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27 Apr 2007 : Column 1350W—continued


Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 29 March 2007, Official Report, column 330W, on colorectal cancer: screening, whether responsibility for the screening programme in 2007-08 resides with strategic health authorities or primary care trusts; and what measures are in place to ensure that the funding provided by her Department is used for the purpose of colorectal cancer screening. [134237]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 26 April 2007]: Funding for the national health service bowel cancer screening programme from the strategic health authority (SHA) bundle was allocated to Yorkshire and the Humber SHA to manage on behalf of all 10 SHAs in England. NHS Cancer Screening Programmes currently manage the budget on behalf of Yorkshire and the Humber SHA through a service level agreement.

NHS Cancer Screening Programmes make payments directly to NHS trusts who host the bowel cancer screening hubs and local screening centres. The payments are made on a population served basis.

It is for SHAs working in partnership with their primary care trusts (PCTs) and local stakeholders to organise and provide services for their local populations. SHAs were asked to bid for their local endoscopy services to become local screening centres as part of the second wave of the bowel cancer screening programme for 2007-08. These bids have been assessed, and second wave sites are currently being finalised. We are anticipating a considerable expansion of the programme in 2007-08.

The expectation is that funding for the programme will be in PCT baseline allocations once the programme is fully rolled out across England by December 2009.


27 Apr 2007 : Column 1351W

Dental Services: Leeds

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will take steps to increase the numbers of (a) NHS dentists and (b) places available to register with an NHS dentist in Leeds. [134434]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Under the dental reforms introduced in April 2006, primary care trusts (PCTs) are commissioning an increasing volume of national health service dental services, which is likely to result in further workforce increases. In 2005, the Government expanded the number of dental school places by 25 per cent. in order to support longer term increases in the dental workforce. The number of training places at the University of Leeds Dental School has been increased from 53 to 75, with an additional six places allocated to an outreach training scheme in Hull. The first cohort of new dental graduates will qualify in 2010.

Leeds PCT is working to improve access to NHS dentistry. It has recruited three additional dentists in North West Leeds and has established the Leeds Dental Advice Line to help patients access dental services, including emergency services.

Maternity Services: Leeds

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when she expects a children's and maternity hospital to be built in Leeds; [134435]

(2) if she will take steps to provide additional (a) services for children and (b) maternity services in Leeds during the period of postponement of the building of a dedicated children's and maternity hospital. [134498]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 26 April 2006, Official Report, columns 1269-70W.

NHS: Public Participation

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to publish (a) evidence from and (b) an evaluation of her Department’s local involvement network early adopter sites. [134185]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 26 April 2007]: The Healthcare Commission, Commission for Social Care Inspection, NHS Centre for Involvement (NCI), the Centre for Public Scrutiny, Care Services Improvement Partnership, the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health (CPPIH) and the Department are jointly overseeing the early adopter projects which are testing out how local involvement networks might work in practice. The learning from the sites is already being made available through a range of communication mechanisms including the CPPIH knowledge management system, the NCI’s website and the Department’s LINk bulletin. This process of sharing lessons learnt will continue throughout the duration of the projects. The time frame for the report of the formal evaluation is still to be settled by the partner organisations.


27 Apr 2007 : Column 1352W

South London and Maudsley NHS Trust

Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many reports requested by the courts could not be supplied by South London and Maudsley Foundation Trust in 2006. [132784]

Andy Burnham: This is a matter for the chair of South London and Maudsley National Health Service Foundation Trust. We have written to Madeline Long informing her of your inquiry. She will reply shortly and a copy of the letter will be placed in the Library.

House of Commons Commission

Alcoholic Drinks

Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many litres of alcoholic drinks were purchased for sale (a) in bars and restaurants of the House and (b) by the House Refreshment Department for catering functions on the Parliamentary estate in each year since 2005. [134496]

Nick Harvey: The Refreshment Department does not purchase drinks for specific trading areas, but issues goods as required from its central store. The estimated quantity of alcoholic drinks consumed in the 11 months to February 2007 is estimated to be (a) 53,495 litres in the bars and restaurants and (b) 30,517 litres at functions supplied by the House of Commons Refreshment Department. The following table details by outlet, however this does not include alcohol transferred to our souvenir outlets.

April 2006 to February 2007 (11 months)
Quantity (litres) Estimated cost of consumption (£)

Bars and restaurants

(a) Beers and ciders

34.377

52,620

(b) Aperitifs, fortified wines and spirits

743

9,729

(c) Wines

18,377

130,922

Total

53,497

193,270

Catering functions

(d) Beers and ciders

1,371

2,539

(e) Aperitifs, fortified wines and spirits

700

7,703

(f) Wines

28,446

176,380

Total

30,517

186,622


Detailed consumption information is not currently available for the year 2005-06 due to technical issues that are being investigated by the software supplier. The Director of Catering Services will write to the hon. Member with the requested information when it becomes available.

The software used by the Refreshment Department does not retain historical information of stock consumption for earlier years.


27 Apr 2007 : Column 1353W

House of Commons: Drinking Water

Bob Russell: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what the cost was of bottled water provided to the House in each of the last five financial years; and what the estimated cost is for the 2007-08 financial year. [133377]

Nick Harvey: The cost of bottled water purchased by the House of Commons in each of the last five financial years is estimated as follows. However, the hon. Member should note that the Refreshment Department sells water to its customers at a profit, and so the cost of water purchased for sale in the Refreshment Department outlets (item (a) in the table as follows) is not a cost to the House.

