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Departments: Guardian Newspapers

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was paid by her Department to The Guardian newspaper in 2005-06. [119597]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: In the financial year 2005-06 the Department paid £22,742.14 to the Guardian Media Group plc.

Departments: Theft

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what items valued at above £100 were reported as stolen from her Department's buildings or premises in the last 12 months. [121978]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Losses and thefts valued over £100 from buildings and premises for the period 1 February 2006 to 31 January 2007 are as follows:

Item Value (£)

Compaq laptop computer






Dewsbury Hospital: Health Professions

Mr. Malik: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) nurses, (b) doctors and (c) paramedics are employed in the Dewsbury hospital; and how many were employed in 1997. [120919]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: This information is not collected centrally.

Eyesight: Testing

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment she has made of the operation of the National Children’s Vision Screening Programme announced in the National Services Framework for Children; and if she will make a statement; [121467]

(2) what funding has been made available to each primary care trust for children’s vision screening programmes; [121468]

(3) which primary care trusts (PCT) have set up a universal children’s vision screening programme; and
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how many children in each PCT area have been screened. [121469]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The National Service Framework (NSF) for children, young people and maternity services recommends an optometrist-led screening programme for children aged four and five, and for the existing vision tests for seven-year-olds to be discontinued once these programmes are in place. The NSF set out a 10-year plan for improving services for children and young people. It is for primary care trusts to make their own decisions locally about how these improvements are achieved and how they are funded from the overall resources made available to them.

Health Services

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the impact of referral management schemes by primary care trusts on the number of referrals to secondary care; and if she will make a statement. [121481]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: No such assessment has been made centrally as this is for local determination.

“Health Reform in England: Update and Commissioning Framework”, published in July 2006, states that referral management centres must be clinically led and commissioners and providers need to work together to deliver sustainable solutions. Primary care trusts with their partners have been advised that it will be good practice to review, and where necessary, develop existing referral management centres by April 2007 to make sure that they create tangible benefits for patients, and uphold the principles set out in “Care and resource utilisation: ensuring appropriateness of care”, published on 14 December 2006. This has been placed in the Library and is available at:

Health Services: Carers

Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will extend the scope of the Advance Service Medicine Use Review to cover people who are cared for by carers and members of their family; and if she will make a statement. [123703]

Caroline Flint: Medicines use reviews (MURs) are available to any patient who has been receiving pharmaceutical services for at least three months from the pharmacy providing the MUR service. Primary care trusts can identify priority patient groups for MURs, including those that are cared for.

Health Services: Nottingham

Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will place in the Library a copy of the Independent Sector Treatment Centre contract awarded to Nations in respect of its plans for a facility adjacent to the QMC hospital in Nottingham. [121248]

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Andy Burnham: A copy of the contract has been placed in the Library. Commercially sensitive information has been redacted in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Health Services: Regulation

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she has taken to increase public understanding and awareness of (a) healthcare regulation and (b) healthcare regulatory bodies. [119050]

Andy Burnham: It is a key responsibility of the healthcare regulatory bodies themselves to raise public awareness and understanding of their role.

The consultation document “The future regulation of health and adult social care in England”, published on 27 November 2006, outlines the functions and roles for a new health and adult social care regulator and which regulatory functions will need to be undertaken from 2008 onwards, and by whom. It provides a clear and refocused approach to regulation and a framework for management of the health and adult social care systems. This is part of the on-going health reform programme and focuses on the development of a regulatory framework that will support health reform to achieve safety, quality, fairness and efficiency for patients and service users across health and adult social care. The consultation document is available at:

A number of consultation events have been held and further events are planned before the consultation ends on 28 February 2007.

Hospital Services

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations she has received about the provision of services at Queen Mary’s hospital, Sidcup; and if she will make a statement. [117289]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Since the beginning of this session of Parliament there have been 18 letters on the provision of services at Queen Mary’s hospital and three parliamentary questions.

Hospital Waste

Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what alternative disposal routes for radioactive hospital waste are being considered; [117208]

(2) how much radioactive waste from hospitals in England was produced in 2006; and how much such waste, in (a) cubic metres and (b) TBq, was sent to the national low-level waste repository in that year; [117210]

(3) what percentage of the low-level radioactive waste produced by hospitals in the last period for which figures are available was sent to the national low- level waste repository. [111712]

Andy Burnham: The Department does not collect data centrally on the use and disposal of radioactive materials by hospitals. The Radioactive Substances Act
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1993 requires that hospitals register their use and storage of radioactive materials and hold authorisation for disposal and accumulation of radioactive waste. Under these structures, the registered users maintain detailed local records of use, storage and disposal of radioactive materials. The Environment Agency maintains information on the individual registrations and authorisations, which include the maximum limits on radioactivity permitted. In addition, the Agency holds records related to waste radioactive materials through the pollution inventory.

