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Cardiovascular System: Screening

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what progress has been made by the Department of Health Vascular Programme Board in reviewing recommendations from the National Screening Committee on vascular risk assessment; and when the results of the review will be published; [177416]

(2) whether modelling of the economic consequences of different approaches to risk factor assessment and management has been undertaken and the options and the implications for NHS implementation considered as recommended by Sir Muir Gray and the National Screening Committee; [177418]

(3) what progress has been made in the Department's consideration of a more integrated approach to vascular risk assessment and management since the publication of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s draft guidance on lipid modification. [177419]

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Ann Keen: As announced by the Prime Minister in his speech about the national health service on 7 January, the Department will in the next few months bring forward proposals for a screening programme in the NHS to assess people for risk of vascular disease, including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and diabetes. This is a complex area, which requires a critical and systematic review of the evidence for a vascular risk assessment. The impetus for this work came in part from the National Screening Committee’s (NSC) recommendations, as well as from the chief medical officer’s department in the Department of Health. When the current phase of analysis and modelling yields its results, we intend to use it as part of our consultation with stakeholders on the development of these proposals. The work of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence on lipid modification is of considerable relevance to our plans for a wider programme of vascular risk assessment and we expect the two to be wholly complementary.

Cervical Cancer: Screening

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the process of liquid based cytology has now been implemented by all 142 laboratories that process cervical screening. [177415]

Ann Keen: As of November 2007, 88 per cent. of laboratories that process cervical screening samples in England had converted to liquid based cytology (LBC).

All primary care trusts have indicated that they will have introduced LBC by October 2008, in line with National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence and departmental guidance.

The number of inadequate tests has fallen from 9 per cent. in 2004-05 to 4.7 per cent. in 2006-07 as a direct result of the continued roll-out of LBC.


James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of organic probiotics in tablet form in reducing the risk of developing Clostridium difficile. [177517]

Ann Keen: There is currently insufficient clinical evidence to support the use of probiotics in any form for the prevention of Clostridium difficile infection.

Community Care: MRSA

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research he has commissioned or funded on home-based care for patients with (a) MRSA and (b) clostridium difficile. [177633]

Ann Keen: The Department of Health has not commissioned or supported any research on home based care for patient with methicillin resistant “Staphylococcus aureus” (MRSA) or “Clostridium difficile” to date.

However, we know that some national health service organisations are investigating the options for more home based care in relation to patients with MRSA.

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Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what legislation governs the sale of confectionery that contains alcohol. [179191]

Mr. Sutcliffe: I have been asked to reply.

In addition to the legislation covering the sale of goods and foodstuffs generally, there is also specific legislation under article 14 of Regulation (EC) 178/2002 which requires that the confectionery should not be unsafe, i.e. injurious to health or unfit for human consumption.

Furthermore, section 191 of the Licensing Act 2003 defines ‘alcohol’ for licensing purposes and includes a provision setting the maximum concentration of alcohol that may be sold in liqueur confectionery without an authorisation under the Act. This definition also applies in relation to offences of selling alcohol to minors (section 147), the consumption of alcohol by minors (section 150), delivering alcohol to minors (section 151), sending a child to obtain alcohol (section 152) and unsupervised alcohol sales by children (section 153). Additionally, section 148 of the 2003 Act creates offences of selling or supplying liqueur confectionery to children under 16.

Crimes of Violence: Mental Health Services

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if his Department will undertake research on whether there is a relationship between numbers of violent attacks on patients and staff in mental health wards and numbers of available beds on mental health wards. [178007]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department is not aware of evidence to suggest such a relationship and is not convinced that commissioning such research would be an effective use of resources.

Dental Services: Leicester

Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to increase the number of NHS dentists in Leicester. [177934]

Ann Keen: The dental reforms implemented in 2006 gave PCTs, for the first time, the responsibility for providing or commissioning dental services in their area. It is for PCTs to assess local needs, review current service provision and develop services to meet local needs. This information can therefore be obtained directly through the Leicester City Primary Care Trust.

Numbers of national health service dentists at primary care trust (PCT) and strategic health authority (SHA) level as at 31 March 1997 to 2006 are available in Annex E of the “NHS Dental Activity and Workforce Report, England: 31 March 2006”.

This information is based on the old contractual arrangements. This report, published on 23 August 2006, is available in the Library and is available also at:

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The numbers of NHS dentists at PCT and SHA level as at 30 June, 30 September, 31 December 2006 and 31 March 2007 are available in Table E1 of Annex 3 of the “NHS Dental Statistics for England: 2006-07” report. This information is based on the new dental contractual arrangements, introduced on 1 April 2006.

