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Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 26 June 2007


Social Care

15. Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she will bring forward proposals on the future funding of social care. [145324]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Proposals to cover the period 2008-11 will be brought in as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review in the autumn. The Government recognise the need to address the longer-term funding issues, too, as identified in last year’s pre-Budget report, but the timing has not yet been established.

NHS Trust Deficits

17. Mr. Mackay: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the proportion of NHS trusts which will be in deficit at the end of 2007-08. [145326]

Andy Burnham: We have received financial plans for 2007-08 and these are now subject to final validation and sign-off with the national health service. At this stage, the figures are encouraging, with only around 6 per cent. of organisations forecasting a year end deficit, compared with 22 per cent. in 2006-07, as reported in our provisional outturn in the Department’s NHS Financial Performance in Quarter Four 2006-07 report.

The NHS continues to build on the good financial health achieved in 2006-07, and enters 2007-08 in its strongest financial position for many years.

Access to NHS Treatment

18. Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of differences in access to NHS treatment in different parts of the country; and if she will make a statement. [145327]

Andy Burnham: It is for primary care trusts to assess local health needs and commission services to meet them. The Department supports primary care trusts by funding them on the basis of their assessment of their population’s health needs. Waiting lists are at a record low and falling. Guidance produced by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is promoting much more consistent access to cost-effective drugs and other specific interventions.

NHS Staff Morale

19. Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment she has made of staff morale in the NHS. [145328]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: The Healthcare Commission Annual Staff Survey measures a range of things that contribute to the level of staff morale such as job satisfaction and work-life balance. The 2006 survey results are being analysed with national health service trade union representatives in the National Social Partnership Forum.

Cottage Hospitals

20. Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the future of cottage hospitals. [145329]

Andy Burnham: The Government are committed to delivering more health services in community settings—community or cottage hospitals are key to this. We are making available £750 million capital funding for the development of community hospitals and services.

Smoking Ban

21. Mr. Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions her Department has had with public bodies on the introduction of the smoking ban in England. [145330]

Caroline Flint: The Department has had discussions with a wide range of stakeholders, both public and private, to support them to understand the requirements of the new smokefree law and to build compliance ahead of 1 July 2007. The Department has also provided support, advice and resources to local councils and port health authorities to assist with preparations for them to undertake their role as enforcement authorities for the new smokefree law.

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much her Department has allocated to the advertising of the impending 1 July smoking ban in public places. [145766]

Caroline Flint: To ensure that businesses and members of the public across England are aware of the requirements of the new smokefree law and its implementation on 1 July, the Department is undertaking an extensive communications campaign. The budget for advertising smokefree legislation is £5.8 million.

Research undertaken in early June, almost a month before the law comes into effect, shows that awareness of the new law among the general public stands at 95 per cent. and spontaneous awareness of the implementation date is 83 per cent. Similar research with businesses shows that 96 per cent. are aware of the new law and 93 per cent. spontaneously state that 1 July is the day the law comes into effect. Also, 86 per cent. of businesses feel that enough information has been made available to help them prepare for the new law.

Community Hospital: Malvern

22. Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to make an announcement about a new community hospital in Malvern, Worcestershire. [145331]

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Andy Burnham: NHS West Midlands and Worcestershire primary care trust are currently reviewing the continued applicability and robustness of the business case for a new community hospital in Malvern.


24. Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the number of midwives needed to ensure delivery of the Government’s policy in Maternity Matters. [145333]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The 2007-08 NHS Operating Framework requires local national health service organisations to undertake a review of their maternity services including an assessment of their work force capacity.

It is important that these decisions are made locally as they know their local needs best and can ensure that services are developed to meet these needs.


25. Mr. Malik: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance her Department has issued for the introduction of emergency respite care for carers in England. [145334]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Next month, we plan to issue guidance on the introduction of emergency short breaks to councils and £25 million will be made available to support implementation of the guidance from October 2007.

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people (a) under and (b) over the age of 60 were registered as carers in (i) the Jarrow constituency, (ii) South Tyneside, (iii) the North East and (iv) England in each year since 1997. [146007]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Individuals are not registered as carers nationally. However, the 2001 census indicates that there are 5.2 million carers in England and Wales.

GP Appointments

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance she provides to GPs on whether more than one condition may be considered at each patient visit. [145332]

Andy Burnham: None. It is for general practitioners to apply their professional and clinical judgment when assessing patients who present.

Blood: CJD

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 14 June 2007 to
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question 142988, what the batch numbers were that were provided to NHS trusts, primary care trusts and to the UK Haemophilia Centre Doctors' Organisation. [145747]

Caroline Flint: Details of the implicated batch numbers were provided by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) to the United Kingdom Haemophilia Centre Doctors Organisation who wrote to all Haemophilia centre clinicians so that they could inform patients about their individual risk status. The HPA also provided the batch numbers to national health service trusts and primary care trusts for information.

Each patient was asked to indicate whether or not they wished to know if they had received an implicated batch, and informed according to their wishes. As some patients indicated through their clinicians that they do not wish to be informed, it would be inappropriate to publish full details of batch numbers.

Carbon Monoxide

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 30 November 2006, Official Report, column 911W to the hon. Member for Dudley North on carbon monoxide, how many of the deaths listed were caused by (a) domestic gas appliances and (b) other locations and types of appliances. [145799]

Caroline Flint: The information requested is as follows:

Number of deaths Caused by domestic gas (including appliances) Other locations and types of appliances









































(1) Provisional.

Community Health Services: Manpower

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) consultants and (b) other medically qualified personnel were practising in the public health medicine and community health services specialties in each year since 1997. [137274]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is shown in the table.

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Hospital and community health services: medical and dental staff within the public health medicine and community health services group , England
N umber (headcount)
A t 30 September each year

All medical and dental staff











Medical and dental consultant











All other medical and dental staff(1)











1. All other medical and dental staff includes qualified clinical staff at the following grades; associate specialist, staff grade, registrar group, senior house officer, house officer, F2, Fl, hospital practitioner, clinical assistant, senior dental officer, dental officer, senior clinical medical officer, clinical medical officer, clinical director, assistant clinical direct, dental clinical director, dental assistant, clinical director, other (medical practitioners doing part-time work), other (salaried dental practitioner)
2. Some trusts and primary care trusts (PCT) have included health visitors, school nurses and other non-medically qualified staff in the public health medicine specialty prior to revised definitions being published by the Information Centre in 2005-06. Source:
The Information Centre for health and social care medical and dental workforce census.

The Public Health Medicine and Community Health Services Group includes the following specialties:

There has been an increase in the number of consultants in public health working in the national health service of 85 (10 per cent.) between 1997 and 2006.

Over the same period the number of other public health staff numbers has decreased by 1,805 (57 per cent.). This is in part due to changes in the way the data are collected and coded. For example, health visitors, district nurses, general practitioners and other professionals, who are not formally coded as public health staff, perform public health tasks. There has been growth in many of these groups. There is also variation from trust to trust in which exact roles are classed as public health. In addition, the definition of the public health specialty has been more closely defined in recent years resulting in the exclusion of groups of staff such as health visitors and school nurses who some trusts and PCTs previously included as public health staff.

A public health workforce collection was conducted on 28 February 2007 which asked NHS to return information on their public health staff in post on that date. The Information Centre is currently analysing this data with a view to publication in the autumn.

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