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16 Jun 2006 : Column 1552W—continued

All schemes are required to have secured outline and full planning permission as a condition of approval to proceed to construction.

Indoor Pollution

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of indoor pollution on the population; and if he will make a statement. [75567]

Caroline Flint: The Department has not undertaken a formal assessment of the effects on indoor air pollution on the population. However, the committee on the medical effects of air pollutants (COMEAP) frequently looks at evidence gathered from studies of the effects of indoor air pollution on health. COMEAP has recently published, on its website, a substantial document entitled “Guidance on Indoor Air Quality” which is available at:

This document reviews the major indoor air pollutants and provides important advice on how to maintain good indoor air quality.

Information Technology

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent on information technology (IT) sourced from outside her Department in each of the last five years; who is responsible for such projects in her Department; and what IT (a) expertise and (b) qualifications they possess. [71759]

Caroline Flint: The information that follows pertains to the central Department and does not cover Executive agencies, other arm’s length bodies or NHS Connecting for Health. A de minimis of £100,000 per annum has been applied.

Since June 2002 the Department has spent a total of £88.42 million with Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), its information technology (IT) service provider through the information management services agreement. This has included the annual support charges and the cost of the transformation programme. It has also included expenditure, which CSC administer on behalf of the Department, for example BT costs for the wide area network and business ports, and audio conferencing and mobile telephone costs. The remainder of the costs over the five years have been apportioned to project work in support of the integrity and resilience of the infrastructure. These two areas are listed as follows as project and pass through charges. Details of other IT spend, corporate software, telecommunications, the finance system and the web content management system and external hosting are shown in the table.

£ million


CSC annual support charge


CSC project and pass through charges


Corporate software (including maintenance)




BT external hosting



CSC annual support charge


CSC transformation charge


CSC project and pass through charges


Corporate software (including maintenance)




BT external hosting



CSC annual support charge


CSC project and pass through charges


Finance systems project


Corporate software (including maintenance)




BT external hosting



CSC annual support charge


CSC project and pass through charges


Corporate software (including maintenance)




BT external hosting


2006-07 (Projected costs)

CSC annual support charge


CSC project and pass through charges


Corporate software (including maintenance)


Web content management service




BT external hosting


(1) £2.72 million invoiced so far. (2) This contract has just been let and the estimated costs cover the next five years.

The sponsor of major IT projects would always be a member of the senior civil service with several years of experience in dealing with such projects and with IT suppliers. As project sponsor his or her responsibility
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would be to draw together project boards and project teams of civil servants and/or consultants with both project management and procurement qualifications, for example PRINCE2 practitioners and members of the Institute of Purchasing and Supply. Procurements and implementation of projects are undertaken in line with Office of Government Commerce best practice and European Union procedures as required.


Jessica Morden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance is available to the Department on the use of insulins. [76553]

Andy Burnham: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published a technology appraisal ‘Guidance on the use of long-acting insulin analogues for the treatment of diabetes—insulin glargine’ in December 2002.

However, the choice of insulin prescribed to a patient is a clinical decision made as a result of a joint decision-making process between the patient and their clinician taking into account all available evidence and the individuals specific clinical needs.

From January 2006, the NICE guidance on patient education has required all primary care trusts to implement NICE recommendations by providing all people with diabetes with high quality, structured education which should include information on insulin use.

Liverpool City Council

Jane Kennedy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what resources are being deployed by the Commission for Social Care Inspection to ensure that Liverpool city council social services department complies with national standards of service delivery in (a) care of the elderly and (b) vulnerable adults. [72462]

Ms Rosie Winterton: I understand from the Chair of the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) that it does not hold a numerical quantification of the resources involved.

Liverpool social services is currently judged to be a one star council, serving some adults well, with uncertain prospects for improvement.

CSCI undertook a joint inspection with the Healthcare Commission of older people's services in May 2005. It identified key areas of improvement around strategy and needs analysis and commissioning and performance management.

Liverpool council has produced improvement plans, which are being monitored by CSCI through the regular business meeting process with the director of adult social services, senior managers, front line managers and elected members of Liverpool city council.

