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16 Apr 2007 : Column 367W—continued

NHS: Complaints

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent representations she has received on the NHS complaints procedure; and if she will make a statement; [128717]

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(2) what plans she has to reform the NHS complaints procedure to make it easier for users of the NHS to make a complaint. [128721]

Ms Rosie Winterton: We received representation on the national health service complaints procedure in a joint letter in October 2006 from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) and the Local Government Ombudsman, providing feedback which welcomes our commitment to establish integrated health and social care complaints arrangements, gives their views on the principles they consider should govern the development and delivery of the new integrated approach, and summarises what they believe needs to be in place to make an effective integrated approach a reality.

The White Paper “Our health, our care, our say” published in January 2006, signals our commitment to

in response to people’s wishes for easy and effective ways of complaining.

We intend to conduct a consultation exercise very shortly on reform of the complaints arrangements across health and social care. In so doing we will take account of the recommendations by the PHSO and Local Government Ombudsman in developing a new complaints system, which we agree should be based on the following principles:

We have accepted a recommendation of the Shipman Inquiry (Fifth Report) that there should be a statutory recognition of the importance of the proper investigation of complaints to the processes of organisational learning and of monitoring the quality of care. Additionally a fair and responsive system must address the specific needs of vulnerable people, such as those with learning difficulties, mental health problems and communication difficulties.

Throughout the consultation process we will maintain ongoing communication and feedback from key stakeholders, such as the ombudsman, the Local Government Ombudsman, the Healthcare Commission, the Commission for Social Care Inspection and Monitor, the regulator for foundation trusts. We will consult widely on the proposals across all health and social care communities, in the public and private sectors, and with patient and user representatives. As well as written responses we intend to conduct events in London and around the country to encourage thorough debate and feedback.

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NHS: Finance

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) funding packages and (b) joint-funding packages were completed by each primary care trust or predecessor bodies for patients whose complex needs cost (i) £100,000 to £249,999, (ii) £250,000 to £499,999 and (iii) more than £500,000 per annum in each of the last three years. [127569]

Andy Burnham: Cost data collected from the national health service do not distinguish between the costs of individual patients.

We are therefore unable to separately identify the number of patients whose complex needs cost £100,000 to £249,999, £250,000 to £499,999 and more than £500,000 per annum in each of the last three years.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what purpose funds from the Centrally Funded Initiatives Services and Special Allocation (CFISSA) described in the 2006 Department of Health Annual Report as CFISSA budgets issued with primary care trust allocations were intended; and how they differ from other primary care trust revenue allocations. [130341]

Andy Burnham: The purpose and value of the centrally funded initiatives services and special allocations (CFISSA) funds issued with primary care trust (PCT) initial allocations are in the following table. These allocations differ from other CFISSA allocations only in that they are incorporated into PCT initial resource limits and are allocated at the start of the financial year. Other funds issued to the national health service from the CFISSA programme are made as in year allocation adjustments.

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2005-06 centrally funded initiatives services and special allocations programme - allocations included with PCT initial resource limits

Primary medical services resource limit adjustment


General medical services cash limited rebasing


Pension indexation: PCT contribution


NHS funded nursing care


Palliative care


Pensions indexation adjustment for personal medical services practice staff


Neo natal intensive care




Dangerous people with serious personality disorders


Health Protection Agency




Health Protection Agency


Medium secure services for deaf people


Non medical education and training


Improving services for people with multiple sclerosis


Health Protection Agency


Pensions indexation


Regional directors of public health support


Prison healthcare


Defibrillator funding to PCTs




Multiple Sclerosis service improvements


NHS funded nursing care—short-term respite care adjustment


National specialist commissioning—pancreatic transplantation


Cancer registries


National specialist commissioning—children and adolescent mental health services


Old long stay




Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which programmes have been funded by her Department's Centrally Funded Initiatives and Services and Special Allocations (CFISSA) budget so far in 2006-07 financial year; what the value was of each of those programmes; what the total expenditure on the CFISSA budget was in each year since 1997-98; and what the anticipated expenditure on the CFISSA budget is expected to be in 2007-08. [130410]

Andy Burnham: Tables are available in the Library providing:

Full year 2006-07 information and anticipated expenditure in 2007-08 on centrally funded initiatives services and special allocations is not yet available. This information will be contained within the 2006-07 Departmental Report that has an estimated publishing date of May 2007.

