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19 Dec 2006 : Column 1915W—continued

Child Vaccinations

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total cost has been of bonus payments to GPs for child vaccinations in each of the last five years; and how many children have received such vaccinations. [105642]

Caroline Flint: The total payments made under the target payments scheme to general practitioners for childhood vaccination are shown in the following table.












The figures for 2001-02 are taken from annual financial returns from health authorities; the figures for the 2002-03 are taken from a combination of annual financial returns from primary care trusts and from strategic health authorities; and the figures for 2003-04 onwards are taken from annual financial returns from PCT.

Information on the uptake of childhood immunisations is published annually by the information centre for health and social care and is available at

A copy has been placed in the Library.

Community Matron Scheme

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the effect on hospital bed usage has been of the introduction of the community matron scheme. [108846]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Information about community matrons' impact on emergency bed days is not collected centrally. Primary care trusts are encouraged to develop their own systems for identifying the impact of community matrons on improved patient care and emergency bed days.

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Complementary and Alternative Medicine

David Tredinnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress the Government have made in developing a framework for complementary and alternative medicine delivery. [103818]

Caroline Flint: Decisions about referrals to any kind of treatment, whether it is orthodox, complementary or alternative medicine, should be made by local national health service providers and practitioners taking into account the safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness of any treatment as well as the availability of properly qualified and competent practitioners. Practice based commissioning enables the delegation of indicative budgets to practices for the commissioning of services, which best meet, the needs of patients including complementary and alternative health therapies.

With regards to the regulation of complementary and alternative medicine practitioners, osteopaths and chiropractic practitioners are currently regulated and the Department is now looking at the regulation of herbal medicine practitioners and acupuncturists.


Mr. Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when she will reply to the letter of23 October relating to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence from the hon. Member for Walsall, North; [103259]

(2) pursuant to the answer of 27 November 2006, in respect of a reply to the hon. Member for Walsall North’s letter of 23 October 2006 on the Alzheimer’s Society, when a substantive reply will be sent. [109627]

Andy Burnham [holding answer 27 November 2006 and 18 December 2006]: A reply was sent on14 December 2006.

Dairy Industry

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps her Department is taking to tackle food safety issues in the dairy industry; and if she will make a statement. [109972]

Caroline Flint: In October, the Food Standards Agency, which is the responsible central authority in the UK for food safety matters, wrote to local authorities and the dairy industry to emphasise the importance of properly applying and enforcing food hygiene legislation in the dairy sector. The letters also drew attention to a number of points which had arisen during audits conducted earlier this year by the Food and Veterinary Office of the European Commission of the UK’s implementation of new European Union food hygiene rules in the dairy sector. These points included a revised approach to the testing for the presence of antibiotic residues in milk.

Copies of the relevant letters have been placed in the Library.

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Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists operating within the City of Canterbury carry out work for the NHS; and how many did so prior to the new contract being introduced. [109383]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is only available at primary care trust (PCT) level. The numbers of dentists on open national health service contracts in Canterbury and Coastal PCT as at 31 March 2006 and 30 September 2006 are provided in the table.

Canterbury and Coastal PCT

31 March 2006


30 September 2006


1. Information as at 30 September 2006 is based on the new NHS dental contractual( )arrangements between providers and PCTs which was introduced on 1 April 2006.( )Data prior to this are based on the old dental contractual arrangements between( )principal dentists and PCTs and therefore, are not directly comparable.
2. Most NHS dentists do some private work. Figures provided do not take into account( )the proportion of NHS work undertaken by dentists.
3. Figures for the numbers of dentists at specified dates may vary depending on the( )date the figures are compiled. This is because the NHS BSA may be notified of( )joiners or leavers up to several months, or more, after the move has taken place.
4. Further information is available in reports published by The Information Centre for( )health and social care:
Information for quarter 2, September 2006 is available at:( )
Historical information (old contract) is available at:( )
The Information Centre for health and social care NHS Business Services Authority.

PCTs are using the funding associated with rejected contracts to commission additional services from other dentists. Canterbury and Coastal PCT had by September 2006 already recommissioned 33,640 units of dental activity (UDAs), which equates to 100 per cent. of all activity associated with rejected contracts in the PCT area.


Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made towards the Government's target of reducing the average dietary salt intake by 6 g by 2010. [105351]

Caroline Flint: The Department and Food Standards Agency (FSA) have been working with the food industry since 2003 to secure voluntary reductions in the amount of salt in a wide range of processed foods. Commitments from 70 organisations across all sectors of the UK food industry are published at In March of this year the FSA also published salt reduction targets for 85 categories of processed foods that contribute most of consumers’ salt intakes. These targets would be met by 2010 and will be reviewed in 2008 to ensure progress continues to be made towards achieving the 6 g maximum recommended salt intake.

