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Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many incidents of professional misconduct were (a) reported and (b) upheld against nursing staff trained and qualified outside the United Kingdom in each year since 1997. [79638]

Andy Burnham: Incidences of professional misconduct are reported to the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the relevant statutory independent regulator who deals with them under its fitness to practise procedures. Queries regarding this should be made directly to the Chief Executive at the Nursing and Midwifery Council, 23 Portland Place, London, W1B 1PZ, telephone number: 0207 637 7181.

Older People's Care

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment the Government have made of the extent to which continuity of care for older people encompasses the choice to live (a) at home and (b) in a care home. [70124]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Government's policy is to support people to remain in their own homes, where it is safe to do so and when it accords with their wishes and assessed needs.

Most people want to live in their own home for as long as possible. To enable them to do so, the Government have made substantial investment in care settings such as domiciliary care and extra care housing. Domiciliary
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care services can help people to remain in control of their own lives. They need to be delivered in ways that reflect individual needs and wishes and with respect for individuals, their homes and preferred lifestyles.

The Government believe that care homes are one of a range of options that should be available for supporting people with long-term care needs. We recognise that there will always be people who need or want the type of care that only care homes can provide. For them, care in a care home will be best suited to their needs and wishes and care homes offer them a positive choice. However, we believe that no one should be admitted into a care home until all other options have been explored and discussed with the service user, their carers and relatives.

Operations (Private Sector)

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what proportion of the Department’s budget has been allocated to the private sector for the performance of routine operations for NHS patients in each year since 1997; [61719]

(2) what proportion of the Department’s total budget has been (a) spent on private sector contracts in each year since 1997 and (b) allocated to private sector contracts in 2006-07. [61720]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department’s expenditure on centrally procured independent sector treatment centre providers, the General Supplementary Contract and the national contract for magnetic resonance imaging scans is shown in the table. Locally procured expenditure is not available.

Centrally procured independent sector (£ million) Proportion as a percentage of total net NHS expenditure













(1) Estimated Source: Department of Health


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the Department’s strategy is for encouraging general practitioners to look for early diagnosis of osteoporosis. [77809]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The prevention, treatment, care and support of those at risk of osteoporosis are important components in the delivery of the falls standard of the national service framework (NSF) for older people. The standard requires local health services to establish appropriate interventions and advice to prevent osteoporotic fractures.

The Department has asked the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to develop clinical guidelines and undertake technology appraisals of new treatments to build on and improve the framework of services set out in the NSF.

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Picture Archiving and Communications System

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many images have been stored on the National Programme for Information Technology's Picture Archiving and Communications System. [75436]

Caroline Flint: At the beginning of June 2006, over 35 million images had been stored using picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) delivered through the national programme for information technology. 32 PACS systems are now live, with around six new systems being deployed each month. Before advent of the national programme, this figure was around only five each year. The bulk of PACS deployments will be complete by March 2007, in line with the plan to have finished deployment throughout the national health service in England by the end of 2007.

Practice-based Commissioning

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which NHS services will not be contained within the commissioning scope of practice-based commissioning. [79038]

Andy Burnham: The services specifically excluded from the commissioning scope of practice-based commissioning are:

These services are excluded from the scope of a practice’s indicative budget as outlined in “Practice- based commissioning: achieving universal coverage” (January 2006) which is available on the Department’s website at:

A copy has been placed in the Library.

Private Care (NHS Facilities)

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress she is making in estimating the costs of provision by NHS facilities of private care; and what assessment she has made of whether the NHS makes a surplus from such provision. [79263]

Andy Burnham: The information is not held centrally.

Private Prescribing

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the guidance issued by her Department’s Medicines, Pharmacy and Industry Group on procedures for the private prescribing of schedule 2 and 3 controlled drugs, in what areas of the country general practitioners will be permitted to use the new FP10PCD prescription forms once registered with their local primary care trust. [80012]

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Andy Burnham: FP10PCD prescription forms are for use by all prescribers, including general practitioners issuing private prescriptions (non-national health service activity) for schedule 2 and 3 controlled drugs, where these drugs are to be dispensed by a community pharmacist. From 7 July 2006, their use will become a statutory requirement.

Prostate Cancer

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement about the pilot prostate cancer awareness campaign; and when the campaign will be rolled-out nationally. [80394]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Raising the public awareness of prostate cancer is one of the key challenges for the future. We want men to know what their prostate is, what it does, and what can go wrong with it. However, we have to raise awareness in a responsible way so as not to cause undue anxiety and worry, and also not to overwhelm national health service services when there is no clear clinical benefit.

Through the work of the prostate cancer advisory group, chaired by the National Cancer Director Professor Mike Richards, a pilot public awareness programme on the prostate has been developed. The pilot is jointly funded by the Department and signatories to the Prostate Cancer Charter for Action. The Department is providing £100,000 for the pilot.

