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1 Feb 2007 : Column 535W—continued

Diabetes

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps her Department plans to take in response to the United Nations Resolution on the threat of a diabetes epidemic. [116464]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 18 January 2007]: Diabetes is an epidemic that demands our attention and action. However, we do not think that a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly is the primary way that this will be achieved. We would support an initiative that referred to diabetes within a broader public resolution or sought to raise the profile of non-communicable diseases at the World Health Organization.

Health Services: West Lancashire

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which (a) hospitals, (b) primary care trusts and (c) foundation trusts in West Lancashire are in budget deficit. [112301]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Information on individual hospitals is not collected centrally. The national health service organisations in west Lancashire currently forecasting a deficit are listed in the following table.

£000
NHS organisation 2006-07 month 6 forecast outturn (deficit)

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

5,600

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust

6,357

Source:
Department of Health quarter two NHS financial report 2006-07

Hospices

Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if her Department will increase its funding for hospices; and if she will make a statement. [117413]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Primary care trusts (PCTs) are responsible within the national health service for commissioning and funding services for their resident population, including palliative and end of life care. It is for PCTs to determine how to use the funding allocated to them to commission services to meet the health care needs of their local populations. The level of funding a hospice receives is a matter for local negotiation between the PCT and the hospice.

The end of life care strategy which Ministers have asked the National Cancer Director to develop which will be the means whereby the commitments in the election manifesto and “Our health, our care, our say” are delivered, will also address other important matters such as hospice funding.

As part of the dignity in care for older people initiative, Ministers have recently announced a capital
1 Feb 2007 : Column 536W
fund of up to £40 million that adult hospices can bid for to improve their environments.

Independent Sector Treatment Centres

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which independent sector treatment centres have fully completed their national data returns on time; which have supplied incomplete information; and which have not made a return. [111004]

Andy Burnham: In the last financial quarter, 21 of 22 independent sector treatment centres made commissioning data sets return on time. The Department expects a return from the Norton NHS treatment centre shortly.

Kidderminster NHS treatment centre had fully completed all data fields. Generally the completeness of the returns made by providers was good. Where data was not supplied, this would not affect the clinical care that an individual patient receives.

Medical Imaging (Essex) Ltd

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total value was of payments from the public purse from her Department to Medical Imaging (Essex) Limited in each year since 1999. [111219]

Andy Burnham: The Department has no record of payments to Medical Imaging (Essex) Ltd.

Mental Health Services

Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what decisions were made on the future of mental health services in the Lancaster and Morecambe area in the last 12 months. [117511]

Ms Rosie Winterton: A consultation undertaken by seven primary care trusts across Lancashire and Lancashire Care National Health Service Trust supported plans to reconfigure mental health services across Lancashire. This includes the provision of more services to local communities to support care at home or as near to home as possible, the building of three new mental health hospital units, and the closure of the existing mental health hospitals once the new ones were fully operational. The plans are currently being considered by the local authority overview and scrutiny committee.

Morecambe Bay Hospital Trust

Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects a new chief executive of Morecambe Bay Hospital Trust to be appointed. [117513]

Ms Rosie Winterton: University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay National Health Service Trust announced the appointment of Mr. Tony Halsall as the new chief executive on 22 January 2007. Mr. Halsall is expected to take up the post from April 2007.


1 Feb 2007 : Column 537W

NHS Appointments Commission

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her answer of 11 January 2007, Official Report, column 701W, on the NHS Appointments Commission, who in her Department is responsible for monitoring the performance of the Appointments Commission; what data is supplied to enable such monitoring to take place; and what steps are taken to check the accuracy of such data. [111259]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department sets key performance indicators for the Appointments Commission and regularly monitor their performance through the scrutiny of reports, performance review meetings with officials and twice yearly meetings with the me. The Commission’s board and audit committee also monitor performance, scrutinise data and report to Parliament each year through their annual report. The Commission’s processes are further subject to the requirements of the commissioner for public appointments who also reports annually on her findings.

NHS Finance

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will place in the Library a copy of the CD referred to in paragraph 5.576 of her Department’s annual report; what the cost was of producing the CD; and what the conclusion was of the evaluation to which she refers. [117121]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The compact disk (CD) was produced and 20,000 copies distributed at a cost of £82,000. These were disseminated throughout the HM Prison Service young people's estate and to young offenders. An additional 20,000 copies are currently being prepared at a cost of £32,000. A copy will be placed in the Library shortly.

The Government’s “Hepatitis C Strategy for England” recognised the importance of targeting young people in custody, many of whom are not yet injecting, with primary prevention messages to help them stay safe and avoid risks from blood-borne viruses. As a result, the Department commissioned this CD, as a resource to raise awareness and attempt to influence this group away from injecting and drug use, or at least to adopt harm reduction measures.

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s evaluation of the CD will be published shortly and a copy will be placed in the Library.

