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8 Nov 2006 : Column 1840W—continued

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the implications for the (a) work force and (b) training of delivering psychological therapies. [99128]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department launched a new programme on improving access to psychological therapies in May. The programme is working with the Care Services Improvement Partnership, academia, professional bodies and other stakeholders to assess the work force and training implications of delivering significant improvements in access to evidence-based psychological interventions. This includes defining the appropriate service models, skill mix, competencies and the required training capacity for delivering better access to high quality psychological therapy services nationally.

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she has taken to rural proof the measures in the planned Bill to amend the Mental Health Act 1983. [98686]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The purpose of mental health legalisation is to protect patients and others from harm that can arise from mental disorder. It sets out the procedures that must be followed when it becomes necessary to treat someone for their mental disorder without their consent, and the safeguards and support that are available to patients. Mental health law applies in the same way to all patients, regardless of location.

The Government's real terms increased investment in mental health services of £93 million between 2001-06 has allowed the national health service to more effectively meet local needs, including rural needs. This
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increased investment was part of the baseline resources allocated to primary care trusts (PCTs), who are responsible for locally commissioning mental health services according to their assessment of local needs. For example, if a rural community is particularly close knit, guarding against stigma of mental health service users may be a particular issue.


Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 26 October 2006, Official Report, column 2094W, on methylphenidate, how many prescriptions for methylphenidate were issued to (a) nought to under six year olds and six to 15 year olds. [99712]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Information is not collected in the format requested.

The information given in my written answer on 26 October, Official Report, column 2094W, was linked to prescriptions where the patient claimed an exemption from the prescription charge. The only categories relating to young persons are the 0-15 age group and those aged 16-18 who are in full-time education. It is not possible to split the age groups further.

Migration Projections

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what account is taken by her Department of migration projections when decisions are made on the (a) siting and (b) configuration of (i) primary care and (ii) acute care services. [99854]

Andy Burnham: The siting and configuration of national health service primary and acute care services are matters for local decision making. Local commissioners are responsible for undertaking needs assessments to inform their decisions, which take account of factors such as migration projections.

Milk Tokens

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many calls the milk token helpline has received about delays in the delivery of milk tokens in each month since January 2003; and what proportion of total calls each figure represents. [97340]

Caroline Flint: Information on the number of calls about delays in the delivery of milk tokens is not collected separately.

When delays occur they generally result in a request for the tokens to be re-issued. Milk tokens can be re-issued for a number of reasons including not being received due to a change of address, not being received due to being lost in transit or being received but subsequently either damaged, lost or stolen.

The total number of calls received by the token distribution unit operated helpline for 2004 and 2005 is shown in the following table:

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2004 2005

Total yearly number of calls answered by operators



Monthly average number of calls answered by operators



Total yearly number of token re-issues



Average number of token re-issues per month



Calls are received from the approximate 720,000 eligible beneficiaries as well as other inquirers. Since November 2004, when a new application process for pregnant women was introduced for the first time, information materials produced for the scheme have actively encouraged beneficiaries and the public to contact the helpline if they have any questions or problems. Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for beneficiaries and potential beneficiaries to get information to help them to apply and use their tokens.

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the maximum number of weeks is for which a claim for milk tokens has been backdated since 2003. [97341]

Caroline Flint: Separate information on the number of weeks for which claims are backdated is not held.

It is estimated that the average number of weeks for which a claim is backdated is 10 weeks. This delay is a result of the time it takes HM Revenue and Customs to process an application for child tax credit and to notify the token distribution unit.

A recent request from HM Revenue and Customs for a backdated payment covered a period of 96 weeks. Requests of this length are uncommon and usually result from difficulties in the finalisation of the award of child tax credit.

Ministerial Travel

Mr. Pope: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she has taken to offset the carbon dioxide emissions caused by ministerial travel in her Department. [98736]

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.

Ministry of Defence

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding has been provided to the NHS by the Ministry of Defence in each year since 1997. [97905]

Derek Twigg: I have been asked to reply.

The amount of funding provided by the MOD to the NHS for the treatment of Service personnel (the MOD pays the costs of treatment of Service personnel in the
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NHS Trusts that host Ministry of Defence Hospital Units (MDHUs)) and procurement of medical supplies for the following years is:

Financial year Cost (£ million)






Figures for previous years are not held centrally.

Modernising Medical Careers

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps have been taken to minimise the potential for disruption in implementing reform of junior doctor training under the modernising medical careers initiative. [96778]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Modernising medical careers is a major initiative aimed to improve both patient care and doctors' training. For this reason it is subject to significant governance processes involving both the Department and the national health service.

There is currently much work under way to manage the transition to the new system including fair and effective arrangements for trainees already in the system and the development of new and improved recruitment and selection procedures.

Morning-after Pill

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment she has made of the impact of the availability of the morning-after pill on the teenage pregnancy rate in England; and if she will make a statement. [93362]

Beverley Hughes: I have been asked to reply.

It is not possible to determine the precise impact of individual interventions on teenage pregnancy rates. The strategy is based on the best international evidence on what works in reducing teenage pregnancies. The strategy is making steady progress—between 1998 (the baseline year for the strategy) and 2004 (the latest year for which data are available), the under-18 rate has fallen by 11.1 per cent. and the under-16 rate has fallen by 15.2 per cent. Both rates are now at their lowest levels for 20 years. There has been no change in the proportion of under-16s having sex since the strategy began.

