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20 Jun 2006 : Column 1800W—continued

Departmental Chief Accounting Officer

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) name, (b) professional and academic qualifications and (c) relevant experience are of the chief accounting officer of her Department. [76796]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: As Acting Permanent Secretary, Hugh Taylor is the Principal Accounting Officer for the Department.

Before becoming Acting Permanent Secretary, he was the Department's strategy and business development group director. He previously held senior management jobs in the Prison Service, the Cabinet Office and was director for national health service work force in the NHS executive.

Accounting officer is a role that the Permanent secretary combines with his personal responsibility for the overall organisation, management and staffing of the Department and for Department-wide procedures in financial and other matters. The accounting officer is assisted in the discharge of these duties by suitably qualified and experienced senior managers, such as Richard Douglas, the director-general of Finance and Investment.

Departmental Staff

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) EU foreign nationals and (b) non-EU foreign nationals have been employed in her Department in each of the last five years; what vetting procedures are in place for each category of staff; and whether these include liaison with foreign law enforcement agencies. [68018]

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Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information is not held centrally. Prior to the appointment of new employees, nationality checks are carried out to establish compliance with civil service nationality rules. Other checks, including the taking up of references, character enquiry and health checks are also conducted. These would not routinely include liaison with foreign law enforcement agencies.

Disability Access

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether any buildings in her Department fall short of disability access regulations. [72990]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) audits have been completed on all of the Department’s buildings. All of the Department’s buildings are accessible and usable and meet DDA accessibility standards.

Drug Quotas

Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment her Department has made of the effect on NHS costs of manufacturers’ quotas on medicines and drugs and restrictions on the parallel importation of drugs and medicines; [77462]

(2) what recent discussions she has had with pharmaceutical manufacturers on their quotas on the supply of medicines and drugs in England; [77463]

(3) what assessment her Department has made of the possible impact of manufacturers' quotas for the supply of medicines and drugs in England on the pharmaceutical wholesale and retail sectors. [77464]

Andy Burnham: In terms of the impact on national health service expenditure, information is not routinely collected on the source of products, but from the data currently available, the Department estimates that parallel imports save the NHS in England approximately £60 million per year in the community sector.

Parallel importing is legal within the European Union (EU). The United Kingdom (UK) parallel import licensing scheme allows medicinal authorised products in other EU member states to be marketed in the UK provided the imported products have no therapeutic difference from the equivalent UK products.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) liaises closely with the relevant competent authorities to obtain the necessary information to ensure that only those products which fully comply with the stringent criteria for parallel import are granted a licence. This information is published at monthly intervals on the MHRA's website.

The Department has had no recent discussions with manufacturers nor made an assessment of the possible impact of quotas on the supply of medicines.

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Drug Trials

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will take steps to ensure that in human trials of medicinal drugs not previously ingested by human beings the drugs are not to be ingested simultaneously by the volunteers. [76616]

Andy Burnham: Following the recent drug trial incident involving TGN 1412, an expert working group of leading international experts was established to address the scientific questions that were raised by it. In particular, recommendations we requested regarding this type of drug and how to manage the risks associated with making the transition from pre-clinical testing in animals to trials in humans.

Professor Gordon Duff, who is Professor of Molecular Medicine at Sheffield University, has been appointed to act as chair of the group.

On receipt of the report from this group, the Government will consider what steps might be required to minimise risk for first human trials in the light of their recommendations.

Food Promotion

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what methods her Department will use to carry out its 2007 assessment of changes in food promotion to children as proposed in the 2004 Choosing Health White Paper. [76706]

Caroline Flint: We have said that we want to see a change in the nature and balance of food and drink advertising and promotion to children so that it better represents a healthy balanced diet.

We will be establishing a baseline against which we can assess what progress has been made. The assessment will take into account any reduction in the volume or scheduling of advertisements across television and various non-broadcast media in recent years, and what changes have been made to the content of those advertisements.

Gershon Review

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 2 May 2006, Official Report, column 1540W, on the Gershon Review, to the hon. Member for Mid-Sussex (Mr. Soames), if she will break down the savings by main budget heading. [76388]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The total savings to December 2005 break down as follows:

Amount (£ million)

Productive time




Corporate services


Social care


Policy funding and regulation




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These figures were set out in the Department’s report published in May 2006.

