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Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what effect the recent renegotiation of the Connecting for Health contract with BT has had on the (a) capital and (b) revenue costs of the programme; [172914]

(2) what change there has been in the value of the Connecting for Health contract with BT following the recent renegotiation; [172915]

(3) if he will make available the details of the renegotiation of the Connecting for Health contract with each of the local service providers. [172916]

Mr. Bradshaw: There has been no renegotiation of primary supplier contracts let by national health service Connecting for Health under the national programme for information technology, and no changes to their terms and conditions. There have, however, been ‘resets’ of the contracts. Reset is a normal, repeatable, process for contracts with a long lifetime to ensure that their ongoing delivery reflects progress to date, current priorities, and deployment plans for the future, and that they continue to support the evolving needs of the NHS. However, reset allows for the option of agreeing enhancements to existing services or functionality that does not effect a change in contract scope or risk allocation.

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In the course of the reset of the BT contract for London, new requirements and additional services were identified by the NHS, for which a separate business case and funding of £55 million—£41.8 million capital and £13.2 million revenue—over the lifetime of the contract was subsequently approved. This does not represent an increase in the original cost of the contract for the original specification, but reflects new requirements for additional functionality.


Derek Conway: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library a copy of the report prepared by KPMG and paid for by NHS London and the acute hospital trusts in outer South East London which provides analysis of the financial viability of the four acute hospital trusts in outer South East London. [172685]

Mr. Bradshaw: Currently officials within the Department are using the report in relation to current policy formulation and development.

With this in mind we are currently applying section 36 of the Freedom of Information Act to the report as the information would be likely to inhibit free and frank provision of advice and the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberations.

The results of this review process are being discussed with the strategic health authorities and solutions are being prepared in the context of the Operating Framework for 2008-09.

NHS: Private Finance Initiative

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations his Department received from HM Treasury in respect of (a) the planning and (b) the delivery of each project undertaken under the private finance initiative. [175352]

Mr. Bradshaw: HM Treasury regularly publishes guidance and reports on all aspects of the planning and delivery of private finance initiative (PFI) schemes in terms of evaluating business cases, ensuring value for money and developing standardised contract terms, which all Government Departments must follow. HM Treasury approval is required for all PFI business cases in the national health service exceeding £100 million.

HM Treasury also worked specifically with this Department on developing and conducting the reappraisal of all major NHS PFI schemes in procurement launched in January 2006.

NHS: Property

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much revenue has been received since May 1997 from the sale of NHS property. [170625]

Mr. Bradshaw: Details of national health service property sales are not held centrally. However, the information in the following table shows receipts from the sale of fixed assets including dwellings, plant and machinery, transport equipment, information technology, land, buildings and furniture and fittings during the period requested.

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Receipts from all fixed assets (£000)





















This information is collected on the cash receipts from the sale of fixed assets by the NHS through their annual audited summarisation schedules. The table does not include sales by NHS foundation trusts. Receipts include sales to other NHS organisations as well as to the private sector. Funds released from the disposal of fixed assets are capital in nature, and are therefore generally reinvested in local capital schemes.

NHS: Public Participation

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what account was taken of rurality in establishing the level of funding provided to each local authority to set up and run local involvement networks; [177011]

(2) what criteria were used to establish the level of funding provided to each local authority to set up and run local involvement networks. [177012]

Ann Keen: The allocations made to local authorities (LAs) to support the establishment of local involvement networks were based on two elements: a general baseline payment to all LAs with the rest allocated according to the relative needs formula.

The first element allocates a basic amount of £60,000 to each LA.

The remainder of the available funding is allocated according to the social care relative needs formulae. These are mathematical formulae designed to allocate funding for relevant services between LAs according to the needs of each LA relative to other LAs. They are a rigorously developed and accepted method of allocating funds to LAs (and are recognised by key organisations such as the Local Government Association). There are separate formulae for older people, younger adults and children. The formulae take into account the population in the LA area and other key factors. The older people’s formula consists of a basic amount per person aged 65 and over and top-ups for age, deprivation, sparsity, low income from fees and charges, and area costs. The younger adult’s formula consists of a basic amount per person aged 18-64 and top-ups for deprivation and area costs. The children’s formula consists of a basic amount per child aged 0-17 and top-ups for deprivation, foster costs and area costs.

NHS: Standards

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost of implementing the recommendations of Lord Darzi's report; and if he will make a statement. [172945]

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Mr. Bradshaw: Proposals for the provision of services are a matter for the national health service, working in conjunction with clinicians, patients and other stakeholders.

The projected costs of implementing the proposed models of care in London have been provided in the consultation document ‘Healthcare for London: consulting the capital’. These are estimated forecasts which are dependent on many factors over the next few years, such as demand on services, population growth, and the continued increase in the health care budget.