The joint ‘Supporting People’ inspection of Liverpool council in June 2004 identified the key areas of development to focus on the improvement of management capacity, commissioning and performance management and
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partnership and engagement. CSCI is working with partners, including the Audit Commission, to ensure Liverpool council is engaging staff and users in order to positively promote and enhance performance progress.

CSCI, through its regulatory activity, has noted that the council's own regulated services are demonstrating an improvement and that when regulatory requirements are made they are met within the timescales.

Local Improvement Finance Trust Schemes

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the local improvement finance trust schemes undertaken in (a) Forest of Dean constituency and (b) Gloucestershire in each year since the initiative was introduced. [73794]

Caroline Flint: There are no local improvement finance trusts (LIFT) schemes in the Forest of Dean constituency and Gloucestershire. It is for local primary care trusts to decide to seek approval from the Department to establish LIFTs in their areas, and they do this in the light of the health and social care needs of their population. The local primary care trusts have decided not to seek approval to establish LIFTs in their areas.

Management Consultancy

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much (a) Kennett and North Wiltshire primary care trust and (b) West Wiltshire primary care trust spent on management consultancy in each of the last five years. [75863]

Caroline Flint: Detailed information about contracts for management consultants engaged by national health service bodies is not held centrally.

Maternity Units

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many times the midwife-led birth unit at Gloucestershire Royal hospital has been closed in (a) 2005 and (b) 2006. [76077]

Caroline Flint: This is a matter for the Chair of Gloucestershire National Health Service Foundation Trust. I have written to Dame Janet Trotter informing her of your enquiry. A copy of her reply will be placed in the Library.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what grounds it has been decided to propose Stroud Maternity Unit for closure; and what account she has taken of the new payments by results system in making that decision. [76083]

Caroline Flint: Within the framework of the NHS Plan and other national policy documents, it is for local health economies to plan, develop and deliver local services. Decisions on the range of services to be made available or closed in local areas are prioritised and led by local trusts.

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Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Strategic Health Authority has advised officials that a full consultation on health services in Gloucestershire will run from June 12 to 4 September.

Medical Treatment (Under-16s)

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will bring forward legislation to require health professionals (a) to attempt to persuade a person under 16 years of age to involve a parent or guardian in any medical treatment and (b) to require a person under 16 years of age who declines to involve a parent or guardian in their medical treatment to sign a waiver form confirming that they have rejected involvement of a parent or guardian; and if she will make a statement. [75528]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The courts have found that children aged under 16 who have sufficient understanding and maturity to enable them to understand fully what is involved in a proposed medical intervention will also have the capacity to consent to that intervention. Departmental guidance states that health professionals should encourage young people to involve their family in decision-making.

Mental Health

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) job losses and (b) ward closures there have been in each mental health trust in England in each of the last five years. [75604]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department does not routinely collect and hold centrally operational management information on proposals to close wards or change staffing levels. Such decisions are for trusts to determine in partnership with local stakeholders. This Government have given local authority overview and scrutiny committees (OSCs) the power to review and scrutinise health services from the perspective of their local populations. National health service bodies are under a duty to consult OSCs on any plans to make substantial variation to NHS services. Those committees have the powers to refer any proposal to the Secretary of State if they believe the plans are not in the interests of the health service.

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding was allocated to each (a) mental health trust and (b) primary care trust in England in each of the last five years. [75605]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department makes revenue allocations to primary care trusts (PCTs), but not to national health service mental health trusts. Allocations were first made to PCTs in 2003-04, but prior to this funding was allocated to health authorities.

Details of revenue allocations to PCTs for 2003-04 to 2005-06 and 2006-07 to 2007-08 have been placed in the Library.

Mr. Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many mental health patients from (a) Manchester
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Withington and (b) the city of Manchester have not been immediately admitted on referral to a mental health bed in a Manchester hospital in each year since 1997. [76454]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is not held centrally.

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on current waiting times for mental health outpatient treatment in Barnet. [75998]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department does not routinely assess waiting times for mental health services in any locality, including Barnet, because waiting time targets only apply to consultant-led services. This includes consultant-led mental health services. However, in mental health, referrals are usually made to the care of a multi-disciplinary team such as the local community mental health team rather than individual consultants. Therefore, the current waiting time targets are not robust indicators of access to mental health services, many of which take place outside the hospital setting.

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