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21 Jun 2006 : Column 1945W—continued

NHS IT Programme

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the answer of 16 May 2006, Official Report, column 944W, on the NHS IT programme, if she will list the organisations and individuals who responded to the consultation; and what meetings the NHS Information Authority carried out as part of its research. [75193]

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Caroline Flint: A list of names of all the organisations and individuals that responded at one or other stage of the consultation process on the national specification for integrated care records service is not held centrally. Some of the responses were provided by organisations which are no longer active.

The original “National Specification for Integrated Care Records Service (Consultation Draft)” was issued in July 2002 by the NHS Information Authority. Some 190 responses to the document were received from suppliers, clinicians, chief information officers (CIOs), information technology (IT) departments of national health service bodies and others, commenting on such aspects as architecture, functional omissions and the realisation of benefits that such a system would produce. These comments were included and formed the base document for the early draft of the output based specification (OBS). This draft was then refined. The clinical input was provided by almost three hundred individuals, and the IT community (IT managers and CIOs) numbered a further one hundred. A broad spectrum of NHS stakeholders was then engaged to review the draft OBS. The review group encompassed leading clinicians, practitioners, policy advisors, health informaticians and managers and included representatives from the Department, the NHS Information Authority, strategic health authorities, NHS trusts, primary care trusts, general practitioners, academic groups and other Government Departments.

It is known that many of these people also sought input from colleagues and we estimate that this cascade has resulted in many thousands of individuals having had a material input to the content and quality of the product.

A final list of 239 people was invited to review the OBS, from which a total of 105 formal review documents were received. From the 900 pages reviewed there were 1,175 comments of substance. These comments resulted in a further refined version of the OBS which was then distributed for any final comment. A response to every individual comment was returned to the reviewer in question.

Reflecting a level of transparency unprecedented for major projects within Government, the OBS was published to the public domain in July 2003 and is available on the Department’s website at .uk/PublicationsAndStatistics/.

In addition to many hundreds of internal meetings, there were 44 meetings held by the clinicians from the national programme with important stakeholders and stakeholder groups. These included several chairs of the Royal Colleges, and presentations to many hundreds of clinicians at various locations around the country.

Data on those consulted on ways of managing the confidentiality of patient health information have been placed in the Library.

23 meetings were carried out as part of the research phase in addition to eight focus groups and 56 face-to-face interviews, involving patients, researchers, suppliers, senior care service managers, and NHS information governance professionals.

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NHS IT Support

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what mechanisms have been put in place to manage the performance of strategic health authorities under option 2 of the procurement strategy outlined in paragraph 3.6.1 of her Department’s publication “Delivering 21st century IT support for the NHS”. [75124]

Caroline Flint: Strategic health authorities (SHAs) are responsible for co-ordinating local information technology investment and modernisation activities to deliver benefits from all of the national programme products and services to patients and staff and across the national health service. As part of the Department’s regular performance management arrangements for the NHS, SHA chief executives are held to account for delivery priorities for the NHS. Progress in national programme implementation has been the focus of a particular and stringent performance management process instigated by the former senior responsible officer for the programme.

These arrangements are complemented by a parallel process within individual SHAs, and by normal operational contacts with local NHS bodies to support and incentivise the deployment of national programme systems and services.

NHS Pension Scheme

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of members of the NHS pension scheme joined the scheme (a) before the age of (i) 20 years, (ii) 25 years, (iii) 30 years, (iv) 35 years, (v) 40 years and (vi) 45 years and (b) when they were over 45 years old. [61391]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Information on the proportion of joiners to the NHS Pension Scheme in the age bands requested from the year 2000 to date is shown in the following table.

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Age on joining NHS pension scheme Percentage Number

Before age:



















Over age:






Source: Pensions Division of the NHS Business Services Authority

NHS Performance

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her statement of 7 June 2006, Official Report, column 257, on NHS performance, why surpluses generated by primary care trusts and NHS trusts are transferred to strategic health authorities; what assessment she has made of the impact of such transfers on the transparency of financial accounting in the NHS; which (a) primary care trusts and (b) NHS trusts have transferred surpluses to strategic health authorities in the 2005-06 financial year; how much was transferred in each case; under what authority strategic health authorities are permitted to retain surpluses generated by constituent trusts; and if she will make a statement. [77473]

Andy Burnham: Surpluses generated by primary care trusts (PCTs) are transferred and held by strategic health authorities (SHAs) to allow the SHA to balance the financial position across all the organisations they performance manage. This helps increase the transparency of financial accounting and reporting in the national health service, as it means SHAs can ensure that these surpluses are not used to mask overspends of poorly performing organisations.

The Department did not require the SHAs separately to identify transfers of surpluses between PCTs and SHAs in their inter-authority transfer requests. However, for the current financial year the Department intends that transfers between PCTs and SHAs will be formally recorded in a note to their individual accounts.

The Secretary of State has the power to make adjustments to the resource limits of PCTs and SHAs under section 97 of the National Health Service Act 1977 as amended.

NHS Staff

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) doctors, (b) nurses and (c) dentists were employed in the NHS (i) in full-time equivalent terms and (ii) in headcount terms in (A) 1979, (B) 1997 and (C) the most recent period for which figures are available. [76961]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The figures requested are shown in the table.

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All NHS doctors, dentists and non-medical staff: England
Numbers (headcount) and full-time equivalents
Year All NHS doctors (including HCHS Dentists)( 1) All NHS dentists( 2, 3, 4, 5) Qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff( 6, 7, 8)
Number Fte Number Fte Number Fte






















n/a = not available (1 )Excludes medical hospital; practitioners and medical clinical assistants, most of whom are also GPs that work part time in hospitals. (2 )Data on dentists on a full-time equivalent basis are not available. (3 )Dentists consist of principals, assistants and trainees. Prison contracts have been excluded. (4 )A dentist with a GDS or PDS contract may provide as little or as much NHS treatment as he or she chooses or has agreed with the primary care trust. Information concerning the amount of time dedicated to NHS work by individual dentists are not centrally available. (5 )Data on dentists that work only in private practice are not held centrally. (6 )Figures for 1979 are hospital staff only and are therefore not directly comparable with later years. (7 )Figures for 1979 are taken from 1982 HPSSS publication. (8 )Includes GP practice nurses. Source: The Information Centre for health and social care Medical and Dental Workforce Census. The Information Centre for health and social care General and Personal Medical Services Statistics. The Information Centre for health and social care Non-Medical Workforce Census. NHS Business Services Authority.

NHS Trust Finances

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much each NHS trust, including foundation trusts, owed to other NHS bodies in the final period of the financial year 2005-06 broken down by NHS body; and how much was owed by each strategic health authority to each NHS trust. [77684]

Andy Burnham: The audited information for national health service trusts, primary care trusts and strategic health authorities will be available in the autumn following validation by the Department.

The information requested from NHS foundation trusts is not held centrally and may be obtained by contracting the chairman of each organisation.


Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of (a) males and (b) females are considered (i) obese and (ii) overweight. [77285]

Caroline Flint: The main source of data on the prevalence of obesity and overweight among children and adults is the Health Survey for England (HSE). Tables 1 and 2 show the most recent data on the prevalence of obesity and overweight in children and adults in 2004.

Table 1 presents prevalence among adults aged 16 and over.

Table 1: Prevalence of obesity and overweight among adults( 1) , by gender, 2004( 2)
England Percentage/number
















(1) Adults aged 16 and over (2) Data are weighted for non-response Source: Health Survey for England 2004. The Information Centre

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