Previous Section Index Home Page

12 Sep 2007 : Column 2074W—continued

Nuclear Weapons: Procurement

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when development work began on the high surety warhead at Aldermaston; how much has been spent on the warhead; and what the total projected cost for the new warhead is. [155195]

Des Browne: There is no programme to develop a new warhead at AWE Aldermaston.

In section 7 of the December 2006 White Paper: The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent (Cmd 6994) we explained that decisions on whether and how we may need to refurbish or replace our current warhead are likely to be necessary in the next Parliament. As part of the work to inform those decisions we are now reviewing the optimum life of our existing warhead stockpile and identifying the range of replacement options that might be available.

Royal Military Academy: Charities

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what factors were taken into account in deciding not to waive the liability charge for the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Music on Fire charity. [152354]

Derek Twigg: Under Government Finance Accounting Regulations, there are no special arrangements for the treatment of charities, whether Service or other. The fact that a charity is to be the main beneficiary of a good or service is not sufficient justification to introduce a special charging regime or to set charges aside.

Under normal charging arrangements full costs would be levied for an event such as the Music on Fire event held by the Army Benevolent Fund (ABF) at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on 22, 23 and 24 September 2006. However, in view of the fact that the ABF works on behalf of ex-Service personnel, a
12 Sep 2007 : Column 2075W
case for abatement was agreed whereby the MOD subsidised the cost of hosting this event. The contract drawn up between the MOD and the ABF stated that the charge would be 15 per cent. of the net profit from the event or the direct costs to the MOD, whichever was greater.

Minister for Women

Equal Pay

Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what the gender pay gap was for part-time employees in (a) the public sector and (b) the private sector in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [147149]

Ms Harman: I have been asked to reply.

In 2006, the gender pay gap for part-time employees was 39.3 per cent. in the public sector and 44.1 per cent. in the private sector. This is the gap between the median hourly pay, excluding overtime, of men working full-time and women working part-time, taken from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings.

Females: Criminal Proceedings

Lynne Jones: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what recent discussions she has had with colleagues in the Ministry of Justice on implementing the recommendations of the Corston report. [150907]

Ms Harman: I have been asked to reply.

In drafting my Command Paper 7183 Priorities for the Ministers for Women I consulted with the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice on women offenders and women at risk. Officials from the Women and Equality Unit are working with the Ministry of Justice and other Government Departments on a joined up Government response to Baroness Corston's report.

Public Sector: Equal Pay

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what progress is being made to ensure equal pay for women working in the public sector. [149200]

Ms Harman: I have been asked to reply.

Since 1997, the gender pay gap in the public sector has fallen by five percentage points and now stands at nine per cent. based on median, full-time hourly pay.

The public sector gender equality duty, which came into force in April, includes a requirement for public authorities to set out their overall gender equality objectives and to consider the need to have objectives to address the causes of any differences between the pay of men and women related to their sex.

The Public Services Forum (PSF), set up to promote dialogue between Government, trade unions and employers on public service workforce reform issues, has agreed to consider the Government's Action Plan Implementing the Women and Work Commission recommendations at its next meeting in October, and to discuss the links between increasing women's access to wider career options, flexible reward systems and equal
12 Sep 2007 : Column 2076W
pay. The Government's commitment on fair and equal pay is embedded within the PSF Pay and Reward Principles.

The Government continue to monitor equal pay across the public sector.


Care Homes

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether recent action has been taken to remove the restrictions on local authorities in England which do not allow them to make and pay for residential placements in Scotland and Northern Ireland. [155333]

Alan Johnson: Under section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948 English local authorities only have powers to place people in residential care in England and Wales. However, we wish to change this to enable local authorities to make cross-border placements.

Under section 56 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001, the Secretary of State for Health has the power to make regulations to enable local authorities to make placements in other parts of the United Kingdom.

Discussion between the Department and opposite numbers in countries covered by section 56 have revealed that because of the very different care regimes in these countries, this would be much more complex and difficult to make than originally thought. The Department is considering these difficulties and how to deal with them.

Dental Services: Cornwall

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dental patients were treated in Cornwall in each year since 1997. [155343]

Alan Johnson: Information is not held in the format requested.

Information is available on the number of patients registered with a dental practice to receive national health service care and treatment, for the period up to 31 March 2006. Numbers of patients registered as at 31 March 1997 to 31 March 2006 are available in annex A of the “NHS Dental Activity and Workforce Report England: 31 March 2006”.

