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Local Area Agreements

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which local authorities which piloted local area agreements in 2005-06; and what conclusions were drawn from the evaluation of health implications for local area agreements completed in January. [90292]

Caroline Flint: 21 local authorities (LAs) piloted local area agreements (LAAs) in 2005-06. These were:

Government Office London

Government Office South West

Government Office South East

Government Office East of England

Government Office East Midlands

Government Office West Midlands

Government Office North West

Government Office North East

Government Office Yorkshire and the Number

The pilot areas were chosen to reflect a wide range of authority types—there are rural and urban areas, areas facing different challenges and with a range of different funding, unitary and two-tier. Ten of these areas are in the spearhead group.

We evaluated the health implications of the 21 pilot LAAs, and concluded that all focussed on priority health outcomes such as reducing smoking prevalence, reducing obesity among children and reducing health inequalities.

LAAs have great potential to deliver improvements in health and social care outcomes, as set out in the “Our Health, Our Care, Our Say” White Paper. Both health and social care outcomes are well represented within LAAs.

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The recent first annual reviews of the pilot LAAs showed strong performance across a number of health and social care priorities.

LAAs have proved an important catalyst for improved partnership working. Many of the pilot areas reported a step change in effective partnership and cross-agency planning and working, particularly between the primary care trust and LA in the way services are commissioned—this has contributed to strong performance in areas such as older people. LAAs have also encouraged creativity and innovation by focussing on outcomes, increasing capacity through partnership and joint accountability.

Medical Staff Suspension Payments

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost of suspension payments for medical staff was in each year since 1999. [89349]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Data on the cost of exclusions across the United Kingdom are not collected centrally. The National Audit Office in their report “The Management of Suspensions of Clinical Staff in NHS Hospital and Ambulance Trusts in England” estimated that the average cost of excluding a doctor in England was £188, 000.

In 2003, we issued guidance, “Maintaining High Professional Standards in the Modern NHS: a framework for dealing with the initial concerns about a doctor or dentist”, which together with the work of the National Clinical Advisory Service (NCAS) is reducing the number of suspensions in England. In the five years since its inception in April 2001, NCAS has helped NHS organisations deal with more than 2,000 cases of performance concerns.

Mental Health

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was allocated to the National Institute for Mental Health (England) in 2005-06; how much was allocated to (a) its regional centres and (b) national operations; and if she will make a statement. [90241]

Ms Rosie Winterton: In 2005-06 the National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) received a budget allocation of £23.553 million.

The eight regional development centres of NIMHE were allocated a total of £21.447 million. This allocation was used to fund both local workstreams and national programmes being delivered at a local level.

The NIMHE central function was allocated a total of £2.107 million.

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many incidents of (a) rape, (b) sexual assaults and (c) sexual harassment there were against female patients in mental health units in the last five years. [89348]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Information is not available in the requested format. The National Patient Safety Agency published its first analysis of mental health
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patient safety incidents on 18 July 2006. With safety in mind; patient safety in mental health services shows 122 reports of incidents relating to sexual safety between November 2003 and September 2005. A copy of this report has been placed in the Library. The National Director for Mental Health is currently undertaking a review of the most serious reports concerning sexual safety which will help to inform ongoing national policy work in this area.


Natascha Engel: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information she has received on the results of the recent clinical MESO-1 drug trials for the treatment of mesothelioma. [88297]

Malcolm Wicks: I have been asked to reply.

In 2000, the Medical Research Council (MRC) funded the MESO-1 feasibility study of Active Symptom Control with or without chemotherapy in patients with mesothelioma. The aim of this trial, co-ordinated by the MRC Clinical Trials Unit, was to compare the following three types of treatment for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma: ASC (Active Symptom Control); ASC and chemotherapy with mitomycin, vinblastine and cisplatin (MVP); ASC and chemotherapy with single agent vinorelbine.

Between September 2000 and September 2001, 242 patients were registered for the MESO-1 trial. The MRC is now undertaking a multi-centre phase III trial (MS01) of the three types of treatment. The primary outcome measure of this trial is overall survival. Toxicity, symptom palliation, quality of life, performance status, analgesic usage, tumour response and progression-free survival are also being assessed. MS01 closed to new patients on 31 July 2006. Currently 405 patients are participating in the trial, which makes it the second largest ever randomised trial in mesothelioma. Preliminary results may be available early next year.

