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Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Departments library service is responsible for central purchasing of newspapers, magazines and periodicals for library use and for retention by individual units. Suppliers who have been chosen by competitive tendering every three to five years are used.
|Total expenditure for the financial years 1997-98 onwards|
|(1 )Estimate of final out-turn|
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what expenditure was incurred by her (a) Department, (b) agencies and (c) non-departmental bodies in each year since 1997 on (i) opinion polling, (ii) focus groups and (iii) other forms of market research; and if she will list the surveys commissioned and the purpose of each. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Ministers and civil servants meet many people, including union representatives, as part of the process of policy development and advice. A Minister chairs a monthly meeting with NHS employers and union representatives, the social partnership forum, to promote effective partnership working on the workforce implications of policy.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made with the pilots on injectable diamorphine prescribing in England; and what data on (a) outcomes relating to the health of the individuals participating in the pilots and (b) their offending rates have emerged from the pilots. 
Caroline Flint: The Randomised Injectable Opiate Treatment Trial (RIOTT) is currently under way. The National Addiction Centre, supported by Government, is examining injectable diamorphine, injectable methadone and oral methadone treatments in a randomised controlled trial. The trial is due to be completed in 2008. The results on outcomes will only be published after completion of the trial and following peer review.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: All children should have their eyes examined at birth and again at six to eight weeks by a health visitor or nurse. The national service framework for children, young people and maternity services recommends an optometrist-led screening programme for children aged four and five.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were treated for the effects of recent female genital mutilation in each of the last five years for which figures are available. 
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what national minimum standards the Government set for the provision of care to disabled people by local authorities; and what mechanisms the Department uses to ensure that there are no regional variations in the provision of such services. 
The regulations and the national minimum standards ensure that providers across the country are inspected and regulated according to consistent, nationally applied standards. The Commission for Social Care Inspection, which regulates social care, has strong enforcement powers and will take action if necessary to protect the welfare of all service users.
Derek Conway: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the reasons are for the waiting time for digital hearing aid assessments in (a) Bexley and (b) Bromley; and if she will make a statement. 
To address this, the Lewisham hospital national health service trust and Queen Mary Sidcup NHS trust, which treat Bexley patients, are replacing a vacant post by that of a locum audiologist, two audiologists are being trained to fit digital hearing aids and the systems are being restructured to be more efficient. These measures are expected to substantially reduce the backlog by summer.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 12 March 2007 to the hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire, Official Report, column 129W, on home helps, how many people received home help in the sample week in each year from 1997 to 2006; and how many hours were delivered in the sample week in 2006. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: We are only able to provide information relating to the publicly funded home care. This information is included in the following table. This information was first collected in 2000. Data for 2006 are not yet available.
|Estimated number( 1) of clients receiving home help during a sample week in September, 2000 to 2005, England|
|Number of clients|
|(1) Rounded numbers|
1. The table contains estimates for missing data.
2. Clients receiving home care purchased with a direct payment are excluded.
HH1 return, table 3A
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on progress in the provision of community and domiciliary support to facilitate reductions in average hospital lengths of stay. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 29 March 2007]: The Government are committed to reducing the number of patients who are delayed in hospital, when they could be better cared for elsewhere. Councils and their national health service partners have already made significant progress in reducing delays in hospital. Between September 2001 and December 2006, the number of people over the age of 75 delayed in hospital reduced from 5,673 to 1,651a reduction of 71 per cent. Total delays for the same period were reduced from 7,065 to 2,190a reduction of 69 per cent.
Intermediate care can be used to facilitate discharge from hospital, reducing the period of time the individual has to stay there. This aims to help speed
recovery, re-establish the individuals independence and maintain social and community links. It can be used to respond to, or avert, a health crisis and thereby act as an alternative to hospital admission. This policy also has the effect of reducing demand on secondary care resources, making beds available and reducing the likelihood of readmission. As at 31 March 2006, there were 29,644 intermediate care places, benefiting over 393,000 people.
A key goal of the White Paper, Our health, our care, our say, is to provide better prevention and early intervention for improved health, independence and well-being. Support for implementation is being provided by various pilot sites. These include 30 care closer to home demonstrations that are working across six specialties to offer more care in community settings, including step-down facilities allowing people to be discharged from hospital to facilities near their home.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make it her policy to encourage the formation of not-for-profit organisations to run non-medical services for patients; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Government's vision of a modern health and social care system is to develop a cost-effective, fair and transparent commissioning-led environment in which commissioners ensure the provision of flexible and responsive services through an increasingly diverse range of providers, including the third sector (voluntary and community sector, social enterprise and other not-for-profit organisations).
The Commissioning Framework for health and well-being, published for consultation on 6 March 2007, sets out the proposed model for health and social care commissioning from April 2008 and how commissioners should procure effectively and fairly from a wide range of providers and actively shape the provider market. We are supporting the development of third sector and social enterprise approaches to service delivery though Section 64 General Scheme of Grants and the Social Enterprise Fund.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what her policy is on the use of methylphenidate drugs in the treatment of children over the age of six and adolescents who suffer from attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder; and if she will make a statement; 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: In March 2006, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published guidance on the use of drugs to treat attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). NICE has estimated that around 5 per cent. of school-aged children meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD, equivalent to 366,000 children and adolescents in England and Wales, but not all these children will require medication.
NICE has recommended that drug treatment for ADHD should only be initiated by an appropriately qualified healthcare professional with expertise in ADHD and should be based on a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. Continued prescribing and monitoring of drug treatment may be performed by general practitioners, under shared care arrangements. Drug therapy should only be part of a comprehensive treatment programme that includes advice and support to parents and teachers.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the possible effects of administering Tamiflu to (a) 25 per cent., (b) 50 per cent. and (c) 75 per cent. of the population in the event of a pandemic influenza outbreak with an attack rate of (i) 25 per cent., (ii) 30 per cent., (iii) 40 per cent., (iv) 50 per cent. and (v) 75 per cent. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Predicting the effect of the administration of Tamiflu is dependent on whether or not the unknown virus will be sensitive to Tamiflu, the clinical attack rate, the characteristic complications profile of the as-yet unknown virus, the antiviral policy (such as targeted treatment or treating everyone), other interventions, and the effect of antivirals and other interventions on reducing spread. It is not a fixed figure. We use 25 per cent., 35 per cent. and 50 per cent. as our standard raw clinical attack rates for planning purposes because the pandemics of the 20th century had attack rates between 25 per cent. and 35 per cent. in the UK whereas 50 per cent. is the reasonable worst case.
Overall, on prescribed medical and scientific advice, the administration of antivirals is expected to reduce the proportion of clinical cases who require hospitalisation and the case fatality ratepossibly by up to 50 per cent. In such calculations many assumptions need to be made, of which only two are that Tamiflu will be as effective against a pandemic strain as against seasonal influenza, and that antiviral treatment will reach the patient within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms.
Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent discussions her Department has had with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence regarding a future work programme on insulin treatments; 
Departmental officials routinely discuss with the National Institute for Health and
Clinical Excellence a wide range of potential topics for inclusion in the Institute's work programme.
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