NHS: Telephone Services

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) which (a) organisations and (b) individuals his Department intends to consult on the possibility of introducing a new three-digit number for urgent care services, as stated in his Department’s NHS next stage review interim report, Our NHS, Our Future; [175029]

(2) how the NHS Next Stage Review will take forward the exploration of the possibility of introducing a single three-digit number for urgent care services, as described on page four of his Department’s document Urgent care update: Key areas highlighted by the Direction of Travel consultation and other work; [175031]

(3) whether a new three-digit number for urgent care services, as referred to in his Department’s NHS next stage review interim report, Our NHS, Our Future, will be delivered through NHS Direct. [175033]

Mr. Bradshaw: As part of the national health service next stage review, local clinical pathway groups are considering ways to improve the public’s understanding of how to access urgent care services. As the interim report of the review, published on 4 October, made clear, there may be benefit in adopting a three-digit number as a single point of access to urgent care. Various options are being considered.

The NHS Direct telephone advice service, which currently operates on 0845 4647, will shortly have to change its number. While it could move to an 03 number, we have had a preliminary discussion with Ofcom about the possibility of securing a three-digit number for NHS Direct. Any proposal would need to follow Ofcom’s normal process for consultation with the public.

Postal Services

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many items of post sent by his Department were reported missing by the intended recipient in each year since 1997. [171288]

Mr. Bradshaw: I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 21 November 2007, Official Report, column 1179. The review by the Cabinet Secretary and security experts is looking at procedures within departments and agencies for the storage and use of data. A statement on Department’s procedures will be made on completion of the review.

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Psychiatry: Standards

Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department has taken to promote understanding by general practitioners of the role of the therapeutic relationship in talking therapies. [175403]

Ann Keen: The educational and training curricula of general practitioners, including the therapeutic relationship in psychological therapies, is set and managed by the Royal College of General Practitioners, not by the Department.

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. Services are delivered at a local level, with funding for continuing professional development, including training in new therapies, included as part of the baseline allocation to strategic health authorities (SHAs).

Subject to the Multi-Professional Education and Training Levy Service Level Agreement, it is for each SHA to decide how to allocate this funding against their work force planning strategies.

Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what standards of (a) self-development and (b) qualifications psychological therapists will be required to meet under the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme. [175404]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Therapists delivering evidence-based psychological therapies will be required to reach different standards depending on the level of the therapy given and their prior experience. Those delivering high intensity interventions will be expected to reach the standard of a post-graduate qualification.

Therapists will receive supervision during and after training to develop and maintain their skills. The Department is undertaking work to specify the competencies for supervision and the training required to develop and implement the professional development required to deliver evidence-based psychological therapies.


Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health in which areas of the country additional radiotherapy equipment will be needed as stated in paragraph 4.27 of his Department’s Cancer Reform Strategy. [175125]

Ann Keen: This information is not held centrally.

The need for additional radiotherapy equipment was recognised as an area for development in the National Radiotherapy Advisory Group report, which recommended that 54,000 fractions per million of population by 2016 and that the current average was around 30,000 fractions with a range between 17,000-48,000 per million between networks.

It is for local determination whether additional equipment is needed or services are reconfigured to ensure that the network meets this recommendation by 2016.

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Screening: Finance

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money has been allocated to increase NHS provision of preventative screening in each of the next three financial years; and how much will be spent on each type of screening. [178310]

Dawn Primarolo: Detailed spending decisions are a matter for the local national health service.

Money will be allocated for the delivery of those policy commitments including the £3 million already announced.

Smoking: Prescription Drugs

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received on adverse reactions to the anti-smoking prescription drug Champix. [177304]

Dawn Primarolo: Varenicline (Champix) was first launched in the United Kingdom in December 2006 as a stop-smoking aid for adults. Since that time its safety has been monitored closely by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in conjunction with the European Medicines Agency.

To date over 1,400 reports of suspected adverse reactions have been received via the yellow card scheme in the UK. The reactions most commonly reported through the yellow card scheme are recognised side effects and are listed in the product information. The most commonly reported side effects are nausea, depression/depressed mood, headache, vomiting, and dizziness. It is important to note that the suspected reactions are not necessarily caused by the drug and may relate to other factors such as nicotine withdrawal, other illnesses or other medicines taken concurrently.

Recently concerns have arisen about reports of depression including suicidal thoughts and behaviour reported in association with the use of varenicline. These data have prompted a Europe wide review of this issue and careful consideration of the available data. Following the most recent consideration the varenicline product information for doctors and the Patient Information Leaflet is being updated to contain warnings that depression has been reported in patients who are trying to stop smoking using varenicline and
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that the symptoms of this depression may include suicidal thoughts and behaviour. In December 2007, information was posted on the MHRA website regarding this issue. Suicidal behaviour associated with the use of varenicline remains under close review in the UK and within Europe.

Tinnitus: Research

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent by the NHS on research into tinnitus in 2007. [178055]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State (Alan Johnson) to my hon. Friend the Member for North-West Leicestershire (David Taylor) on 12 September 2007, Official Report, column 2084W.

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