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8 May 2007 : Column 151W—continued

Influenza: Vaccination

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the pandemic influenza exercise Winter Willow was conducted on the assumption that the UK had secured its sleeping contract for a pandemic specific vaccination prior to the outbreak of the pandemic. [134115]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The exercise scenario implied that the United Kingdom had secured contracts to obtain pandemic specific vaccine. However, in the scenario, manufacturing delays meant that the UK was unlikely to receive any pandemic specific vaccine during the first wave of a pandemic.

Members: Correspondence

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she will reply to questions numbers (a) 107383 and 107387 tabled on 29 November 2006, (b) 106107, 106073, 106110 and 106124 tabled on 23 November 2006, (c) 103354 tabled on 21 November 2006 and (d) 101934, 101933 and 101728 tabled on 16 November 2006 by the hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire. [118120]

Andy Burnham: Answers to all these questions have been given.

Mental Health Services

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether her Department intends to introduce a national tariff for mental health services from April 2009. [131966]

Andy Burnham: There are currently no plans to introduce a national tariff for mental health services from April 2009. However, this does not preclude the piloting of tariffs for a small number of areas in 2009-10.

On 15 March, the Department launched the Payment by Results consultation “Options for the future of Payment by Results: 2008-09 to 2010-11”. Information on the ongoing development of tariffs for mental health services is included in Annex B of that document, which is available in the Library.

Mental Patients

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to improve handling of
8 May 2007 : Column 152W
patients with dementia in general hospitals through (a) training of nursing staff, (b) increasing awareness of the impact on other patients, (c) use of volunteers to support professionals and (d) sharing best practice. [134475]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Improving the skills and competencies of all staff in acute settings but particularly those who care for people with dementia is one of the priorities in the Department's older people's mental health programme. In 2006, Let’s Respect, an innovative resource tool, went out to acute general hospitals throughout England. This tool is part of a range of educational training and support tools aimed at helping qualified nurses, teach health care assistants and student nurses to recognise and respond to the needs of older people with mental health problems.

In addition to this, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and Social Care Institute for Excellence recently published clinical guideline for dementia. This gives a comprehensive summary of good practice in dementia care that is applicable in all care settings.

Volunteer schemes in hospital settings are the responsibility of local trusts. This includes local recruitment, screening for suitability and training of volunteers who are an important part of the caring work force.

With regards to training, post-registration training needs for national health service staff are determined against local NHS priorities, through appraisal processes and training needs analyses informed by local delivery plans and the needs of the service. It is the responsibility of NHS trusts to ensure that their employees are suitably qualified and competent.

Mid Essex Hospital Trust: Administration

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many medical secretaries were employed in the Mid Essex Hospital Trust (a) in 2000, (b) in 2005, (c) in 2006 and (d) on the most recent date for which figures are available; [135577]

(2) how many medical secretaries in the Mid Essex Hospital Trust have (a) taken voluntary retirement and (b) been made redundant and not had their posts replaced in the last 12 months. [135578]

Andy Burnham: This information is not collected centrally.

Medical secretaries were not separately identified from the rest of the management and administration grouping in the Department’s recent redundancy collection exercise.

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of the work formerly carried out by in-house medical secretaries in the Mid Essex Hospital Trust is now being carried out by agency staff; and what the effect on costs of the Trust has been in each quarter of the relevant period. [135579]

Andy Burnham: The information requested is not held centrally.

8 May 2007 : Column 153W

NHS Redress Act 2006

Ian Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to bring into force the NHS Redress Act 2006. [136141]

Andy Burnham: The National Health Service Redress Act 2006 will require secondary legislation before the redress scheme is enacted.

The Act provides general principles for the provision of redress investigation, explanation, apologies (where appropriate), and ordinarily providing the patient with a copy of the investigation report and a report of action to be taken to prevent similar cases arising. We consider this approach to redress to be one that is appropriate for cases that go beyond financial redress. Shortly, we will be consulting on our proposals for reform of the health and social care complaints processes and we shall be considering the development of redress and complaints procedures in conjunction.

