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23 Jan 2007 : Column 1754W—continued


Office for Strategic Co-ordination of Health Research

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to establish the Office for Strategic Co-ordination of Health Research. [115014]

Caroline Flint: Work to establish the Office for Strategic Co-ordination of Health Research (OSCHR) is in progress and John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University has been appointed as interim chair. We aim to establish OSCHR as soon as practicable.

Outsourced Data

Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what NHS (a) patient records services and (b) back office functions (i) have been and (ii) are planned to be outsourced to India; and if she will make a statement. [114375]

Caroline Flint [holding answer 11 January 2007]: Information is not held centrally on the number of national health service organisations which currently outsource aspects of patient record management or the typing of patient records, or back office functions, to agencies overseas.

In the future, each consenting person using the NHS will have a personal electronic care record held within the NHS care records service (NHS CRS). The NHS CRS is the lynchpin of the new modern, integrated information technology (IT) infrastructure and systems and services being implemented through the national programme for IT. No national IT systems maintaining patient record services have been outsourced to India and there is no intention to do so. It is known that iSOFT plc, one of the application software subcontractors, is developing software in India. This software is operated exclusively within England.

Contracts let by the Department's NHS Connecting for Health agency, which is responsible for delivering the national programme, expressly preclude the transfer of patient information outside the United Kingdom. NHS Shared Business Services Ltd, a 50/50 joint venture between the Department and Xansa, currently provides financial and accounting services to over 100 NHS trusts and other NHS bodies. At present, 28.5 per cent. of their work is handled through an outsourcing contract to Xansa PLC's India-based operation. The partners have agreed that no more than 60 per cent. of work can be offshored through this venture.

These developments are entirely in keeping with the Government's overall objective of maximising value for money across the NHS, and the public sector as a whole.


23 Jan 2007 : Column 1755W

Oxygen Cylinders

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost was of the supply of oxygen cylinders to NHS outpatients in each strategic health authority in each year since 2002-03. [117371]

Caroline Flint: For the financial years 2002-03 to 2005-06, the cost of oxygen cylinders dispensed in the community was:

Total (£ million)

2002-03

9.8

2003-04

13.9

2004-05

10.5

2005-06

14.4


These figures do not include oxygen dispensed in hospitals, including mental health trusts, or private prescriptions and are not available at strategic health authority-level.

With the introduction of the new, integrated, home oxygen service in February 2006, costs relate to the specific service(s) ordered and not to oxygen equipment, primary care trusts are responsible for managing the service contract and the Department does not hold information centrally on specific services supplied to patients.

Parliamentary Questions

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many written parliamentary questions to her Department were answered with a reply that it had not been possible to reply before prorogation in the 2005-06 session. [112944]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: None.

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many written parliamentary questions to her Department were not answered (a) wholly or (b) in part on disproportionate cost grounds in the 2005-06 Session; [112945]

(2) how many written parliamentary questions to her Department were answered with a referral back to previous answers in the 2005-06 Session; [112943]

(3) how many written parliamentary questions to her Department in the 2005-06 Session did not receive an answer. [113590]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) on 19 December 2006, Official Report, column 1935W.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the role of the pharmaceutical industry in reaching the goal of the UK becoming a world centre in medical research. [114814]

Caroline Flint: The pharmaceutical industry competitiveness task force has defined speed of trial initiation and data delivery, data quality, and cost as
23 Jan 2007 : Column 1756W
the principal factors pharmaceutical companies use in deciding where to conduct clinical research. The Department is focussing on improving performance and reliability in these areas via the Government's health research strategy “Best Research for Best Health” and the activities of United Kingdom clinical research collaboration (UKCRC).

“Best Research for Best Health” includes plans for bureaucracy busting to enable approved trails to start up more quickly. This objective will be supported by the use of the model agreements that have recently been agreed between the national health service and industry.

The Department works closely with industry to improve the research environment in other ways through, for example, the UKCRC industry road map group, and secondments from industry to the UK clinical research network.

Primary Care: Occupancy Rate

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the occupancy rate is of primary care health care facilities constructed by local improvement finance trusts in (a) London and (b) England outside London, broken down by primary care trust. [114504]

Andy Burnham: This information is not collected centrally. It is for each local primary care trust to ensure it develops, with its LIFT company, the right facility in the right location to support its vision of service modernisation, as detailed in its strategic service development plan.

