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26 Mar 2007 : Column 1366W—continued

Heart Diseases

Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average period of time was which patients have waited for a myocardial perfusion scan in (a) West Lancashire, (b) the North West and (c) England in the latest period for which figures are available. [128227]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information is not available in the format requested. The table shows the number of people waiting more than six and 13 weeks for a routine myocardial perfusion study.

Waiting times information for routine myocardial perfusion study, August 2006
Organisation code Organisation name Number waiting six to 13 weeks Number waiting over 13 weeks


Southport and Ormskirk Hospital National Health Service Trust




Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Hospitals NHS Trust




Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust




All North West Strategic Health Authority



All England



Source: Department of Health, Diagnostic Census.

Heart Diseases: Irish

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of research on the risk faced by Irish people in England dying prematurely from heart disease compared to other groups; and what steps are being taken by her Department to address this risk. [128207]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Health Survey for England 2004 supplement, The Health of Minority Ethnic Groups, collected information from the seven largest minority ethnic groups in England including Black Caribbean, Black African, Indian, Pakistan, Bangladeshi, Chinese and Irish. The general population survey reported that cardiovascular disorder diagnosed by a doctor was most prevalent in Irish men and women.

The survey also looked at risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Significantly, it shows that Irish men were more obese and that their prevalence for smoking and drinking was higher than the general population. Irish women have higher blood pressure and both drink and smoke more than the general population. These are all risk factors for CVD which includes coronary heart disease (CHD).

The Department has an overarching target to improve mortality for CVD which incorporates a specific target for tackling health inequalities:

Those areas with the worst health and deprivation indicators have been designated Spearhead primary care trusts. They are responsible for designing and delivering services to meet the needs of their local population, taking account of issues such as ethnic mix. Latest data show continued improvements in CVD mortality inequalities with a 27.9 per cent. reduction in the absolute CVD inequality gap. This has been achieved by promoting healthier lifestyles and with the increased distribution of preventative drugs such as statins.

Kidney Diseases

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people are diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in (a) the UK, (b) the West Midlands and (c) Coventry. [129033]

Ms Rosie Winterton: There is no national registry of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Over 99.9 per cent. of people with CKD will be under the care of general practitioners and not be seen by secondary or tertiary hospital services.

At general practice level, the maintenance of a practice register of patients with CKD became a part of the quality and outcomes framework in April 2006,
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which in due course should mean that a very rich dataset will be available for every community in the country.

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps her Department is taking to encourage early treatment to prevent renal failure. [129034]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Part 2 of the “National Service Framework for Renal Services” sets out the Department’s strategy for early identification and management of chronic kidney disease, and for slowing down its progression. This has been reinforced by the introduction of a set of indicators relating to chronic kidney disease in the quality and outcomes framework, which rewards general practitioners for developing services in this area.

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans her Department has for the long-term provision of dialysis facilities. [129035]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Part 1 “Dialysis and Transplantation—The National Service Framework for Renal Services: Dialysis and Transplantation”, which is available in the Library, sets out the Department’s vision for the sufficiency and quality of dialysis services in the national health service. Standard 4 of the National Service Framework aims to improve the outcomes for people on dialysis and maximise their rehabilitation, quality of life and survival.

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether her Department has plans to increase the provision and availability of home dialysis equipment. [129036]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Choice is acknowledged as being of paramount importance in the “National Service Framework for Renal Services”, and that choice includes home dialysis. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has recommended that patients should be offered the choice of home haemodialysis, where clinically indicated, as a cost- effective alternative to haemodialysis in a hospital or satellite unit. The Department is currently hosting a seminar to promote the availability of home dialysis in the national health service.

Mental Health Services: Ethnic Groups

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health why the best practice guide Positive Steps: Supporting Race Equality in Mental Health Care of 21 February 2007 does not include the Irish as a specific category; and whether this practice is consistent with the categories recommended in the Department's guide to ethnic monitoring. [128176]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department is committed to the promotion of equality in the national health service, for staff, patients and the public. Delivering race equality (DRE) in mental health is a comprehensive five-year action plan for tackling racial inequality in mental health care.

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The definition of black minority ethnic (BME) in the DRE action plan is used to refer to all minority ethnic groups in England. It does not only refer to skin colour but to people of all groups who may experience discrimination and disadvantage, such as those of Irish origin, Mediterranean origin and East Europe migrants.

