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Near-cash Revenue Resource Limit

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons her Department overspent on its near-cash revenue resource limit in 2005-06. [107391]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The national health service net deficit was the main reason for additional near cash expenditure in 2005-06.

NHS Cancer Plan

Mr. Fraser: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans her Department has to (a) update, (b) extend and (c) replace the NHS cancer plan; and if she will make a statement. [106340]

Ms Rosie Winterton: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced plans for a new cancer reform strategy on Thursday 30 November.

The new cancer reform strategy will build on the progress of the national health service cancer plan published in 2000 by spreading best practice and recommending what more needs to be done by cancer networks and the NHS to improve clinical outcomes, drive up quality and increase value for money.

The new strategy will recognise the new challenges and opportunities facing cancer; the number of new cases is rising, as are patients’ expectations. New medical technologies and more effective drugs are being developed. It will focus on reform rather than spending commitments—giving patients more choice, strengthening commissioning and making the new NHS levers work for cancer.

The National Director for Cancer, Professor Mike Richards has been tasked with taking forward the strategy. He will work with doctors, nurses, cancer charities and all those with an interest in cancer to develop a strategy that fits the needs of tomorrow's cancer services.

NHS Expenditure

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to table 2 on page Ev 3 of her Department’s memorandum to the Health Committee inquiry, Public Expenditure on Health and Personal Social Services 2006, HC 1692-i, what discussions she has had with (a) NHS Finance and (b) the Welsh Assembly Government on how the figures on net NHS spend per head in Wales were calculated; and whether the figures for net NHS spend per head in Wales and net NHS spend per head in England are directly comparable. [108638]

Andy Burnham: National health service expenditure data and population estimates for Wales have been provided directly by the Welsh Assembly Government.

The expenditure figure for Wales excludes spend on departmental administration, and so for consistency, the NHS expenditure for England was adjusted to exclude expenditure on departmental administration.

The expenditure per head calculation is discussed and confirmed with officials from the Welsh Assembly Government.

NHS Reform

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the evidential basis was for the statement by the Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner) of 7 December 2006, Official Report, column 1290, on the NHS, that since 1997 there are (a) 404,000 extra staff, (b) 122,000 more doctors, (c) 61,000 more allied health professionals and (d) over 16,000 more radiographers and physiotherapists in the NHS. [109882]

Ms Rosie Winterton: I refer my hon. Friend to the statement made on 14 December 2006, Official Report, column 1654, by my noble Friend, the Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner).

NHS Trust: Restructuring

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost was of restructuring the Morecambe Bay Primary Care Trust into the North Lancashire Primary Care Trust. [110185]

Andy Burnham: The information requested is not available. Taken together, changes to strategic health authority and primary care trust boundaries will release £250 million savings annually from management and administration costs for re-investing in frontline services from 2008-09.

Palliative Care

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what checks are carried out to ensure that exceptional allocation monies for specialist palliative care services are spent on those services; and if she will make a statement. [105544]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Ministers set up a central budget of £50 million per annum for specialist palliative care for the three years beginning 2003-04. Cancer networks have provided annual returns on the
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use of this funding and reports have been made to Ministers and to the National Partnership Group for Palliative Care, which allocated the funding and monitored its use. The central budget ended in 2005-06 and a final report will be provided to Ministers and the National Partnership Group when analysis of the cancer network returns is complete.

Pandemic Influenza

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when an exercise was last conducted on the response to an outbreak of pandemic influenza; and what lessons were learnt from the exercise. [100769]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The World Health Organization (WHO) considers the United Kingdom to be at the forefront of preparedness internationally and we are continuing to consider what other measures could be taken to further improve our preparedness for pandemic influenza. The Department and the national health service have already undertaken several exercises in preparation for a possible influenza pandemic. Contingency plans are regularly tested, reviewed and updated in the light of changing domestic and international circumstances.

