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15 Jan 2007 : Column 923W—continued


NHS Funding: Prisoners

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what elements of NHS care are included in the NHS funding to primary care trusts for prisoners; and whether this changed in April 2006. [113300]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The general principle underlying the provision of healthcare in prisons is that it should be equivalent to that provided to the general population. Prisoners are therefore entitled to a full national health service. This principle did not change in April 2006.

North Bristol NHS Trust

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the accumulated financial deficit of North Bristol NHS Trust owed to her Department in respect of annual deficits is since 1997; how much of the
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accumulated deficit has so far been repaid; over what timescale the remainder is to be repaid; and if she will make a statement. [114881]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: North Bristol NHS Trust first reported a cumulative deficit of £4.2 million in 2001-02, which increased to £48.8 million in 2002-03. In the subsequent three financial years the trust has recovered £3.9 million, and therefore the cumulative deficit remaining to be recovered at the end of 2005-06 is £44.9 million.

The timescale for the recovery of deficits by NHS trusts is determined by the statutory breakeven duty, which states that a cumulative deficit must be recovered in the subsequent two years following the first year in which a cumulative deficit position is reported. It is the responsibility of the strategic health authorities (SHA) to work with NHS organisations in their local health economies and agree a recovery plan that phases the recovery of deficits over a number of years. By exception, the SHA can agree an extension to the recovery period to four years in line with an agreed recovery plan. At the end of 2005-06 North Bristol NHS Trust had been in a cumulative deficit position for five years and is therefore in breach of its statutory duty.

The Department cannot simply write off historical deficits. The Department, and, consequently, the NHS, have to live within an agreed level of resources in each financial year. This level is set by HM Treasury and voted by Parliament. In order for the system as a whole to balance, a deficit in one organisation has to be matched by a surplus elsewhere. Deficits therefore must be repaid so that the resources can be returned to the organisations that generated the offsetting surpluses.

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to announce her decision on the PFI proposal of North Bristol NHS Trust for a new hospital at Southmead; what account she takes of trusts debts when answering such applications; and if she will make a statement. [115351]

Andy Burnham: We anticipate that officials will make an announcement on the progress of this scheme shortly.

All proposals for private finance initiative schemes are assessed against a variety of criteria in order to ascertain their affordability and fit with the needs of the communities they are to serve. The financial position of the trust concerned and whether it is in deficit or surplus forms part of these considerations.

Nurses

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total average annual cost is of employing a nurse; and what it was in 1997. [108082]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The hospital and community health services (HCHS) pay bill per head (FTE) for employing a qualified nurse in 1997-98 and 2004-05 which is the latest available year was:


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£

1997-08

22,975

2004-05

32,791

Notes:
1. Figures cover all staff and salary costs, including employers’ NI and pension contributions.
2. Pay bill per head (FTE) is derived using full-time equivalent staff numbers. Pay bill figures include the “on-costs” of employment. On-costs are estimated using figures in financial returns (these are not broken down by staff group or grade).
3. 2004-05 figures include estimates for foundation trusts.
4. 2004-05 figures include £334 “other” provision, assumed to be for Agenda for Change.
5. Part of the increase between the two years is due to the transfer of responsibility for funding pensions indexation costs to NHS employers, under which employer pensions contributions rose from 7 per cent. to 14 per cent.
Source:
These costs are estimated on the basis of data from the national health service trust, primary care trust and strategic health authority financial returns and foundation trust annual reports, together with staff numbers (excluding the cost of agency staff) from the work force census.

Paediatrics

David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many training places are planned for (a) consultant paediatricians and (b) staff grade paediatricians for each of the five financial years commencing with 2007-08. [102559]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Individual strategic health authorities and deaneries are responsible for planning the medical training posts at local level, taking into account the analysis and recommendations of the work force review team.

Patient and Public Participation

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of existing patient and public participation prior to (a) the abolition of the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health and (b) the other proposed changes in provision. [113110]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The decision to abolish the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health (CPPIH) was part of the arm's length bodies (ALB) review about reducing bureaucracy and getting more funds to the frontline. Therefore, no assessment was made on existing patient and public participation at that point.

The Department undertook a major review of patient and public involvement (PPI) during 2005-06. The PPI review was prompted by “Commissioning a Patient-led NHS” and the White Paper “Our health, our care, our say” consultation. The review indicated that the current arrangements were no longer fit for purpose in view of the major structural changes accruing across health and social care.

Public Information Campaigns

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has for information campaigns to tackle (a) obesity, (b) smoking, (c) teenage
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pregnancy, (d) hepatitis and (e) sexually transmitted disease. [104381]

Caroline Flint: Improving the quality and provision of public services and information is a key Government priority.

For obesity, the Healthy Living Social Marketing Programme will focus on supporting parents and carers in their role as the primary influences of healthy eating habits in children. The programme was launched at a mass stakeholder event in December 2006 with public facing activity planned for early 2007.

New campaigns to motivate and support smokers to quit will be launched in the new year and we will be continuing the second-hand smoke education campaign in March 2007.