National Cancer Peer Review Programme

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the cost has been of the peer review team inspections of cancer services in the South East of England carried out by the National Cancer Peer Review Programme since November 2004; [88037]

(2) what the (a) date and (b) location was of each visit carried out by the National Cancer Peer Review Programme in the South East of England since November 2004; [88038]

(3) which personnel are involved in the southern zone National Cancer Peer Review teams. [88039]

Ms Rosie Winterton: For peer review purposes the country is divided into six zones: North; North West; West (South); East; London; and South.

South East England is part of the South zone. There are three cancer networks in the South East of that zone: Kent and Medway; Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire; and Sussex. To date, two of these cancer networks have been visited: Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire and Sussex. The actual costs for these visits was £29,033 and £45,193 respectively.

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The Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire visits took place between 6 and 24 June 2005. Locations visited were Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Trust, Frimley Park Hospital NHS Trust, Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Trust and Surrey and Sussex Healthcare Trust.

The Sussex visits took place between 21 January and 8 March 2005. Locations visited were Brighton and Sussex University Healthcare NHS Trust, East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust and Worthing and Southlands Hospitals NHS Trust.

As the process is one of peer review, the visits are carried out by specialist teams of professional peers and user/carer reviewers. Wherever possible the professional peers will be those trained and working in the same discipline that they are reviewing. This means, for example, that a breast surgeon will be part of the review team visiting breast cancer services and so on for the different tumour types and that a clinical nurse specialist will be part of the team reviewing other clinical nurse specialists etc. In addition, the visits are managed by a co-ordinating team.

Neonatal Intensive Care

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her most recent estimate is of the ratio of nurses to babies in level three neonatal intensive care units. [90297]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is not collected centrally.

NHS Chaplains

Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS chaplains (a) retired and (b) were made redundant in (i) 2004-05 and (ii) 2005-06. [92148]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department does not collect data on NHS hospital chaplaincy.

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Budgetary control has been devolved to the local national health service (NHS) to allow people at the “front-line” to make the decisions about how best to use the resources available locally. NHS trusts are responsible for delivering religious and spiritual care in a way that meets the diverse needs of their patients. Issues around staffing chaplaincy services in hospital are a matter for local determination. However, we expect trusts to adhere to guidance “NHS Chaplaincy: Meeting the Religious and Spiritual Needs of Patients and Staff”, which includes a formula for the adequate provision of chaplaincy care.

NHS Estate Safety

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what percentage of the NHS Estate in England was not (a) fire safety and (b) health and safety compliant in (i) March 2005 and (ii) March 2006; and what the estimated cost of the works required to achieve such compliance was at each date in each case; [91865]

(2) what the cost of the total general repair backlog on the NHS Estate in England was in March (a) 2005 and (b) 2006. [91866]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Information on the percentage of the total patient occupied floor area in the national health service estate in England that is not fire or health and safety compliant has not been collected centrally since 2003-04 when the figures were 7.1 per cent. and 8.8 per cent. respectively. Trusts remain responsible for compliance with fire and health and safety laws and regulations.

Data provided by the NHS on the cost of work needed to bring the estate up to fire and health and safety standard is no longer identified separately. The total amount of backlog maintenance is now categorised according to its risk level, as indicated in the following table.

2004-05 2005-06
Risk level/definition Backlog maintenance (£ million) Percentage Backlog maintenance (£ million Percentage

High risk—Urgent priority work needed to prevent catastrophic failure, major disruption to clinical services or deficiencies resulting in serious injury or prosecution





Significant risk—Requires short-term expenditure but can be effectively managed to avoid risk to healthcare services or concern to enforcement bodies





Moderate risk—Requires close control and monitoring but can be managed in the medium term





Low risk—Can be addressed through agreed maintenance programmes or through strategic plans










Notes: Investment to reduce backlog maintenance will be prioritised locally based on risk assessment, reconfiguration planning and available resources. The data provided have not been amended centrally and the accuracy and completeness of this data is the responsibility of the provider organisation.

Non-UK Patients

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were treated in (a) the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust area and (b) the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Strategic Health Authority area, who were not UK citizens in 2005-06; what the cost of
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their treatment was; how much remains outstanding in respect of monies owed to the NHS by such people; and if she will make a statement. [89183]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is not held centrally.

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