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25 Oct 2007 : Column 566W—continued

25 Oct 2007 : Column 567W

Ann Keen: The commissioning of training of doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals is carried out as a partnership between the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), higher education institutions and the Department. Training for nursing, midwifery and allied health professions is funded on a contract basis by strategic health authorities and is delivered by a range of universities and colleges.

The required numbers of doctors and dentists entering training are set having considered for the future workforce requirements of the national health service.

For dentists, this has resulted in an expansion of dental school places from 670 to 840, and the opening of two new medical schools in Plymouth and Preston from this autumn.

For doctors, following a rapid expansion in medical student intake from 3,749 in 1997-98 to 6,194 in 2006-07, a decision was taken in July 2006 that no further expansion of medical school places was required. Medical student numbers will be kept under review taking account of the changing demographics of the workforce and the workforce requirements of the NHS.

It is the responsibility of employing NHS trusts to ensure that their staff are up to date and fit to practise. They should ensure that continuing professional development needs identified through regular appraisal are supported.

NHS: Information Services

Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what checks his Department and NHS trusts carry out on literature displayed in general practice waiting rooms and hospital out-patient departments to make sure that such literature contains only sound, evidence based information. [160745]

Ann Keen: Assuring the quality of information on display is the responsibility of local national health service organisations.

For information on the internet, the Department has developed NHS Choices as the primary health and social care information portal for the NHS. This information service contains evidence-based information on clinical conditions and treatments, drawn from sources such as NHS Direct and the National Electronic Library for Health.

Departmental officials have been working with patient groups to consider options for an Information Accreditation Scheme which would ‘kitemark’ organisations that produce health and social care information, in order to reassure people that the information they use comes from a reliable source.

NHS: Milton Keynes

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what spare capacity, expressed in patient numbers, is available for (a) under 18, (b) over 18 fee-paying and (c) over 18 charge-exempt people to register with each NHS practice in Milton Keynes. [159205]

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Ann Keen: The information requested is not held centrally.

NHS: Reorganisation

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the consultees to the interim report from the Our NHS Our Future exercise. [158743]

Ann Keen: Lord Darzi has:

The interim report is based on these views, visits and discussions.

NHS: Standards

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to reassign points in the clinical domain of the quality and outcomes framework to the access domain. [160267]

Mr. Bradshaw: NHS employers are responsible for negotiating changes to the General Medical Services contract with the British Medical Association's General Practitioners Committee, and they will be considering potential changes to the contract for 2008-09.

Ophthalmic Services: Expenditure

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total cost of ophthalmic services in each of the regions was in each of the last three years. [158908]

Ann Keen: As part of the annual accounts process, primary care trusts and strategic health authorities (SHA) now show total resource expenditure on both primary and secondary care services in each of 23 clinical areas. The following table shows the programme budget data on one of those categories, eye/vision problems. This should include expenditure on primary care services provided through the general ophthalmic services, which provide sight tests and optical vouchers to those patient groups entitled to these national health service services, as well as the cost of secondary and additional primary care services directly attributable to problems relating to the eye and vision. The cost of any general practitioners consultations involving eye or vision problems is not separately quantified and is therefore not included in this data.

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Programme budget data on expenditure on eye/vision problems in England, 2004-05 to 2006-07
SHA code SHA 2004-05( 1) 2005-06( 1) 2006-07


North East Health Authority (HA)





North West HA





Yorkshire and the Humber HA





East Midlands HA





West Midlands HA





East of England HA





London HA





South East Coast HA





South Central HA





South West HA








(1 )Data are configured to the 10 new strategic health authority areas; figures for 2004-05 and 2005-06 are obtained by grossing the figures from the former SHA configuration and may include some pro rata estimation.

Patient Safety Direct

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to establish Patient Safety Direct, as announced in his Department’s publication, Our NHS, Our Future, NHS Next Stage Review: Interim Report, gateway reference 8857, published 4 October. [158466]

Ann Keen: Patient Safety Direct is an opportunity to make it easier for front-line staff to report patient safety incidents. Currently the main line of reporting incidents is though the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) reporting and learning system. Patient Safety Direct will strengthen this reporting line by adding a new and more accessible portal for national health service staff and ultimately patients to use. The NPSA is scoping the work with all the various organisations which need to be involved. Plans will be developed in phase two of Lord Darzi’s NHS Next Stage Review and, following piloting, we expect to move to implementation by the end of 2008.

Patients: Standards

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the evidential basis is for the statement on page 15 of his Department’s NHS Next Stage Review: Interim Report, published on 4 October 2007, that 56 per cent. of hospital inpatients did not have the opportunity to speak to a doctor. [158475]

Ann Keen: The figure of 56 per cent. was derived from the Healthcare Commission’s 2006-07 National Patient Survey of Adult Inpatients. It refers to the proportion of patients who said that their family, or someone who cared for them, did not always have enough opportunity to talk to a doctor.

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Research for Innovation, Speculation and Creativity Funding Committee: Public Appointments

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health who the members were of the Research for Innovation, Speculation and Creativity Funding Committee on 13 September. [159925]

Dawn Primarolo: The members of the National Institute for Health Research's Research for Innovation, Speculation and Creativity awards panel are:


Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of resteosis there were between (a) 1990 and 2000 and (b) 2000 and 2006. [156163]

Ann Keen: The Department does not collect this data centrally.

Strategic Health Authorities: Reorganisation

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to restructure the regional boundaries of the strategic health authorities. [158185]

Ann Keen: As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on 4 July 2007, Official Report, column 962

Streptococcus: Pregnant Women

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 19 October 2007, Official Report, column 1400W, on Streptococcus: pregnant women, if he will take steps to bring the assessment of the most recent evidence on testing pregnant women for group B streptococcus forward in the ongoing programme of work of the UK National Screening Committee; and what method the Committee uses to disseminate the results of its work. [160975]

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Ann Keen: The UK National Screening Committee is planning to hold a stakeholder workshop in the spring of 2008 to consider the most recent evidence on screening pregnant women for carriage of group B Streptococcus. The outcome of the workshop will be made available through the national health service specialist screening library at

Suffolk Primary Care Trust: Pay

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent by Suffolk Primary Care Trust on salaries and wages for (a) general and senior managers, (b) nurses and midwives and (c) administrative and clerical staff in each year since its creation. [159222]

Ann Keen: Suffolk Primary Care Trust was established on 1 October 2006, therefore data are not available before then. Staff cost figures have been collected in the financial returns for 2006-07 but are still subject to validation. Figures should be available by the end of November 2007.

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Varicose Veins: Medical Treatments

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which primary care trusts fund endovenous laser treatment. [158817]

Mr. Bradshaw: The information requested is not collected centrally. Decisions to fund treatments are made by primary care trusts in consultation with healthcare professionals who are best placed to decide on the most appropriate treatments for their patients.

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