Head Injuries

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how payment by results will affect the commissioning and delivery of services for those with a serious head injury; [76142]

(2) what steps have been taken to implement the recommendations in the Health Committee’s Report of Session 2000-01, on Head Injuries: Rehabilitation, in relation to (a) improving data collection on the incidence, prevalence and severity of head injuries, (b) facilitating the planning of services for those with a head injury, (c) making explicit the level at which planning for serious head injury rehabilitation should be located and (d) commissioning and delivery of specialist services. [76143]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: In our response to the Committee (CM 5226, July 2001) the Government undertook to take their recommendations into account in drawing-up the national service framework for long-term neurological conditions (NSF), and subsequently did so. The NSF was published last year and we are now working with stakeholders to implement it.

It is the responsibility of local professionals to commission services to meet the current and forecast needs of the people they serve.

Under payment by results, money follows patients and so providers are rewarded for the number and complexity of cases they treat, and incentivised to provide high quality care.

Health Professional Council/General Osteopathic Council (Funding)

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been allocated to the (a) Health Professional Council and (b) General Osteopathic Council in each of the last nine years. [77058]

Andy Burnham: The Department granted the following amounts to the following organisations over the past four years. Information for the previous five years can be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The information available is shown in the following table:

Regulatory body
General Osteopathic Council Health Professions Council













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Health Treatment Centres

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients have been treated at each independent sector treatment centre since each was established, broken down by type of treatment received. [61716]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Information on the number of elective procedures performed by centrally procured independent sector treatment centres (ISTCs) in wave one is shown in the tables. Data are not held centrally by speciality except for the Greater Manchester Surgical Centre which has a different contractual arrangement. The table also indicates where all an ISTCs procedures fall within one specialty.

Treatment centres Number of elective procedures( 1)

GC4 spine chain

East Cornwall, Bodmin NHS Treatment Centre


East Lincolnshire, Boston NHS Treatment Centre


West Lincolnshire, Gainsborough NHS Treatment Centre


North and East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire,


Clifton NHS Treatment Centre

Northumberland Tyne and Wear, Cobalt NHS Treatment Centre


Southampton, Capio New Hall Hospital NHS Treatment Centre


Thames Valley, Capio Reading NHS Treatment Centre, Woodland Hospital NHS Treatment Centre


GC5 west chain

Kidderminster, Kidderminster Treatment Centre


GC8 chain

Portsmouth, St. Mary’s NHS Treatment Centre


Medway, Will Adams NHS Treatment Centre


Local projects

Bradford, Eccleshill NHS Treatment Centre


Trent, Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre(2)


Daventry, The Birkdale Clinic


Shepton Mallet, Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre


Greater Manchester , Greater Manchester Surgical Centre


Plymouth, Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre(2)


OC123 ophthalmology chain

Mobile Cataract Unit(2)


20 Jun 2006 : Column 1805W
Greater Manchester, Greater Manchester Surgical Centre Number of elective procedures( 1)



General Surgery








Plastic Surgery




(1) Number of elective procedures at March 2006.
(2) Single specialty. The Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre and the Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre only perform orthopaedic procedures. The Mobile Cataract Unit only performs ophthalmology procedures.

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with which independent treatment centres the NHS holds contracts; what type of treatment was contracted for in each case in the most recent year for which figures are available; how many episodes of treatment were contracted for in each case in that year; which NHS body holds the contract; which primary care trusts are covered by the contract; whether a (i) Wave 1, (ii) Wave 2 and (iii) other type of contract applies; and what the (A) name and (B) legal status is of the proprietor of each centre. [79101]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Information is not held centrally on spot purchased activity from the independent sector by local commissioners. Details of the first wave of independent sector treatment centre (ISTC) contracts have been placed in the Library. All wave one ISTC contracts have been entered into with companies registered in England and Wales.

No contracts have been finalised for phase two of the procurement for additional elective and diagnostic activity or the extended choice network of independent providers.

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