Previous Section Index Home Page

8 May 2007 : Column 141W—continued

Gynaecology: Training

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many obstetric and gynaecology ST3 training posts were given to (a) British citizens, (b) EU citizens, (c) British residents and (d) other nationalities in the latest period for which figures are available. [132298]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The recruitment process for obstetric and gynaecology ST3 programmes has not concluded. As such no such programmes have been awarded.

Health Education: Advertising

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what public health advertising campaigns were undertaken by her Department in each of the last five years; and what the total costs were of such campaigns; [120961]

8 May 2007 : Column 142W

(2) what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of each of the public health advertising campaigns undertaken by her Department since 2002. [120962]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The following table outlines the cost of Departmental campaigns undertaken to improve public health since April 2001.

£ million
Campaign 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06























Hepatitis C










Mental Health, Mind Out




Sexwise/teenage pregnancy




Sexual health












TB awareness











DH contribution to Frank substance misuse campaign jointly funded by Department of Health, Home Office and Department for Education and Skills

Each campaign is only one of a number of interventions in the drive to improve public health. It is not possible to separate the impact of these campaigns from that of other interventions or factors which may have influenced public behaviour over the period in question.


As a result of an increase in the number of strains of bacteria developing resistance the Department launched a publicity campaign, aimed at health professionals and the general public, in 1999-2000 to encourage sensible prescribing and use of antibiotics.

The ongoing publicity campaigns inform the public not to routinely expect antibiotics for coughs and colds as antibiotics only work on bacterial infections, and not on most coughs and colds or viral infections. As well as posters and leaflets we also provided general practitioners (GPs) with pads of non-prescription forms that could be given to patients explaining why the doctor was not prescribing an antibiotic.

Evaluations have shown that the public has understood the key messages and we believe that they will have contributed to the decrease in antibiotic prescribing in the community.


The suicide rate in young men is coming down but we do not have direct evidence of the effect or influence of the Calm campaign on that reduction.

This Departmental campaign came to and end on 31 March 2006. From 1 April 2006 Calm became a charity, not sponsored by the Department.


The FRANK drugs information campaign funded jointly by the Department, the Home Office and the Department for Education and Skills targets young
8 May 2007 : Column 143W
people aged 11 to 21 years, particularly vulnerable young people, and the parents or carers of 11-18 year olds. It provides a gateway for information and advice about the effects and risks of drugs, local treatment services and drugs and the law.

The campaign contributes towards the Department’s public service agreement (PSA) target to increase the participation of problem drug users in drug treatment programmes by 100 per cent. by 2008 (from 1998) and increase year-on-year the proportion of users successfully sustaining or completing treatment programmes.

The PSA target was exceeded in 2005-06 with 181,390 users going in to treatment. The FRANK campaign is now placing particular emphasis on meeting the needs of vulnerable young people as well as supporting a wider programme of activity in support of the joint Department for Education and Skills and Home Office target to reduce the numbers of young people using drugs.

In the two years to April 2006 the “talktofrank” campaign website received over 10 million hits with 500,000 hits to its treatment pages. Over the same period the FRANK helpline received 1.6 million calls and answered 107,000 emails. The helpline has directed over 45,000 young people to treatment services.


The seasonal influenza campaign in the United Kingdom has made considerable progress in increasing the coverage of the at-risk and target population, set against the WHO 2010 target of 75 per cent. The UK has already achieved this target and among European countries is one of the highest achievers.

Hepatitis C awareness campaign (FaCe It)

One of the main aims of the hepatitis C awareness campaign (FaCe It) is to increase diagnosis and there are two national outcome indicators, drawn from epidemiological surveillance by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), intended to track this.

The first indicator is the total number of laboratory confirmed hepatitis C infection reports. There has been a significant increase in hepatitis C diagnoses in England reported to the HPA through national surveillance from around 5,600 in 2002 to around 7,600 in 2005.

The second indicator is the proportion of injecting drug users attending treatment and support agencies who are aware of their hepatitis C infection. The proportion of those who are aware of their hepatitis C infection has increased from 42 per cent. in 2002 to 52 per cent. in 2005.

Research into awareness among general practitioners/practice nurses and the public indicates that awareness of hepatitis C has increased since the campaign began.

Immunisation programme

The routine immunisation programme in the United Kingdom aims to protect all babies and children from the age of two months onwards. The serious diseases that the programme protects against include—diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b), polio, meningitis C, pneumococcal infection, measles, mumps, rubella.

8 May 2007 : Column 144W

The impact of advertising and other communication materials are regularly monitored through public surveys involving around 2,000 parents each year. From this we know that more than 70 per cent. of parents use our printed material and that recall of television advertising is high. Health professionals have a high awareness of, and positive reactions to the Departmental/immunisation information materials available.

