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Mr. Ivan Lewis: The percentages of sick leave recorded on our sickness absence database in each of the last three years under a category defined as mental health, including depression, anxiety and potential stress related problems, were 32 per cent. for 2004-05, 22 per cent. for 2005-06 and 24 per cent. for 2006-07.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many Parliamentary Questions were tabled to his Department between 1 January and 30 June 2007, broken down by (a) Ordinary Written and (b) Named Day; what percentage of Ordinary Written Questions were answered within 10 working days; what percentage of Named Day Questions were answered substantively by the date named; and what measures he is taking to ensure that Questions are answered within the (i) recommended and (ii) required time. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer2 July 2007]: Between 1 January and 30 June we answered 839 Named Day Parliamentary questions, of which 497 (59 per cent.) were answered on the day specified. We also answered 3,812 Ordinary written questions, of which 1,296 (34 per cent.) were answered within 10 working days.
We endeavour to answer all parliamentary questions as quickly as possible and have been reviewing our internal processes. We are developing a replacement database which will enable us to better manage the end to end process and are also developing training for all those in the Department who prepare answers for Ministers to consider.
In the run up to the recent Government changes, we made a particular effort to answer outstanding questions and in the week up to 25 June we answered over 550. We will continue to seek improvement in our performance in this important area.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of (a) Cornwalls and (b) Englands (i) total, (ii) adult and (iii) child population was registered disabled on the latest date for which figures are available. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 29 June 2007]: Each local authority is required by law to maintain a register of disabled people living within its area for the purposes of planning and providing social services. However, registration is entirely voluntary, therefore the information held does not accurately represent the prevalence of disability. This information is not held centrally.
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department expects to allocate to (a) the Healthcare Commission, (b) the National Patient Safety Agency, (c) the General Social Care Council and (d) the Commission for Social Care Inspection (i) to promote public engagement in their activities and (ii) for communication purposes in (A) 2007-08, (B) 2008-09 and (C) 2009-10. 
The budget for the patient and public engagement team for 2007-08 is £0.775 million. Public engagement is also supported by other departments, as patients and the public are the primary focus of the Healthcare Commissions work.
The rest of the communications budget for 2007-08 is £3.117 million. This also includes public engagement in the form of running consultation events and communicating through written reports and the internet.
The NPSA Business Plan for 2007-08 states that the Agency will ensure that patients and the public are involved in its work by developing and implementing an involvement strategy in 2007 that takes account of changes resulting from the review of the organisational arrangements to support patient safety, Safety First (December 2006). The sum of budget lines that relate specifically to patient and public involvement is £347,288.
Communications supports the Agencys activity and engagement with the national health service in England and Wales, including feedback reports to each NHS organisation, the work of the National Clinical Assessment Service, the work of the National Research Ethics Service, published guidance on improving medication safety and a high profile patient safety campaign to frontline workers, as well as patients and the public. The total budget for this is approximately £1.7 million.
The GSCC has allocated a budget to its Corporate Communications Directorate in 2007-08 of £1.001 million (as shown in the GSCC Business Plan for 2007-08). However, the GSCC has not allocated this budget between the two criteria that are stated in the question.
The GSCC also has funding within the education support grant that is paid (by the GSCC) to higher education institutes for the involvement of service users and carers in the design and delivery of the social work degree courses. For 2007-08 the earmarked funding is £0.628 million. This funding for this activity is also quoted in the GSCCs Business Plan for 2007-08.
Communications and public involvement are a core function of CSCIs role. As a service regulator it is important that every aspect of CSCIs work involves communication with the public in general and, more specifically, with service users, their carers and families and with providers, commissioners and policy makers. By doing this, our work can encourage greater involvement in services, increase awareness of developments and issues in social care and raise the standard of service provision.
However, there is a central function from which the core public and user involvement activities of CSCI are co-ordinated with a budget of £1.039 million for the current year. This budget does not cover all relevant expenditure on communications and public involvement, but it does cover the cost of user involvement activities such as experts by experience, involvement in inspections, user participation in improvement boards, conferences, methodology development etc. and accessible communications.
As well as the public and user involvement function, CSCI has a specific communications function which co-ordinates publications, events, marketing and web development. All of these activities are central to informing the public about and involving the public in CSCIs work.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of progress on the Governments target to reduce waiting times for audiology assessments to six weeks by March 2008. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Data published on 13 June 2007 show that, at the end of April, 101,260 people were waiting longer than six weeks for an audiology assessment. This is a reduction of 37,409 since October and represents good progress towards the milestone.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what studies he has (a) reviewed and (b) commissioned on levels of mental illness in young people, with particular reference to levels of clinical depression; what assessment he has made of those studies; and what steps his Department is taking to combat depression in young people. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 3 July 2007]: The Office for National Statistics 2004 survey Mental health of children and young people in Great Britain looked at the prevalence of mental health disorders. It found that 10 per cent. of young people aged 5-16 years had a clinically diagnosed mental disorder. This includes four per cent. with an emotional disorder (1 per cent. depression and 3 per cent. anxiety disorders).