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 28 March 2007, on changes to the NHS resource accounting and budgeting (RAB) regime, why the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust was omitted from the list of trusts receiving the reversal of RAB income deductions. [131372]

Andy Burnham: The reversals set out in the written ministerial statement of 28 March 2007, Official Report, columns 96-98WS, are for income deductions applied to NHS trusts in 2006-07 as a result of deficits incurred during 2005-06. No such income deduction was made to Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust as the trust’s financial position reported in the 2005-06 final accounts was a surplus of £112,000.

Under the new rules, NHS trusts that had income deductions made in years prior to 2006-07 will be able to agree a disregard for these deductions in the calculation of their statutory breakeven duty. This means that they will no longer have to generate a surplus to recover any part of their cumulative deficit that arose solely from the application of resource accounting and budgeting (RAB) income deductions.

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Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust will therefore need to agree with its auditors the impact on its breakeven duty of any RAB income deductions applied in 2005-06 and earlier years. The breakeven note would then be adjusted to exclude these in the 2006-07 final accounts.

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of local improvement finance trusts in the (a) commissioning, (b) financing and (c) building of local primary care health facilities. [131392]

Andy Burnham: The NHS Plan (2000) introduced national health service local improvement finance trusts (LIFT) as a way of supporting the delivery of more investment in primary care premises. LIFT is providing modern integrated super surgeries, often in the heart of deprived communities. As of 31 March 2007, it has delivered 115 new buildings open to patients with another 74 under construction, supported by over £1.2 billion of investment. The NAO report on LIFT, Innovation in the NHS, noted that LIFT is well designed and offered advantages over other forms of procurement.

Information is not held centrally to allow for an assessment on the effectiveness of the buildings commissioning period for each scheme. It is for PCTs to manage the commissioning of their new facilities.

Information is not held centrally to allow for an assessment of effectiveness of the financing of each individual scheme. However, as part of the business case approval for each scheme financing terms are assessed, with the support of expert financial advice. The Department is also assembling benchmarking data to support this analysis in current and future LIFTs.

The Department as part of its Better Healthcare Buildings policy initiative is working closely with the commission for architecture and the built environment who have undertaken a detailed design quality survey of a representational cross section of primary care buildings procured under the LIFT initiative. They are preparing findings, which the Department will learn from and implement policy aimed at continually raising the standards of LIFT buildings.

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the NHS accounts for the financial year 2006-07 will be published. [131740]

Andy Burnham: Individual national health service accounts must, by statute, be published locally on or before 30 September 2007. The Department expects that this date will be met or bettered by all NHS bodies.

The Department plans to submit draft summarised accounts that consolidate NHS bodies' accounts to the National Audit Office for review by 20 August 2007. The date of publication is a matter for the Comptroller and Auditor General and depends on the date of completion of the audit process.


Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many trusts she expects to meet the Patient Administration System implementation deadline of 23 April; and if she will make a statement. [131739]

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Caroline Flint: The information is in the table.

Patient administration systems (PAS) implemented in: Deployments to date Additional deployments planned to be completed by 23 April 2007

Acute Trusts



Primary Care Trusts



Primary Care Trusts (PAS with additional clinical functionality)



Mental Health Trusts






The national health service is in the process of moving from being an organisation with fragmented or incomplete systems, with physical processing and storage of records on paper, to a position where national systems are fully integrated, record keeping is digital, and patients have unprecedented access to their personal health records. PAS systems that are compliant with other applications delivered through the national programme for information technology are a key element of this process.

The national programme is providing essential services to support patient care and the smooth running of the NHS, without which it could already not properly function. Thousands of national and local systems have already been successfully deployed on time, including widespread coverage of community PAS where none existed previously. Almost two thirds of hospitals now have digital X-rays and scans, and at the heart of the programme is the NHS care records service which will in due course provide a lifelong electronic personal health record for NHS patients in England.

NHS: Procurement

Mr. Havard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what requirement her Department makes of NHS Supply Chain (a) to consider and (b) to implement the recommendations on medical devices of the Centre for Evidence-Based Purchasing. [129596]

Andy Burnham: The agreement with DHL requires NHS Supply Chain to comply with government policies on request. NHS Supply Chain is already committed to liaise closely with the Centre for Evidence-based Purchasing either directly or through the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency.

Mr. Havard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will issue guidance on best practice on the composition of specialised clinical assessment groups within NHS Supply Chain. [129597]

Andy Burnham: NHS Supply Chain has no current plans to release guidance on best practise for the composition of specialised clinical assessment groups.

Mr. Havard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what mechanisms her Department has in place to assess whether NHS Supply Chain's procurement process has improved access to medical technologies for patients; and if she will make a statement. [129598]

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