|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Andy Burnham: Gene therapy for the treatment of Parkinsons disease is currently undergoing clinical trials in 12 patients in the United States of America. While the initial results look promising, there is a need for long-term monitoring of the trial patients to assess the safety and effectiveness of this procedure.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will reply before Prorogation to question 96462, on the sterile supplies service in North-East Hertfordshire, tabled by the hon. Member for North- East Hertfordshire on 18 October. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the impact of passive smoking from travelling regularly in a car with someone who smokes; and if she will seek to legislate to ban smoking in cars. 
confirms that secondhand smoke represents a substantial public health hazard.
The Health Act 2006 makes provision for vehicles to be smokefree. A full public consultation on proposed regulations was completed on 9 October and we are considering responses. The proposals we have put forward treat vehicles in effectively the same way as other enclosed public places and workplaces. That is, if a vehicle is a public place or a workplace for more than one person, it will be required to be smokefree as set out in the regulations. As with buildings, it is not our intention to legislate in purely private spaces; so private family cars, for example, will not be caughtand neither will private family homes.
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice her Department has issued to NHS trusts on the release of information about patient case histories to Members to enable them to take up cases on behalf of their constituents. 
The NHS Confidentiality Code of Practice, published in November 2003, provides guidance on required practice for those who work within or under contract to national health service organisations concerning confidentiality and patients consent to use their health records. The code provides a high-level description of the main relevant legal requirements, and contains examples of appropriate information disclosure decisions in practice. These include that, where a Member states, in writing,
that he or she has a patient's consent for disclosure, this may be accepted without further resort to the patient.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether she expects there to be a role for patient forums in the (a) establishment and (b) running of local involvement networks; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: We are keen for forums to be involved actively in the establishment of Local Involvement Networks (LINks). The Department has asked the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health (CPPIH) to run a number of early adopter projects in which patients forums, along with local authorities and voluntary and community sector organisations, will participate in the development of activity to prepare for LINks. We encourage all forums to work with local partners to prepare for the establishment of LINks in their areas.
Patients forums will not be involved in the running of LINks as it is planned that they be abolished and replaced by LINks. We hope that current forum members will join LINks as it will be essential to build on the experience gained over the last three years by forum members, as well as the collaborative work they have conducted with local partners.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent on the NHS Pension Scheme in each year since 1980-81; how much she forecasts will be spent on the NHS Pension Scheme in each year between 2007-08 and 2050-51; and how many members of the scheme there are. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Information from 1980-81 is available only at disproportionate cost, however, information from 1995-96 to 2004-05, the latest year that pension scheme accounts are available, is shown in the table.
For future years, estimates for the scheme are included within the total figures for gross spending on unfunded pensions in payment as a percentage of GDP that were published in the December 2005 Long-term Public Finance Report by HM Treasury.
Data published in the NHS Pensions Agency Annual Report and Accounts for 2005-06 show there are a total of 2,156,059 members of the NHS pension scheme. These comprise 1,263,349 active members, 536,407 pensioners and 356,303 deferred members.
|Pension Scheme Expenditure|
| Source: NHS Pension Scheme accounts.|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the arrangements are for the payment of pensions to people who retire early through ill health for each pension scheme for which her Department is responsible; what the incidence of ill health retirement was as a percentage of all retirement for such schemes for each year since 1988-89; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The national health service pension scheme provides that a member who retires from pensionable employment because of physical or mental infirmity that makes him permanently incapable of efficiently discharging the duties of that employment should be entitled to a pension under this regulation if he has at least two years qualifying service.
Data are not available for the period up to 1993. The Review of Ill Health Retirement in the Public Sector, published by HM Treasury in 2000, indicated that during the five-year period from 1994 to 1999, medical retirements equated to 23 per cent. of all retirements in the NHS.
|Year end 31 March||Pension Awards( 1)||Ill Health Awards( 2)||Approximate percentage of Ill Health|
|(3) Average. Sources:(1) NHS Pensions Agency annual reports. (2) NHS pensions division paper prepared for the technical advisory group.|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the (a) present and (b) future retirement age arrangements are for each public sector pension scheme for which her Department has responsibility; and if she will make a statement; 
In line with the principles agreed with the trades unions at the Public Services Forum in 2005, a new pension scheme will be introduced for new entrants to the NHS which will have a normal pension age of 65.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what savings estimate she has made of the effect on costs of the reforms to public sector pensions agreed with trades unions in 2005 for each year between 2006-07 and 2050-51; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the current rate of ill-health retirement is for each public sector pension scheme for which her Department is responsible; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The most recent statistics available for the national health service pension scheme are for 2003-04. These show that of the 29,635 NHS pensions awarded in England and Wales, 3,807 (13 per cent.) were on the grounds of ill health.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the current estimate is of the unfunded liability, in present value terms, of each public sector pension scheme for which her Department is responsible; and on what assumptions for (a) discount rate and (b) longevity the estimate is based. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The last published resource accounts for the national health service pension scheme are those for the year ending 31 March 2005 when the estimated liabilities were £128 billion. The assumed discount rate was 3.5 per cent. in excess of price inflation (RPI). Male and female contributing members were assumed to have life expectancy from age 60 of 26 years and 29 years respectively. Male and female pensioners who retired on age grounds were assumed to have life expectancy from age 60 of 24 years and 27 years respectively.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions (a) Ministers and (b) officials in her Department have had during 2006 with the British Association for Perinatal Medicine; what issues were raised; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department greatly values the important contribution the British Association for Perinatal Medicine (BAPM) has made to perinatal services over the past 30 years. We have worked closely with BAPM, particularly on neonatal services.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent changes there have been in the distribution of drugs to pharmacies; and what discussions she has had with the (a) National Pharmacy Association and (b) Dispensing Doctors Association about those changes. 
Andy Burnham: There have been no recent changes in the distribution of drugs to pharmacies although Pfizer Limited has recently announced that it agreed a single wholesale distribution channel which will take effect in early 2007.
Andy Burnham: The Department has published guidance for national health service mortuary services Care and Respect in Death. This advises that a mortuary service which is fit for purpose will have in place facilities, protocols and procedures which enable staff to provide the required service efficiently, effectively and to appropriate clinical standards. It makes reference to the guidelines on autopsy practice published by the Royal College of Pathologists. We would expect pathologists carrying out post mortems to have regard to these in their practice.
Doctors completing Medical Certificates of Cause of Death (MCCDs) do so as a duty under the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953. Doctors are required to complete MCCDs to the best of their knowledge and belief. Guidelines on completing death certificates are included at the front of every book of certificates.
In April 2005, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published further guidance to doctors on the General Register Office website at www.gro.gov.uk/medcert. These guidelines were drawn to the attention of doctors in a Chief Medical Officers update in summer 2005. Issuing death certificates is specified as a competency that junior doctors must demonstrate in the curriculum for foundation years one and two in postgraduate medical education.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|