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24 Apr 2007 : Column 1032W—continued

The NHS cancer plan, published in 2000, stated that we would extend invitations for breast screening to women aged 65 to 70 and introduce two-view mammography at all screening rounds. Thanks to the efforts of the staff in the screening programme, these targets have now been achieved in all local breast screening units. The expansion is already showing an effect, with nearly 12,000 cancers diagnosed by the programme in 2004-05, an increase of 40 per cent. on 2001 when the expansion began.

However, the changes together represent a 40 per cent. increase in the workload of the programme. We are aware that this has had an impact on some services maintaining the three-year interval for screening and we are taking steps to bring all screening intervals back to three years.

We take the issue of the 36-month standard between screens very seriously. That is why Professor Mike Richards, the National Cancer Director, wrote to the chief executives of all 10 strategic health authorities in England on 9 February 2007 highlighting the importance of maintaining the 36-month interval.

Chiropody: East Sussex

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what provision of NHS chiropody services there is in (a) Eastbourne and (b) East Sussex. [130948]

Caroline Flint: This is a local matter. It is for primary care trusts in partnership with local stakeholders to determine how best to use their resources to meet both national and local priorities. This process provides the means for addressing local needs within the local health community including the provision of chiropody services.

Chlamydia Infection: Screening

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of chlamydia screening is being undertaken using nucleic acid amplification testing. [130751]

Caroline Flint: This information is not collected centrally.

24 Apr 2007 : Column 1033W

The Government have recognised that the need to switch to the superior nucleic acid amplification test for chlamydia testing and screening should be treated as a priority. £7 million pump-priming money was invested in 2004-05 to ensure that all major laboratories in each region of England use the most effective technology.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many chlamydia tests have been undertaken in each region of England; and what percentage each figure represents of the target; [130753]

(2) how many people aged 16 to 24 have been screened for chlamydia, and what percentage this figure represents of the target. [130756]

Caroline Flint: Information on the number of people screened in 2005-06 between the ages of 16-24 in the national chlamydia screening programme (NCSP) is given in the table (this is the same figure as tests undertaken). The information covers 26 programme areas and represented 25 per cent. of the previous primary care trust configuration. We expect to have 85 programme areas when we see national coverage during this year.

Region Mid 2005 ONS population Screening volume year 3 (to March 2006)

North East



North West



Yorkshire and Humber



East Midlands



West Midlands



East of England






South East



South West



In addition, data for the number of people diagnosed with chlamydia in 2005 in genito-urinary clinics for each region were published in ‘Diagnosis of selected STIs by region, sex and age group, United Kingdom: 1996—2005’. A copy is available in the Library. The document is also freely available at the following website:

There was no national target covering the number of chlamydia screens in 2005-06.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans she has to increase the number of young people screened for chlamydia; [130754]

(2) what estimate her Department has made of the number of unscreened people between 16 and 24 who are infected with chlamydia. [130755]

Caroline Flint: The national screening chlamydia programme (NSCP) is an important part of the Government’s sexual health strategy. Screening volumes have already increased from just over 18,000 in year one (2003-04) to nearly 104,000 in year three (2005-06). No estimate has been made of the number of 16 to 24-year-olds who have not been screened but are infected with chlamydia but positivity rates in year
24 Apr 2007 : Column 1034W
three for both males and females is very similar (10.1 per cent. and 10.2 per cent. respectively). Screening was undertaken in 26 programme areas.

We expect to see all primary care trusts commence screening during 2007. For the first time a local delivery plan target has been introduced for 2007-08. Strategic health authorities have submitted plans to screen at least 15 per cent. of their population aged 15-24 by March 2008.

In addition, the Department, has contracted Boots to pilot the potential of retail pharmacies as chlamydia screening venues. Screening started on 14 November 2005 in all of the Boots stores in London. This two-year pilot is being independently evaluated by TNS Healthcare. To date, nearly 18,000 people have been tested between the ages of 16-24.