£

Cost of bottled water purchases

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

(a) Refreshment Department

(1)58,832

(1)55,895

47,820

53,188

49,271

(b) Committee Rooms

n/a

n/a

8,357

6,656

8,340

(c) Office supplies (estimated)

n/a

5,165

7,449

6,095

6,988

Estimated Total Cost of Purchases

58,832

61,060

63,626

65,939

64,599

(1) Including committee rooms

No information is available for the current financial year to March 2008.

International Development

Afghanistan

Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on his Department's current projects in Afghanistan. [132267]

Hilary Benn: Afghanistan is DFID's sixth largest programme and we are Afghanistan's second largest bilateral donor. We are focusing on three things: building effective state institutions; improving economic management and aid effectiveness; and improving the livelihoods of rural people. We plan to spend £107 million in 2007-08.

To help build effective state institutions, DFID provided £1.6 million to the World Bank to help the government restructure key ministries in Kabul and the provinces. Pay reforms are helping to attract and retain qualified civil servants, doctors and teachers, and we have just finished supporting the government to come up with a comprehensive capacity building plan.

DFID's economic programme is working to strengthen the government's capacity to manage and grow the legal economy. We are providing £165 million
27 Apr 2007 : Column 1354W
from 2006-09 through the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund to fund recurrent costs such as doctors' and teachers' salaries. We are also raising the quality of public spending and level of domestic revenues through technical assistance worth £15 million in the Ministry of Finance, and increasing opportunities for enterprise in Afghanistan with a £9 million portfolio on private sector development.

DFID’s Livelihoods programme is playing a major role in supporting the government of Afghanistan to create an environment that will foster opportunities for legal livelihoods, including support to the National Solidarity Programme (£28 million over six years to fund community-based projects); the Microfinance Investment and Support Facility Afghanistan (£15 million over three years); and the Horticulture and Livelihoods Programme (£7 million over three years). We are also supporting the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development and the Ministry of Agriculture in policy formulation and programming (£4.5 million); funding research into alternative crops (e.g. mint and saffron) and other livelihoods (£3 million); and assisting the government in preparing national land policy and reform (£335,000).

DFID has also committed up to £20 million of our 2007-08 budget to support the UK effort in Helmand. Last year we contributed £4 million (part of an overall commitment by Her Majesty's Government of £6.2 million) to support quick impact projects such as school construction and repairs. Our commitment also includes £30 million over three years (2006-09) for the government of Afghanistan's Helmand Agricultural and Rural Development Programme, which will benefit around 590,000 people and create 15,000 new jobs through speeding up the draw down of national programmes to Helmand.

Civil Society Challenge Fund

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) funding and (b) other resources have been (i) committed in each of the last three financial years and (ii) pledged for each of the next three financial years to the Civil Society Challenge Fund. [133570]

Mr. Thomas: Over the last three financial years, programme funds provided through the Civil Society Challenge Fund (CSCF) have amounted to:

£ million

2004-05

10.338

2005-06

13.885

2006-07

(1)13.6

(1) Estimated—final expenditure is not yet available.

We currently plan to maintain CSCF funding at £14 million a year.

In terms of other resources, a team of 7.5 full-time equivalent officials is responsible for management of the CSCF, including contributions to technical assessments, contract management and day-to-day programme administration for the large number of projects under way at any time (there will be 153 projects under CSCF support during 2007-08). Additional technical support on the assessment of
27 Apr 2007 : Column 1355W
project proposals and on monitoring is provided by external consultants. The amount paid under this consultancy have been:

£

2004-05

109,549

2005-06

329,466

2006-07

(1)227,578

(1) Estimated—final expenditure is not yet available.

The apparent increase in expenditure between 2004-05 and 2005-06 reflects timing of payments made around the end of financial year 2004-05. Overall consultancy inputs and expenditure have not changed significantly over the three-year period.

Developing Countries: AIDS

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will propose discussion of a comprehensive funding plan for universal access to treatment for AIDS sufferers by 2010 at the G8 Heads of State meeting in June. [132991]

Mr. Thomas: The UK made AIDS a centrepiece of the 2005 G8 and EU presidencies. We pressed for and secured international commitments to universal access to HIV treatment. We subsequently worked hard to ensure that this commitment was endorsed and expanded by the international community in the Political Declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS (2 June 2006). This declaration committed to achieve comprehensive HIV prevention programmes, treatment, care and support by 2010. It also agreed that countries would develop ambitious targets, including interim targets for 2008, to measure progress towards universal access. Crucially, it also set out a process by which countries will develop national AIDS plans to scale up towards universal access by 2010; and made the commitment that no credible, costed, national AIDS plan should go unfunded.

By early 2007, 90 countries had developed targets for achieving universal access, and at least 23 countries had proceeded with costing their strategic plans. The UK is pressing UNAIDS to define what constitutes a credible national AIDS plan. We are also pressing for a multi-stakeholder process in country to review universal access plans as they are developed, to agree their credibility and ensure they are fully funded.

We will push hard to ensure an ongoing focus by the G8 on achieving its commitment to universal access. We see our work with UNAIDS as central to unlocking the G8 and international community's commitment to funding credible, costed national AIDS plans. And we will ensure that this work is discussed as we prepare for the G8 Heiligendamm summit in June.


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