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6 Mar 2007 : Column 1950W—continued

NHS Homeopathic Hospitals

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her answer of 19 February 2007, Official Report, columns 57-8W, whether the Government’s commitment to patient choice will enable patients to choose homeopathy from a local
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NHS homeopathic clinic or NHS homeopathic hospital. [124193]

Caroline Flint: The Government consider that decision-making on individual clinical interventions, whether conventional, or complementary alternative treatments, has to be a matter for local national health service providers and practitioners as they are best placed to know their community’s needs. In making such decisions, they have to take into account evidence for the safety, clinical and cost-effectiveness of any treatments, the availability of suitably qualified practitioners, and the needs of the individual patient. Clinical responsibility rests with the NHS professional who makes the decision to refer and who must therefore be able to justify any treatment they recommend. If they are unconvinced about the suitability of a particular treatment, they cannot be made to refer. Decisions on spending on any complementary and alternative medicine treatments are therefore the responsibility of the NHS.

NHS Treatment Centres: Private Sector

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether funding for existing hospitals will be adjusted to account for the (a) change in volume of work and (b) change in complexity of cases following the introduction of independent sector treatment centres; and if she will make a statement. [122939]

Andy Burnham: Payment by results currently applies only to services commissioned from national health service trusts and foundation trusts. Independent sector treatment centres (ISTCs) are paid contract prices, which reflect the outcome of a competitive tendering exercise conducted at national level.

NHS trusts and foundation trusts continue to be paid for activity at the national tariff, which is based on national average costs reported by NHS organisations.

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many (a) day beds and (b) overnight beds will be provided at the proposed independent sector treatment centre in Basildon, Essex; [122940]

(2) how many staff are planned to be employed at the proposed independent sector treatment centre in Basildon, Essex in each of the first five years of its operation, broken down by (a) occupation and (b) seniority; [122941]

(3) what specialities will be provided by the independent sector treatment centre in Basildon, Essex; and when each will be available. [122942]

Andy Burnham: The elective component of the Essex Independent Sector Treatment Centre (ISTC) scheme is expected to include the following specialities:

These procedures will be accompanied by follow-up outpatient appointments, including appropriate
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rehabilitation therapies (for example, physiotherapy and occupational therapy), as necessary in accordance with good clinical practice, to complete the episode of care. The majority of services are expected to commence from September 2008.

The scheme is expected to employ approximately 400 whole time equivalent clinical and non-clinical staff across the county, allocated to the various services to be provided.

As contract negotiations are still ongoing, the locations of Essex ISTCs (including a potential site in Basildon), precise staff numbers, roles, experience, skills sets, and proposed specifications (including day case beds and overnight beds) for anticipated ISTCs are still to be finalised.

NHS Walk-in Centres

Ms Gisela Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients have used NHS walk-in centres in the West Midlands since they first opened, broken down by centre. [112419]

Andy Burnham: Information on patient attendances at national health service walk-in centres in the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority (SHA) area is set out in the following table. From 2000 when the first NHS walk-in centre opened, data were collected on activity at each centre. Since March 2003, data have however been collected at primary care trust (PCT) or NHS trust level. The Department is not aware that any of the PCTs in West Midlands has more than one NHS walk-in centre within its area but walk-in services are commissioned locally and returns to the Department may therefore include other local walk-in service activity in addition to information on the centres listed in the table.

West Midlands SHA: NHS walk-in centre activity
NHS walk-in centre/PCT or NHS trust NHS walk-in centre opening date Total attendances to December 2006

Birmingham City/Heart of Birmingham Teaching PCT

27 March 2000


Coventry/Coventry Teaching PCT

11 December 2000


Stoke on Trent( Haywood)/University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust

12 June 2000


Walsall/Walsall Teaching PCT

28 February 2001


Rugby/ Warwickshire PCT

10 May 2006


Wolverhampton/Wolverhampton City PCT

1 January 2007


Ms Gisela Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how she plans to ensure continued funding for NHS walk-in centres in the West Midlands. [112420]

Andy Burnham: This is a matter for the local primary care trusts and the West Midlands strategic health authorities. National health service walk-in centres are now funded locally on a similar basis to other front line services.

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NHS: Drugs

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to reduce the cost of drugs to the NHS. [123016]

Caroline Flint: It is important that we have fair prices which give value for money to the taxpayer. The 2005 pharmaceutical price regulation scheme included a 7 per cent, price reduction for branded prescription medicines, which will save the national health service more than £1.8 billion over the five year agreement. We have also reduced the prices of generics by £1 billion over the last four years. However, we also recognise the importance of the pharmaceutical industry to health care and the development of medical advances and it is in all of our interests to encourage research and reward innovation.

