershon Report

Peter Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many civil servants were employed in her Department before the Gershon Report; what net reductions are proposed in the Gershon Report; how many reductions have been made; and how many civil servants are expected to be employed in her Department in the Gershon target month of April 2008. [74290]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Gershon Report, confirmed by the 2004 Spending Review, set the Department a target net reduction of 720 in its number of full-time equivalent (FTE) posts. As the Department had already embarked on its change programme, it was agreed that reductions made since the programme was announced in March 2003 would be included and the 720 target was calculated and agreed on this basis. The baseline level of staffing was therefore the 3,645 FTE posts that had previously been budgeted for in 2003-04. The Change Programme anticipated an eventual staffing level of 2,245 FTE posts, a reduction of 1,400 FTE posts. This consisted of the 720 Gershon target and a further 680 to be achieved through the transfer of work to other organisations.

As at 31 March 2006, the Department’s staffing was 2,387 FTE (this may not correspond with other published figures because of the way secondments into and out of the Department are counted). This represented a reduction of 1,258 FTE from the baseline of 3,645 FTE, and consisted of a 635 net reduction and 623 transfers to other organisations. The Department is therefore well on the way to meeting its April 2008 targets in terms of both net reductions and transfers.

Health Treatment Centres

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 27 March 2006, Official Report, columns 937-38W, on health treatment centres, what cost has been met by her Department for commissioning procedures from independent sector treatment centres that is in excess of the NHS equivalent (a) in total and (b) broken down by primary care trust; and how much the NHS has paid in total to independent sector treatment centres. [73263]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information requested is commercially sensitive and could impact upon the Department's ability to obtain best value from phase two of the independent sector procurement.

Health White Paper

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) pursuant to the answer of 10 March 2006, Official Report, column 1821W, to the hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire (Mr. Lansley) on the Health White Paper, when she expects to publish the conclusions of the review announced in paragraph 3.34 of the Health White Paper and referred to in the answer; [66723]

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(2) pursuant to the answer of 27 February 2006, Official Report, column 452W, on the Health White Paper, when she expects the review of NHS walk-in centre funding arrangements to report; and when she expects to publish it. [68053]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The matters are still under consideration.

Hospital Negligence Cases

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hospital negligence cases have been (a) filed and (b) upheld in each of the last five years, broken down by hospital. [74560]

Andy Burnham: The information requested is not collected by hospital. However, the information is available by national health service organisation which has been placed in the Library.

Hospital Travel Costs

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the cost to a hospital trust of reimbursing the travel costs of patients eligible under the hospital travel costs scheme is (a) included in the reference cost or national tariff payment to the hospital
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trust and (b) forms an additional cost which may be invoiced to the patient's primary care trust; and if she will make a statement. [75502]

Andy Burnham: Where the service provided to a patient falls within the scope of payment by results the national tariff applicable to that service includes an element in respect of the hospital travel costs scheme (HTCS) and hospital trusts should not receive additional funding from primary care trusts (PCTs) in respect of that patient. Where the service is outside the scope of payment by results the trust will need to recover its outlay in respect of HTCS from the PCT in the normal way.


Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) name and (b) location is of (i) each of the independent sector treatment centres (ISTCs) which were established at part of the first wave of the ISTC programme and (ii) each ISTC which is planned in the second wave; and if she will make a statement on the progress of the programme. [67861]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The names and addresses of the fully operational wave one independent sector treatment centres (ISTCs) are shown in the table.

Independent sector treatment centre Address

GC4 spine chain

East Cornwall, Bodmin NHS Treatment Centre

Bodmin, Cornwall, PL31 2QT

East Lincolnshire, Boston NHS Treatment Centre

Boston West Business Park, Sleaford Road, Boston, PE21 8EG

West Lincolnshire, Gainsborough NHS Treatment Centre

Ropery Road, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, DN21 2TJ

North and East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, Clifton NHS Treatment Centre

Bluebeck Drive, Shipton Road, York, YO30 5RA

Northumberland Tyne and Wear, Cobalt NHS Treatment Centre

The Silverlink North, Cobalt Business Park, North Tyneside NE27 0BY

Southampton, Capio New Hall Hospital NHS Treatment Centre

Bodenham, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP5 4EY

Thames Valley, Woodland Hospital NHS Treatment Centre (interim site)

