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20 Jun 2006 : Column 1805W—continued

Hospital Closures

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) hospitals and (b) other NHS units in England and Wales are being proposed for closure during the current financial year; and if she will make a statement. [74165]

Andy Burnham: The information requested for England is not available centrally. For Wales, it is a matter for the National Assembly for Wales.

Information Technology

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) originally estimated, (b) most recently estimated and (c) outturn cost was in each of the five largest information technology contracts agreed with outside suppliers over the last five years. [71760]

Caroline Flint: The information provided pertains to the central Department and does not cover executive agencies, other arm’s length bodies or NHS Connecting for Health.

The five largest information technology (IT) contracts agreed with outside suppliers over the last five years are:

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The information management services agreement-Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC)

The annual support charge for the CSC agreement has fluctuated from the initial estimated charge but this has been a reflection of the introduction of new services, for example, new remote working facilities, wireless connectivity services and new collaborative tools. Ongoing charges over five years are as follows:

£ million











(1) Forecast charges.

Transformation of the infrastructure formed a separate part of the agreement. The original estimate was £9.1 million. The estimate was revised to £12.6 million to include the cost of commissioning and implementing the new services. The outturn cost was £12.6 million.

A total of £88.42 million has been spent with CSC over the five years since the contract was let. The support charges and transformation form part of that figure. The remainder has 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 in line with changing technologies. These project and pass-through costs are listed as follows.

£ million











(1) Forecast charges. £2.72 million invoiced so far.

Finance system agreement-Cap Gemini

The original estimate for the project was £6.1 million. The revised estimate and actual cost was £5.6 million.

Corporate software agreement-IBM

The agreement was for a three year deal with three annual payments totalling £1.4 million. The original estimate and actual costs were the same.

Web content management service-Xansa

This contract was awarded early in 2006 and the estimated costs over the next five years are £5.11 million. The outturn is expected to remain the same as the estimated costs.

External applications hosting-BT

This annually renewable contract was for a hosting provision designed to be scaleable to meet the requirements of the Department. The charges represent the fluctuation in these requirements. The annual charges were:

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£ million











London Hospitals

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she last reviewed the strategic provision of hospital provision in London and the surrounding areas; and if she will make a statement. [77489]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 19 June 2006]: Strategic leadership and commissioning is a central role of new strategic health authorities and primary care trusts working with their partners. Strategic provision of hospital services has been a key part of the strategic authority responsibilities since shifting the balance of power was introduced in 2002.

Maternity Units

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether payment by results applies to midwife-led maternity units. [75990]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The tariff applies to midwife-led maternity units, to the extent that they are providing services within scope of payment by results. For example, deliveries in hospitals and maternity units are within scope of payment by results and the tariff would therefore apply for deliveries in a midwife-led unit. Home deliveries are excluded from the scope of payment by results and tariff would therefore not need to apply for a home birth managed by a midwife-led maternity unit.


Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of measles there were in England in each year since 1997; and what the percentage uptake of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine was in each year since 1988 in (a) England and (b) each region. [79040]

Caroline Flint: Laboratory confirmed cases of measles in England and Wales between 1996 and 2005 are available on the Health Protection Agency’s (HPA) website at:

On the 15 June 2006, the HPA reported that they had received reports of 449 confirmed cases of measles in England and Wales in the period January to May 2006. Further information is available at:

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Annual England data for years 1997 to 2005 are available from NHS Immunisation Statistics on the Department’s website at:

Mental Health/Learning Disabilities

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to promote the protection of people with (i) mental health problems and (ii) learning disabilities (A) at work and (B) in residential care settings. [74986]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Less than one in four people experiencing long-term mental health problems is in employment, and one third of those in employment report having been dismissed or forced to resign. There is evidence that better access to psychological treatment can help people to return to or maintain employment.

The Government are committed to improving access to evidence-based psychological therapies, and this policy was set out in the Labour manifesto 2005 and the “Our Health, our care, our say White Paper. Our Improving Access to Psychological Therapies” programme forms a key part of the Government’s “Health, Work and Well-Being—Caring for Our Future” (HWWB) strategy, which the Department launched last October with the Department for Work and Pensions and the Health and Safety Commission.

