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30 Oct 2007 : Column 1220W—continued

30 Oct 2007 : Column 1221W

Emergency Services: Telephone Services

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to establish a single three-digit number for access to urgent care services, as stated on page 27 of his Department’s NHS Next Stage Review, published on 4 October 2007. [158476]

Mr. Bradshaw: This concept of a single three-digit number for access to urgent care services was stated in both Lord Darzi’s report “Healthcare for London: A Framework for Action and the NHS Next Stage Review”.

We are considering whether the concept of a single three-digit number for urgent care would help the public in understanding how to access services when they need urgent care. The discussions and findings of the acute clinical pathway groups will inform the direction of this work.

The aim is that whatever number people ring, it is memorable for them and they can be confident that they will get a rapid and safe assessment of their needs and an appropriate response to meet those needs. We are exploring in the coming weeks how best to achieve this aim.

Eyesight: Testing

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of children under the age of 16 years in (a) England, (b) the east of England and (c) Suffolk have taken up free NHS sight tests. [161191]

Ann Keen: 21.8 per cent. of children under the age of 16 years received an national health service sight test in the year ending 31 March 2007.

Information on children under 16 years will be available at strategic health authority and primary care trust level in the publication “General Ophthalmic Services: Activity Statistics for England and Wales: April 2007-September 2007”. This will be published by March 2008.

General Practitioners

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many single-doctor medical practices there were in each year since 2000; and if he will make a statement. [161479]

Mr. Bradshaw: The information requested is contained in the following table.

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Single handed general practitioner (GP) providers( 1) in England as at 2000-06
England Number (headcount)















(1)A single handed GP provider is one who has no partners although may employ a GP Registrar or GP retainer
The Information Centre for health and social care General and Personal Medical Services Statistics

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 15 October 2007, Official Report, column 913W, on general practitioners, whether Lord Darzi will examine the (a) clinical and (b) access domain in his consideration of the Quality and Outcomes Framework; and if he will make a statement. [160182]

Mr. Bradshaw: The National Health Service Next Stage Review Interim Report announced that there will be a review of primary care and community services to improve access, personalisation, effectiveness, fairness and choice. As indicated in the interim report, this review will address among other issues how to reshape incentives in the contractual arrangements for primary medical care to provide a stronger focus on health outcomes and continuous quality improvements. This is likely to mean looking at all the different domains of the Quality and Outcomes Framework.

General Practitioners: Training

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many GPs in (a) Lancashire and (b) England were invited by their primary care trusts to attend courses to update their skills in each year since 2000. [161478]

Mr. Bradshaw: This information is not collected centrally.

Post-registration training needs for national health service staff are determined against local NHS priorities, through appraisal processes and training needs analyses informed by local delivery plans and the needs of the service.

Access to training is affected by a number of factors such as the availability of funding, whether staff can be released, the availability of appropriate training interventions, mentors and assessors.

As part of the Government’s review of regulation, we are proposing to introduce revalidation for all doctors to ensure that their knowledge and skills are up to date.

Genetically Modified Organisms: Animal Feed

Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which genetically modified products may be sold in UK markets for animal feed. [161741]

Dawn Primarolo: European Commission Regulation 1829/2003 on genetically modified (GM) food and feed controls the marketing of genetically modified organism products across the European Union. Authorisations under this Regulation currently cover animal feed obtained from 12 types of GM maize, 5 types of GM cotton, 3 types of GM oilseed rape,
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1 type of GM sugarbeet, 1 type of GM soya and 2 types of GM yeast. The following table gives more detail about these products.

Genetically modified organism Transformation event Characteristics

Genetically modified maize


Insect resistant and herbicide tolerant


Insect resistant and herbicide tolerant


Herbicide resistant


Insect resistant


Insect resistant

MON863 x NK603

Insect resistant and herbicide tolerant

MON863 x MON810

Insect resistant


Herbicide tolerant

NK603 x MON810

Insect resistant and herbicide tolerant


Herbicide tolerant

DAS1507 x NK603

Insect resistant and herbicide tolerant


Insect resistant and herbicide tolerant

Genetically modified cotton


Herbicide tolerant


Insect resistant

MON15985 x MON1445

Insect resistant and herbicide tolerant


Insect resistant

MON531 x MON1445

Insect resistant and herbicide tolerant

Genetically modified oilseed rape


Herbicide tolerant

MS8, RF3, MS8 x RF3

Herbicide tolerant and sterile


Herbicide tolerant

Genetically modified soya


Herbicide tolerant

Genetically modified sugar beet


Herbicide tolerant

Genetically modified micro-organisms

pCABL-Bacterial biomass

Bacterial protein, by-product from the production by fermentation of L-Lysine HCI obtained from (Brevibacterium lactofermentum) the recovered killed micro-organisms.

pMT742 or pAK729-Yeast biomass

Product produced from genetically modified yeast strains (Saccharomyces cerevisiae)

Health Education: Alcoholic Drinks

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the Government spent on alcohol information campaigns in each year since 1997; and how much it plans to spend in the next 12 months. [159804]

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Dawn Primarolo: The following table sets out the cost of public health information campaigns and publicity on sexual health, teenage pregnancy and alcohol in each year from 1997 to 2005.

Alcohol campaign (£ million)














We only have financial information on alcohol expenditure for the last four years, as data pre-2002-03 were held on an old financial system, which is no longer accessible.

There has been no major campaign expenditure on alcohol consumption in the financial years 1997 to 2005, so costs given relate to literature and website activity only.

Expenditure for 2006-07 is shown in the following table.

Financial year 2006-07

Home Office


Department of Health


Total budget


The figures do not include website and distribution at about £4 million, which would be split equally between the two departments.

For the financial year 2007-08, the Department is committed to spending £6 million and the Home Office are allocating £3.5 million of their central marketing budget to alcohol harm reduction.

Health Services

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what central assumptions his Department makes in its projections for planning for demand for health services about current (a) mean and (b) median (i) fertility, (ii) average age at marriage and (iii) marriage rates of each gender. [161833]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department does not make assumptions on these issues. However, according to the Office for National Statistics assumptions of fertility rates are required for national population projections. The most recent national population projections, based on the population at the middle of 2006, were published on 23 October 2007. Details of the central fertility assumptions for the United Kingdom and its constituent countries are available at:

Projections of the population by legal marital status are only produced at England and Wales level. The most recent population projections by marital status
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are based on the population at the middle of 2003 and were published in March 2005. Details of the marriage rate assumptions are available at:

Health Services: Elderly

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department has taken to increase accessibility of health care services to senior citizens since 1997. [159524]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: In March 2001, the Department published the “National Service Framework (NSF) for Older People’s Services”. The NSF is at the centre of the Government’s response to meeting the health and social care needs of an ageing population in England. Standard one of the NSF stated that, national health services will be provided, regardless of age, on the basis of clinical need alone. Social care services will not use age in their eligibility criteria or policies, to restrict access to available services.

Good progress has already been made with increased access to health services for old-age related conditions such as stroke, scanning for risk of fractures, hip, knee and cataract surgery. Mechanisms are in place also to ensure that services for older people continue to improve. These include work force development, information technology to implement electronic personal care records, independent inspection of health, social care and council services, the publication of evidence based guidelines, further research and local champions committed to improving the health and care of older people.

This year the Department published “A Recipe for Care not A Single Ingredient”. This reinforced the need for specialist services for older people, as outlined in the NSF, and focused on bringing care closer to home and reducing the need for acute hospital care whenever needed.

The Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) was introduced in 2004 as part of the General Medical Services contract. Many of the clinical areas within the QOF cover areas which impact on older patients.

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