The key strands of the strategy are (i) to emphasise the benefits of delaying the start of sexual activity and (ii) where young people are having or likely to have sex, to improve their knowledge of and access to contraceptive and sexual health advice and treatment, including providing emergency hormonal contraception (EHC) for young women who have had unprotected sex. This removes the risk of an unplanned pregnancy and provides the opportunity for health professionals to encourage more consistent contraceptive use, to avoid the need for EHC in the future.

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Mortality Rates

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the extent to which mortality rates for (a) cancer, (b) coronary heart disease, (c) stroke and (d) diabetes in each primary care trust area reflect the incidence of disease in that area. [98633]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Incidence and prevalence of diabetes is greater in areas of higher deprivations, with mortality rates from diabetes higher in people from lower socio-economic groups. In people with diabetes, life expectancy is reduced on average by more than 15 years in people with type 1 diabetes; between five and seven years in people with type 2 diabetes (at age 55 years). Adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates about two to four times higher than adults without diabetes.

A table showing the prevalence of cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes in each primary care trust in England in 2005-05, has been placed in the Library.

We are on target to meet our target of a reduction of at least 20 per cent. in cancer deaths by 2010. Cancer mortality in people under 75 fell by nearly 16 per cent. between 1996 and 2004. This equates to over 50,000 lives saved over this period.

Mortuary Security

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many incidents have been recorded of body bags being tampered with by unauthorised personnel in NHS hospital mortuaries in each of the last 10 years. [91761]

Ms Rosie Winterton: This information is not collated centrally.

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many break-ins there have been at mortuaries in NHS hospitals in each of the last 10 years. [91762]

Ms Rosie Winterton: This information is not collated centrally.

National IT Programme

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which (a) NHS trusts, (b) NHS foundation trusts and (c) primary care trusts have opted out of the systems being provided through the National Programme for Information Technology. [98635]

Caroline Flint: We are not aware of any trust having opted out of the national programme for information technology (NPfIT). Directions issued to national health service chief executives in September 2003 made strategic health authorities responsible for ensuring that all individual NHS organisations meet the reasonable expectations required of them under the programme’s centrally-negotiated contracts. This requirement to participate in NPfIT and to achieve technical and functional compliance with the hardware and software provided under the programme was
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reinforced by guidance issued to NHS foundation trusts by Monitor in April 2006. Systems deployed under the national programme are already in place in every acute trust, and in some 98 per cent. of general practices.

In January 2005 Wirral NHS Trust was in the position of needing to replace its hospital patient administration system (PAS) before an equivalent system was available from the local clusters LSP. Having initially identified a potential alternative commercial provider, the trust subsequently took the decision to opt for a solution developed by the Cerner Corporation for the southern cluster in order to deliver its specific functionality requirements from 2007.

Similarly, earlier this year, open invitations to tender were placed for a new PAS by Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS trust, and for a PAS and a number of other clinical systems by Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS trust. Bradford’s need was to ensure that a contingency option was available to replace a current contract, due to expire in March 2007, should the NPfIT PAS not be deployed before that date. In the event the local service provider (LSP) is working closely with the trust to ensure a programme-delivered solution is available before the end of March 2007. In Newcastle, discussion is ongoing between the LSP and the trust about how the suite of products available under the programme can best fit the trust’s business needs, and on issues of timing. However, the intention of the trust to participate fully in the national programme is not in question.

In addition, in September 2003, the University College London Hospitals NHS trust placed a contract for, and subsequently took delivery of, a PAS before the contract for the local service provider for the London cluster had been signed. The contract was placed against a very pressing timescale informed by the commissioning of the new University College hospital, and included other necessary IT infrastructure. Again, the intention of the trust to participate fully in the national programme is not in question, nor its intention to migrate to the national programme PAS solution at a future stage of the London cluster deployment plans.


Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will publish the contract to be entered into by the NHS and Netcare in respect of health care provision in Lancashire and Cumbria; [97489]

(2) if she will list those parts of the NHS Estate that are to be made available to Netcare in Lancashire and Cumbria; [97490]

(3) what responsibilities Netcare will have in Lancashire and Cumbria in respect of training clinicians and students. [97491]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The contract is still being negotiated and will be between the Department and the successful provider. The contract is commercially sensitive and, once agreed, would be released in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

The location of the centres is still to be finalised but it is likely that Workington community hospital,
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Preston Health Port and Ormskirk hospital will be used with at least four other sites, although not necessarily NHS estate, in the two counties. The aim is that the majority of patients will be no more than 45 minutes travel time from their nearest centre.

The specific training requirement is also still under negotiation. However, training will be a contractual requirement in all Phase 2 schemes. Providers will be expected to appoint directors of postgraduate training to work with local Deaneries to oversee training provision within ISTCs. Local Deans will be able to co-ordinate the training opportunities within local health economies.

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when an announcement will be made about the award of the capture, assess, treat and support contract in Lancashire; and what consultation has been on proposals to award the contract for Lancashire and Cumbria to Netcare. [100031]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: No contract has been awarded to Netcare for the Capture, Assess Treat and Support scheme in Lancashire. It is still under negotiation with Netcare as the preferred bidder in the negotiation.

The Department expects to make an announcement on the award of the contract after the consultation and negotiation processes are complete.

Throughout the independent sector treatment centre programme considerable engagement with the public and national health service stakeholders has taken place. Following recent reconfiguration at strategic health authority and primary care trusts level, and the agreement of the services model principles, it is now an appropriate time to undertake all appropriate consultation or engagement, to ensure that the scheme is shaped and delivered in a manner that provides patients with the best possible service.

The timing, scope and format of consultation are matters for the local NHS to determine after taking into account the exact specification of the scheme, the views of the relevant overview and scrutiny committees, and local factors in the health economy.

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