In September 2005, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence published a guideline on the treatment of depression in children and young people which also included advice on the detection and recognition of depression. It outlined the treatment options availablepsychological therapies or medication. It recommended that medication should only be used rarely in the under 11 age group and should only be offered to the 12-18 group in more severe cases in addition to psychological therapy.
The National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services (published in 2004), sets the framework for child and adolescent mental services (CAMHS) for the next ten years. It sets the standard that all children and young people, from birth to their eighteenth birthday, who have mental health problems and disorders, will have access to timely, integrated, high quality multidisciplinary mental health services to ensure effective assessment, treatment and support, for them, their parents or carers, and other family members.
In the four years 2004-05 to 2007-08, we have invested over £400 million in additional funding for the development of CAMHS by the national health service and local authorities. It has assisted them in the achievement of the Departments public service agreement standard of a comprehensive CAMHS in every area.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many primary care trusts have led a health economy-wide approach to implementation of the DH Musculoskeletal Services Framework; and how many are on course to complete implementation by autumn/winter 2007; 
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health why musculoskeletal services are excluded from the Quality and Outcomes Framework; and whether consideration will be given to including them in the next review. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 29 June 2007]: Musculoskeletal services are currently not included within the Quality and Outcome Framework. No proposals for musculoskeletal services were taken forward for the 2006 contract changes. As part of the ongoing development of the Framework, indicators will be reviewed in the light of emerging evidence, in the context of a value for money agreement.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) over what time period the funding package announced in the written ministerial statement of 21 February 2007, Official Report, column 49WS, on the new deal for carers will be spent; and how much has been spent; 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The funding announced for the new deal for carers announced on 21 February 2007 is for the current financial year. Decisions on funding for future years will be announced following the forthcoming comprehensive spending review.
In October, we will be giving councils their share of £25 million to develop short breaks for carers who are temporarily unable to care because of an emergency or other crisis. In addition, we will soon make up to £1 million available to key national organisations who are working with the Government to help provide greater support for carers.
The Department is working actively to achieve delivery of the national helpline and has been doing so in consultation with the national carers organisations. It is our intention that the helpline will be in place in next summer.
John Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what his estimate is of the cost to the NHS of treating patients with osteoporotic fractures of the (a) hip, (b) wrist and (c) vertebrae in the last 12 months for which figures are available; 
(2) whether alternative treatments are available on the NHS to patients at risk of osteoporotic fracture who do not respond to the first line treatment prescribed by their general practitioner; 
(3) what estimate he has made of the cost of (a) treating an osteoporotic hip fracture and (b) providing treatments likely to prevent such fractures from occurring in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department has made no estimate of the overall cost to the national health service of treating patients with osteoporotic fractures. Nor has the Department estimated the individual cost of treating an osteoporotic hip fracture, or the cost of providing treatments to prevent osteoporotic fractures.
In its appraisal of the use of bisphosphonates in post-menopausal women, which was published in 2005, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) estimated that among post-menopausal women, the cost to the NHS of fractures to the hip, forearm and spine was £942 million. Additionally, draft final guidance issued by NICE on 26 June 2007, acknowledged that the cost of treating post-menopausal women with Alendronate, the recommended therapy for both the initiation of primary and secondary prevention of osteoporotic fractures, would be between £95.03 and £301.39 per patient per year.
This new set of guidance, which NICE expects to publish in final form in August 2007, covers the initiation of treatment only. The future NICE clinical guideline on osteoporosis will cover the treatment of women who cannot take or have withdrawn from treatment with Alendronate. Until this guideline is published, we expect NHS organisations to continue to provide treatments based on an assessment of the available evidence.
John Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the time taken by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to develop guidance on treatments to prevent osteoporotic fractures in post-menopausal women. 
Dawn Primarolo: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued a Final Appraisal Determination on treatments to prevent osteoporotic fractures in post-menopausal women. This is a particularly complex appraisal and has taken longer to complete than would normally be the case. NICE operates a robust appraisal process, involving a full assessment of the evidence and public consultation on its draft recommendations. It is important that in the most complex cases, NICE is allowed to take sufficient time to ensure that final guidance it issues is of a high quality.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many amniocentesis procedures were carried out in each of the last three years; how many of the procedures resulted in a diagnosis for Downs Syndrome (Trisomy 21) or other chromosomal abnormalities; and how many of these resulted in a termination. 
Ann Keen [holding answer 3 July 2007]: Information on the total number of amniocentesis procedures carried out in the last three years is not collected centrally. Information on the number of amniocentesis tests that resulted in a diagnosis of Downs Syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities and the number of terminations as a result of Downs Syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities is in the following table.
|Abortions performed under Section l(l)(d)* of the Abortion Act 1967 with amniocentesis used in the diagnosis of chromosomal anomalies, residents, England and Wales, 2004-06|
|Abortions performed because of Downs Syndrome||Downs Syndrome diagnosed using amniocentesis||Abortions performed because of chromosomal anomalies other than Downs Syndrome||Chromosomal anomalies other than Downs Syndrome diagnosed using amniocentesis|
* That there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.
Amniocentesis used as a method of diagnosis with or without an ultrasound and/or chorionic.
Information about method of diagnosis is missing for about 8 per cent. of abortions performed under Section l(l)(d)* of the Abortion Act 1967.
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