Most of the Positive Steps guide is applicable to all these groups. The guide is intended to expand and develop over time. It currently includes information specific to two BME communities. Information on others, including the Irish, will be added shortly.

Mid-Essex Hospital Trust: Vacancies

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will clarify her answer of 20 March 2007 to question 127533, tabled by the hon. Member for West Chelmsford, on vacancies at the Mid-Essex Hospital Trust. [129612]

Andy Burnham: The Department does not collect estimates of projected vacancy levels by trust. It is for local national health service providers in consultation with commissioners, to estimate their work force requirements to meet the healthcare needs of their local populations.

The national three-month vacancy survey due to be carried out at the end of this month will show how many vacancies have been unfilled for three months in each trust in England. The results of this survey will be published in the summer.


Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many registered midwives (a) left the NHS, (b) returned to the NHS and (c) were made redundant in each of the last 12 years for which records are available; and how many of these posts were not then filled or replaced. [127277]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The number of registered midwives who left the national health service in the last 12 years is not collected centrally.

Since 1999 over 1,200 midwives had returned to the NHS as at March 2004.

Information on redundancies was collected for the first time last year. There were nine compulsory midwife redundancies in England in the nine months up to 31 December 2006.

This needs to be seen in the context of the last census showing there were 24,808 midwives employed in the NHS in England, an increase of 2,423 (10.8 per cent.) since 1997.

Information on how many of these posts were not then filled or replaced is not collected centrally.

Midwives: Manpower

Mr. Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many midwives left the profession in the last three years for which figures are available. [127549]

Ms Rosie Winterton: This information is not collected centrally.

Mr. Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the number of
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independent midwives who are likely to leave the profession as a result of the new rules requiring professional indemnity insurance. [127550]

Ms Rosie Winterton: No estimate has been made centrally. All registered health care professionals will be required to have professional indemnity insurance to protect the public in the event of a claim for negligence. While it is important to consider independent midwives, especially in relation to extended choice and diversity of provision, it cannot be at the cost of the protection of the woman.

NHS Expenditure

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 18 December 2006, Official Report, columns 1719-20W, on NHS expenditure, whether her Department has discussed the consistency of methodology for calculating health expenditure per capita with officials from the Welsh Assembly Government. [123529]

Andy Burnham: In submitting the data, officials from the Department and the Welsh Assembly Government did not hold specific discussions on the comparability of the data.

NHS: Finance

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) expenditure per unweighted head of each primary care trust and (b) (i) in-year and (ii) accumulated financial position was of each primary care trust for (A) 2003-04, (B) 2004-05 and (C) 2005-06. [124931]

Andy Burnham: The information on expenditure per unweighted head of each primary care trust (PCT) has been placed in the Library. Data on the in-year financial position for individual PCTs for the years requested are not held centrally. PCTs manage their resources on an annual basis, therefore the year-end financial position represents the accumulated position. This information has also been placed in the Library.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) accumulated financial position of the NHS and (b) the in-year financial position of the NHS was in each year since 1996-97. [124932]

Andy Burnham: The national health service manages its resources on an annual basis, therefore the year-end financial position represents the accumulated position. The in-year financial position can only be provided from 2002-03 as this the first year that adjustments for prior year performance were made. These figures are presented in the following table:

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£ million
Total NHS net surplus/(deficit) Total NHS in-year surplus/(deficit)


































(1) Quarter three forecast.
1. The figures in the table exclude foundation trusts.
2. The 2006-07 forecast figures exclude the £450 million savings identified by SHAs through their continued prudent management of central NHS programme funds.
NHS Summarisation Schedules 1996-97 to 2005-06 and NHS financial monitoring returns 2006-07

NHS: Tolls

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate her Department has made of the weekly cost to the national health service of the introduction of road user charging. [126159]

Dr. Ladyman: I have been asked to reply.

No decisions have been taken on a national road pricing scheme. The Government are working with local authorities interested in establishing local pricing schemes to address local congestion problems, and the first of these are expected to be in place in four to five years. Any decision on a national road pricing scheme will only be taken on the evidence of these schemes.

Given that no decisions have been taken on whether to introduce national road pricing and if so what form it might take, it is not possible to estimate the potential impact on specific groups or sectors at this stage.

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