Previous Section Index Home Page

13 July 2006 : Column 2078W—continued


Osteoporosis

Laura Moffatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many new DXA bone density scanners were purchased by strategic health authorities in financial year 2005-06; how many patients were referred to the private sector for bone density scans in that year; what steps have been taken to ensure recurrent funding for running costs for DXA scanners; and if she will make a statement. [81624]

Andy Burnham: The data requested in relation to the number of new dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) bone density scanner purchased by strategic health authorities and the number of patients referred to the private sector for bone density scans, are not collected by the Department.


13 July 2006 : Column 2079W

By December 2008, the patient pathway should be 18 weeks inclusive of out-patients, diagnostics, and in-patients waits. National health service organisations are developing local plans to achieve this pathway within the funding allocated to them. Primary care trusts (PCTs) were informed of their revenue allocations up to 2007-08 on 9 February 2005. The 2006-07 and 2007-08 revenue allocations represent £135 billion investment in the NHS, £64 billion to PCTs in 2006-07 and £70 billion in 2007-08. The Department has no plans to make additional recurrent funding available to PCTs to cover the running costs of DXA scanners.

Overseas Patients

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many overseas patients were treated in
13 July 2006 : Column 2080W
East Lancashire hospitals in each year since 2000; what the total cost of treatment given was; and how much (a) has been written off and (b) remains unpaid. [82937]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Information on the number of overseas patients treated, the total cost of treatment and how much remains underpaid is not held centrally.

The table shows income from overseas patients and bad debts and claims for overseas visitors which has been abandoned. Figures relate to the East Lancashire Hospitals National Health Service Trust and its predecessor organisations.

£
NHS Trust Income from overseas patients—non reciprocal Bad debts and claims abandoned—overseas visitors

2000-01

Blackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley

n/a

1,000

Burnley Health Care

n/a

2,000

2001-02

Blackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley

n/a

3,000

Burnley Health Care

n/a

0

2002-03

Blackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley

n/a

0

Burnley Health Care

n/a

8,000

2003-04

East Lancashire Hospitals

20,000

10,000

2004-05

East Lancashire Hospitals

35,000

3,000

Source: Audited summarisation schedules of the named NHS trusts

Papilloma Virus Vaccine

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her letter to the director of Jo’s Trust on 1 June 2006, what the evidential basis was for her statement that the two vaccines for human papilloma virus were not expected to be licensed until at least 2007. [81619]

Caroline Flint: Research has suggested that human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccines may provide real benefit. The Department is currently seeking expert advice on the efficiency, safety and benefits that these new vaccines may offer.

Officials have met with manufacturers of the HPV vaccines to discuss research results and time scales for the development and likely licensure of the vaccines. A joint committee on vaccination and immunisation subgroup met in May 2006 to review all the available information on HPV vaccines and will hold further meetings during 2006.

Patient Transport

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment her Department has made of the extent to which (a) notices about the hospital travel costs scheme are displayed in all patient areas and (b) information about the scheme is included in all appointment or admission letters, in accordance with departmental guidance. [80503]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department has not made an assessment of the extent to which notices about the hospital travel costs scheme (HTCS) are displayed in all patient areas and information about the scheme is included in all appointment or admission letters, in accordance with departmental guidance. It is for individual trusts to decide how best practice guidance is implemented locally.

As part of the “Our health, our care, our say” White Paper commitment to expand the HTCS to include
13 July 2006 : Column 2081W
referrals by health care professionals, we will be consulting on other issues such as alternative ways to raise awareness of the HTCS.

Primary Care Trust Referrals

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice she has issued to primary care trusts on their use of Referral Management Systems and Tier 2 Clinical Assessment and Treatment Systems; and what effect this has had on the number of referrals into secondary care, with particular reference to skin problems. [81315]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Current advice is contained in a letter to primary care trust chief executives in July 2005. Referrals to community-based clinical assessment services, and other such centres, should happen only where it adds genuine clinical value for patients. A copy of the letter is available in the Library.

Information about the effects of the use of such services on referrals to secondary care is not held centrally.

Pensions (NHS Personnel)

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures the Department has put in place to assist pension transferability of public pensions for NHS personnel. [79767]

Ms Rosie Winterton: All public service schemes pay cash equivalent transfer values to other pension schemes in respect of accrued rights in compliance with pensions law. Under the ‘Fair Deal for Staff Pensions: Procurement of Bulk Transfer Arrangements and Related Issues’ guidance published by HM Treasury in June 2004, there is a requirement to transfer pension rights when employments are transferred to the private sector under public private partnerships/public finance initiatives and subsequent transfers for former public servants. Under arrangements agreed between a number of mainly public sector pension schemes to facilitate transfers, known as the public sector transfer club and administered by the civil service pensions division of the Cabinet Office, public service scheme members can also transfer accrued pension rights by way of the public sector transfer club.

