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21 Jun 2006 : Column 1936W—continued


Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans there are to increase the number of audiologists. [77284]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Work force planning is now the responsibility of local national health service employers and strategic health authorities. It is for them to determine how many audiological staff are required to meet local service needs.

Breast Cancer

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her Department’s press release on HER2 testing dated 5 October 2005, whether it is her policy that all women diagnosed with breast cancer should be offered HER2 testing irrespective of the type of treatment being proposed in their case. [79302]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department’s policy is to ensure that testing arrangements are put in place so that patients who may benefit from herceptin are identified.

Professor Mike Richards, the national cancer director, is working with cancer networks to achieve this. An update from Professor Richards is due shortly and a report on progress will be made available as soon as possible afterwards.

Childhood Obesity

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the incidence of (a) overweight and (b) obesity was amongst children in England aged under 16 years in each year since 1997. [76737]

Caroline Flint: The main source of data on the prevalence of obesity is the Health Survey for England. The table shows the most recent data on the estimated prevalence of overweight and obesity in children aged two to 15 between 1997 and 2004. Data for 2005-06 are not yet available.

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21 Jun 2006 : Column 1938W
Prevalence of overweight and obesity among children( 1) , by gender, 1997 to 2004: England
Unweighted Weighted( 2)
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2003 2004






































































(1) Children aged two to 15 years. (2 )From 2003 data are weighted for non response. Data weighted for child selection only are provided for consistency with previous years. Source: Health Survey for England 2004. Updating of trend tables to include 2004 data. The Information Centre

Departmental Publications

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which statistical publications produced by her Department are issued (a) weekly, (b) fortnightly, (c) monthly, (d) quarterly and (e) annually; and what the planned date of publication is of each during (i) 2006 and (ii) the first half of 2007. [77565]

Andy Burnham: No departmental statistical publications are issued weekly or fortnightly. The following departmental statistical publication is issued monthly on its website:

The following departmental statistical publications are issued quarterly on its website:

The following departmental statistical publication is issued bi-annually on its website:

The following departmental statistical publications are issued annually on its website:

The following departmental statistical publication is regularly updated. The exact timing is dependent on publication of National Patient Survey results by the Healthcare Commission:

Timing of annual and other statistical publications produced by the Department is pre-announced by way of a 12-month publication plan on its website which is available at: CONTENT_ID=4016423&chk=eLDBG/.

This plan also currently includes statistical publications produced by the Information Centre for health and social care.

The Department process for pre-announcing statistical publications is carried out in accordance with the National Statistics protocol for release practices.


Mr. Bruce George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the use of the NHS Guidelines for the Appointment of General Practitioners with Special Interests in the Delivery of Clinical Services: Dermatology by primary care trusts when making such appointments; what steps she is taking to (a) monitor the appointment of such general practitioners and (b) ensure that such appointments are being made in line with the guidelines; and what plans she has to review the guidelines. [71112]

Ms Rosie Winterton: In conjunction with the Royal College of General Practitioners, national guidelines have been developed across a number of specialties to assist primary care trusts (PCTs) to accredit general practitioners with special interests (GPwSIs). GPwSIs are PCT-led services, and it is for them to ensure they reflect national guidelines and meet local need.

The Department is currently reviewing all existing guidelines in the context of the White Paper “Our health, our care, our say: a new direction for community services” published in January 2006, which identified the need to accelerate the development of facilities and services being provided closer to home. These updated guidelines will also include new advice on how commissioners should accredit services to meet national standards. These will be published later this year.

Foster Review

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she plans to publish (a) the findings of the Foster Review and (b) recommendations for the reform of healthcare regulation. [79299]

Andy Burnham: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given on 15 May 2006, Official Report, column 694W.

General Practitioners

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures are planned to increase the number of general practitioners recruited by the NHS over the next decade. [74993]

Ms Rosie Winterton: It is the responsibility of primary care trusts (PCTs) to assess and make provision for the healthcare needs of their local communities. PCTs ensure the maintenance of adequate staffing levels, including the recruitment of general practitioners through local delivery plans.

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“Delivering the NHS Improvement Plan: the Workforce Contribution” highlights strategic work force issues, which PCTs and strategic health authorities are asked to ensure are considered in their local delivery plans. This includes maintaining adequate staffing levels as well as achieving greater productivity.

Health and Social Care Act

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether she plans to extend the duty to consult under section 11 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001 to cover social care and new providers; and if she will make a statement. [79298]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The duty to consult is being considered in the review of patient and public involvement. The expert panel set up to conclude this review has now reported its recommendations to Ministers. There will be an announcement on the future of patient and public involvement shortly.

Health Care Regulation

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the new NHS Patient and Public Involvement Resource Centre at the University of Warwick is able to provide support in promoting patient and public engagement in respect of the future of professional healthcare regulation to (a) non-executive directors of NHS bodies, (b) participants in patient and public organisations, (c) lay members of healthcare regulatory bodies and (d) members of local authority scrutiny committees. [77083]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The patient and public involvement (PPI) resource centre will be delivered by the consortium of University of Warwick, Centre for Public Scrutiny and LMCA—Alliance for Health. The consortium will design, develop and deliver a new centre to support the delivery of PPI in health care delivery system. Part of its remit is to promote the value of PPI.

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the remit of the new NHS Patient and Public Involvement Resource Centre at the University of Warwick extends to (a) working with and (b) spreading best practice to (i) similar organisations in the UK and (ii) healthcare regulatory bodies. [77084]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The centre will also work with and spread best practice across all aspects of health and social care delivery. Currently, guidance in patient and public involvement (PPI) is provided and held by a variety of sources. A resource centre is needed to capture knowledge and learning from PPI activity systematically and create a process to enable the sharing of effective PPI practice (from the United Kingdom and overseas) and provide guidance to increase effectiveness in PPI. There is demand for personal and web-based information, signposting systems and networks—a virtual place for people to come together and exchange learning and experiences and a place for those new to PPI to get the best information to get started.

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Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the answer of 18 April 2006, Official Report, column 229W, on influenza, what steps she has taken to ensure that expanded production capacity for pandemic influenza vaccine is located in the UK. [75348]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Last year, the Department invited manufacturers to tender for a contract to supply pandemic flu vaccine once the pandemic strain is known. The tendering process for these contracts is ongoing and we cannot comment on the location until this is completed.

Management Consultants

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost to her Department was of employing management consultants (a) in the NHS and (b) for each (i) primary care trust, (ii) mental health trust and (iii) strategic health authority in each of the last five years. [76615]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department does not collect information from the national health service that would allow for an analysis of the cost of management consultants engaged by primary care trusts, mental health trusts, or strategic health authorities.

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