A new sexual health campaign, “Condom Essential Wear” was launched on 9 November 2006, targeting 18-24 year olds, and aiming to inform them about the prevalence and invisibility of sexually transmitted infections, and to reduce instances of teenage pregnancies. This is additional to our targeted HIV campaigns for gay men and African communities. The Department also works with the Department for Education and Skills on the “Want Respect? Use a Condom” and “RU Thinking” campaigns for young people and teenagers.

In addition, the Department is running a national hepatitis C awareness campaign for healthcare professionals and the public in support of the “Hepatitis C Action Plan for England”. Information about the prevention and control of hepatitis A and B has been provided to healthcare professionals and the public.

Special Exception Committees

Mrs. Riordan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what role special exception committees within primary care trusts have in approving NHS treatments. [104016]

Andy Burnham: Primary care trusts (PCTs) must determine how to use the funding allocated to them to commission services to meet the healthcare needs of their local populations. Each PCT must establish a professional executive committee to exercise particular functions, including to provide advice and assistance to medical practitioners. PCTs are also able to appoint other committees of the trust, but there is no requirement for a special exception committee or other committee to approve national health service treatments.

Mrs. Riordan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many primary care trusts have special exception committees; what (a) clinical and (b) financial guidance is given to special exception committees; and by what organisation. [104017]

Andy Burnham: The Department does not collect data on how many primary care trusts have such committees and has issued no national guidance on their operation.

Talking Treatments

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether any measures are being considered to
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improve access to talking treatments for (a) black and minority ethnic groups, (b) refugees and asylum seekers, (c) people with learning disabilities and a mental health problem, (d) people in prison, (e) people with alcohol or other drug dependency problems, (f) older people, (g) children, (h) people with long-term physical health problems and (i) people in hospital. [112833]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government are committed to improving mental health services and this is why we support increasing the availability of evidence-based psychological therapies through our programme Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT), which was launched in May 2006.

This programme will initially focus on adults of working age in order to establish the links between the provision of evidence-based psychological interventions and retaining and maintaining people in employment. We will also be addressing the benefit of extending these services to people of all ages as part of the regional psychological therapies programmes led by the Care Services Improvement Partnership, which will complement the two national improving access to psychological therapy (IAPT) demonstration sites.

The IAPT demonstration sites will provide evidence of the effectiveness of stepped improvements in access to psychological therapies and of the resultant benefits to people’s health and well-being, to the efficiency and effectiveness of mental health systems and to the economy as a whole. Building on these foundations over the longer term will be to the benefit of everyone who needs these therapies, whatever their age or circumstances.

Translation Services

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost of translating departmental publications into languages other than English was in 2005-06. [110203]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: During 2005-06 the Department spent £186,765.28 translating publications into other languages.

Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much each primary care trust spent on translation services in each of the last three years. [114046]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Primary care trusts (PCTs) are not required to report their planned or actual spending on interpretation and translation services to the Department. When planning such services, PCTs should take due account of their legal duties, the composition of the communities they serve, and the needs and circumstances of their patients, service users and local populations.

The Government have established the independent Commission on Integration and Cohesion to look at Government policies and public services and to report in 2007. As part of its brief, the Commission will look at the provision of language services across Government. The Department will fully support the Commission in its work.


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Trust Funding Allocations

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average allocation of funding for education and training was within NHS trusts in (a) 2005-06 and (b) 2006-07; and if she will make a statement. [108301]

Ms Rosie Winterton: In 2005-06, the Department allocated £3,587 million to the national health service through the multi-professional education and training (MPET) budget. In 2006-07, the Department allocated £3,766 million in the same way.

MPET allocations are made to strategic health authorities (SHAs) rather than directly to NHS trusts. In 2006-07, the SHAs have received the MPET allocation as part of their overall funding allocation and have managed the investment in education and training according to local priorities.

Turnaround Programme

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the total spent on the turnaround programme at national and strategic health authority (SHA) level is divided between (a) local baseline assessments, (b) a national programme office, (c) one-off local support payments and (d) SHA turnaround directors. [102683]

Andy Burnham: The spend on the turnaround programme is shown as follows:

Volunteer Retention

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures she has put in place to try to ensure volunteer retention during the introduction of Local Involvement Networks (LINks); and what national guidelines will be put in place for the appointment of individuals to positions on LINks. [113111]

Ms Rosie Winterton: We expect that existing groups, especially patient and public involvement (PPI) forums, should form the basis of local involvement networks (LINks) membership and the starting point for further recruitment. We are very keen that we do not lose the experience and expertise of forum members and members of other established patient, service user and public involvement groups.


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Central guidance will be made available after the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill receives Royal Assent in 2007. This guidance will include advice on LINks membership, but will not be prescriptive. Essentially, the decision to recruit members will remain local. However, we would encourage current patient forum members to transfer their experience and knowledge to LINks and would like them to be a major part in the formation of them.

Waiting Times

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people had been waiting more than six months for an NHS operation at an English hospital at the latest date for which figures are available. [114519]

Andy Burnham: The number of patients at the end of November 2006 waiting more than 26 weeks for admission to an English national health service trust was 892.

War Pensioners

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of war pensioners not being given priority treatment on the NHS for pensionable injuries the Health Services Commissioner has investigated in each year since 1997. [115135]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department does not monitor the workload of the Health Services Commissioner, who is entirely independent of the Department, and questions should therefore be addressed directly to the Commissioner.


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