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18 July 2006 : Column 372W—continued

Canary Wharf Walk-in Centre

Mr. Galloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the total value is of the contract awarded to Atos Origin to run the NHS walk-in centre at Canary Wharf; and what the cost is in each of the five years of the contract; [82638]

(2) whether the value of the contract for the walk-in centre at Canary Wharf changes according to throughput; whether it is (a) a fixed price block contract, (b) a cost and volume contract and (c) a payment by results contract with a fixed sum per case seen; [82640]

Caroline Flint: The value of the contract depends on use of the service as the contract price is a combination of fixed cost elements and a price per patient. The total value of the contract is commercial in confidence.

Mr. Galloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when Tower Hamlets primary care trust will have to fund the contract for the walk-in centre at Canary Wharf. [82639]

Caroline Flint: This national health service walk-in centre is intended to provide services for commuters and local people. It is now funded centrally by the Department and our intention is that, in time, it should be funded locally, with costs shared between the primary care trusts whose patients use it. That is not possible yet and we have guaranteed central funding for at least three years.

Mr. Galloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients have been seen in each week since the walk-in centre at Canary Wharf was opened; and how many of those seen were (a) Tower Hamlets residents and (b) those who commute into the area to work. [82641]

Caroline Flint: Information on the weekly number of episodes of care provided at the Canary Wharf national health service walk-in centre is shown in the following table.

Week commencing Episodes of care


17 April


24 April


1 May


8 May


15 May


22 May


29 May


5 June


12 June


19 June


26 June


Notes: 1. The Canary Wharf walk-in centre commenced services on 21 April 2006. 2. Data for April and May, the latest available, indicates that 58 per cent. of the people using the service are local to the area of Tower Hamlets primary care trust.

Carbon Emissions

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent estimate she has made of the carbon emissions of her Department; what commitment she has made to reducing such emissions; and if she will make a statement. [81058]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: In 2004-05, the Department’s estimated carbon emissions from the buildings on its London administrative estate were 1,916,133 kilogrammes of carbon (kgC) (weather corrected). Our estimated emissions from cars used for official business was 31,397 kgC.

The Department is committed to reducing its carbon emissions. We have a policy to renew plant and equipment with more energy efficient models. We also purchase energy from renewable sources wherever possible. The Carbon Trust has recently undertaken an energy survey of our three main London buildings, and we will seek to implement its recommendations where practicable.

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We have also taken steps to reduce the requirement for staff to travel to meetings, by providing video conferencing facilities in all our buildings. We have also recently terminated the contract for a shuttle bus that provided staff transport between buildings, saving London mileage of 90 miles per day. Staff are now being encouraged to use public transport, or to walk.

Chlamydia Screening

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what proportion of primary care trusts offer chlamydia screening as part of the national chlamydia screening programme; [84012]

(2) what percentage of primary care trusts is participating in the chlamydia screening programme; and when she expects 100 per cent. geographical coverage to be achieved. [84467]

Caroline Flint: By the end of June, 36 per cent of primary care trusts were offering chlamydia screening as part of the national chlamydia screening programme (NCSP).

The White Paper, “Choosing Health: Making healthier choices easier”, a copy of which is available in the Library, announced an accelerated timetable to achieve national roll out of the NCSP by March 2007.

The Health Protection Agency is now leading the roll out of the programme and is supporting local areas to drive up the number of people screened.


Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she will reply to the letters of 30 (a) March , (b) May and (c) June 2006, from the hon. Member for Faversham and Mid Kent, about a constituent, Mrs. Maton. [85374]

Caroline Flint [holding answer 14 July 2006]: We have no record of receiving the letters of March and May. The letter of June 2006 was replied to on 14 July 2006.

Credit Unions

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if her Department will provide information and membership forms for credit unions to its employees. [79939]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Government welcome the contribution made by the various savings institutions in providing for greater choice and diversity in the financial services sector.

The Government’s guiding principles are to ensure impartiality and to help create a level playing field for all providers of financial services in order that their specific attributes can be properly harnessed.

It would therefore be inconsistent for a Government Department to favour credit unions above other financial institutions.

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Employees are of course free to join in credit unions if they meet their relevant membership criteria and Departments may provide appropriate levels of support if employees wish to set up a credit union.


Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps have been taken to facilitate the transition of denturists from a system of self-regulation to one of licensed regulation with the General Dental Council, following the Dentists Act 1984 (Amendment) Order 2005. [86160]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Individuals who have been practising denturism in the United Kingdom (UK) have been doing so illegally and therefore there cannot be transitional provisions which allow them to enter the register on the basis of their UK experience. The legislation just approved allows them to practice legally in future if they now qualify.

Individuals who wish to register as clinical dental technicians (CDTs) will need to undertake a General Dental Council (GDC)-approved CDT qualification unless they already hold a qualification comparable to the ones the GDC will now recognise.

