|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
(2) on what grounds an NHS trust may refuse a request for a home birth; and on how many occasions in each year since 2000 women have had a request for home birth refused on non-health related grounds; 
(3) what steps she is taking to ensure that the National Service Framework (NSF) Commitment to ensure that every woman is able to choose (a) the most appropriate place and (b) the professional to attend her during childbirth based on her wishes and cultural preferences is met by 2009; and if she will make a statement on the NSF Implementation Plan; 
(4) on how many occasions maternity units have closed temporarily due to safety concerns related to staff shortages in each year since 1997; for what duration each was closed; and if she will make a statement; 
It is for primary care trusts and NHS maternity care providers to determine the practicalities of providing a home birth service locally. An NHS trust may refuse a request for a home birth on a number of grounds, including high-risk pregnancies and insufficient midwifery staff. Information on the number of occasions women have had a request for home birth refused on non-health related grounds is not collected centrally.
The Department has put into place a concentrated work programme to implement the maternity standard of the National Service Framework and to ensure that the Our Health, Our Care, Our Say White Paper commitment is met. We are developing a maternity services delivery plan, which will reflect the extensive system reform programme that the NHS is currently undergoing. It will set out a strategy to achieve our commitment to give women clinically appropriate choice over the maternity services they will receive in line with the commitment made in Our Health, Our care, Our Say.
Maternity units may temporarily close for a number of safety reasons. This can include insufficient midwifery or medical staff, inappropriate experienced skill mix to provide high dependency care, no available beds in the maternity unit, infection in clinical areas as advised by the infection control officer or because the neonatal unit is closed.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which hospital trusts have appointed named individuals with responsibility for tackling hospital-acquired infections, and which have not done so; and how much each trust has spent on tackling such infections in each of the last three years. 
Andy Burnham: The Health Act 2006 Code of Practice for the Prevention and Control of Health Care Associated Infections requires all National Health Safety bodies to designate a director of infection prevention and control. Information on these individuals and trust expenditure on tackling healthcare associated infection is not collected centrally, but the Healthcare Commission (HCC) will be monitoring compliance with the Code of Practice.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the terms of reference are for the Rapid Review Panel of the Health Protection Agency responsible for hospital-acquired infections reduction. 
Andy Burnham: The Rapid Review Panels terms of reference are to provide a prompt assessment of new and novel equipment, materials, and other products or protocols that may be of value to the NHS in improving hospital infection control and reducing hospital acquired infections.
The panel has been convened by the Health Protection Agency at the request of the Department. This was outlined in Winning Ways: Working together to reduce Healthcare Associated Infection in England. Report from the Chief Medical Officer and Towards cleaner hospitals and lower rates of infection: A summary of action, both of which are available in the Library.
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment she has made of the health effects of the consumption of hydrogenated oils and fats; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint [holding answer 27 November 2006]: The Government are aware of the effects, particularly on coronary health, of consuming certain fats, including hydrogenated oils which contain trans fatty acids (TFAs).
An assessment in 2004 by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) agreed with earlier conclusions of the United Kingdoms committee on medical aspects of food policy (COMA) that TFAs may increase risk of coronary heart disease by raising blood cholesterol levels.
Discussions are ongoing between the Government and the Food Standards Agency in relation to existing assessments, but currently there are no plans to reassess the health effects of consuming trans fats.
Caroline Flint [holding answer 27 November 2006]: I have had tentative discussions with the Food Standards Agency in relation to the existing assessment of the health effects of hydrogenated oils and fats in food products in the context of the broader regular meetings the agency.
Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will assess the likely effects on University Hospitals Morecambe Bay Trust of the implementation of the Independent Sector Treatment Centre programme. 
Andy Burnham: Inter authority transfers (IATs) are transfers of resource and/or cash limits between two NHS organisations and sum to zero overall. These transactions do not therefore affect the overall resource and cash limits provided for the NHS in the year.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether she intends that local involvement networks (LINks) should have a power to enter NHS premises and inspect the quality of services; and whether assessment and monitoring of NHS services will be one of the functions of LINks. 
Caroline Flint: We received many comments following the consultation process for the publication of A Stronger Local Voice, copies of which are available in the Library. We are currently collating and analysing these comments and will shortly publish our response, which will detail the powers local involvement networks will need to undertake their role effectively.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will take steps to defer the closure of maternity services on one site in East Sussex hospitals trust until public consultation has taken place. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to extend access to (a) cognitive behaviour therapy and (b) other psychological therapies for people with (i) obsessive compulsive disorder and (ii) other anxiety-based disorders. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published guidelines on the treatment of depression and anxiety in December 2004. These give emphatic support to making evidence based psychological therapies, including cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), available as an adjunct or alternative to drug treatments for the treatment of mild to moderate depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. NICE also published guidelines on the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in November 2005. The guidance covers which treatments may be offered as treatment for OCD, naming CBT specifically.
The Government support better mental health services and we launched our improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT) programme in May. This policy was also set out in our 2005 manifesto and in the Our Health, Our Care, Our Say White Paper.
We are looking to develop a service model for delivering a range of evidence-based interventions, with the focus being on cognitive behavioural therapy because this has the broadest evidence base.
We expect IAPT to provide robust evidence in favour of increasing psychological therapy capacity and this will help to clarify the numbers of staff, the skills set and the training requirements needed to do this. A business case will be submitted to Treasury as part of the comprehensive spending review in early 2007 which will make the case for investing in local psychological therapies services across England.
Caroline Flint: The pooled treatment budget (PTB) is allocated to drug action teams for the treatment of substance misuse. We are unable to identify how much of this money is allocated to meet methadone programme costs, since these decisions are made locally. Expenditure on drug treatment since 2002, including the PTB, is shown in the table.
|Expenditure on drug treatment (excluding prison-based treatment)|
|Central Government funding (pooled treatment budget)||Local funding (local authorities, primary care trusts, police, probation)|
|Allocation (£ million)||Percentage increase||Allocation (£ million)||Total allocation (£ million)|
(2) Local funding increases based on 2 per cent. inflation increase.
Andy Burnham: The main agency through which the Government supports biomedical research is the Medical Research Council (MRC). The MRC is an independent body funded by the Department of Trade and Industry via the Office of Science and Innovation.
The main part of the Departments research and development budget is allocated to and managed by national health service organisations. These organisations account for their use of the allocations they receive from the Department in an annual research and development report. The reports identify total, aggregated expenditure on national priority areas. Neurological conditions is one of those areas, and reported spend is shown in the table.
Expenditure in 2004-05 was atypical because some projects ended at the start of the financial year, and some newly awarded projects did not incur expenditure until it had ended.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|