|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Dr. Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to commemorate the 60(th) anniversary in July 2008 of the founding of the national health service; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) pursuant to the answer of 14 June 2007, Official Report, column 1314W to the hon. Member for Rayleigh on NHS: consultants, what the names were of the working groups and reference groups set up during the negotiation and implementation of the consultant contract; 
Ann Keen: During the negotiations for the consultant contract there were a number of informal reference and working groups from 2001-04. These groups conducted business in meetings but also covered a large amount of business via e-mail. These groups did not have official titles. The main groups were:
the negotiation groupwhich included national health service chief executives, medical directors, human resources directors, and representation from the NHS Confederation;
a wider reference groupwhich included a wider range of representatives from NHS employing organisations; and
the implementation groupmembers from NHS Modernisation Agency, NHS Confederation, strategic health authorities and NHS employing organisations.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Rayleigh of 14 June 2007, Official Report, column 1313W, on NHS: consultants, which of her Department's Ministers were involved in these discussions. 
Ann Keen: My right hon. Friend the Member for Darlington (Mr. Milburn) was the Secretary of State for Health during the 2002 Spending Review discussions on the contract. At the time that the new contract proposals were agreed, my right hon. Friend the Member for Airdrie and Shotts (John Reid) was Secretary of State for Health.
Mr. Bradshaw: Unaudited figures for 2006-07 show that the national health service delivered a net surplus of £510 million at the end of 2006-07, recovering from a £547 million deficit in 2005-06. This transformation in financial performance has been achieved in the context of continued improvements in both access to and the quality of patient care.
A key component to the overall financial recovery in 2006-07 has been the rigorous action taken by strategic health authorities (SHAs) to manage financial risk at local level. This has been largely achieved by the prudent management of central NHS programme funds to create a £450 million contingency, and by the top-slicing of primary care trust allocations to create SHA reserves. We have not expected any one NHS sector to contribute more in financial savings than any other part of the health system, except where that sector has specifically contributed to a deficit.
The financial recovery in 2006-07, brought about by this local action and the introduction of a stronger, fairer and more transparent financial regime, has put the NHS on a much firmer financial footing for 2007-08 and beyond.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which items of expenditure were included in the NHS bundle for (a) 2006-07 and (b) 2007-08; and what the overall value of the NHS bundle was in each year. 
The value of the strategic health authority (SHA) bundle for 2006-07 was £5,460 million, and for 2007-08 is £6,946 million. Allocations are made direct to SHAs that manage the distribution of funds among the different programmes, taking account of local circumstances.
The overall allocations are made up of £3,734 million in 2006-07 and £4,307 million in 2007-08 for work force programmes, and £1,725 million in 2006-07 and £2,639 million in 2007-08 for the remainder of the programmes.
John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the planned capital expenditure for the NHS in 2007-08 was in the (a) 2006 and (b) 2007 Budget; and what the reasons are for the difference between the two figures. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Departmental expenditure limits for the Department and national health service are available in annex C of the Budget 2006 and Budget 2007. As set out in Budget 2007 the Government updated the capital figures for 2007-08 for the NHS in England to make them consistent with projected levels of spend, leaving aside exceptional items. NHS spending plans were unaffected by revisions to expenditure figures published in Budget 2007.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 25 June 2007, Official Report, column 747W, on NHS: ICT, in which document the Cabinet Office best practice is set out. 
Two further basic references, recommended by the Office of Government Commerce which supports operational governance for the national programme for IT, are PRINCE 2 and Managing Successful Programmes. These can be found at:
In addition, Improving Programme and Project Delivery available at www.pm.gov.uk/files/pdf/ippd.pdf is an example of other documentation available on government websites which provides helpful guidance in this area.
Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans his Department has to review NHS purchasing processes, with particular reference to enabling clinicians to commission appropriate technologies where hospital-acquired infections are concerned; 
Mr. Bradshaw: All national health service procurement must fully comply with European Union regulations and be a transparent process. Proper emphasis must be placed on guidance provided by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and information on products provided by the centre for evidence based purchasing. However, the Government recognise the need to ensure swift access for clinicians to products which are innovative and effective in supporting the reduction in healthcare-associated infections, and processes are being reviewed to meet this challenge.
A best practice procurement framework has been developed as part of the health industry taskforce outcomes to ensure NHS procurement is aligned to NHS objectives and delivers outputs that are relevant. This framework will also ensure better decision-making
in the NHS through category management and sourcing groups managed locally by the collaborative procurement hubs.
By working within this new framework the key targets and objectives of health and social care, such as health care-associated infection, can be appropriately aligned with benefits to be derived from procurement.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS suppliers have been awaiting outstanding payments for (a) up to (i) 30, (ii) 60, (iii) 90 and (iv) 120 days and (b) more than 120 days; and what the value of the payments owed is in each case. 
Detailed guidance for health professionals on the provision of treatment for both men and woman at risk of osteoporotic fractures is provided on the National Library for Health Clinical Knowledge Summaries website www.cks.library.nhs.uk.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether rurality and travelling distance for patients are considered alongside national clinical guidelines during acute services reviews. 
Ann Keen: The Department has commissioned and funded two research studies on fluoridation and health. A Systematic Review of Public Water Fluoridation, published by the University of York in 2000, identified two studies, which found no significant association between thyroid disorders, water fluoridation, and one study with a positive association. However, the positive study looked at combined fluoride/iodine intakes and has not been published in a peer review journal. Water Fluoridation and Health, published by the Medical Research Council (MRC) in 2002 endorsed York's recommendation on the need for further research into fluoridation, but awarded low priority to further research on thyroid disorders. This was because the MRC judged the scientific plausibility of an association between water fluoridation and thyroid disease to be low.
We are committed to a continuing programme of research on the effects of fluoridation on health. And, under section 90A of the Water Industry Act 1991, strategic health authorities (SHAs) are required to monitor the effects of fluoridation schemes on the health of persons living in the fluoridated area and publish reports containing an analysis of the effects on health at four-yearly intervals. The West Midland Public Health Observatory is leading on the compilation of a set of standard indicators which will enable comparisons to be made between the findings of different SHAs.
Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were removed from the national transplant list for kidneys without completing an organ transplant in each of the last three years for which figures are available. 
|(1) There are many reasons for removalfor example, condition improved, condition deteriorated. Patients can be reregistered following removal.|
Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of renal and transplant units are participating in national comparative audits and benchmarking by submitting data to the UK Renal Registry of the Renal Association and UK Transplant. 
Ann Keen: The Renal Registry is now collecting data on incidence and prevalence for 100 per cent. of United Kingdom renal units (with summary data being provided by the five non-linked sites in England). One hundred per cent. of transplant units submit data to UK Transplant.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families on the (a) provision of water in schools and (b) effect of dehydration on mental performance. 
The Department has not discussed with the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and
Families the provision of water in schools or the effect of dehydration on mental performance.
It is important that children develop a healthy diet, and a school plays an important role in helping to introduce and reinforce these behaviours. Through the national Healthy Schools programme run jointly between the Department, and the Department for Children, Schools and Families, schools are doing a lot of work to improve diet, for example by phasing out items which are low in nutritional value such as fizzy drinks. Teachers tell us that improved diet has had both health and other benefits such as calmer children who are better behaved and a ready to learn. Good hydration helps to reduce tiredness and irritability, and increases concentration. It also contributes to a more settled and productive learning environment.