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Parliamentary Questions

Mrs. May: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many written parliamentary questions to her Department in the 2005-06 session were not answered (a) wholly and (b) in part on disproportionate cost grounds. [112948]

Hilary Armstrong: This information is not held in the format requested. However, it is a matter of public record and can be found in the Official Report.

Mrs. May: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many written parliamentary questions to her Department in the 2005-06 session did not receive an answer. [113580]

Hilary Armstrong: None.

Mrs. May: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what guidance has been sent out by the Cabinet Office to other Departments relating to (a) traffic light grading of parliamentary questions and (b) unanswered parliamentary questions in the last 12 months. [113583]

Hilary Armstrong: None.

Mrs. May: To ask the Minister without Portfolio how many written parliamentary questions to her in the 2005-06 session did not receive an answer. [113584]

The Minister without Portfolio: None.

Health

A and E Closures

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the effect on children of greater journey times to suitable facilities as a consequence of closures of accident and emergency units. [116120]

Andy Burnham: It is a matter for the local national health service to ensure the provision of urgent and emergency care services, including accident and emergency facilities, that are responsive to people’s needs.

The way the national health service responds to emergencies needs to focus not just on getting the patient to a location but also on taking care to the patient. This is why it is necessary to focus on a range of measures including response times by the ambulance service, its ability to administer a wide range of treatment and provision of urgent and social care in the community.


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Acute Services

Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what account is taken of (a) service accessibility, (b) socio-economic indicators, (c) clinical need, (d) the advice of health professionals and (e) the wishes of service users in the siting of acute hospital services; [114655]

(2) whether hospital service reconfiguration consultations will take future population trends into account. [114658]

Andy Burnham: Decisions concerning the siting of acute hospital services are matters for the national health service locally.

We would expect that a whole range of factors are taken into account to inform and determine such decisions.

No significant changes to the reconfiguration of health services locally will take place without first consulting local people.

Ambulance Service

Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many ambulances on emergency call to a property were unable immediately to locate the right address upon arrival in the last two years. [116305]

Andy Burnham: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Asthma Inhalers

Mr. Barron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to phase out chlorofluorocarbon-based asthma inhalers for adult patients. [116170]

Caroline Flint: The transfer of patients to chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) free metered dose inhalers (MDIs) began in 1995 when the first one was licensed for use in the United Kingdom. Many more have been introduced to the market since that time.

The Government's plan for phasing out CFCs in asthma inhalers is set out in the “UK Transition Strategy for CFC-based MDIs”, which was developed after consultation with all relevant stakeholders and published by the Department of Health and the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions in 1999. It was communicated widely to healthcare professionals in the national health service, patient groups and patients at that time.

The Department and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs continue actively to pursue the phase-out of CFCs in MDIs in accordance with the UK transition strategy. The UK has declared CFCs to be non-essential for three medicines: ipratropium, salbutamol and fluticasone.

Audiology Services

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to publish a national plan for audiology. [114983]


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Mr. Ivan Lewis: A national action plan for audiology will be published soon. The action plan will be aimed at improving access, service delivery and waiting times through the development of a sustainable service model for the service. Implementation of the action plan and its recommendations will be the responsibility of local services.

Burntwood, Lichfield and Tamworth PCT

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was allocated to Burntwood, Lichfield and Tamworth Primary Care Trust in (a) cash and (b) real terms in each of the last five years. [114252]

Andy Burnham: The following table shows the revenue allocations made to Burntwood, Lichfield and Tamworth Primary Care Trust for the financial years 2003-04 to 2006-07. In 2002-03 the Department made allocations to health authorities.

£ million
Allocation Real terms allocation in 2006-07 prices

2003-04

115,514

124,151

2004-05

126,639

132,463

2005-06

138,312

142,023

2006-07

166,710

166,710


Central Lancashire Primary Care Trust

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will list the board members of the Central Lancashire Primary Care Trust, broken down by stated party political affiliation; [114056]

(2) if she will list the board members of the Central Lancashire Primary Care Trust, broken down by area of residence. [114813]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is not held centrally. I have written to the NHS Appointments Commission and asked them to write to my hon. Friend providing information about the chair and non-executive directors of the Central Lancashire Primary Care Trust.

With regard to the chief executive and other executive directors, national health service organisations must make the interests of chief executives and board members available to the public under the code of accountability in the NHS, but there is no requirement for them to declare this information to the Department.