Departments: Manpower

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) staff and (b) civil servants work in her Department's commercial directorate. [131766]

Andy Burnham: The information requested is shown in the table.

Commercial directorate

Civil servants




Fixed term contractors


Figures as at 28 February 2007

Departments: Market Research

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her Department’s total expenditure on communications research was in each year since 1997-98; and how much of this cost was accounted for by producing (a) reports on the public perceptions of the NHS, (b) reports from plain English workshops, (c) stakeholder surveys, (d) national media evaluations, (e) regional media evaluations and (f) other research. [131927]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: A list of expenditure on communications research in each year since 1997-98 could be provided only at disproportionate costs, as there are no central records for communications research expenditure prior to April 2004.

In April 2004, the Communications Research Team was established. The following table is their expenditure broken down by the areas requested. This should be regarded as an indicative guide to the Department’s spend only:

24 Apr 2007 : Column 1035W
Communications research Spend by type (£)


Public perceptions of the NHS tracker survey


Public and NHS staff workshops


Departmental stakeholder survey


National media evaluation


Regional media evaluation


Other research





Public perceptions of the NHS tracker survey


Public and NHS staff workshops


Departmental stakeholder survey


National media evaluation


Regional media evaluation


Other research





Public perceptions of the NHS tracker survey


Public and NHS staff workshops


Stakeholder research


National media evaluation


Regional medial evaluation


Other research





Public perceptions of the NHS tracker survey


Public and NHS staff workshops


National media evaluation


Regional media evaluation


Stakeholder surveys


Other research




We are committed to consulting and involving the public, national health service staff and our stakeholders to help inform both policy formulation and the delivery of better quality public service. Responsive public services are an important part of the Modernising Government initiative.

Departments: Renewable Energy

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what strategy she has put in place for (a) the use of renewable energy and (b) meeting energy targets in her Department’s buildings; and if she will make a statement. [125404]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department has been purchasing green electricity since 2001-02. Since 2004-05 100 per cent. of the electricity for our London administrative estate has been purchased from renewable sources. This is a substantially better performance than the Government target required, which was that 10 per cent. of electricity should be from renewable sources.

We are committed to maximising our energy efficiency, and we have been working with the Carbon Trust and others to identify potential savings. We have recently been commended in the 2005-06 Sustainable Development in Government (SDiG) report (published 7 March 2007) for having reduced our absolute carbon emissions by 15.4 per cent. since 1999-2000. Along with
24 Apr 2007 : Column 1036W
other Government Departments, we are working towards the target that the whole Government estate should be carbon neutral by 2012.

This information relates to the Department’s main London estate. The Department also occupies a building in Leeds, where the major occupier is Department of Work and Pensions, and another building in London where the major occupier is HM Revenue and Customs. They are subject to the same Government-wide targets. Where we do not have direct control over utilities we nevertheless do whatever we can, such as encouraging our staff to save energy, to reduce the overall C02 emissions from these buildings.


Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 20 February 2007, Official Report, column 667W, whether phase two diagnostic schemes have now been finalised in strategic health authorities other than London and the West Midlands; and when she expects the first procedures to be undertaken by phase two diagnostic schemes. [131896]

Andy Burnham: Of the seven regional phase 2 diagnostic schemes, four schemes have reached financial close: London, West Midlands, North West and South West.

The first diagnostic services commenced in London in April 2007, and the remaining schemes will follow on a phased basis through 2007.

Elderly: Nutrition

Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received on the diets of hospital patients over the age of 65 years; and if she will make a statement. [118255]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: A number of representations have been made regarding either hospital food, or the nutrition of older people. In particular, there has been a recent short debate in the House of Lords, to ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to prevent malnutrition in hospitals, as highlighted in the Age Concern report, “Hungry to be heard”, and an Early Day Motion on the same subject.

The Department is actively working on an action plan seeking the involvement of stakeholders in this subject, and recently held a Nutrition Summit, at which Age Concern was represented.

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