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21 Jun 2007 : Column 2167W—continued


Departments: Vetting

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which Ministers in her Department have been Criminal Records Bureau checked. [139186]


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Mr. Ivan Lewis: Ministers are not security vetted by Departments.

Diabetes

Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to prevent cases of diabetes. [143512]

Ms Rosie Winterton: We are committed to preventing as many cases of diabetes as possible. Obesity is one of the major causes of type 2 diabetes and tackling obesity, working through national and local partnerships, is a key departmental objective. The Government have a public service agreement (PSA) target, which is jointly owned by three Departments, to halt the year-on-year rise in obesity among children aged under 11 by 2010—in the context of a broader strategy to tackle obesity in the population as a whole. As childhood obesity often tracks into adulthood, the PSA-owning Departments are working to support families to eat more healthily and be more active.

Doctors: Qualifications

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many Indian doctors there are in the UK on highly skilled migrant programme visas who have not yet received a postgraduate certificate. [143438]

Ms Rosie Winterton: This information is not held centrally.

Doctors: Recruitment

Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what period of time will elapse between second round interview job offers to junior doctors and the commencement of the posts offered. [135589]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The further recruitment round will be managed locally so the period of time between offers and the commencement of the posts will vary depending on speciality and location.

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received on the functionality of the application process used in Modernising Medical Careers; and if she will make a statement. [128234]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department has received representations in the form of e-mails and letters concerning the Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) programme.

The Department has also had meetings with many stakeholders. We also set up an independent review of the MMC recruitment and selection process. This is being led by Professor Neil Douglas, Vice Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Members of the review group include representatives of the Royal colleges, the British Medical Association, the four United Kingdom Health Departments and NHS Employers.


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Junior Doctors: Training

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many posts were available for junior doctors through the Medical Training Application System (MTAS) in round one; how many applicants for these posts there were; whether there were any new training posts in round two; and how many applicants per
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training post there were for those posts available through MTAS; [134104]

(2) when she will answer question 134104, tabled by the hon. Member for Yeovil on 24 April 2007, on the Medical Training Application Service. [144923]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The number of posts available for the 2007 recruitment process is in the following table.

Posts on MTAS
Run through FTSTA Academic Total Round one posts not on MTAS added after 19 April( 1) Estimated GP posts filled outside MTAS New run through programmes in Round 2 Estimated new FTSTAs and GP posts in Round 2( 1) Overall total of training posts in 2007( 2)

UK

14,595

4,392

185

19,172

108

3,450

215

302

23,247

England

11,916

3,485

182

15,583

108

2,828

215

302

19,036


Across the UK 34,389 candidates submitted applications on Medical Training Application Service (MTAS) during the first recruitment round and made 127,948 applications. Of these 32,600(3) applicants made at least one eligible application and a total of 118,600(3) eligible applications are recorded on the MTAS system. Of the eligible applicants 29,600(3) were already working in training or non-training posts in the national health service.

The MTAS data provide the number of applications per post not applicants per post. Based on the MTAS extract dated 19 April there were 6.2 applications per post.

Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information has been made public by (a) her and (b) Ministers in her Department and (c) other representatives on (i) matching algorithms and (ii) other matters relating to Medical Training Application Service and Modernising Medical Careers that were not included in (A) her Written Statement of 15 May and (B) her response to the Urgent Question on 16 May; and if she will make a statement. [138712]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The applicant’s guide, which was first published on 30 November 2006, provided detailed information about the recruitment process, including how applicants would be matched to posts. Since the Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) Review began, a series of communications has been sent to applicants and recruitment teams and the applicant's guide has been revised. All of this information is available on the MMC website at www.mmc.nhs.uk.

Further background and information on the decision not to proceed with designing an algorithm to match applicants to posts was included in the Department’s witness statements to the Judicial Review brought by Remedy UK. Copies of these two statements have been placed in the Library.

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she made of the cost of administering each on-line job application by a junior doctor in the latest period for which figures are available. [140987]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The costs of administering junior doctor applications are not collected centrally. Processing costs will vary depending on local deanery arrangements. On-line application enables deaneries to reduce advertising, printing and distribution costs.

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many applicants to the Medical Training Application Service were from St. Albans constituency. [142694]

Ms Rosie Winterton: This information is not collected centrally.

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what distinction was made between applicants from outside the EU and EU citizens by the Medical Training Application Service. [143439]

Ms Rosie Winterton: All applicants in the current recruitment to specialty training must meet the eligibility requirements that applied on 5 February 2007, regardless of their nationality. Applicants who meet the eligibility requirements who are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) will be considered on the same basis as United Kingdom and EEA applicants unless they require a work permit.

Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment she has made of the clarity of advice on requirement of the Home Office Passport Stamp in the applicants’ guide of January 2007 for the Medical Training Application Service; why the date of 5 February was chosen; whether potential delays in obtaining the stamp were taken into account; and if she will change the requirement to 1 August; [144397]

(2) whether the applicants’ guide for the Medical Training Application Service refers to migrant status and the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme; [144398]


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(3) whether (a) her Department and (b) the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board can vary the 5 February deadline for the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme status passport stamp. [144399]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The application form made clear that evidence of immigration status should include an appropriately stamped passport.