In June 2006, a Department of Health led national exercise, “Exercise Shared Goal”, was undertaken to test the UK’s planned response to an influenza pandemic.

The key lessons learned from Exercise Shared Goal include:

This exercise will be followed up with another exercise in 2007, Exercise Winter Willow, which will exercise procedures following the declaration of WHO alert level 6.

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The regional and local exercises on pandemic influenza are ongoing. The last regional off-the-shelf exercise, Exercise Cold Play, took place in London on 15 November 2006. This exercise was led by the Health Protection Agency as part of the Department of Health funded exercise programme, and in conjunction with NHS London. These exercises will be followed up with further exercises in 2007 and this is the first part of a series of three exercises.

Parking Fees

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was collected by each NHS trust in parking fees in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [104747]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information has been placed in the Library.

The figures provided represent the gross income received from parking fees paid by staff and visitors.

The information is as provided by national health service organisations without amendment. Since 2004-05, it has been provided on a voluntary basis and may therefore be incomplete.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether her Department has a traffic light system in place for processing parliamentary questions, where questions are categorised using a colour code. [103155]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: We do not categorise parliamentary questions by using a colour code. We endeavour to answer all questions promptly.

Pharmaceutical Services

Mr. McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what representations she has received from pharmaceutical companies on withdrawal from existing pharmaceutical wholesaling arrangements in England; [110254]

(2) what discussions she has had with pharmaceutical (a) companies and (b) wholesalers on the future of the pharmaceutical distribution network. [110255]

Andy Burnham: The Department has received representations from Pfizer Ltd. and AstraZeneca, concerning their intentions to change their distribution arrangements.

Ministers have had no official meetings with representatives of pharmaceutical companies and wholesalers to discuss the potential consequences of the proposed changes on the pharmaceutical distribution network. However, the Department has received a number of letters from wholesalers and their representatives on these matters.

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Post-Natal Depression

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many mothers were treated for post-natal depression in each of the last five years. [105619]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: This information is not available.

Psychological Services

Mr. Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if her Department will set waiting time targets for psychological services. [108950]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 13 December 2006]: Referrals from primary care to consultant-led mental health services, including psychological therapies, are included in the 18-week waiting time target from the time of referral to the start of treatment. Mental health referrals are usually made to the care of a multi-disciplinary team or community team, rather than to an individual consultant, so most mental health activity would not be covered by the 18-week target.

Public Involvement

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she plans to take to retain the expertise built up by existing forums when the present structure of patient and public involvement is changed. [105357]

Ms Rosie Winterton: We intend that local involvement networks (LINks) will build on the valuable work of patient and public involvement (PPI)
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forums. We believe that the experience developed by those involved in forums, as well as the good working relationships that many have established with the health service, are important factors to the success of LINks.


Mr. Duncan Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which staff in her Department are seconded from organisations with charitable status which have (a) costs and (b) salaries met (i) in part and (ii) in whole (A) from public funds and (B) by the charity from which they are seconded. [102412]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department’s human resource information system does not show where a person has been seconded to or from.

Social Workers

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many adult social workers have been employed by local authorities in each of the last 10 years expressed as (a) headcount and (b) whole- time equivalents. [105663]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The following table shows the number of social workers employed by local authorities in each of the last 10 years. It should be noted that job roles and titles have changed, and therefore some separate job categories have been combined (detailed in the note below).

Social care employment in local authorities, England, 1996-2005
Children’s social workers Adults’ social workers Field social workers
Number Percentage change Number Percentage change Number Percentage change FTE














































































Separate job categories introduced have been combined above (field social workers, care managers, senior social workers and team leaders). These relate to the following lines in the DH's SSDS001:
Children's: 2.30-2.33, 2.35
Adults': 2.40-2.43, 2.50-2.52, 2.54, 2.55, 2.60-2.63, 2.70-2.73, 2.80-2.83
Department of Health staffing return SSDS001 (employment)

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