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21 May 2007 : Column 1123W—continued


21 May 2007 : Column 1124W

The national health service also makes considerable use of antibiotics (systemic antibacterials) in hospitals. The estimated cost for the years available is shown in the table.

Estimated cost (£000)

2001

186,592.7

2002

203,664.8

2003

221,229.1

2004

236,305.6

2005

228,304.0

Source: IMS HEALTH: Hospital Pharmacy Audit

Anti-depressants

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prescriptions for anti-depressants were dispensed in the community in each year since 1997; and how many of those were dispensed to children in each year. [135809]

Caroline Flint: Anti-depressant drugs are classified under section 4.3 of the British National Formulary and the information in the following table is provided on this basis. Estimated figures are based on a sample of 1 in 20 prescriptions and have been grossed up to reflect the population totals and rounded.

BNF 4.3 -prescription items dispensed (thousand) Estimate of prescription items dispensed for children (thousand) Percentage dispensed to children

1997

16,822.6

88

0.5

1998

18,424.5

84

0.5

1999

20,108.1

83

0.4

2000

22,021.8

95

0.4

2001

24,342.7

110

0.5

2002

26,329.3

120

0.5

2003

27,658.0

110

0.4

2004

28,995.5

94

0.3

2005

29,389.9

110

0.4

2006

31,038.0

110

0.4

Source: Prescription cost analysis system.

Asthma

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps she is taking to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions for asthma; [138282]

(2) what steps she is taking to ensure that all patients with asthma have a written personal action plan; [138283]

(3) if she will estimate the savings which would accrue to the NHS if primary care trusts with the highest rates of hospital admissions for asthma were to reduce their admissions to the average rate. [138292]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The new general medical services contract was launched in February 2003. The contract includes a specific "quality indicator" for treatment and care of people with asthma; based on:


21 May 2007 : Column 1125W

It is the responsibility of local health bodies to ensure that patients living with asthma are offered care plans and regular reviews.

I have no plans to estimate the possible savings to the national health service from such a proposed reduction in the admission rates for asthma.

Cancer: Drugs

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will make a statement on (a) funding and (b) availability of Cetuximab for people diagnosed with metastatic colorectal cancer; [136789]

(2) what guidance she has issued to primary care trusts on providing funding for the use of the drug Cetuximab in cases of metastatic colorectal cancer. [136790]

Ms Rosie Winterton: On 24 January 2007, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued guidance to the national health service on the use of cetuximab for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer.

NICE'S guidance did not recommend cetuximab as a treatment option for metastatic colorectal cancer. However, the guidance states that patients who were receiving cetuximab should have the option to continue to do so until they and their consultants decide that it is the right time to stop treatment.

It will be for individual primary care trusts to decide whether to fund cetuximab for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer in the light of NICE'S recommendations.

Cancer: Waiting Lists

Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in reducing waiting times for the treatment of (a) cancer and (b) heart disease; and what the average waiting time is for treatment of each condition in (i) Newcastle Primary Care Trust area, (ii) North Tyneside Primary Care Trust area and (iii) England. [135648]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Over the past year, the national health service has made excellent progress on cancer waiting times with full achievement of both the 31-day target and the 62-day target. In quarter 3, 2006-07, performance nationally against these standards was 99.6 per cent. and 96.3 per cent. respectively. For the same period, the performance of the Newcastle-upon-Tyne hospitals NHS trust against these targets was 99.6 per cent. and 96.1 per cent. respectively.

Provisional data at 31 March 2007 indicate that 5,967 people in England were waiting for a heart operation, none of whom were waiting over three months. 136 of these were waiting for treatment at the Newcastle-upon-Tyne hospitals NHS trust.

Carers: Finance

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was (a) allocated to and (b) spent by each local authority in England to provide services for carers in the last year for which figures are available. [137148]


21 May 2007 : Column 1126W

Mr. Ivan Lewis: A table showing the funds allocated to councils in the carers grant in 2006-07 and 2007-08 has been placed in the Library.

The grant is no longer ring-fenced and the Department does not collect data about how much each council spends supporting carers. However, councils do have a duty to support them and they should be taking carers' needs into account when planning and commissioning all services.