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 19 January 2007, Official Report, columns 1418-9W, on NHS finance, what she expects the (a) remit, (b) function and (c) activity of the NHS Bank to be; and if she will make a statement. [117757]

Andy Burnham [holding answer 31 January 2007]: As stated in the Departmental Report 2006, the NHS Bank was set up in 2003-04 as a mutual organisation of the 28 strategic health authorities (SHAs) with the
1 Feb 2007 : Column 538W
purpose of supporting national health service organisations in maximising the use of resources across the NHS over time.

Its current functions include:

It is planned that the future functions and remit of the NHS Bank will be reconsidered shortly.

NHS Services: Cumbria

Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) capital and (b) running costs are of each of the proposed Clinical Assessment, Treatment and Support Services centres for Cumbria and Lancashire. [111636]

Andy Burnham: Financial information relating to the scheme is considered commercially sensitive as the scheme is still subject to negotiation. The Department is engaged in negotiations with the independent sector in relation to the provision of similar health care services in other areas. To release information relating to cost at this time would therefore harm the Department’s ability to secure best value for money in the procurement of services from the independent sector for the national health service.

The disclosure of information was considered in line with provision of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

North East Ambulance Service

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many ambulances are based in each local authority area within the area covered by the North East Ambulance Service. [112277]

Andy Burnham: This information is not held centrally.

Orthodontistry

Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in Tendring are waiting for NHS orthodontic treatment. [111188]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The latest, September 2006, commissioner-based figures for Tendring primary care trust show that there were no patients waiting for an orthodontics in-patient appointment and 15 patients waiting for an orthodontics out-patient appointment. They also show that there were 79 patients waiting for an oral surgery in-patient appointment and 107 patients waiting for an oral surgery out-patient appointment. However, most of orthodontic activity is undertaken in community or primary care and data for these waiting times is not held centrally.


1 Feb 2007 : Column 539W

Patients: Telephones

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what powers she has to intervene to prevent hospitals from charging patients and public excessively for the use of telephones; and on how many occasions she has exercised those powers; [117717]

(2) how many complaints she has received on the issue of hospitals charging excessively for the use of telephones by patients and public. [117718]

Andy Burnham [holding answer 31 January 2007]: A number of private providers are responsible for installing and managing bedside telephone services and it is these providers, not the hospital themselves, that charge the user directly. The service is provided as a free good to the national health service and the contract is made directly between the patient and the service provider.

Hospitals can also provide patients with access to payphone facilities which attract the national standard rate charge applicable to the network(s) providing the service.

In the past two years, some 170 members of the public have written to the Department about integrated bedside television and telephone services. The number of complaints this correspondence may contain is not identified separately.

Prison Service

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which prisons provide on-site screening for blood-borne viruses; and if she will make a statement. [111750]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Any prisoner concerned about the possibility of being infected with a blood-borne virus will have pre-test discussion, the test itself, and post-test discussion about the result by a trained health practitioner in the prison. This is similar to the experience of any person requesting such a test in the community.

These tests are only performed on the basis of clinical risk assessment or patient request.

University Hospitals of Leicester

Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for how long she expects the Breast Cancer
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Family History Service in the University Hospitals of Leicester to be suspended. [112131]

Ms Rosie Winterton: This information is not held centrally.

The provision of services is a matter for agreement between national health service trusts and their commissioning primary care trusts and the strategic health authority for the area, in consultation with local stakeholders. Plans for services should take into consideration local needs and priorities while ensuring they meet core national standards for the delivery of health services.

Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many posts within the Clinical Genetics Department at the University Hospitals of Leicester have been frozen. [112132]

Andy Burnham: The Department does not collect information centrally on the number or location of frozen posts within the national health service.

We are aware that a number of trusts have decided to freeze posts as a way of temporarily reducing staff costs, which can assist organisations in returning to financial balance. Post freezes can be a sensible measure if this avoids redundancies and does not increase waiting times or compromise the safe delivery of patient care.

Waiting Times

Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent estimate she has made of the (a) waiting times for treatment by and (b) capacity of the departments of the (i) orthopaedics, (ii) rheumatology, (iii) ear, nose and throat, (iv) general surgery, (v) urology and (vi) gynaecology departments of (A) West Cumberland hospital and (B) Cumberland infirmary; and if she will make a statement. [111661]

Andy Burnham: Local primary care trusts are responsible for ensuring that health services are provided to meet the needs of their local population. The information requested on waiting times at North Cumbria Acute Hospitals National Health Service Trust is shown in the following tables.

Provider based inpatient waiting times for North Cumbria Acute NHS Trust, September 2006
Number waiting, individual timebands (weeks)
Speciality Total waiting list Median wait (weeks) Less than 1 1 to <2 2 to <3 3 to <4 4 to <5 5 to <6 6 to <7

General surgery

1,094

7.2

99

10 9

76

66

62

69

51

Urology

207

6.2

22

19

18

22

13

7

13

Trauma and orthopaedics

1,439

9.7

48

68

90

74

57

90

78

Ear, nose and throat

380

7.7

5

31

30

34

20

20

34

Rheumatology

0

n/a

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Gynaecology

362

9.0

30

30

31

14

20

16

14


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