To ensure consistency in the assessment of applications it was agreed that eligibility criteria for applications to specialty training had to be met on the final date of application, 5 February. This included the assessment of immigration status. To change this date or allow exceptions to it would be impractical and unfair.

The current applicants’ guide, available on the Modernising Medical Careers website, is clear that immigration status will be assessed as of the 5 February 2007.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Office of Government Commerce carried out a Gateway Review of the Medical Training Application Service. [144525]

Ms Rosie Winterton: No. However Medical Training Application Service was included in the Modernising Medical Careers Health Gateway programme review in September 2006.

Doctors: Vacancies

Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS posts available for F2 doctors are training posts; and how many vacancies are short fixed-term contracts. [129081]

Ms Rosie Winterton: On Medical Training Application Service as at 19 April there were 7,687 specialist training level 1 (ST1) posts available for foundation level 2 (F2) doctors, of these 6,058 are for run-through and 1,529 are for fixed term specialist training appointments (FTSTA). FTSTAs are also training posts.

The further recruitment round will contain an estimated 302 additional FTSTAs and general practitioner training posts, but it is not yet possible to identify which of these will be at ST1 level.

For those who have successfully completed the Modernising Medical Careers foundation training programme and who demonstrate their ability to progress, there will be still further new training programmes through one-year fixed term appointments. We are asking the Postgraduate Medical Education Training Board to expedite the approval of these programmes.

Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the number of F2 doctors who have been trained but who will not have an NHS post from August. [129119]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Deaneries are currently making Round 1 offers to applicants. When this process is complete we will then be able to estimate the likely
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numbers of F2 doctors who will not secure a specialty training place at the end of the process (Rounds 1 and 2).

Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the written statement of 15 May 2007, Official Report, columns 30-31WS, on medical training (recruitment), how many and what proportion of jobs will go into round two; if she will allow doctors who could not or who mistakenly did not apply for round one to be considered for round two; whether an applicant may delay responding to a round one offer from a second choice until she or he has heard from the first choice; and how the results of the additional interviews which have been arranged as part of round one will be integrated with the results of the original round one interviews. [138184]

Ms Rosie Winterton: It is not yet clear how many jobs will go into the further recruitment round as not all job offers have been made and accepted from the first round. The applicant guidance makes clear that the further recruitment round will be restricted to those applicants who have enrolled on Medical Training Application Service and have either declined all offers made to them in round one, have accepted a fixed-term specialty training appointment but would like to apply for a run-through post, or who have not been successful in the first round.

Up to the 10 June deadline, applicants were able to delay responding to a round one offer to see if another offer was made. Offers of posts after 11 June and before 22 June must be accepted or declined within a 48-hour period.

Deaneries integrated the results of the original round one interviews and the further interviews on a local basis.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 16 May 2007, Official Report, columns 613-7, on the Medical Training Application Service, how many GP training posts are being filled in the UK. [138801]

Ms Rosie Winterton: In the United Kingdom, there are 3,864 general practice posts being filled by the Medical Training Application Service system. An additional 3,450 general practitioner (GP) posts (for GPs already working in a training environment) were filled outside MTAS, creating a total of 7,314 GP training posts in the UK.

Elderly: Abuse

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps her Department plans to take in response to the UK study into the prevalence of elder abuse; and if she will make a statement; [143979]

(2) when her Department (a) commissioned and (b) received the UK study of prevalence of elder abuse; [143980]

(3) if she will commission research into the prevalence of abuse of older people who are (a) resident in care homes and (b) suffering from dementia; and if she will make a statement; [144158]


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(4) what representations she has received on (a) the abuse of older people and (b) the findings of the UK Study of Abuse and Neglect of Older People report. [144159]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department will introduce a new monitoring system to report the extent of abuse, based on a new national standardised method for the collection of data on referrals in England. The Department will also review the “No Secrets” guidance on developing and implementing multi-agency policies and procedures to protect vulnerable adults from abuse. The case for legislation will be considered as part of the review.

The report, “UK Study of Abuse and Neglect of Older People, Prevalence Survey Report”, was commissioned jointly by the Department and Comic Relief in August 2005. A draft report of the findings of the prevalence survey was submitted at the end of March 2007. Independent peer reviews were commissioned at the beginning of April 2007 and received at the end of April. The final draft of the prevalence survey report was received on 17 May 2007 and published on 14 June.

The research, which was produced by the Institute of Gerontology, Kings College, London and the National Centre for Social Research, involved a feasibility study of the ethical and methodological issues that would be faced by extending the work to residential care homes. This is the last stage of the commissioned study and is due to be submitted to the Department in mid July. This will enable the Department to assess if, and how, it may be possible to commission further research with residential care populations.

The prevalence survey will have included people with dementia, where they were able to give consent to be interviewed. No proxy interviews, however, were undertaken for those without the ability to consent. Research with people who have severe dementia is extremely difficult, but there are research teams working on innovative methods for involving people with cognitive impairment. The Department’s research governance framework reminds researchers of the importance of working as inclusively as possible and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides a framework to enable those without capacity to be safely involved in research, where appropriate.

To date, the Department has received a wide range of representations on the abuse of older people. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my noble Friend Lord Hunt, the Minister of State on 19 June 2007, Official Report, column 94.


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