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We will have further information about progress towards the Government's dietary intake target when the results of United Kingdom wide surveys of urinary analysis, carried out earlier this year are available. Publication of the survey results is planned for 2007.

Directed Enhanced Services

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what expenditure on (a) implementation and (b) reward payments for directed enhanced services has been since they were instituted. [108713]

Caroline Flint: Expenditure on directed enhanced services for the first two years of the arrangements is set out in the following table. The only data collected centrally are on total expenditure.

Directed enhanced services
2004-05 2005-06

Improved access scheme



Quality information preparation scheme



Childhood vaccination and immunisation scheme



Influenza and pneumococcal immunisations



Services for violent patients



Minor surgery



Annual financial returns for primary care trusts 2004-05 and 2005-06

Drug Misuse

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the extent of the misuse of (a) anabolic steroids and (b) pseudophendrine; and what assessment she has made of the impact of the use of each on public health. [107915]

Caroline Flint: This information is not collected centrally.

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to educate young people on the misuse of anabolic steroids and pseudophendrine. [107917]

Caroline Flint: The Department provides information on a range of substances including anabolic steroids, particularly highlighting the risks of their use, in publications such as “Dangerousness of Drugs—a Guide to the Risks and Harms Associated with Substance Misuse, 2003”. In addition, the FRANK campaign, which is a joint initiative from Department and the Home Office and supported by the Department for Education and Skills, aims to inform young people and their parents, carers and families about the effects and risks of taking illicit drugs, including anabolic steroids and amphetamines. FRANK also gives people advice, support and provides details of appropriate drug services.

The Department has no current plans to educate young people on the misuse of pseudophendrine in its own right. However, pseudophendrine is listed as a controlled precursor under European legislation, is a
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precursor of methylamphetamine and is used in its illicit and licit manufacture. The risks and harms associated with the use of methylamphetamine, commonly known by its street name of crystal meth, are also included in “Dangerousness of Drugs” and included on FRANK.

Fit for the Future

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) who the author was of Fit for the Future produced by Surrey and Sussex strategic health authority; [105661]

(2) what terms of reference were given to the authors of Fit for the Future by Surrey and Sussex strategic health authority; how much the document cost to produce; and how many copies were produced and distributed. [105662]

Caroline Flint: This information is not held centrally.

Food Imports

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many inspectors are employed by her Department to inspect food entering the UK from abroad. [109599]

Caroline Flint: The requirement for employing inspectors at seaports and airports rests with local authorities who are responsible for port health work and who are obliged by law to employ appropriate personnel to conduct checks. The number of inspectors is determined by the local authorities, and their numbers are not held centrally.

Food Safety

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations the Food Standards Agency has received following its notification on 21 November to interested parties that the European Commission is not intending to extend the deadline for the use of ingredients under Commission Directive 2004/6/EC until such time as the European Food Safety Authority has completed its consideration of the dossiers submitted in relation to those ingredients; what assessment she has made of the impact of the Commission's decision on the specialist food products sector; whether she plans to make representations to the European Commission in relation to the decision; which ingredients are affected by the decision; and if she will make a statement. [109138]

Caroline Flint: The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has received two representations, from the Health Food Manufacturers’ Association and a consultant. These responses noted that some foods for particular nutritional uses on the United Kingdom market may contain substances listed in Commission Directive 2004/6/EC. The FSA will consider if further action is appropriate when it receives more detailed information requested from the relevant manufacturers about the number and types of foods affected.

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Food Supplements

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to make representations to the European Commission (a) to set the highest possible safe levels for nutrients and (b) to amend the Food Supplements Directive so as to allow the UK to permit onto its market safe and popular products that lie outside the provisions of the directive; and if she will make a statement. [101099]

Caroline Flint: The United Kingdom Government have responded to the European Commission’s discussion document on setting levels of vitamins and minerals in foodstuffs and Food Standard Agency (FSA) officials met with the Commission to discuss this further on 8 November.

The Commission welcomed the UK response and indicated that the work by the UK’s expert group on vitamins and minerals on setting safe upper levels for on a scientific basis would be a key factor in developing proposals. A timeline for developing proposals has not yet been agreed by the Commission. Working Group discussions between member states may begin in late spring with proposals not expected to be brought forward before the end of 2007.

We will continue to explore with the Commission potential flexibility in the system to minimise the impact of the directive on consumer choice with respect to products that lie outside of the provisions of the directive. The FSA is considering what policy options are available.

General Practitioners

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding she plans to make available to GPs to respond to patients' requests for surgeries outside office hours. [105005]

Caroline Flint: None. Funding for the provision and development of primary medical care services is held and managed locally by primary care trusts (PCTs). It is for PCTs to use these funds and their new contracting flexibilities to introduce more flexible opening hours where there is evidence (for example for the new ‘GP Patient Survey—Your Doctor, Your Experience, Your Say’) that this is a priority among local patients.

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