Rothwell Road, Kettering, Northamptonshire, NN16 8XF

Thames Valley, Reading NHS Treatment Centre

Swallows Croft, Reading, RG1 6UZ,

GC5 west chain

Kidderminster, Kidderminster Treatment Centre

Bewdley Road, Kidderminster, Worcestershire, DY11 6RJ

GC8 chain

Portsmouth, St. Mary's NHS Treatment Centre

Milton Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, P03 GAD

Medway, Will Adams NHS Treatment Centre

Beechings Way, Gillingham, Kent ME8 GAD

Wycombe, Mid and South Buckinghamshire NHS Diagnostic Centre (diagnostic services only)

Unit 2, The Merlin Centre, Cressex Business Park, High Wycombe HP12 3QL

Local projects

Bradford, Eccleshill NHS Treatment Centre

45 Harrogate Road. Eccleshill Bradford BD10 0JE

Trent, Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre

2 Lindrick Way, Barlborough, Chesterfield, S45 4XE

Shepton Mallet, Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre

St. Peters Road, Shepton, BA4 4PG

Greater Manchester, Greater Manchester Surgical Centre

Bowers Avenue, Davyhulme, Manchester, M41 SSL

Plymouth, Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre

Building 3, Derriford Business Park, Plymouth, PL6 5QZ

OC123 ophthalmology chain

Mobile Cataract Unit


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Phase two of the ISTC procurement is in progress. Invitations to negotiate (ITNs) have been issued for 12 schemes for electives procedures in the following areas:

We expect a further tranche of ITNs to be issued in the summer.

Negotiations are also under way with bidders on seven regional diagnostics schemes. These are in the following areas:

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By the end of 2005, patients had benefited from over 250,000 procedures centrally procured from the independent sector including those from ISTCs, the general supplementary contract and the magnetic resonance imaging contract. ISTCs are now firmly part of the national health service family, delivering NHS services to NHS patients. Phase two of the programme is currently underway which will further increase NHS capacity, reduce waits for treatment and diagnostic tests, and increase patient choice.

Leased Land

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what (a) land and (b) property her Department (i) leases and (ii) leased in (A) 1979, (B) 1983, (C) 1987, (D) 1992 and (E) 1997 in (1) the Southend West constituency, (2) Essex, (3) Hertfordshire and (4) the Metropolitan Police area of London. [72113]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department does not hold any land.

The Department does not have details of leases prior to 1996.

In 1997 the leases held were as follows:


Southend West Constituency

None held


St. Charles School, Weald Road, Brentwood, Essex CM 14 4SN


None held

Metropolitan Police area of London

Skipton House, 80 London Road, London SE1 6LH

Hannibal House, London SE1 6TE

Health Control Unit, Waterloo, International Terminal, London SE1

Eileen House, Newington Causeway, London SE1 6EF

40 Eastbourne Terrace, London W2 3QR

Market Towers, 1 Nine Elms Lane, London SW8 5NQ

Marfan Syndrome

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received from (a) medical staff and (b) others regarding provision for people with Marfan syndrome. [77233]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: I am not aware of receiving any recent representations regarding the provision of health and social care for those living with Marfan syndrome.

Mental Health (Barnet)

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on funding for mental health services in Barnet. [75999]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The resources that are necessary to deliver mental health services are included in the unified allocations made directly to primary care trusts (PCTs). It is for PCTs in partnership with strategic health authorities and other local stakeholders to determine how best to use these resources to deliver services in line with their assessment of local need.

Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether

John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment she has made of the potential risks to public health associated with the use of Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether as an additive in gasoline; [76663]

(2) what assessment she has made of whether Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether presents a greater risk to public health than alternative gasoline additives. [76664]

Caroline Flint: The Department has not undertaken a formal comparison of Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) with other fuel additives. However MTBE has been assessed separately.

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The Department’s committee on the medical effects of air pollutants (COMEAP) published a statement on the air quality and health implications of MTBE in September 2000(1). This concluded that

This conclusion was very similar to that of a major review of the potential health effects of oxygenates, including MTBE, carried out by the Health Effects Institute in 1996 in the United States of America (USA). This concluded that ‘it is unlikely that fuel containing oxygenates would substantially increase the overall health risk from fuel used in motor vehicles’ (levels of MTBE use in the USA are higher than in the United Kingdom).

MTBE has also been evaluated under the existing substances regulations(2). This concluded that risks to consumers were not expected as risk reduction measures already being applied are considered sufficient. There were concerns for the potability of drinking water in respect of taste and odour as a consequence of leakage from underground storage tanks and actions to reduce this were recommended. Recommendations were also made to reduce repeated dose local skin effects in workers involved in maintenance operations and automotive repair.

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