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10 July 2006 : Column 1624W—continued

Manor Hospital, Walsall

Mr. Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects a decision to be announced on approval for the contracts for the major development at the NHS Manor hospital, Walsall. [83960]

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Caroline Flint: The announcement of decisions following the private finance initiative revalidation exercise will be in two waves. It is anticipated that the announcement for schemes which are most advanced—generally those that have already appointed their preferred bidder—will be in late July. The remainder will be announced later in the year.

NHS Finances

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment she has made of the level of NHS trust deficits in areas with greater than average deprivation; and what steps she is taking to reduce differences in the level of deficits between areas of above and below average deprivation; [80946]

(2) what assessment she has made of the level of NHS trust deficits in (a) rural and (b) urban areas; and what steps she is taking to reduce the difference between the level of deficits in each type of area. [80947]

Andy Burnham: Our analysis of the 2005-06 financial positions of national health service organisations has shown that there is no strong relationship between financial performance and any single factor, including the level of deprivation and the extent to which areas are urban or rural.

A full report on 2005-06 NHS financial performance is available in the Library.

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the values were of purchases of health care from non-NHS providers by (a) Rochdale, (b) Bury, (c) North Manchester and (d) Oldham primary care trust in each year since 2001. [83040]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is shown in the table.

Primary care trusts—total purchase of health care from non-national health service bodies
PCT Name 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05













North Manchester












Annual financial returns of the named primary care trusts.

NHS Professionals

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health who is responsible for auditing NHS Professionals. [83745]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The annual accounts of NHS Professionals are audited by the National Audit Office.

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage mark-up NHS Professionals adds in each region to the rates charged by private agencies for the supply of each category of temporary staff. [83746]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: NHS Professionals does not place any mark up, or agency handling charge, on agency invoices.

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to change the structure of NHS Professionals. [83747]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The future organisational form of NHS Professionals is yet to be determined. My officials are working with NHS Professionals on its future structure.

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when NHS Professionals is budgeted to break even in its annual running costs. [83748 ]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department is working closely with NHS Professionals to ensure it becomes self-financing from 2007-08.

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what were the set-up costs of NHS Professionals; and what the annual running costs have been in each year since its establishment. [83749]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government initially invested £7 million in the pilot sites of St. Mary’s national health service Trust, Paddington; Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust; West Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service; John Radcliffe Hospital NHS Trust; East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust; North Bristol NHS Trust in 2001-02 and a further £24 million to roll out operations more widely in 2002-03. NHS Professionals became a special health authority on 1 January 2004 and details of its running costs are available in its annual accounts which are available in the Library.

Nurse Training

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent assessment she has made of the syllabus for nurse training; and if she will make a statement; [82869]

(2) whether there is a preliminary training school module in nurse training; [82870]

(3) in what module of nurse training discipline and courtesy is taught. [82871]

Andy Burnham [holding answer 6 July 2006]: The Department is not responsible for setting curricula for nurse training. The Nursing and Midwifery Council sets the standards for registration as a qualified nurse or midwife. The education standards set by the NMC are at a broad level of principle and are used by higher education institutions to inform their curriculum development. The NMC closely monitors the standards of pre-registration education and quality assures courses to ensure that they are teaching the required skills and knowledge to the right standard. This includes the development of communication skills, both with patients and with other members of the health care team.

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Palliative Care for the Terminally Ill

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations she has received about the Palliative Care for the Terminally Ill Bill; how many (a) supported and (b) opposed the Bill; and if she will make a statement. [73279]

Ms Rosie Winterton: We have received 20 letters concerning the Palliative Care for the Terminally Ill Bill forwarded by hon. Members on behalf of constituents, and one from a member of the public directly. All of these were supportive of the Bill.

The Government are still considering the Bill, and will make their position known in due course.

Performance Management

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures her Department has introduced to improve performance management and local delivery monitoring. [81521]

Andy Burnham: The Department has an established system of local delivery planning over the past decade that establishes trajectories for delivery of the key national targets set out in the planning and priorities framework ‘National Standards, Local Action’ (2005).

To support this, monthly and quarterly returns from the national health service are collected which report local progress against these plans. Under the performance regime established in ‘Shifting the Balance of Power’ (2001) and ‘The NHS Improvement Plan’ (2004), the Department performance manages strategic health authorities, and SHAs performance manage delivery by NHS trusts and primary care trusts.

The monthly and quarterly returns are routinely revised to ensure that the data tracks the most significant issues that drive delivery.

‘Health Reform in England’ (2005) signals developments in the performance regime over the next few years, especially an emphasis on early warning of potential poor performance.


Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time was for physiotherapy in each year since 1997. [81805]

Andy Burnham: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Reproductive Health

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many representations she has received about (a) death and (b) disability resulting from the contraceptive pill in the last 12 months; and if she will make a statement. [81284]

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Andy Burnham: In the last year, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which is the Government agency responsible for evaluating the safety, quality and efficacy of all licensed medicines, has received eight reports of suspected adverse drug reactions in association with the use of a contraceptive pill that were considered to be disabling or incapacitating by the reporter.

The reporting of a suspected adverse reaction does not necessarily mean that the drug was responsible. It is possible that, in some cases, a new or underlying medical condition or concomitant medication may have been responsible. In two of these cases, (an)other medicine/medicines were also considered to be causally related to the reaction by the reporter. Furthermore, the coincidental occurrence of some adverse events in women taking hormonal contraceptives is inevitable given their widespread use.

Regarding the number of suspected reactions with a fatal outcome that have been reported, the MHRA is unable to release information when it relates to five or fewer cases of any suspected ADRs in order to prevent identification of the patients or the reporter. For this reason we are unable to disclose the exact number of reported cases.

Turnaround Teams

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been paid by (a) Yorkshire Wolds and Coast primary care trust and (b) other PCTs in turnaround to (i) Ernst and Young and (ii) other companies assisting with turnaround. [80714]

Andy Burnham: This information is being collected for the Health Select Committee and is not yet ready for release.

Vaccine Damage Payments

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many vaccine damage payments were made in respect of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine in each of the last five years; and what proportion this represents of (a) all vaccine damage payments and (b) all doses of measles, mumps and rubella. [82325]

Mrs. McGuire: I have been asked to reply.

The Vaccine Damage Payments Unit (VDPU) do not hold information about specific vaccinations linked to successful claims. Claimants are asked to specify on the claim form all the vaccinations that the disabled person has received, not just the vaccine that is claimed to have caused the disablement. As a number of vaccinations are often given in close proximity, often on the same day, it is not always possible to state categorically which has caused the adverse reaction. It is therefore not possible to state how many vaccine damage payments have been made in respect of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

(a) The VDPU does however record details of all the vaccinations noted on the claim form. Out of 24 successful awards in the last five years, there have been two where the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine was among those listed on the claim form.

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(b) If those two claims were awarded in respect of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine this would represent one per 4.3 million doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

Waiting Times

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time was for functional electrical stimulation treatment in (a) England and (b) Dorset in the last year for which figures are available. [84122]

Andy Burnham: The official figures on waiting times show the length of time that people currently on the list for treatment have been waiting. The data are collected at consultant-led speciality level, for example neurology and clinical neuro-physiology. It is not possible to split this data down to show waiting list data for specific operations and treatments such as functional electrical stimulation.


Air Passenger Duty

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the case for (a) changes in the basis of air passenger duty from payment per passenger to payment per flight and (b) relating the level of such payments to the amount of carbon dioxide and other pollutants produced during the flight; and if he will make a statement. [82849]

John Healey: A discussion paper published jointly by Her Majesty’s Treasury and the Department for Transport in March 2003, entitled “Aviation and the Environment: Using Economic Instruments”, considered the role of economic instruments and the environmental costs of aviation. This was also considered in the Air Transport White Paper, “The Future of Air Transport”, published on 16 December 2003 and in chapter 5 of “Aviation and Global Warming”, published by the Department for Transport on 10 February 2004.

The Air Transport White Paper set out the conclusions of the Government's analysis, including our view that aviation should be brought within the EU emissions trading scheme by 2008, as the most effective way of tackling the climate change impact. Along with other measures to tackle local environmental impacts, this will help to ensure that the air transport sector meets its environmental costs.

In the Financial Statement and Budget Report 2006 the Government stated that:

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reason transit flights are exempt from air passenger duty; and what estimate he has made of how much extra revenue would be raised per annum were such flights subject to this duty. [82850]

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John Healey: Not all transit flights are exempt from air passenger duty and in order to qualify specific criteria must be met. These are set out in Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs' public notice 550, which gives details of the specific requirements of the exemption criteria. This notice can be obtained from the Revenue and Customs website at

Exempting connecting flights ensures that passengers are not taxed twice for a journey when making a connecting flight within the UK, or that if they are entering the UK in transit to an end destination outside the UK they are not taxed merely for the short stopover in the UK that is necessary to catch a connecting flight.

HMRC does not collect data on the number of transit passengers that pass through UK airports, and therefore we have not made any analysis on the extra revenue that charging APD on these passengers would raise.

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