Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department has produced on mergers between an NHS foundation trust and a non-foundation NHS trust; what his policy is on the treatment of non-foundation NHS trust historic deficits when merging with a NHS foundation trust; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Monitor (the statutory name of which is the independent regulator of national health service foundation trusts) has issued guidance which address mergers and also acquisitions involving NHS foundation trusts (NHSFTs). These are available on Monitor's website at:
Where an NHS trust and NHSFT come together the normal practice has been to deal with these by acquisition rather than merger. The assets and liabilities of the NHS trust transfer intact at their balance sheet value. These values will reflect the impact of historic surpluses or deficits.
The Department is currently working with Monitor and others on the development of guidance on NHS corporate transactions. This guidance is described in further detail on page 54 of the 2008-09 Operating Framework for the NHS in England.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the financial position of (a) Barnet Primary Care Trust, (b) Barnet Chase Farm NHS Trust and (c) Royal Free NHS Trust (i) was at the end of 2006-07 and (ii) is expected to be at the end of (1) 2007-08 and (2) 2008-09; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The following table shows the final accounts for 2006-07 and the quarter 2 2007-08 forecast outturn position for Barnet primary care trust (PCT), Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust and Royal Free Hampstead NHS trust. Information on the financial plans for 2008-09 is not collected centrally.
|2006-07 final accounts surplus/(deficit)
|2007-08 quarter 2 forecast outturn surplus/(deficit)
1. Information in the table provided is already in the public domain and in the Library.
2. An initial high level financial plan for 2008-09 will be collected by the Department on the 31 January. This will be followed by a full collection on the 3 March, and it is planned that these will be signed off by the 31 March.
3. In 2006-07, the system of cash brokerage and planned support that had previously operated across the NHS, was replaced for NHS trusts by a formal system of interest-bearing loans. This is consistent with moving trusts to a foundation trust regime where they need to borrow for working capital needs.
Audited summarisation schedules 2006-07.
Department of Health financial returns 2007-08.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost was of posting the Ipsos MORI NHS questionnaire and reply envelopes by first class post;
and what estimate was made of the cost of sending the questionnaires and replies by second class post. 
Mr. Bradshaw: It is not possible to provide a detailed breakdown of postal or other individual costs involved in the general practitioner patient survey as these relate to the commercial contract with Ipsos MORI. However we can assure that the postal survey was achieved at a substantially discounted rate. First class post has been used as independent expert evidence on postal surveys has shown this to be more effective in administering successful surveys including increased response rates and reducing the need for reminders (and therefore costs).
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average salary of a (a) newly qualified nurse, (b) qualified nurse and (c) nurse consultant in Barnet was in (i) 1997 and (iii) 2007; and if he will make a statement. 
It is not possible to distinguish between a newly qualified nurse and a qualified nurse in order to calculate an average salary. Data for nurse and nurse consultant pay are not collected by primary care trust area.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps are taken by the Food Standards Agency to ensure that advice offered to the public on nutrition is compatible with the principles of sustainable development. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Agency seeks to take sustainable development into account in its activities and policy decisions, including nutritional advice to the public. This commitment is supported by training and written guidance for staff on applying the principles of sustainable development.
Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the answer of 14 March 2007, Official Report, column 447W, on osteoporosis, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that strategic health authorities spend the capital provision for dual x-ray absorptiometer scanning provision for that purpose. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The capital provision of £17 million to improve national health service capacity in dual X-ray absorptiometer (DXA) scanning provision in the diagnosis of osteoporosis has been included in strategic health authorities (SHAs) strategic capital allocation and is not ring fenced. While the Department does not monitor how SHA strategic capital is spent, it has been clear in its expectations that this funding is spent exclusively on DXA provision. In May 2006, the National Director for Older People, Professor Ian Philp, wrote to SHAs to highlight the importance of DXA scanning in delivering the relevant elements of the National Service Framework for Older People.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress is being made by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in the appraisal of drugs for osteoporosis; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) received four appeals against its two Final Appraisal Determinations (FADs) on treatments for the primary and secondary prevention of osteoporotic fragility fractures in postmenopausal women.
The appeals were heard by NICEs Appeal Panel on 22 October 2007. The Appeal Panel upheld the appeals and referred both FADs back to the Appraisal Committee to reconsider its guidance. NICE expects to publish final guidance later in 2008.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether all patients must be offered access to a consultant within 13 weeks of referral under the choose and book system; whether it is possible to book appointments more than 13 weeks ahead under the choose and book system; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: For the past two years, the national health service has had in place an operational standard for a maximum 13-week wait from general practitioner (GP) referral to first out-patient appointment with a consultant. All patients can expect this minimum standard of access regardless of how the referral is made.
The choose and book system can facilitate the booking of appointments more than three weeks ahead. It is the responsibility of providers to ensure that they publish sufficient appointment slots on the system to enable GPs and patients to directly book into these slots.
Dawn Primarolo: Revenue raised from national health service prescription charges collected by pharmacists, appliance contractors and from prescription prepayment certificate fees, in England, are accounted for by financial year. The data requested is shown in the following table:
|Prescription charge revenue (£ millions)
1. Prescription charge income prior to 2001-02 drawn from cash data in appropriation accounts. 2001-02 and subsequent years' data drawn from resource data in summarised accounts.
2. The 2006-07 figure excludes prescription charges collected by dispensing doctors, which are not collected centrally, but remains with primary care trusts.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when information on the number of pressure ulcer incidents which have occurred in the last five years will be available; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether funding was made available by the Government to primary care trusts to cover the cost of reimbursing nursing care charges arising from appeals tribunals. 
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many radiotherapy linear accelerators for cancer treatment are in use in each acute hospital trust in the eastern region; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: As at the 30 November 2007, there were 31 linear accelerators for cancer treatment installed in six trusts in the East of England Strategic Health Authority region. The following table identifies the individual trusts where the machines are installed.
|Name of trust
|Number of linear accelerators installed
Health Protection Agency November 2007
Mr. Bradshaw: The Royal Free Hampstead NHS trust has received the support of the Secretary of State to make an application to Monitor (the statutory name of which is the independent regulator of national health service foundation trusts) to be considered for authorisation as a NHS foundation trust. Subject to meeting Monitors criteria for assessment, the trust will be authorised on 1 March 2008.