ContinYOU, a community learning charity based in Coventry, were successful in being appointed to run the pilot following a formal tendering exercise. ContinYOU is currently holding focus groups with different groups of men to assist in designing the programme, which is due to run in September 2006 in Coventry.

A formal evaluation of the pilot will be undertaken, assessing the effectiveness of the intervention tools used in raising awareness of the prostate and the impact of the pilot on NHS services.

If the evaluation proves that the pilot is successful, consideration will be given on how best to roll the pilot out across the NHS.

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress her Department is making towards finding a diagnostic test for prostate cancer which would be suitable for use in a national screening programme. [80396]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government are committed to introducing a national population screening programme for prostate cancer if and when screening and treatment techniques are sufficiently well developed for such a programme to be introduced.

The Department is supporting the development of screening technology for prostate cancer by having a comprehensive research strategy into all aspects of prostate cancer. We are jointly with other National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) members funding two NCRI prostate cancer research collaborates, and the Department is funding half of the total £7.4 million cost.

The research undertaken by the collaboratives covers all aspects of prostate cancer and has already generated the groundbreaking discovery of the overactive E2F3 gene in prostate cancer tumours. This discovery provides the potential not only to identify those at risk
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of developing the disease, but for the first time allows the prediction of how aggressive the cancer will be. Research is under way to turn this into a diagnostic test so that we can identify those patients whose prostate cancers are aggressive and urgently need treatment.

It is important to note that in order for a screening technology to contribute to saving lives it is essential for there to be effective treatments for the disease detected. That is why the Department is funding a £20 million trial of treatments for prostate specific antigen (PSA) screen-detected early prostate cancer (the ProtecT trial).

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations her Department made to the European Commission regarding the inclusion of rheumatoid arthritis as a priority area of EU Framework Programme 7. [79177]

Andy Burnham: At the Competitiveness Council held on 30 May 2006, a general approach was agreed on the seventh framework programme high-level text. A general approach is a political agreement which allows Ministers to agree in principle to a text that has yet to be considered by the European Parliament. The United Kingdom Government have supported the inclusion of arthritis as one of the priority diseases named in the agreed text.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consideration she has given to the merits of establishing a national clinical director for spinal cord injury. [80342]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: None. Primary care trusts are responsible for commissioning specialist services through specialised commissioning groups, and the national service framework for long-term conditions is specifically concerned with meeting the health and social care needs of all those living with long-term neurological conditions.

Strategic Health Authorities

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will summarise the representations she received in response to the consultations on (a) strategic health authorities, (b) primary care trusts and (c) ambulance services; and how many she received (i) in total and (ii) from Staffordshire. [76751]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: 1,030 separate letters were sent to Ministers, including the Secretary of State, during the consultation period on strategic health authority and primary care trusts reconfiguration. Of these, 11 were specific to Staffordshire.

261 separate letters were sent to Ministers, including the Secretary of State, during the consultation period on ambulance trust configuration. Of these, 192 concerned Staffordshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust and eight of these letters enclosed petitions totalling 2,946 signatures. In addition, Ministers met with a number of hon. Members during that time.

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Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to commence appraisal for the cancer drug Sunitinib; and how long the appraisal is expected to last. [79333]

Andy Burnham: Sunitinib for renal cell carcinoma is currently being considered by the Department for referral to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). NICE will publish a timescale for the appraisal when and if the drug is referred to them.


Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the risk to NHS professionals of litigation arising from (a) misdiagnosis and (b) medical complications when using the Mantoux skin test for tuberculosis. [76381]

Andy Burnham: The tuberculin product used in the United Kingdom (UK) is the most widely used product for Mantoux testing and is the World Health Organization reference standard. This product is currently unlicensed in the UK and can, therefore, only be administered on a named patient basis via a patient specific direction.

Doctors prescribe or administer unlicensed medicines to their patients on their own direct responsibility. Unlicensed medicines can be administered by other national health service professionals on the directions of a doctor but the doctor remains responsible for the
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decision to give the unlicensed product for the individual concerned. A claim can be brought against a doctor who prescribes or administers any medicine, whether licensed or unlicensed, if the patient can show that the doctor acted negligently. NHS professionals are required to have in place appropriate professional negligence insurance in respect of such claims.

United Health Europe

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the contracts that have been awarded in the UK by (a) the Government and (b) primary care trusts to United Health Europe; and if she will make a statement. [53684]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: One contract has been made between the Department and United Health Europe. This contract is for project management of nine primary care trust (PCT) pilots for improving the co-ordination of cancer care services.

The Department does not collect information about contracts which are agreed locally between PCTs and providers or which are within the purview of the devolved Administrations.

Waiting Times

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people had been waiting more than six months for an NHS in-patient operation in England at the end of (a) April and (b) May. [77693]

Andy Burnham: The number of patients waiting over six months at the end of April 2006 was 144. The figures relating to the end of May 2006 will be published on 30 June.

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