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Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 6 July 2006

Leader of the House

FIFA World Cup

Mr. Hands: To ask the Leader of the House which matches (a) he and (b) the Deputy Leader of the House attended at the FIFA World Cup 2006 in Germany in their ministerial capacity; at what cost to public funds; and with what contribution from third party organisations. [83597]

Nigel Griffiths: None.



Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many women are known to have died within one month of operations for termination of pregnancy notified under the Abortion Regulations in each year since 1997; and what cause of death was recorded on the death certificate in each case. [81176]

Caroline Flint: The confidential inquiry into maternal and child health reports information on deaths following termination of pregnancy up to one year after the event. In the period 1997 to 2002 there were only seven such deaths known to the inquiry. Further information is contained within the two triennial reports on confidential inquiries into maternal deaths in the United Kingdom for the periods 1997-99 and 2000-02, which are available at www.cemach.org.uk.

Arun Community Hospital

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to be in a position to decide on the future of the Arun community hospital in Littlehampton. [82483]

Caroline Flint: Responsibility for decisions on the future of Arun community hospital rests with the local national health service.

Black/Asian Employees

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) black and Asian and (b) other people are employed in her Department’s press office. [74362]

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Mr. Ivan Lewis: The number of staff employed in the Department’s press office is 48. The number who have disclosed their ethnicity status cannot be given under grounds of confidentiality.

Breast Milk Substitutes

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the adequacy of regulations to protect against the promotion of products inferior to breast milk. [81530]

Caroline Flint: The Department is working with the Food Standards Agency to continue to press for changes to the recast European Union directive on infant formula and follow-on formula advertising.

The Department also intends to review, later this year, the United Kingdom regulations on infant formula and follow-on formula advertising, a commitment set out in the “Choosing Health—Making healthy choices easier” White Paper.

Childhood Immunisation Services

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many GP practices have opted out of providing childhood immunisation services following the introduction of the new GP contract in 2003; and where each is located. [79773]

Caroline Flint: In 2004, 6.3 per cent. of general medical services (GMS) partnerships had opted out of providing childhood immunisation services. In 2005, the proportion of GMS partnerships opting out was reported to be 36.7 per cent.

Comparison between 2004 and 2005 childhood immunisation services opt-out data should be undertaken with caution. Data as at 30 September 2004 was the first year in which opt-out data was collected on a partnership basis following the change in the general practitioner (GP) contract in April 2004. The figures published as at 30 September 2005 (a revision of earlier collected data) shows a great increase in the number of partnerships opting-out of childhood immunisation services, with no corresponding explanation of the increase.

The 2004 and 2005 data is published in full by The Information Centre for health and social care and can be found at www.dh.gov.uk/assetRoot/04/10/73/41/04107341.xls. A copy has been placed in the Library.

However, as part of its statutory duties, each primary care trust, under section 16CC of the National Health Services Act 1977(a), must provide a childhood immunisation scheme. If a GP opts out, then one per cent. is removed from the GPs global sum payment. This allows the primary care trust to re-provide the service with another contractor or to self-provide.

Connecting for Health

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her latest estimate is of the total implementation costs of Connecting for Health, including the cost of local implementation. [76973]

Caroline Flint: The value of contracts let for the core components of the national programme for
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information technology, which is being delivered by the department's NHS Connecting for Health Agency, amounts to £6.2 billion over 10 years and this has not increased. Information about local national health service expenditure on implementing the programme, separate from the totality of NHS spending on information technology, is not collected centrally.

However, the National Audit Office (NAO) have calculated that the full gross cost of the programme including national contracts and legitimately approved additions, other central expenditure, and local implementation costs is approximately £12.4 billion at 2004-05 prices. But this figure does not take into account anticipated savings in the price paid by the NHS for information technology goods and services due to the central buying power of NHS Connecting for Health, or in NHS staff time saved through using the programme's systems and services. The NAO
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report acknowledges an independent evaluation that confirms that £4.5 billion has been saved by central rather than local procurement and also acknowledges a further £860 million of savings achieved through centrally negotiated enterprise wide arrangements.


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many consultants per capita there were in (a) Gloucestershire and (b) England in each year since 1997. [77827]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 15 June 2006]: The number of consultants per 100,000 weighted population and per 100,000 unweighted population in England and Gloucestershire in each year since 1997 is shown in the table.

Hospital and Community Health Services (HCHS): Medical and dental consultants within England and Gloucestershire( 1) and numbers per 100,000 population( 2,3,4)( ) As at 30 September each year
Numbers (headcount) and numbers (headcount) per population
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005






















Consultants per 100,000 weighted population( 2)





















Consultants per 100,000 population





















(1 )In obtaining the consultant numbers, Gloucestershire is defined as the Gloucestershire HA area for 1997 to 2001 and the following organisations for 2002 to 2005: South Gloucestershire PCT, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury PCT, West Gloucestershire PCT, Cotswold and Vale PCT, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Gloucestershire Partnership NHS Trust. (2 )The population data used in these calculations is weighted for HCHS age and need. (3 )The England weighted population is normalised or scaled back to, and therefore equals, the England unweighted population. The exceptions; the years 2003-04 to 2005-06 where we updated PCT unweighted populations using the 2004 ADS constrained to 2003 based ONS population. It is not possible to update the weighted populations and they are still based on the 2002 ADS constrained to 2001 ONS estimates. (4 )In obtaining the population data, Gloucestershire is defined as the Gloucestershire HA area for 1997-98 to 2002-03 and Cheltenham and Tewkesbury, Cotswold Vale and West Gloucestershire PCT areas from 2003-04 Source: The Information Centre for health and social care Medical and Dental Workforce Census.

Departmental Documents

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which (a) individuals and (b) organisations received an embargoed copy of each (i) consultation document and (ii) White Paper produced by her Department in 2006; and if she will make a statement. [77567]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information sought by the hon. Member with respect to all consultation documents could only be supplied at disproportionate cost.

Embargoed copies of the “Our health, our care, our say” White Paper were provided on the day of publication to Parliament under the usual conventions, to journalists and to seven members of the citizen’s panel who advised on the development of the White Paper.

Digital Hearing Aids

Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding has been made available for the introduction of digital hearing aids; and if she will make a statement on the progress of their introduction. [82193]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The modernising hearing aids service programme (MHAS) was managed by the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID), on behalf of the Department from 2000 to 2005. Through this programme, the Government have invested £125 million to ensure that by 2005 all national health service hearing aid services could routinely fit modern digital hearing aids.

There have been other significant improvements:

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Direct Payments

Mr. Walter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will set a timetable for the extension of direct payments made in lieu of social services provision to people who are currently ineligible. [82251]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Government are exploring ways to extend direct payments to those currently excluded, by using an agent for those without capacity to consent, or unable to manage even with assistance. There will need to be legislative changes to enable this to happen and we will make these as soon as parliamentary time allows.

Drug Rehabilitation

Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average expenditure per patient was for drug rehabilitation in (a) England, (b) the West Midlands and (c) Stoke-on-Trent in the last period for which figures are available; and what plans there are to provide additional funding. [80257]

Caroline Flint: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment has been made of the cost-effectiveness of drug rehabilitation funding. [80258]

Caroline Flint: There has been no recent assessment of the cost-effectiveness of drug rehabilitation funding.

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