NHS: Equal Opportunities

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps her Department plans to take to meet the gender equality duty in the Equality Act 2006; and if she will make a statement; [120998]

(2) what advice her Department has given to primary care trusts on how to consult and engage with stakeholders in meeting the requirements of the gender equality duty required by the Equality Act 2006; and if she will make a statement; [120999]

(3) what target outcomes her Department has set for primary care trusts to achieve as required by the gender equality duty in the Equality Act 2006; and if she will make a statement; [121000]

(4) what (a) advice, (b) support, (c) funding and (d) training her Department has made available to primary care trusts to meet the requirements of the gender equality duty in the Equality Act 2006; and if she will make a statement. [121001]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department published a single equality scheme in December 2006 incorporating specific gender actions and has established a gender advisory group to advise the Department and act as a stakeholder forum when developing policy. The scheme will be further developed and refined in the light of comments received with a view to publishing an updated version in spring 2007.

It is for individual national health service bodies to satisfy themselves that they comply with the requirements of the Equality Act. However, to assist them in doing so the Department is producing ‘Creating a Gender Equality Scheme: A practical guide for the NHS’ which will be published in the next few weeks and which includes specific guidance on consultation and involvement of stakeholders. The Department is also supporting the NHS to implement current and emerging public sector equality duties by working with 18 different NHS organisations to develop their own single equality schemes. The learning and development of good practice from this project will be disseminated throughout the NHS.

6 Mar 2007 : Column 1954W

NHS: Finance

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total expenditure was on (a) the NHS, (b) NHS hospital and community health services and (c) NHS maternity services in each year since 1997. [122651]

Andy Burnham: The following table reports, from 1997-98 to 2005-06, the total expenditure on the national health service, NHS hospital and community health services (HCHS) and NHS maternity services.

£ million
NHS HCHS Maternity services





































1. NHS expenditure is the total NHS net revenue expenditure. NHS expenditure is a on a cash basis pre 1999-2000 (inclusive) and a resource basis post 1999-2000. Resource budgeting was introduced in two stages. Phase one (2000-01 to 2002-03) included debtors and creditors, and phase two (2003-04 onwards) applies full resource budgeting.
2. NHS expenditure figures include a technical adjustment from 2003-04 for trust depreciation.
3. The HCHS and maternity expenditure does not include spending on family health services and primary care prescribing. HCHS and maternity services expenditure are derived from summarised accounts on commissioning expenditure and the HCHS figures include purchase of healthcare from non-NHS providers.
4. Changes to accounting practices and a number of technical adjustments means that the data over time periods are not strictly comparable.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total overall funding allocation to primary care trusts was in each year since 2002-03; and what proportion of the total NHS budget this represented in each year. [123071]

Andy Burnham: The information requested has been set out in the following table.

Total national health service expenditure (£ million) Primary care trust revenue resource limit( 1) Allocation as a proportion of total NHS budget (percentage)

















(1) PCT consolidated accounts.
(2) 2002-03 expenditure has been represented on a consistent stage two resource accounting basis as subsequent years.

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 31 January 2007, Official Report, columns 537-38W, on NHS finance, on what basis the planned reconsideration of the future functions and remit of the NHS Bank has been deemed necessary; and if she will make a statement. [123891]

Andy Burnham: The NHS bank's historic role has been to facilitate cash brokerage between strategic
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health authorities and to perform an advisory function to the Department in the management of centrally held budgets. Changes to the financial regime for national heath service trusts, including the replacement of informal brokerage with a transparent system of loans to support historic cash problems, coupled with the bundling of central budgets to be managed locally by strategic health authorities, means a change in the NHS bank functions is required. There is an ongoing requirement for an NHS advisory function to the department, which is being considered currently.


Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the future availability targets are for choose and book; what the March targets are; and whether choose and book is on track to achieve all those targets. [119556]

Caroline Flint: The national health service operating framework for 2006-07 set a target that 90 per cent. of general practitioners referrals to first consultant-led outpatient services should be made through the choose and book system by March 2007. This was reconfirmed in the Operating Framework for 2007-08 with the aim of moving towards a position where choose and book is the standard safe and secure method for all referrals.

90 per cent utilisation by the end of March 2007 is set to be achieved in a number of primary care trusts, but not in aggregate for England as a whole.

Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what proportion of doctors' surgeries and general practices in Bedfordshire have the Choose and Book IT system installed; and if she will make a statement. [122825]

Caroline Flint: 51 of 71 general practices within Bedfordshire Primary Care Trust area are live with Choose and Book, and are making bookings. This represents some 72 per cent. of the total.

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