Departmental Travel

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to ensure that all flights undertaken by Ministers and officials in her Department are carbon neutral; and if she will make a statement. [81407]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: All central Government ministerial and official air travel is being offset from 1 April 2006. Departmental aviation emissions are calculated on an annual basis and subsequently offset through payments to a central fund. The fund purchases certified emissions reductions credits from energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with sustainable development benefits, located in developing countries.

Carbon emissions from all of the Department’s official air travel are included in the Government’s carbon offsetting commitment. Carbon emissions from flights taken after 1 April 2006 will be recorded and offset.


Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to ensure adequate supplies of diamorphine to hospitals. [86154]

Andy Burnham: The Department is working closely with the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (NHS PASA) and the manufacturers to manage the shortage of diamorphine injection. We continue to monitor the supply situation closely.

NHS PASA provides updates on the supply situation to hospital procurement pharmacists. The Department issued guidance in December 2004 to prescribers and other healthcare professionals to ensure supplies are used effectively.

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Food Standards Agency

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what programme of consumer education the Food Standards Agency is planning to implement to support the multiple traffic light food signposting scheme. [83885]

Caroline Flint: The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published information aimed at raising consumer awareness and understanding of traffic light colour coded signposting on its website at and will be developing this advice further over coming months.

The FSA is also working closely with businesses who are using traffic light coloured signposting schemes and consumers and public health groups to ensure that clear and consistent advice is available to consumers to help them use signpost information to make healthier choices about the food that they buy.

Foundation Trusts

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how (a) employees and (b) elected representatives of NHS foundation trusts can obtain information concerning staff discipline. [83222]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: National health service foundation trusts have independent status within the NHS. They are free from Secretary of State’s powers of direction and can determine their own human resources (HR) policy and procedures to facilitate the innovative development of the work force. Specific aspects concerning HR policy will be available from the respective organisations.

General Food Regulations

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prosecutions there have been under the General Food Regulations 2004 for not informing the competent authorities of non-compliance with food safety requirements set out in article 14 of the EC regulations 180/2002; how many of these have resulted in convictions; what penalties have been imposed; which competent authority brought each case; and if she will make a statement. [84991]

Caroline Flint: I am advised by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) that the information requested is not available centrally.

The latest available information on food law enforcement by local authorities is for the financial year 2004-05. For that year, local authorities have reported to the FSA that, across all of the United Kingdom, they took 902 prosecutions against 570 food establishments. 458 of those 570 food establishments were convicted.

Health Trusts

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 16 June 2006, Official Report, column 1548W, on health trusts (Hampshire), what the 2005-06 provisional out-turn was for (a) Salisbury Health Care Trust, (b) Frimley Park
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Hospital and (c) Royal Surrey County Hospital. [79876]

Caroline Flint: The table shows provisional out-turn for the financial year 2005-06 of Salisbury Health Care NHS Trust and Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Trust.

Organisation name 2005-06 provisional out-turn under/(over) spend (£000)

Salisbury Health Care NHS Trust


Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Trust


I am informed by the chairman of Monitor (the statutory name of which is the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts) that Frimley Park Foundation Trust achieved an unaudited £3.5 million surplus in 2005-06 and that audited accounts for each NHS foundation trust for 2005-06 are due to be laid before Parliament this summer.

Healthcare Commission

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many cases submitted to the Healthcare Commission have waited longer than 12 months before the investigation started; and in how many cases submitted the investigation has not yet started; [84679]

(2) how long on average has elapsed between a case being submitted to the Healthcare Commission and the investigation starting. [84681]

Andy Burnham: I understand from the chairman of the Healthcare Commission that the Commission does not collect information in the format requested.

The Healthcare Commission assumed responsibility for the independent review of national health service complaints at the end of July 2004. Between then and 14 July 2006, the Commission received 15,765 requests for review. Of these, 5,615 were closed within six months and 3,670 within 12 months, with a further 1,310 taking over 12 months. Of the remainder, 2,141 have yet to be allocated to a case manager. Of these, 1,041 are over six months old; none are over 12 months old. Of cases currently under review, 882 are over six months old and 805 over 12 months old.

Independent Providers (Elective Procedures)

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether her Department has made an assessment of the extent to which primary care trusts have paid independent providers of elective procedures for services which (a) were not provided in 2005-06 and (b) have not yet been provided in the first quarter of 2006-07. [81953]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Individual contracts’ performances are monitored to ensure facilities are utilised. Providers are not paid for activity that they do not deliver, but under the terms of the contract may receive payments when referrals are lower than expected to ensure a continuity of service.

The Department expects that over the life of the contract we will achieve the full value; it is therefore too early to suggest any money has been lost. A final
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reconciliation of payments and activity will take place at the end of the contract to ensure that providers have delivered the full value of activity specified in their contracts.

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment her Department has made of whether the independent healthcare provider Capio has been paid by the NHS for operations and procedures which have not taken place. [81954]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Capio and national health service sponsors are working to ensure that the full value of activity is delivered over the contract period. The Department expects that over the life of the contract we will achieve the full value; it is therefore too early to suggest any money has been lost. Contract utilisation is monitored on a monthly basis; a final reconciliation of payments and activity will take place at the end of the contract.

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