Centralised Processing

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total cost has been to date of purchasing surgical instruments to facilitate centralised processing referred to in paragraph 4.31 of her Department’s annual report 2006. [115714]

Andy Burnham: Instruments are purchased by local national health service bodies, not by the Department. Since 2001-02, however, the Department has allocated some £100 million for the purchase of surgical
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instruments by NHS trusts. Those instruments were intended to facilitate central processing by reducing the amount of processing done other than in sterile services departments, or by the setting up of an offsite service. From 1 March 2002 to 30 November 2006, the NHS purchased surgical instruments worth some £155 million using the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency’s (NHS PASA) framework agreement. This sum includes instruments purchased to replace damaged ones or to increase instrument stock as well as to facilitate centralised reprocessing. NHS trusts may also have purchased instruments without using the NHS PASA framework agreement.

Children’s Palliative Care

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much of the £27 million for children’s palliative care services announced by her Department on 30 October 2006 has been (a) allocated and (b) spent. [115842]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The £27 million is to be spread over three years. Of the £9 million available in financial year 2006-07 we have given funding directly to 35 hospice services, totalling £8,715,696. There is one application still to be determined and we await further information from the organisation concerned. We have agreed with the key stakeholders that the balance of the £9 million for this financial year will contribute to the cost of the review of the long-term sustainability of children’s palliative care services.

Clinical Trials

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her Department's timetable is for reviewing the recommendations contained within the report of the independent expert scientific group on clinical trials. [114855]

Caroline Flint: The Government fully endorse and support the recommendations made by the expert scientific group on phase one clinical trials. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has set up an implementation group that has met several times and drawn up a project plan for implementing all the report's recommendations. In particular, the MHRA has already put in place precautionary measures concerning the approval and conduct of trials involving higher risk substances as recommended by the expert scientific group, including access to independent scientific advice. The MHRA expects to have in place an expert advisory group which will report to the commission on human medicines and advise on applications for clinical trials on higher risk substances by the end of March 2007.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice her Department gives to primary care trusts on the provision of cognitive behavioural therapy as part of the national health service. [113691]


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Ms Rosie Winterton: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published guidelines to the NHS on the treatment of depression and anxiety in December 2004. NICE gave emphatic support to making evidence-based psychological therapies available as an adjunct or alternative to drug treatments for the treatment of mild to moderate depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.

The Department of Health has also taken the following actions to help implement the NICE guidelines:

NICE also issued a technology appraisal TA097 on computerised cognitive behavioural therapies (CCBT) in February 2006. By 31 March 2007, NICE requires all PCTs to provide access to the packages “Beating the Blues” as an option for the treatment of mild and moderate depression and “FearFighter” as an option for the treatment of panic and phobia.

Coronary Procedures

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) coronary artery bypass operations and (b) percutaneous coronary interventions took place on the NHS in each year since 2000-01 (i) in total and (ii) broken down by strategic health authority. [115003]

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

Coronary and Stroke Care

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health where the 11 pilots to assess different models of heart attack care referred to on page 7 of the National Director for Heart Disease and Stroke's report entitled “Mending Hearts and Brains”, published 5 December 2006, are situated; what is being assessed at each pilot site; when the pilots were established in each case; when she expects the pilots to conclude in each case; whether she plans to establish more pilot sites; whether results
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from the pilots will be published; and if she will make a statement. [115018]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The pilots referred to in “Mending Hearts and Brains” are situated in the following locations:

The pilot sites were established early in 2005 with the exception of Harefield which joined later in the year. In all cases except in Leeds, sites already had some experience of offering a primary angioplasty service. The Leeds service commenced in March 2005. Patient data for the study has been collected from 1 April 2005 and will be completed by 31 March 2007. There are no plans to establish further pilots.

An independent evaluation of the pilots is being carried out by the School for Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at the University of Sheffield. The evaluation is addressing the patient experience of primary angioplasty and staffing implications and carrying out detailed costing taking into account the different geographies and service models afforded by the pilots. The sites are contributing to some extent to all the areas of the evaluation but some will be taking part in a more detailed analysis of one particular area. The details have not yet been finalised by ScHARR. ScHARR has recruited further control sites carrying out thrombolysis as the main treatment for heart attack to assist with the evaluation.

Following receipt of the patient follow up data in March 2007, there will be an interim progress report from the Department and British Cardiovascular Society (BCS). The Department has been working jointly with BCS on this pilot study. A final report from ScHARR and a report from the Department is due in early 2008.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the evidential basis was for the statement on page 6 of the National Director for Heart Disease and Stroke's report entitled “Mending Hearts and Brains”, published 5 December 2006, that 250 strokes could be prevented if local hospitals were bypassed; and if she will place in the Library copies of the relevant documentation. [115019]


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