Mind Out for mental health

In March 2001, the Department launched a national campaign, mind out for mental health, aimed at tackling the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems. The campaign was aimed at key groups such as employers, the media and young people; as well as the public in general, to help raise awareness of mental health issues and put an end to stigma and discrimination. This campaign came to an end on 31 March 2004. We believe the campaign has been a positive presence but do not have direct evidence of any impact on health indicators.

Teenage pregnancy

Work around reducing teenage pregnancy is based on a number of different strands, one of which is the national campaigning work. It is therefore impossible to separate out these strands when it comes to assessing the overall effectiveness of the work. Teenage pregnancy rates are falling. Between the 1998 baseline year and 2004 (the latest year for which data are available) the under-18 conception rate has fallen by 11.1 per cent. and the under-16 rate has fallen by 15.2 per cent. Both rates are now at their lowest level for 20 years,.

Sexual Health

Evaluation of the sex lottery campaign December 2002 to December 2004, focused primarily on campaign recognition, perceptions about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and condom usage.

In terms of awareness of advertising re STIs, non promoted awareness increased from 35 per cent. at the start to 53 per cent. by the end of the campaign.

In addition there were some significant shifts in attitudes to STIs throughout the life of the campaign in particular in terms of risk (“The risk of getting an STI has increased”—plus 11 per cent.) and in terms of protection (“It doesn't matter how many partners someone has as long as they’re careful i.e. use a condom”—plus 9 per cent.)

These changes in attitude are being built on as part of the new adult sexual health campaign, Condom Essential Wear, which was launched in November 2006. Based on social marketing principles the new campaign aims to bring about positive behavioural change as regards sexual health.

Behavioural change takes time and will therefore need to be measured over a number of years. Attitudes and behavioural indicators were benchmarked in November 2006 and the fieldwork for the first phase of campaign evaluation is due to commence in early March 2007.


A comprehensive strategy to tackle smoking and to reduce the deaths caused by smoking has been in place since publication of Smoking Kills in 1998. The strategy focuses on action to discourage people from
8 May 2007 : Column 145W
starting to smoke and to provide support for all smokers, of whatever age and sex, who wish to quit. We are aiming to create a climate where non-smoking is the norm.

We have banned almost all tobacco advertising, sponsorship and promotion; introduced strong tobacco pack health warnings; from December 1999 run highly effective national anti-smoking education campaigns raising awareness of the health damage of smoking and secondhand smoke. People who wish to give up smoking can get help from the national health service stop smoking—a world leading programme we set up.

In 2006, Parliament passed the Health Act which includes provision for the prohibition of smoking in enclosed public places and workplaces. This will mean every pub, club, membership club, cafe, restaurant, shopping centre, office and public and work transport will become smoke-free on Sunday 1 July 2007, when the legislation is implemented.

The Government’s strategy has helped reduce smoking rates in England from 28 per cent. in 1998 to 24 per cent. in terms of 2005 populations, the latest year for which figures are available, meaning around 1.6 million fewer smokers in England. These are the lowest smoking rates in England on record and indicate that the Government are on track to meet the PSA target of 21 per cent. or lower smoking prevalence in 2010.

Tuberculosis (TB)

In March 2002, the Department launched a national TB Awareness campaign aimed at tackling the stigma and discrimination faced by people with TB. The campaign was launched by celebrities John Fashanu and Patti Boulaye and was aimed at key groups such as Black and Minority Ethnic groups, health professionals, the media; as well as the public in general, to help raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of TB and put an end to stigma and discrimination. Awareness raising for TB is ongoing.

We believe the campaign has been a positive presence but do not have direct evidence of any impact on health indicators.


The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs annual Household Expenditure Survey for 2005-06 (published January 2007) recorded the biggest increase in fruit and vegetables purchases (7.7 per cent.) for over 20 years. This was aligned to a 6 per cent. decrease in confectionary sales.

The Food Standards Agency Consumer Attitudes Survey 2005 showed that 67 per cent. of people are now aware that they should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, up from 43 per cent. in 2000.

The 5 A DAY logo was launched by Department on 25 March 2003; over 550 organisations are licensed to use it. The 5 A DAY logo now appears on over 700 fruit and vegetable products in shops and restaurants.

Health Service: Public Participation

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice has been given to primary care trusts on how they should conduct consultations on proposals for changes in healthcare. [134030]

8 May 2007 : Column 146W

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department published ‘Strengthening accountability’ in 2003. This guidance for national health service bodies on involving patients and the public sets out what NHS organisations must do to meet their responsibilities and the expected outcomes from putting their duty to involve and consult patients and the public into practice.

The Department has also issued ‘Overview and Scrutiny of Health — Guidance’ in 2003 which sets out the requirements of NHS bodies to consult Overview and Scrutiny Committees on substantial changes to health services.

Next Section Index Home Page