The uses of radioactive materials in diagnostic and therapeutic medicine are almost without exception confined to materials of very short half-life. The waste is mostly disposed of by decay, with extreme dilution to watercourses (where strict measures are used to estimate the rate of discharge and ensure that drinking water is never put at risk), as waste for incineration or by dilution in other waste for local authority disposal. As a consequence of these methods of disposal there is no significant burden to the low-level waste repository.

The Department contributes to discussions with other Government Departments and agencies regarding the future of radioactive waste control and disposal generally. Current discussions are led by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Hospitals: Closures

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what meetings (a) she, (b) her Ministers and (c) her officials have had with (i) the chairman of the Labour party and (ii) Labour party employees on potential hospital closures and cuts in services. [119596]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 5 December 2006, Official Report, column 382W.

Hospitals: Infectious Diseases

Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what training is provided to medical staff in NHS hospitals on the risks of health care associated infections; and if she will make a statement. [118349]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Duty 11 of “The Health Act 2006: Code of Practice for the Prevention and Control of Healthcare Associated Infections” (HCAIs) requires national health service bodies to ensure that all staff are suitably educated in the prevention and control of HCAIs. This requirement covers both induction and ongoing education. The content of training programmes is determined locally.

“The Health Act 2006: Code of Practice” has been placed in the Library and can be found on the Department’s website at:

Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recommendations have been made by the Rapid Review Panel to the Health Protection Agency on investment in new technologies to combat health
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care associated infections; and if she will make a statement. [118351]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The rapid review panel (RRP) provides a prompt assessment to the Department of new and novel equipment, materials and other products or protocols that may be of value to the national health service in improving hospital infection control and reducing hospital acquired infections. The panel has considered over 168 products and its recommendations are published on the Health Protection Agency’s website but the RRP does not advise on purchasing.

Hospitals: Telephones

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much the company Patientline paid to the national health service in the 2005-06 financial year for the right to provide non-medical services for patients; [120023]

(2) how much profit Patientline made from the provision of non-medical services for NHS patients in 2005-06; what percentage of turnover this represented; and if she will make a statement. [120033]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Patientline provides non-clinical services to patients in the form of bedside television and telephone services in around 117 national health service trusts in England. The company makes no payments to those trusts for the right to provide these services.

Patientline does pay trusts for space rental and reimburses them for the cost of power used by the bedside systems. In one case, it also reimbursed a trust for costs it incurred for cabling used by the Patientline system.

In 2005-06, these payments totalled approximately £400,000, of which £250,000 was for the installation of cabling.

Where Patientline operates payphones for NHS trusts, in non-ward areas, trusts receive a share of the revenue earned. This was just over £100,000 in the last financial year.

Patientline is a publicly listed company. It provides information about its profit and loss in its annual report and accounts.

Maternity Services

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the sum provided under Payment by Results for (a) a home birth, (b) a birth at a midwife-led unit and (c) a birth at a consultant-led maternity unit; and, in each case, whether the tariff payment is differentiated according to a prior risk assessment. [121570]

Andy Burnham: There is no national tariff for home births. This activity falls outside the scope of payment by results. Under payment by results, no distinction is made between midwife and consultant-led births. The tariff takes account of complications or co-morbidities; however this is not determined by a prior risk assessment.

The following table sets out the tariffs for births payable under payment by results in 2006-07:

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HRG code HRG name Elective spell tariff Non-elective spell tariff


Normal Delivery w cc




Normal Delivery w/o cc




Assisted Delivery w cc




Assisted Delivery w/o cc




Caesarean Section w cc




Caesarean Section w/o cc



w cc = with complications and co-morbidities
w/o cc = without complications and co-morbidities
1. The difference between normal and assisted delivery is the use of specific equipment during the birth. For example, assisted delivery includes forceps delivery, vacuum delivery and breech extraction delivery.
2. The majority of birthing events fall under the non-elective tariff as the time of delivery cannot be planned.

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