Clostridium Difficile

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to publish data relating to cases of Clostridium difficile in all those aged two years and over for each NHS trust in England; and for what reasons she does not plan to include such cases of Clostridium difficile in the Clostridium difficile mandatory surveillance system. [135884]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Health Protection Agency (HPA) publishes data regarding the mandatory surveillance scheme for Clostridium difficile associated disease (CDAD) on its’ website: www.hpa.org.uk/hpa/news/articles/press_releases/2007/070426_clostridium _mrsa.htm. The scheme began in January 2004 and up until 31 March 2007 all acute NHS trusts had to report all cases of CDAD for patients aged 65 years and over.

Since 1 April 2007 it is mandatory for all acute NHS trusts to report all cases of CDAD in all patients aged two years and over. HPA plan to publish first quarter data (1 April-30 June 2007) on all cases of CDAD in patients aged two years and over, in October 2007.

Dental Services: West Midlands

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dentists were employed in (a) West Bromwich East constituency and (b) the West Midlands region in each of the last three years. [136711]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Numbers of national health service dentists in West Bromwich East constituency and the former Birmingham and the Black Country strategic health authority (SHA) from 31 March 1997 to 31 March 2006 are available in annex E and G of the NHS Dental Activity and Workforce Report England: 31 March 2006. The report is available in the Library and online at:

Information on the dental work force under the new dental contractual arrangements introduced on 1 April 2006 is published every quarter by The Information Centre for health and social care. These data are not comparable with the historical data prior to this date.

The latest data available are in annex G (number of dentists), within annex 3 of the NHS Dental Statistics for England Quarter 3:31 December 2006 report.

Data are only available at SHA and primary care trust level. To provide these data at constituency level area would incur disproportionate cost. The report is available in the Library and online at:


21 May 2007 : Column 1127W

Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of expenditure by her Department in each of the Government office regions in the most recent year for which figures are available. [116719]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department has two executive agencies.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)

The MHRA's total spend for the financial year 2005-06 was £74.8 million. This is not split into regions as the MHRA has no regional offices. The MHRA's accounts are published annually and the latest covering the financial year 2005-06 was published in October 2006 and can be accessed online through the following link:

The NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (PASA)

This information is not collected. PASA does not hold records of spend in each of the Government regions.

Departments: Ministerial Red Boxes

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many ministerial red boxes her Department bought in each of the last five years; and how much each cost; [134948]

(2) what tendering process is used to decide which company supplies ministerial red boxes to her Department. [134949]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 8 May 2007]: The Department orders red boxes from Banner Business Supplies as and when they are needed. Ministerial boxes are used by successive Ministers over many years.

Departments: Public Appointments

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what appointments to public positions Ministers have made of persons employed by Secure Healthcare in each of the last five years. [136738]

Ms Rosie Winterton: On 1 April 2007, Julie Dent, the Chair of Secure Healthcare, was appointed Chair of the London Probation Service.

Diabetes: Screening

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 1 May 2007, Official Report, column 1601W, on diabetes: screening, how many people offered retinopathy screening were screened for diabetic retinopathy in (a) each year since 2003-04 and (b) the most recent period for which figures are available. [137366]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The following table shows the number of people with diabetes receiving screening for diabetic retinopathy, broken down by years.


21 May 2007 : Column 1128W
Number of people with diabetes receiving screening for diabetic retinopathy( 1)

2003-04

(2)753,997

2004-05

1,076,388

2005-06

1,232,043

(1) Data from local delivery plans returns. (2) Data for year 2003-04 was an incomplete return.

Latest data for December 2006 shows that 1,203,639 people with diabetes received screening for diabetic retinopathy in the previous 12 months.

Diamorphine

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many diamorphine prescriptions were dispensed in the community in each year since 1997. [135810]

Caroline Flint: Information on the number of prescription items for diamorphine dispensed in the community in England is in the following table.

Diamorphine—number of prescription items (thousand)

1997

116.5

1998

114.6

1999

105.9

2000

99.3

2001

95.9

2002

96.0

2003

98.6

2004

102.9

2005

60.8

2006

65.6

Source: Prescription Cost Analysis system

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