NHS Treatment Centres: Private Sector

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the Answer of 27 March 2007, Official Report, columns 1476-77W, on NHS Treatment Centres: private sector, how many procedures were performed by each independent sector treatment centre in each month since October 2003; and how many procedures each independent sector treatment centre is contracted to provide over the lifetime of the wave one contract. [131876]

Andy Burnham: Information on wave 1 independent sector treatment centres (ISTCs) is shown in the following table.

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Wave 1 ISTCs—discharges (procedures) per month
Total discharges at February 2007 Total procedures expected over the contract period

Eccleshill NHS Treatment Centre



Midlands NHS Treatment Centre



Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre



Daventry NHS Treatment Centre



Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre



Greater Manchester Surgical Centre



Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre



Bodmin NHS Treatment Centre



Boston NHS Treatment Centre



Gainsborough NHS Treatment Centre



Clifton Park NHS Treatment Centre



Cobalt NHS Treatment Centre



Capio New Hall NHS Treatment Centre



Reading NHS Treatment Centre(1)



Blakelands NHS Treatment Centre(1)



Horton NHS Treatment Centre(1)



Kidderminster NHS Treatment Centre



Cheshire and Merseyside NHS Treatment Centre



Mid Kent NHS Treatment Centre



North East London NHS Treatment Centre



St. Mary’s NHS Treatment Centre



Will Adams NHS Treatment Centre



Sussex Orthopaedics NHS Treatment Centre



Ophthalmic Chain, Mobile Units



(1 )Figures are subject to final reconciliation with the provider.
Figures are for operational wave 1 ISTCs and exclude centrally procured contracts such as Gsupp, MRI, CWiCs etc. and any diagnostic services delivered by ISTCs.

NHS: Allowances

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health further to the answer of 8 March 2007, Official Report, column 2214W, on NHS: allowances, if she will provide a breakdown of the types of items which she expects the allowance to cover; and what methodology her Department used to calculate the £19.60 figure. [134238]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The personal expenses allowance (PEA) was increased to £20.45 with effect from 9 April 2007. The PEA is provided for care home residents to have money to spend, as they wish. The Department has not, therefore, specified what items this money should be spent on other than to say that the PEA cannot be used to pay for services which should be provided as part of the care the home is contracted to provide.

The PEA was set many years ago at a level that was felt to be appropriate. Since then the methodology used for setting the level of PEA has been to increase it annually in line with average earnings so that it maintains its value.

In 2006 the Department held a number of meetings with key stakeholders representing care home residents, to discuss a range of issues relating to charging for residential care, including the PEA. Stakeholders involved have included voluntary organisations such as Age Concern, Help the Aged, the Nursing Home Fees Agency, the Relatives and Residents Association and MENCAP. There will be a further meeting with them before any recommendations are put to Ministers.

The Government are committed to a system of charging for residential care that is fair to residents, their families, taxpayers and is sustainable. Ministers will take these and other factors, including stakeholders’ views, into account in deciding whether to make any change to the level of PEA.

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NHS: Conditions of Employment

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of each relevant staff group has not yet agreed a contract of employment under (a) the new consultants' contract, (b) the new general medical services contract and (c) Agenda for Change. [131910]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is set out as follows:

As at October 2005 14 per cent. of consultants in England had not moved to the new contract. All new appointments (after October 2003) are automatically made to the new contract. Therefore, this figure will continue to fall.

The new general medical services (GMS) contract is not a contract of employment but a contract for primary medical care services based on a collective provider model of responsibility. General practitioners traditionally fill the role of contractors for provision however increasingly non general practitioners are taking up such roles. Around 60 per cent. of all practitioners operate under GMS contract.

From the information available to us at the end of March 2006 we estimate there were around one per cent. of staff who had not yet assimilated to Agenda for Change terms and conditions of service. The conclusion of appeals and the effect of new appointments will have reduced this figure, but no new data are available.

NHS: Consultants

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many consultant-to-consultant referrals there were in 2005-06, broken down by primary care trust. [123143]

Andy Burnham: Data on consultant-to-consultant referrals are not collected centrally. Data are collected on general practitioners referrals and other referrals. The category other referrals includes consultant-to-consultant referrals as well as referrals from allied health professionals, nurses, etc. The data on other referrals are in the following table.

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