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Andy Burnham: Revenue allocations are made directly to primary care trusts (PCTs), not hospitals. Once revenue allocations have been made, it is for PCTs to commission services based on the needs of their local populations.
National health service trusts may also receive additional payments from the centrally managed NHS budgets (formerly the Central Funded Initiatives Services and Special Allocations (CFISSA)). Details of these payments are available in the Library.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps she has taken to reduce the cost of (a) telephone, (b) television and (c) car park services in hospitals for patients requiring long term care; 
Andy Burnham: Each provider of the bedside telephone and television service set their own charges subject to the limited concession requirements set by the Department. The Department is not in a position to dictate ongoing price policies of private companies who take sole financial liability for their operations.
Following the conclusion of an Office of Communications (Ofcom) investigation, in January 2006, the Department set up a review group to explore how the bedside services could be provided without charging as high a price for the incoming calls. The review group concluded that there was no easy quick- fix solution to this issue.
The incoming call charges have remained constant for two of the service providers at 39p per minute off peak and 49p per minute peak. Charges per minute for the third service provider were; 14p in 2002, 17p in 2003, 20p in 2004 and it currently charges 35p.
The average charge for use of the television since 2001 is £3.50 for two of the service providers and £3.00 for the third, for a 24-hour period. Some of the service providers offer a reduced rate television service for long stay patients.
The largest provider of the systems recently reconfigured its charging structure, which resulted in increasing its outgoing call charge to 26p per minute (minimum 40p) and reducing its television package to £2.90 for a 24-hour period.
It is for individual national health service bodies to set the level of charges for car parking provided on their premises, taking into account local circumstances. The Department of Health has issued guidance which recommends considering concessions for certain types of patient, but final decisions lie with the NHS body.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Not all healthcare associated infections (HCAIs) can be prevented but reducing HCAIs, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile ( C. difficile) infections is one of four top priorities for the national health service.
The Health Act 2006: Code of practice for the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections came into force on 1 October 2006 and already requires NHS bodies to have appropriate management and clinical governance systems in place to deliver effective infection control. Compliance with the code is assessed by the Healthcare Commission (HCC) and the HCC has the power to issue an improvement notice to an NHS body that in its view, is not properly observing the code.
In addition to a national target to halve MRSA bacteraemias (blood stream infections) by April 2008, local targets have been introduced to significantly reduce cases of C. difficile since 1 April 2007. We are
planning to consult on amendment regulations on how to apply the provisions of the code to the independent health and adult social care sectors later this year.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: No single definition is used for all circumstances but in general healthcare associated infections are infections that are acquired by patients following admission to hospital or as a result of healthcare interventions in other healthcare facilities.
(8) In this section health care associated infection means any infection to which an individual may be exposed or made susceptible (or more susceptible) in circumstances where
(a) health care is being, or has been, provided to that or any other individual, and
(b) the risk of exposure to the infection, or of susceptibility (or increased susceptibility) to it, is directly or indirectly attributable to the provision of the health care.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) NHS Trusts and (b) hospitals have acted on her Department's recommendations to provide free or reduced price parking for patients requiring regular treatment. 
Andy Burnham: Under income generation rules it is for each individual national health service body to manage any car parking scheme on its premises, including what charges to impose and what concessions to offer, taking into consideration all of the relevant local factors. Income Generation: Car Parking ChargesBest Practice for Implementation, issued in December 2006, is intended to provide advice and support in carrying out that function. While we would expect NHS bodies to consider and take account of the recommendations set out in the document, they are not obliged to adhere to them unconditionally.
The Estates Related Information Collection database monitors some transport and car parking related activities. However, it does not monitor implementation of any of the recommendations in this best practice document. It is therefore not possible to provide the information requested.
Ms Rosie Winterton
[holding answer 4 June 2007]: All primary care trusts (PCTs) are funding photodynamic therapy treatment for patients with both the wholly classic and predominantly classic forms of
wet age-related macular degeneration, in line with guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
NICE is currently carrying out an appraisal of Lucentis and Macugen, which are now both licensed for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration, and final guidance is due to be published in September 2007.
Where guidance from NICE is not yet available, PCTs are expected to apply local arrangements for the managed introduction of new technologies. These arrangements should include an assessment of the available evidence.
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment she has made of the use of new surgical procedures in the treatment of dry age-related macular degeneration; and if she will make a statement; 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department is aware of the development of telescopic eye implants and the trials of these devices that are under way. The Department has not itself made an assessment of these devices.
The Department issued revised guidance on managing the introduction of new healthcare interventions in December 2006. This advises national health service organisations that where National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance does not exist NHS bodies should continue with local arrangements for introducing new technologies, based on an assessment of the available evidence. The guidance identifies potential sources of information to help PCTs make these assessments.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the spending per head of population is on mental health in each local health district in 2007-08; how much was spent in each of the last five years; and what indices are used to guide future spending plans. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 4 June 2007]: Information about the spending per head of population on mental health in each local district in 2007-08 is not available. Details of total planned investment, and of overall investment per head, in each strategic health authority (SHA) from 2003-04 to 2005-06 is shown in the following tables. Data are not available prior to 2003-04, and data for 2006-07 have not yet been published.
Primary care trusts (PCTs), together with their SHAs and other local stakeholders, should determine their future spending plans from their own allocated
funds when commissioning services to meet the mental heath and other healthcare needs of their local populations. Funding allocations for mental health are included in the needs element of the weighted-capitation formula, the needs adjustment part of which was examined in a major review of the formula prior to the 2003-04 to 2005-06 revenue allocations to PCTs.
The review was overseen by the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation, and the results were published in the Allocation of Resources to English Areas report. A copy of the report is available in the Library.
|Table 1 : SHA total planned investment and investment per head of weighted working age adult population in England 2005-06|
|SHA||Total investment (£000)||Overall investment per head (£)|
Mental Health Strategies, 2005-06 National Survey of Investment in Mental Health Services
|Table 2 : SHA total planned investment and investment per head of weighted working age adult population in England 2004-05|
|SHA||Total investment (£000)||Overall investment per head (£)|
Mental Health Strategies, 2004-05 National Survey of Investment in Mental Health Services
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