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18 Apr 2007 : Column 653W—continued

Child Birth

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of births took place (a) at home, (b) in a midwife-led maternity unit and (c) in an
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obstetrician-led maternity unit in England in the latest period for which figures are available, broken down by NHS trust. [131855]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The “NHS Maternity Statistics, England: 2004-05”, copies of which are available in the Library for the last year for which we have figures, shows there were 584,100 hospital births and 13,700 home births. This equates to 97.7 per cent. hospital and 2.3 per cent. home births.

Of the hospital births, 54 per cent. were in consultant wards, 40 per cent. were in joint consultant/midwife/general practitioner (GP) wards, 4 per cent. in midwife led wards and 1 per cent. in GP wards. We are not able to break down these figures by NHS trust.

Colorectal Cancer: Screening

Mr. O'Hara: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment has been made of the suitability of using immunochemical tests for the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening programme. [131050]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The National Health Service Bowel Cancer Screening programme is constantly alert to new methodologies and improved technologies in order to ensure the best quality of services. We have recently completed the second trial of a planned series into the appropriateness and effectiveness of using an immunological test. Data from this early work are currently being analysed and we expect to receive a report in summer 2007.

Departmental Research

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the cost was of government social research in her Department in each of the last five years; how many projects were completed in that period; and how many people are employed in working on such research; [102595]

(2) when she will answer the question 102595, tabled by the hon. Member for Forest of Dean on 21 November 2006, on social research. [110223]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information requested could not be provided without incurring disproportionate cost.

Departmental Travel

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her Department’s expenditure on hospitality and entertainment was in (a) 1996-97 and (b) 2005-06. [114027]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Expenditure on hospitality and entertaining arises in the context of promoting the Department’s business objectives. The expenditure for the periods requested is as follows:

With the introduction of the Department’s new finance system in April 2004, a number of financial codes were combined to include miscellaneous expenditure, which is not classifiable as hospitality or entertaining. Therefore we do not hold an accurate value for the period 2005-06.

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Departments: Domestic Visits

Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what procedures are in place in her Department to ensure that hon. Members are informed of a ministerial visit to their constituency. [127606]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The diary secretaries of all departmental Ministers inform hon. Members of a ministerial visit to their constituency as soon as the visit programme is confirmed.

Departments: Ministers’ Private Offices

Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the staff cost is to her private office of keeping her official diary; [127607]

(2) what qualifications are required to work as a diary secretary in her private office. [127608]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: It would not be appropriate to identify the staff cost associated with keeping my official diary, as to do so would reveal an individual’s personal salary information. Staff are recruited to my private office on the basis of their experience and expertise.

Departments: Official Visits

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent on (a) travel and (b) accommodation (i) in the UK and (ii) abroad by her Department in each year since 1997. [122475]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Information on the Department's expenditure on travel and subsistence in the United Kingdom and abroad in each year since 1997 is as follows.

UK travel UK subsistence Overseas travel and subsistence Tota l




































The Department's finance systems do not hold information in the format requested. The figures quoted for subsistence include accommodation costs which are not available separately.

The information has not been collected in the requested detail since April 2004, when the Department introduced a new accounting system, as the Department is not required to report in such detail for the statutory accounts. Further analysis to provide the level of detail cannot be undertaken without incurring disproportionate costs.

Departments: Redundancy

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent on (a) involuntary and
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(b) voluntary staff exit schemes in (i) her Department and (ii) each agency of her Department in each year since 1997-98; how much is planned to be spent for 2007-08; and if she will make a statement. [131434]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 16 April 2007]: The total cost of exits (i.e. compulsory redundancies and early retirements/severances) for the Department are:

Voluntary (£) Compulsory (£) Total (£ million)













In 2007-08 a voluntary exit scheme on flexible terms was launched in the Department in March 2007. We estimate costs of approximately £10 million.

For the period prior to the financial year 2004-05, data could only be established at disproportionate cost.