Public Health Initiatives

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will take steps to ring-fence funds for public health initiatives. [115771]

Caroline Flint: Revenue funding has been notionally allocated for Choosing Health in 2006-07. Although this is not ring-fenced, strategic health authorities are required to deliver on Choosing Health outcomes, as agreed in their local delivery plans

The national health service must be free to make its own local spending decisions and we do not believe it is necessary to increase the burden on the NHS by collecting and monitoring details of their expenditure.

Residential Care Homes

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what proportion of people in residential care homes paid third party top up fees in the East Riding of Yorkshire in each year since 1997; and if she will make a statement. [112940]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Information about top-up fees is not collected centrally. The Office of Fair Trading report, “Survey of older people in care homes”, published in May 2005, stated that 33 per cent. of the United Kingdom local authority-funded residents it interviewed had part of their fees paid as a third-party contribution or top-up.


23 Jan 2007 : Column 1757W

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what proportion of people in residential care homes paid third party top up fees in (a) Eastbourne and (b) East Sussex in each year since 1997. [116561]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: This information is not collected centrally in the form requested. However, in the United Kingdom wide survey of care homes conducted by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for their report “Care Homes for Older People in the UK”, published in May 2005, the OFT found that the average care home in the UK had 32 places of which seven were paid for by a combination of the local authority and a third party top-up.

Retirement Age

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 4 December 2006, Official Report, columns 189-90, on the retirement age, what her Department's policy is on the application of the national default retirement age to staff below the senior civil service. [109551]


23 Jan 2007 : Column 1758W

Mr. Ivan Lewis: With effect from 1 October 2006, the Department has adopted the default retirement age of 65 for all employees. Employees who attain the age of 60 years after 1 October 2006 are entitled to choose whether to retire or to remain in employment for a period of their choosing, up to age 65. Employees will receive a letter from their human resources team six months before they reach age 60 setting out both options.

Revascularisation

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate her Department has made of the appropriate rate for revascularisation procedures per million people for (a) 2007, (b) 2011 and (c) 2016. [115002]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Information is not available for the years requested. However, the table shows the national projected revascularisation rates for the years 2008, 2010 and 2015, based upon three scenarios. These scenarios have been modelled based upon an assessment of current English and international trends and in consultation with cardiac network clinical leads.

Revascularisation numbers and rates—national projections
Data Revascularisation rates per million people
Scenario (per million people) PQ CABG Revasc Population England

2008

1900

65902.2

22500.0

88402.2

51069642.6

1731

2200

71459.3

22500.0

93959.3

51069642.6

1840

2500

76605.3

22500.0

99105.3

51069642.6

1941

2010

1900

68622.4

22500.0

91122.4

51576184.2

1767

2200

76741.5

22500.0

99241.5

51576184.2

1924

2500

84433.3

22500.0

106933.3

51576184.2

2073

2015

1900

77883.1

22500.0

100383.1

52849008.8

1899

2200

93699,9

22500.0

116199.9

52849008.8

2199

2500

109563.2

22500.0

132063.2

52849008.8

2499


Royal Hospital, Haslar

Peter Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements have been made for the continuation of services at the Royal hospital, Haslar, after 31 March 2007. [110887]

Caroline Flint: It is the responsibility of primary care trusts and strategic health authorities to analyse their local situation and develop plans, in liaison with their local national health service trusts and primary care providers, to deliver high quality NHS services.

Service Reductions

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice her Department has issued to hospital trusts on dealing with public protests about service reductions; and if she will make a statement. [114640]

Andy Burnham: No such guidance has been issued to the national health service.

Sexual Health

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made by the £300 million programme announced in November 2004 to modernise and transform sexual health services at a local level; and how the money has been spent. [115224]

Caroline Flint: In February 2005, individual primary care trusts PCTs were notified of their revenue allocations for 2006-07 and 2007-08. strategic health authorities (SHAs) were notified of their capital allocations in February 2006. The overall allocation for sexual health from “Choosing Health” funding was over £250 million for those two years. It is for SHAs and PCTs to determine how this funding is allocated to meet the healthcare needs of their local populations.

We are making good progress on the 48 hour access to genito-urinary clinics. Overall the results show a continued quarterly increase in the percentage of attendees seen within 48 hours, from 48 per cent. in August 2005 to 65 per cent. in November 2006.


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