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12 July 2007 : Column 1664W—continued

Hearing Aids: Waiting Lists

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland are waiting for a hearing aid; and what the average waiting time is for such provision. [148044]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department does not collect data on waiting times for a hearing aid. However, since January 2006, the Department has been collecting data on the waiting times for audiology assessment. The latest figures, for April 2007, indicate that there are currently 7,328 people waiting over 13 weeks for an audiology assessment in the North East Strategic Health Authority.

Home Care Services: Elderly

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy to review the current arrangements for home care for pensioners. [148715]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: No. The provision of social care is based on the National Assistance Act 1948. Sections 21 and 29 of the Act relate to the duties and powers of local authorities to provide social care services. Following the Local Authorities Social Services Act 1970, local council social services departments were set up to provide services to a wide range of people, including children in need, people with mental health problems and learning difficulties and older people.

Local authorities are responsible for assessing the care needs of their populations and providing or arranging care services to meet those needs, including home care for pensioners.

Homeopathy: Kent

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether patients who live in the areas covered by West Kent Primary Care Trust will continue to be able to receive homeopathy from the Tunbridge Wells NHS Homeopathic Hospital. [147817]

Dawn Primarolo: It is for the local national health service, in partnership with strategic health authorities and other local stakeholders, to plan, develop and improve services for local people. Local solutions will meet the needs of local patients and communities. Consultation about the commissioning of homeopathy services is therefore a matter for West Kent Primary Care Trust.

Hospitals: Parking

Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hospitals in the Greater Manchester area have acted on his Department's recommendations to provide free or reduced price parking for patients with long-term illnesses and requiring regular treatment. [147256]

Mr. Bradshaw: 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. The document ‘Income Generation: Car Parking Charges—Best Practice for Implementation’ is intended to provide advice and support in carrying out that function. While I 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.

Human Embryo Experiments

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received objecting to the draft Human Tissue and Embryos Bill; and what objections have been made in those representations. [148636]

Dawn Primarolo: On 17 May 2007, the Human Tissue and Embryos Bill was published in draft form and is now undergoing scrutiny by a Joint House of Commons and House of Lords Committee, concluding on 25 July. The Committee has taken a range of evidence.

Following publication of the draft Bill, a number of representations have been made to the Department. Where objections have been raised, they have primarily concerned the proposal to form the Regulatory Authority for Tissue and Embryos, the proposal to
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allow the creation of inter-species embryos for research, and the proposal to remove the reference to a child’s need for a father when considering the welfare of the child.

Objections to these proposals have been based on a variety of moral, religious, sociological and practical grounds.

Medical Treatments: Finance

Mr. Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to allocate funds to the development of photodynamic therapy. [148449]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 10 July 2007, Official Report, columns 1450-51W.

Mental Health Services: Prisoners

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much his Department spent in England on providing (a) additional secure psychiatric beds, (b) medical services for prisoners, (c) drug and alcohol treatment of prisoners and (d) drug and alcohol treatment for other convicted persons in each of the last six years; and what sums are budgeted for the next five years; [148383]

Mental Health Services: Prisons

(2) what funding he provided for prison psychiatric care in each of the last five years; and what percentage
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of the prison health care budget each figure represented. [148398]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Information on expenditure on additional psychiatric beds is not collected centrally. Funding is allocated on the basis of individual need, as determined by local commissioners.

Expenditure on medical services for prisoners in the last six years, which includes psychiatric services, is shown in the following table.

Expenditure on prison health care in England 2002-03 to 2006-07
Amount (£)











The figures quoted include amount spend on mental health in-reach services in both publicly and privately managed prisons.
Department of Health

The 2007-08 allocation currently stands at £198,999,000.

The figure for 2006-07 also includes an amount to cover the cost of implementing Agenda for Change, backdated to October 2004, for prison health care staff who have transferred to the national health service.

Drug treatment funding allocated to prisons globally over the past six years is shown in the following table.

Table 2: drug treatment funding allocated to prisons 2001-02 to 2006-07
£ million
Intervention 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

Clinical services (detoxification and/or maintenance prescribing)







Counselling, assessment, referral, advice and through care services (CARATs)







Drug rehabilitation programmes







Juvenile substance misuse service (JSMS)











Home Office

There is currently no central funding for implementing the Alcohol Strategy for Prisoners (introduced December 2004). A number of initiatives are under way locally but such spend is not recorded centrally.

For drug and alcohol treatment for other convicted persons, the Drug Treatment and Testing Order (DTTO) and, since April 2005, the Drug Rehabilitation Requirement (DRR) of the community order, which has gradually replaced it, are the only community sentences which require the offender to attend drug treatment. Funding for DTTOs and DRRs over the last six years is shown in the following table.

Funding for DTTOs and the DRRs 2001-02 to 2005-06
£ million
Amount paid to pooled treatment budget to fund DTTO/DRR treatment and testing in England Allocation to probation areas to fund DTTO/DRR supervision and enforcement costs in England and full DTTO/DRR costs in Wales



















Home Office

Additionally, £3 million was made available in 2005-06 to the Prospects programme, a pilot which provides offenders with a history of drug misuse with seamless support from prison to the community in a residential setting.

DTTO and DRR allocations are projected to remain the same in 2006-07. The 2006-07 allocation for Prospects was £3.8 million, which has risen to £4.35 million for 2007-08.

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There is no dedicated funding provided by Government to support the provision of alcohol treatment to offenders under probation supervision. Instead, each probation area determines the amount of its annual probation funding allocation to spend on alcohol treatment. Information about alcohol treatment spend by probation area is not centrally available.

Funding plans for any of these programmes and services for the next five years have not yet been finalised, although they are all ongoing.

Mental Health Services: Prisoners

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prisoners were reported as requiring psychiatric care in each of the last five years. [148399]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information requested is not held centrally.

A survey, “Psychiatric morbidity among prisoners in England and Wales (Office for National Statistics, 1998)” showed that 90 per cent. of prisoners have at least one significant mental health problem, including personality disorder, psychosis, neurosis, alcohol misuse and drug dependence. A copy is available in the Library.

People who are mentally too ill to remain in prison should be transferred to hospital. We have introduced tighter monitoring to identify prisoners waiting an unacceptably long period for transfer to hospital. A protocol was issued to prisons and primary care trusts in October 2005 setting out what must be done when a prisoner has been waiting for a hospital place for more than three months following acceptance by the national health service.

These measures have helped bring about positive results. In 2006, 962 prisoners, with mental illness too severe for prison, were transferred to hospital.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prisoners were transferred to hospital for psychiatric care in each of the last five years; and what the average waiting time for the transfer was over that period. [148400]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information requested on the numbers of prisons transferred is shown in the table.

Total number of transfers under Sections 47 and 48 of the Mental Health Act 1983 2001-06













Mental Health Unit, Home Office

Information on the average length of time prisoners wait for these transfers is not collected centrally. However, there has been a significant decrease in the number of people waiting over 12 weeks for a transfer in the quarter ending March 2007, 40 prisoners were waiting, down from 51 in the same quarter in 2005.

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Mentally Ill: Cannabis

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 6 June 2007, Official Report, column 583W, on mentally ill: cannabis, how many hospital admissions on mental health grounds resulting from the use of cannabis there were in each year since 1997, broken down by strategic health authority area. [147498]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for North-West Cambridgeshire (Mr. Vara) on 21 June 2007, Official Report, column 2187W.

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