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National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people are employed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence; and what its budget is for 2007-08. [151767]

Dawn Primarolo: Information on the number of people employed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is not held by the Department. NICE is an independent body and should be contacted direct for this information. In 2007-08, NICE'S total budget is £35.05 million, of which £33,349 million was funding direct from the Department.

NHS Foundation Trusts

Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of foundation hospitals whose boards met wholly in private; and what percentage this figure represents of the total number of foundation hospitals. [151511]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department does not hold this information. Legislation governing national health service foundation trusts allows them to open board of governors meetings to the public. There is no equivalent provision for meetings of the board of directors. The way in which these meetings are conducted is a matter for individual trusts. Directors would need to justify decisions on the conduct of their
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meetings with governors, who can hold directors to account for the performance of the trust and are responsible for communicating with the membership community information relating to the performance of the organisation.

NHS Trusts: Eastern Region

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost to the public purse has been of (a) early retirement and (b) redundancy agreements for (i) chief executives and (ii) executive directors who were not reappointed following reorganisation of the primary care trusts and NHS trusts in the eastern region. [149464]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 17 July 2007]: The costs of early retirement and redundancy payments are not collected centrally.

NHS: Cost-effectiveness

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence appraises the cost-effectiveness of the price paid for treatments by the NHS; [151476]

(2) what assessment he has made of the likely impact on the NHS of the provision of a range of discounts for erythropoietin in National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance. [151477]

Dawn Primarolo: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) ‘Guide to the methods of technology appraisal’, describes all aspects of appraisal methodology, including the principles and methods of health technology assessment. The Guide states that “estimates of...prices for particular resources should be used consistently across appraisals”, and that the Institute uses the “public list price” of a treatment when conducting its appraisals.

The Guide is published on the NICE website at:

NICE is currently undertaking a review of its ‘Guide to the methods of technology appraisal’, which underpins the technology appraisal programme. NICE expects to commence a three-month public consultation on its findings in November 2007.

NICE’s technology appraisal guidance on the use of erythropoietin analogues in the management of cancer treatment induced anaemia is due to be published in November 2007. The appraisal is being conducted in line with NICE’s published methodology.

NHS: Email

Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the expected cost is of converting the NHS e-mail system to Microsoft Exchange; and what added functions will be provided by the new system. [150561]

Mr. Bradshaw: NHSmail first went live October 2004. There are over 260,000 NHSmail users registered for the national health service e-mail and directory service which is increasing every week with an average of one million messages sent or received across the NHSmail platform daily.

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Since 2004 the technological and market environment has changed significantly. A number of opportunities for technology refresh were built into the original NHSmail contract. The move to Microsoft Exchange is the first of those. The cost of the transition will not exceed the existing programme budget. Costs have been controlled partly by the licences gained through the renewal of the enterprise agreement with Microsoft and partly through the reuse of existing infrastructure.

The move to Exchange will deliver new functionality and improved usability to NHSmail users. These include full mobile access via an extensive range of wireless devices, facilitating access to the many peripatetic workers in the NHS, full support for shared calendar use between doctors and managers, easier navigation between screens and functions, and the ability to share contacts between users. Exchange will also enable much faster recovery should any event impact one of the two data centres.

NHSmail carries out annual user surveys, and the Exchange-based service meets all of the most common requests for change reflected in survey results.

Other additional features are currently under consideration, such as instant messaging, which we believe will further increase the service appeal to NHS staff. As a result of this and the features described above, early contact with NHS trusts and NHS staff indicates that the transition to Exchange is likely to increase NHSmail user take-up above the current rate of 5,000 new users per month.

NHS: Finance

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the accuracy of data used to calculate local health allocations. [149779]

Mr. Bradshaw: Revenue allocations to primary care trusts are informed by a fair funding formula. The formula is overseen by an independent body, the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (ACRA). ACRA’s role is to ensure equity in resource allocation. In order to achieve this objective, ACRA ensures that the most up-to-date, accurate and robust data available at the time of making allocations are used in the formula.


Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make a statement on the future of Cerner’s products and services within the NHS IT system; [150472]

(2) in which NHS hospitals Cerner’s Millennium product is working satisfactorily; and if he will make a statement on the expected roll out programme; [150473]

(3) if he will make an evaluation of the effectiveness of Cerner’s Millennium system. [150474]

Mr. Bradshaw: Cerner is the chosen subcontractor of two of the local service providers (LSPs) under the national programme for information technology in the national health service, Fujitsu in the South and BT in London, for the provision of secondary care systems.

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In the South, six health communities have to date gone live with the Cerner Millennium system provided through the national programme. Each health community typically comprises an acute NHS trust and the associated primary care trust sites in its area. Details are provided in the following table.

Trust name Total users Peak users Average users Go live date

Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust




25 September 2006

Milton Keynes General Hospital NHS Trust




24 February 2007

Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre NHS Trust




22 December 2005

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust




20 April 2007

Weston Area Health NHS Trust




29 July 2006

Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust




10 February 2007





To date, 1.4 million patient records have been entered in the systems in use in the South.

Five further systems are planned to go live in the South during 2007, 24 in 2008, and 19 in 2009. In London, three Millennium deployments are planned in 2007, the first, at Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals Trust, due to go live before the end of July, and a further four in 2008. Go live dates in each strategic health authority (SHA) area are determined by agreement with the NHS bodies concerned.

The Millennium system is a robust product built on modern architecture, with greater patient data security and stability than older systems. It is used in many other countries and currently has a worldwide patient base of some 100 million patients. The version of Millennium being deployed through the national programme is based on that purchased in 2005 by two London NHS hospital trusts, the Homerton, and Newham University Hospitals Trusts. This version, release 0, contains the patient administration service functionality, is compliant with Choose and Book, and has the ability to order pathology tests and radiological diagnoses, and receive the reports. Subsequent releases will include ever greater functionality, particularly clinical functionality, bringing increasing benefits to patients and those who treat them.

Current users of the Homerton and Newham systems, who have had two years to become familiar with the system and to make local improvements, have expressed their satisfaction with the system. Further positive feedback has been received from a number of users, especially nurses.

Though the current Millennium release version has less functionality than that of certain advanced alternative systems in some trusts, this limitation is a necessary step in building up a fully integrated secondary care system through subsequent releases. Meanwhile, NHS Connecting for Health and SHAs are working closely with the LSPs and Cerner to further develop and improve the product, its functionality, and its ease of use.

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NHS: Manpower

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people are employed in the NHS in (a) England and (b) Suffolk; and what percentage of each is employed in (i) management, (ii) administrative, (iii) scientific, (iv) research, (v) clinical medical, nursing and midwifery and (vi) other roles. [150544]

Mr. Bradshaw: This information is shown in the table. The annual workforce census does not separately identify research staff.

Qualified ambulance staff have been excluded as the East of England Ambulance Service Trust falls within the Suffolk region, but serves a much wider area. Consequently the number of ambulance staff in Suffolk is much higher than would be expected, which also distorts the percentages in the other staff group areas.

National health service staff in England and Suffolk by specified staff group, as at 30 September 2006
England Percentage Of which : Suffolk Percentage

All NHS staff(1)





Frontline Medical Staff(2)





of which

HCHS Doctors(3)










Qualified Nurses (incl. Midwifery, Health Visitors and Practice Nurses)





Qualified scientific, therapeutic and technical staff





Qualified ambulance staff

Clerical and administrative staff





Managers and senior managers










(1 )The figures for Suffolk are based on 2006 Primary Care Trust and trust boundaries and consists of Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, Suffolk Mental Health Partnership Trust, Suffolk PCT, West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust and East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
(2 )Front line medical staff includes HCHS doctors, general medical practitioners, qualified nurses (including GP practice nurses), qualified scientific, therapeutic & technical staff and Qualified ambulance staff.
(3 )Excludes medical hospital practitioners and medical clinical assistants, most of whom are general practitioners (GPs) working part time in hospitals.
(4 )General Medical practitioners includes GP providers, GP others, GP retainers and GP registrars.
Annual Workforce Census

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