The Department is not responsible for the protection of people with learning disabilities at work. However, people with mental health problems and learning disabilities are protected by all employment legislation, for example that governing freedom from discrimination and equal opportunities. In addition, “The Duty to Promote Disability Equality statutory code of practice in England and Wales”, published by the Disability Rights Commission in December 2005, includes mental illness and learning disabilities.

There are a wide range of measures to protect vulnerable people in regulated social care, including those with mental health problems and learning disabilities. We have set out standards for care and treatment for the national health service and social care services in the national service framework for mental health and the White Paper, “Valuing People: a new strategy for learning disability”.

We have introduced national minimum standards for care homes, domiciliary care and adult placements to ensure that vulnerable people can live in a safe environment, where their rights and dignity are respected and staff are properly trained. The regulator, the Commission for Social Care Inspection, has powers to take swift and decisive action where abuse occurs, by serving enforcement notices on care homes and domiciliary care providers and, ultimately, it can close services down.

“No Secrets”, statutory guidance issued under section 7 of the 1970 Local Authorities Social Services Act by the Department in 2000, provides a complete definition of abuse and a framework for councils to work with the police, the NHS and regulators to tackle abuse and prevent it from occurring.

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We introduced the protection of vulnerable adults (PoVA) scheme in July 2004. PoVA prevents dangerous or unscrupulous people from gaining access to vulnerable people in care homes or being cared for in their own homes. The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Bill was introduced in Parliament on 28 February 2006. The new scheme will build on the existing PoVA scheme and will make it far more difficult for abusers to gain access to some of the most vulnerable groups in society. Subject to the necessary legislation being passed by Parliament, it will begin staged implementation in 2007.

Ministerial Visits (Accommodation)

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on how many occasions (a) civil servants and (b) special advisers in her private office have stayed overnight in (i) five star, (ii) four star and (iii) three star hotels in each of the last three years. [69211]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information requested is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental officials and special advisers are expected to make efficient and cost-effective arrangements.

National Blood Service

Lorely Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will ask the National Blood Service to issue guidance to its staff aimed at ensuring that men who have sex with men are treated with respect when they are told they are unable to give blood. [76951]

Caroline Flint: All staff working with blood donors are required to treat blood donors with respect. People who are asked not to donate blood are entitled to a clear explanation as to why they have been deferred or excluded from donating blood, this will include men who have sex with men.

Productive Time Savings

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on productive time savings, as envisaged by the Gershon Review, achieved since 2003-04; and what proportion of these savings are directly attributable to products delivered through the National Programme for Information Technology. [74054]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The latest reported savings figure for productive time is £879 million at December 2005.

The Gershon report “Releasing Resources to the Front Line” identified three main contributors to front line service (productive time) efficiency—information communication technologies (ICT), process redesign and work force reform.

Our delivery strategy for this programme recognises that efficiencies are achieved by technology, process and work force changes being delivered together. The national health service uses an integrated service improvement programme (ISIP) to plan and manage service improvement. This programme is a key element of implementing the national programme for information technology (NPfIT). More information is available at

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To avoid double counting, the approach to measuring most productive time benefits is based on outcome changes, for example day case rates, inpatient length of stay and emergency admission, rather than the separate contribution of ICT or work force or process change.

It is not therefore possible to determine the proportion of current or future gains attributable specifically to the NPfIT but clearly its contribution is likely to increase.

Details of our approach to productive time measurement and the specific measures used are explained in the Department’s efficiency technical note, which is available on the Department’s website at

NHS Finance

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average per capita NHS funding for 2006-07 is in rural areas. [72773]

Andy Burnham: The average allocation per person made to the 82 primary care trusts in predominantly rural areas in 2006-07 is £1,168.

NHS Treatment

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) elective hospital admissions, (b) first out-patient attendances following general practitioner referral and (c) consultant-led first out-patient attendances there were in the NHS in each year between 1990-91 and 2005-06. [75435]

Andy Burnham: Data from 1996-97 onwards are shown in the table. Data for the earlier years are not available on the same basis.

Elective hospital admissions( 1) First out-patient (OP) attendances following general practitioner referral( 2) Consultant-led first OP attendances( 3)









































(1) Heath Authority Monitoring and Monthly Monitoring, commissioner-based.
(2) QM08, provider-based.
(3) KH09, QMOP and QM08, provider-based.

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