Previous Section Index Home Page

17 May 2007 : Column 924W—continued

Ministerial Visits

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many visits abroad were made by Ministers in each year since 1997, broken down by Minister; and what was the cost in each case. [114986]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information requested is not held in the format requested. However, information related to travel by Cabinet Ministers since 1997 is published on the Cabinet Office website at:

NHS Direct

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many calls were received by NHS Direct in each of the last three years. [136712]

Andy Burnham: The information requested is not held centrally. This is a matter for the chief executive of the NHS Direct National Health Service Trust.

17 May 2007 : Column 925W

NHS Treatment Centres: Private Sector

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 24 April 2007, Official Report, column 1046W, on the Healthcare Commission’s report on NHS Treatment Centres: private sector, when the Healthcare Commission expects to publish its full report. [137739]

Andy Burnham: The Healthcare Commission expect to publish the final report of their review of the quality of care in Independent Sector Treatment Centres by the end of June 2007.

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the tender process for an Independent Sector Treatment Centre for South Essex; and if she will make a statement. [137737]

Andy Burnham: Proposals for an independent sector treatment centre (ISTC) in South Essex are part of phase 2 of the ISTC programme.

There is a robust process in place for the procurement of phase 2 ISTC services which is being conducted in compliance with European Union procurement law and in accordance with Office of Government Commerce best practice.

Bidders interested in the programme responded to an advertisement in the Official Journal of the European Union and were free to register an expression of interest, and complete a pre-qualifying questionnaire. Following this process, bidders were short-listed and issued with an invitation to negotiate. Bids were then returned for phase 2 schemes.

In order for bidders to progress in the procurement, they are required to meet specific criteria across a range of specifications including clinical services, finance, work force, information management and technology, and contract management.

NHS: Consultants

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 30 April 2007, Official Report, column 1513W, on the NHS: consultants, what recent estimates have been made of the average annual expenditure on management consultancy organisations by the NHS. [137371]

Andy Burnham: Information on the estimated costs of employing management consultants in the national health service trusts is not collected centrally.

While primary care trusts and NHS trusts operate within the financial framework set by the Department, they are accountable to strategic health authorities for their financial performance, not the Department.

NHS: Contracts

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many managed service companies have had a contractual relationship with the NHS in the last two years; and how much the NHS has paid such companies in fees. [132994]

17 May 2007 : Column 926W

Andy Burnham: The information requested is not collected centrally. However, information relating to the impact of Schedule 3 of the Finance Bill is included in the Regulatory Impact Assessment Managed Service Companies was published on the HM Revenue and Customs website on 29 March 2007 and can be accessed at

NHS: Crimes of Violence

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what mechanisms are in place for the provision of support for nurses who have been assaulted in the workplace. [136648]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 15 May 2007]: In April 2003 the National Health Service Security Management Service (NHS SMS) was created and assumed responsibility for tackling violence against NHS staff, together with all other security related issues in the NHS in England. A comprehensive strategy has been implemented detailing both preventative and re-active action to be taken to tackle this problem both nationally and locally.

Guidance has been issued to every health body in England setting out the support that should be offered at a local level to all NHS staff, including nurses that have experienced violence and abuse.

The guidance directs the executive director responsible for security locally to ensure full co-operation with investigations into incidents of violence and abuse and it details the requirements to ensure that the person assaulted is kept informed of the progress and outcome of an investigation.

In addition the guidance includes the requirement for staff to be made aware of the support services available to them such as counselling and referral to an occupational health practitioner.


Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hospitals have an electronic patient record system. [131710]

Caroline Flint: This information is not held centrally. However, we do know that electronic record systems, such as those being delivered by the national programme for information technology, capable of sharing patient information wherever and whenever it is needed, provide more complete data and lead to the delivery of better care. No significant body of medical opinion disputes their enormous potential to support better clinical decision taking and reduce the incidence of medical error.

Evidence from environments where electronic patient record systems are already routinely available and used shows, for example, that the number of failed appointments falls because hospitals have accurate and up-to-date addresses for patients. The number of duplicate diagnostic procedures and tests also reduces so that patients do not have to undergo repeat X-rays, reducing their risk of excess radiation and, importantly, patients benefit from knowing their records are up-to-date.

17 May 2007 : Column 927W

Systems like these deployed under the national programme, including the choose and book electronic bookings system which puts patients in charge of their care, and the patient demographic system, that enables letters to be posted to the correct address and patient information to be handled more efficiently, are already in place in every national health service trust, supporting access to care. These include an acute patient administration system (PAS) and a community hospital PAS deployed to Milton Keynes General Hospital NHS Trust and Milton Keynes Primary Care Trust respectively on 24 February, consisting of core PAS functionality along with accident and emergency, scheduling, and clinical functionality. These systems will serve 267,000 inhabitants in the Milton Keynes area.

NHS: Public Appointments

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consultation there has been with the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments on the appointment of the Chairman of the NHS’s Provider Development Agency in London. [129528]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The appointment of the Chairman of NHS London’s Provider Development Agency was conducted in accordance with normal national health service appointments procedures. The Agency does not fall within the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

NHS: Training

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which (a) management, (b) IT and (c) other consultants have been employed to work on the
17 May 2007 : Column 928W
Medical Training Application Service; and how much has been paid to each. [136984]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 15 May 2007]: Methods Consulting have been contracted to develop and support the Medical Training Application Service. The total costs of this service including set up costs were £1.9 million in 2006-07. The estimated costs of the service over five years are £6.3 million.

Palliative Care: Children

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she will place in the Library a copy of the Independent Review of Palliative Care Services for Children. [137143]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding reply 15 May 2007]: The report was published today and a copy is available in the Library.

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the outcomes were of the Independent Review of Palliative Care Services for Children; and if she will make a statement; [137735]

(2) what plans she has to allocate funding to children’s hospices; and what her timetable is for that funding. [137736]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The findings of the independent review of children’s palliative care services have been published today and copies are available in the Library. The Government will give thorough consideration to the recommendations and their implications for life-limited children and young people and will publish a detailed response in due course, taking into account any related recommendations from the parallel HM Treasury and Department for Education and Skills disabled children’s review.

    Index Home Page