The National Health Service Purchasing and Supply Agency have had no voluntary staff exit schemes in the period 2000 to the present day. The cost of compulsory redundancies from the available information is £225,882 in 2003-04, £89,710 in 2004-05, £1,189,946 in 2005-06, £231,895 in 2006-07 and a forecast of £658,121 in 2007-08.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has had no compulsory redundancies in the period 2003 to the present day. The cost of voluntary schemes has been £43,000 in 2003-04, £53,000 in 2004-05, £51,000 in 2005-06, £130,000 in 2006-07 and a nil forecast for 2007-08.

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in her Department participated in (a) involuntary and (b) voluntary staff exit schemes in each year since 1997-98; and if she will make a statement. [131438]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 16 April 2007]: For the period prior to the financial year 2005-06, data could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

In 2005-06, eight people left the Department under compulsory terms and 25 voluntarily. In 2006-07, eight people left the Department under compulsory terms and 31 voluntarily.

Health Care Spending

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent by NHS purchasers on (a) beds and (b) furniture in each year since 1997; and what percentage were sourced from (i) the UK, (ii) other EU countries and (iii) elsewhere. [107374]

Andy Burnham: The information is not collected in the requested format.

National health service trusts are not asked to report their spend on beds centrally. Many beds (and mattresses) replaced within the NHS are done so on a planned rental, lease or managed service basis. Therefore the products being replaced are often the property of the supplier or finance provider, not necessarily the NHS.

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During the last two years of the previous national framework agreement for furniture, contract sales were running at £24 million and £27 million. These figures do not reflect trusts purchasing direct from suppliers and the NHS Supply Chain estimates that in April 2004 the value of furniture sales to the whole of the NHS was about £60 million per year.

The current framework agreement started in September 2004 and yearly sales have been as follows:

£ million





The contract sales are all from United Kingdom suppliers on the framework agreement. These contracts are not mandatory, and therefore some NHS trusts buy from other sources. As the all trust data are not collected centrally, it is not possible to identify the sources of the suppliers where trusts have entered into purchases separate to the central framework agreement. These figures do not therefore cover the total NHS spend.

In addition, data are available for the amount spent on furniture, office and computer equipment for each year for the period 2000-01 to 2004-05.

Amount (£)











(1) Foundation trust figures are not included, as it is not mandatory for them to submit the returns.

The data for 2005-06 are not yet available.

Health Providers

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps she has taken to improve the quality of care delivered by (a) health visitors, (b) district nurses and (c) child psychologists in the last five years; [109061]

(2) when she expects to reply to question No. 109061, tabled on 11 December 2006. [131264]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Our vision as set out in the White Paper “Our health, our care, our say”, which we published in 2006, depends on strengthening health care outside hospital. The Government have four goals:

We have introduced a number of policies aimed at improving care for children and families and developing the role of health visitors. These include the national service framework for children, young people and maternity services and the chief nursing officer’s review of the nursing contribution to vulnerable children. We are currently undertaking a review of the role of health visitors as part of Modernising Nursing Careers.

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District nurses have a key role to play in enabling more care to be delivered outside of hospital. Modernising Nursing Careers, launched by the Secretary of State last September, pays special attention to nurses caring for people in their own homes, so they can help deliver White Paper goals. Also, many district nurses have received additional training via the cancer networks so they can maximise their input to those with life-threatening, palliative or end of life needs.

“Essence of Care”, published in 2001 and updated in 2003 and 2006, is a national system of benchmarking the quality of patient care across a range of fundamental dimensions. It is widely used across the national health service, and enables district nurses and others to assess the care they offer patients against a set of good practice indicators. Local action plans to improve services are designed and implemented, some of which, like the red tray scheme for patients at risk of poor nutrition, have been adopted nationwide.

Child psychologists are playing an increasing role in the services provided by a comprehensive child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS). Since 2003 the number of child psychologists, both clinical and educational, working in CAMHS teams has increased by 33 per cent. They have a particularly important role in developing mental health services for young people who also have a learning disability.

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