Pharmacy Services

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to ensure that pharmacists are consulted by local NHS organisations on proposed service redesigns. [84019]

Andy Burnham: It is for local organisations to decide who the appropriate people are to consult with on service redesign. All parties with an interest should be given a proper opportunity to make their views known.


13 July 2006 : Column 2082W

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received from interested parties on failure of primary care trusts to commission additional and enhanced services from pharmacies under the community pharmacy contract. [84022]

Andy Burnham: We receive regular inquiries from patients, business and others interested in the provision of pharmaceutical services under the new contractual framework. It is for primary care trusts to determine, according to local needs and available funds, whether or not they commission enhanced services from community pharmacies. The next statistical bulletin for 2005-06 on general pharmaceutical services in England and Wales will contain information on the extent to which primary care trusts have commissioned these services. It is due to be published later this year.

Ports

Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the provision for port health is at each of the major UK ports; why funding for port health is not ring-fenced; and if she will make a statement. [84389]

Caroline Flint: The main statutory responsibility for implementing the Public Health (Aircraft) Regulations 1979, the Public Health (Ships) Regulations 1979, and the Public Health (International Trains) Regulations 1994, often referred to as the port health regulations, rests with local authorities, including some that are specifically constituted as port health authorities.

Funding for port health is included in revenue support grant (RSG). The RSG is an unhypothecated block grant and as such local authorities can use it for any purpose. The amount provided for a particular service is not separately identifiable. This is consistent with the Government’s view that local authorities are best placed to take account of local circumstances in setting their priorities for spending. The Department does not collect information on the arrangements made by each local authority with port health responsibilities, consistent with its policy of minimising burdens on local authorities.

The medical staff needed to implement the regulations are provided or commissioned for local authorities by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) or in some cases the local primary care trust. Following a review of arrangements at ports, airports and international train stations completed in March 2006, the HPA has agreed to take the overall operational lead in ensuring that there is appropriate (human) health input into arrangements for port health.

The paragraphs above cover the position in England. Responsibility for port health in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland rests with the National Assembly for Wales, Scottish Ministers, and the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety in Northern Ireland respectively.

The existing port health regulations reflect the requirements of the International Health Regulations 1969. New International Health Regulations were
13 July 2006 : Column 2083W
adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2005 and are due to come into force generally in June 2007. They are the means by which the World Health Organization aims to prevent and control the international spread of disease in ways that are commensurate with the public health risks and which avoid unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade. The Government is working closely with the Association of Port Health Authorities, the HPA, the National Assembly for Wales, the Scottish Executive, the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety in Northern Ireland and other interested parties to consider how the International Health Regulations 2007 should be implemented in the United Kingdom.

Post Office Contracts

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for which services (a) her Department and (b) its associated public bodies hold contracts with the Post Office; and what the (i) start and (ii) termination date is of each contract. [81540]


13 July 2006 : Column 2084W

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department contracts with the Post Office for the distribution of the European Health Insurance Card application packs. This contract started on 1 September 2005 and runs to 31 March 2007.

Post Office Network Services

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what services (a) her Department and (b) its associated public bodies (i) make available and (ii) have made available in the last five years through the Post Office network; through how many outlets the service is or was made available; and how many relevant transactions were undertaken in each case in the most recent year for which figures are available. [79199]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Services which have been provided by the Post Office on the Department’s behalf in the past five years are shown in the following table.

2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06
Service Number of outlets Number of outlets Number of outlets Numbers issued Number of outlets Numbers issued Number of outlets

Issue of E111s

All

All

All

7.3 million

All

8.9 million service ceased on 1 September 2005

All

Distribution of European health insurance card application packs

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

6 million application packs service started on 1 September 2006

All

Prescription pre-payment certificate application forms

All

All ceased October2002

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Prescription charge refunds

All

All

All

140,706

All

Ceased 31 March 2005

n/a

Display help with health costs publicity material

400 main post offices and some sub post offices

400 main post offices and some sub post offices

400 main post offices and some sub post offices

n/a

400 main post offices and some sub post offices

Ceased 31 March 2005

n/a

Welfare food scheme milk tokens

All

All

All

750,000 people in receipt of tokens ceased 30 September2004

All

n/a

n/a


Next Section Index Home Page