Information is available at strategic health authority (SHA) and primary care trust (PCT) level in England. Annex C of the above report also includes numbers of registrations at parliamentary constituency level.

This report is available in the Library and is also available on-line at:

Since April 2006, patients no longer have to register with a dental practice to receive NHS care and treatment. Instead, data are collected on the number of patients receiving NHS dental services (patients seen) in a given area over a 24-month period. This is not directly comparable to the registration data for earlier years when patients registered for a 15 month period.

12 Sep 2007 : Column 2077W

The number of patients seen in the 24 month period ending 31 March 2006 and 31 March 2007 are available in table C1 of annex 3 of the “NHS Dental Statistics for England 2006-07” report. Information is available at SHA and PCT level in England.

This report is available in the Library and is also available on-line at:

Dental Services: Finance

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding was allocated for providing general dental services (GDS) and personal dental services (PDS) dentistry in 2006-07 net of patient charge income; and how much was spent on GDS and PDS dentistry in 2006-07. [155238]

Alan Johnson: The total funding allocation for primary dental care services in England in 2006-07, and provisional data on expenditure on those services by primary care trusts (PCTs), are set out in the following table. Primary dental care services comprise general dental and personal dental services commissioned by PCTs from independent dental providers and national health service trusts, and salaried dental services managed directly by PCTs.

12 Sep 2007 : Column 2078W
Primary dental care services funding, England, 2006-07
£ million

Primary dental service allocation, net of patient charge income


Primary care trust expenditure on primary dental care services, net of patient charge income


(1 )Provisional data
Locally audited PCT summarisation schedules, 2006/07, but data are subject to further audit and checking by the Department of Health and by the National Audit Office.

Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust: Waiting Lists

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients in the Gloucestershire primary care trust (PCT) had waited longer than 18 weeks between general practitioner referral and hospital treatment in each quarter since the PCT’s establishment. [155305]

Alan Johnson: Information on the number of patients for Gloucestershire primary care trust (PCT) who had waited longer than 18 weeks since the PCT’s establishment in October 2006 is provided in the following table.

Referral to treatment (RTT) data for admitted patients for Gloucestershire PCT
Month Number of admitted patients treated over 18 weeks Percentage admitted patients treated over 18 weeks Data completeness assessment (percentage)

January 2007




February 2007




March 2007




April 2007




May 2007




June 2007




n/a = not available.
1. RTT data were not collected centrally prior to January 2007.
2. Data relate to admitted patients only, i.e. patients whose 18 week pathway ended with an in-patient/day case admission.
3. A data completeness assessment is published alongside the reported RTT figures each month in order to aid interpretation of this relatively new set of data. The measure compares the number of pathways reported against an existing data collection. Nationally, data completeness was at 70 per cent. for June 2007.
4. Data for non-admitted patients (patients whose 18 week pathway did not end with an in-patient/day case admission) have been collected since April 2007 but are not yet published.
Monthly RTT data collection (published)

Health Services: Suffolk

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when he expects to publish the terms of reference for the Independent Reconfiguration Panel's review of Suffolk Primary Care Trust's plans for health services in Sudbury; [155177]

(2) whether under the terms of reference of the Independent Reconfiguration Panel's review of Suffolk Primary Care Trust's plans for health services in Sudbury, Sudbury WATCH will be given the opportunity to address the panel. [155178]

Alan Johnson: The Independent Reconfiguration Panel's (IRP) terms of reference in relation to the referral from Suffolk Health Scrutiny Committee have not been agreed, although we expect them to be available shortly.

As part of a formal review, the IRP will consult with interested parties from all sides of the debate. IRP members will undertake site visits, hold meetings and interviews and request written evidence from interested parties.

Influenza: Vaccination

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure sufficient supply of seasonal influenza vaccine for the 2007-08 winter. [155239]

Alan Johnson: The Department meets with representatives from UK Vaccine Industry Group each year to discuss flu vaccine requirements for the United Kingdom. On 24 July 2007, Professor David Salisbury, Director of Immunisation wrote to the profession saying that over 15 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine would be available for distribution in the United Kingdom.

12 Sep 2007 : Column 2079W

Maternity Services: Manpower

Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the ratio is of maternity nurses to births in each health authority area. [155287]

Alan Johnson: The ratio of births to maternity nurses by Government region is as shown in the following table:

Region Ratio

North East


North West


Yorkshire and Humberside


East Midlands


West Midlands






South East


South West




Figures based on the Information Centre for health and social care’s workforce census 2006 and from the national health service maternity statistics for England 2005-06.

Next Section Index Home Page