This report, published on 23 August 2007, is available in the Library and is also available at:

The inclusion of dentists on trust led contracts in the data collection following the 2006 reforms means that data collected since April 2006 cannot be directly compared with data collected under the previous system.

The methodology and frequency for reporting work force information are currently being reviewed. The purpose of the review is to ensure that, following experience of the first year of the new dental contract, figures provide an appropriate measure of the work force, given the way that the work force reporting system is being used by PCTs. An update on the review will be provided in the quarter 2 publication, due to be published in February 2008.

Both reports have been published by the Information Centre for health and social care.

Departmental Christmas Cards

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department spent on (a) Christmas cards and (b) postage of Christmas cards in 2007. [176920]

Mr. Bradshaw: The amount the Department spent on purchasing Christmas cards for 2007 (inclusive of VAT) was £4,478.27.

All expenditure incurred in the purchase and postage of official Christmas cards is made in accordance with the Department's guidance on financial procedures and propriety, based on principles set out in government accounting.

Separate figures for postage costs are not available, as some cards would have been included with other correspondence or would have been hand-delivered. The vast majority of those that were not included with correspondence were sent using second-class post.

Departmental Contracts

Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) objective and (b) value was of each contract placed with (i) Deloitte & Touche, (ii) Ernst & Young, (iii) KPMG, (iv) PricewaterhouseCoopers and (v) PA Consulting by his Department and its agencies in each year since 2004-05. [179025]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department does not collect information on consultants in the format requested. To do so would attract disproportionate cost.

A new system will be introduced in April 2008 called SHOWA, which will be able to gather such information for the Department.

Departmental Public Expenditure

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 4 December 2007, Official Report, column 1118W, on departmental public
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expenditure, how much (a) near cash, (b) non cash and (c) capital expenditure was moved from each year; and to which year it was moved in the reprofiling of the Department’s budgets. [178012]

Mr. Bradshaw: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 3 September 2007, Official Report, column 1867W to the hon. Member for Fareham (Mr. Hoban).

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to paragraph 6.2 of his Department’s resource accounts for 2006-07, for what reason the setting up of individual budget pilots was delayed, and by how long. [178272]

Mr. Bradshaw: The individual budgets underspend reported in the Department’s resource accounts was not due to any delay in setting up the pilots as mistakenly stated. Unspent funds in 2006-07 were carried forward for use to 2007-08.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to paragraph 12, page 33 of his Department’s resource accounts for 2006-07, which risks were (a) added to and (b) removed from his Department’s high-level risk register in 2006-07. [178276]

Mr. Bradshaw: The “Department of Health Departmental Report 2007” contains examples of key risk areas included on the Department’s risk register during 2006-07. A copy of the report is available in the Library.

The Department’s risk register is a live document which is continuously updated and informs advice to Ministers from senior officials in the Department, and discussions between the Department and top management in the national health service and social care about key issues in policy, resourcing and service management and development. The risk register is not a public document.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to paragraph 10, page 60 of his Department’s resource accounts for 2006-07, if he will break down the other non-cash items charged to operating expenditure. [178283]

Mr. Bradshaw: Other non-cash expenditure of £5,548,000 credited to operating expenditure can be analysed as follows;

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to paragraph 10, page 60 of his Department’s resource accounts for 2006-07, what stock items his Department was required to write-off; what bad debt expenses occurred; and what the value of each item was in each category. [178284]

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Mr. Bradshaw: The stock write-off and bad debt expenses of £3,728,000 can be analysed as follows;

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the publication of the NHS in England’s Operating Framework for 2008-09, how much of the addition to his Department’s baseline expenditure in 2008-09, set out on page 207 of the 2007 Pre-Budget Report and Comprehensive Spending Review, has not been allocated to primary care trusts, broken down into resource and capital resources. [178291]

Mr. Bradshaw: The following table shows the current disposition of additional funds for 2008-09.

Increases in national health service funding in 2008-09
£ billion
Total Allocated to primary care trusts (PCTs)

Total funding growth








(1) We do not allocate capital to PCTs
(2) Additional elements of revenue will be allocated to NHS bodies but budgets and allocation mechanisms are not yet finalised

Departmental Recycling

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much and what proportion of its waste his Department recycled in each of the last five years. [174422]

Mr. Bradshaw: On 12 June 2006, the Prime Minister and my right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Fisheries (David Miliband) announced revised sustainable operations targets for the Government estate. They focus on key areas such as carbon neutrality and emissions, energy efficiency, waste and water consumption.

The 2006 estate targets include:

These targets will apply for the reporting period April 2006 to March 2007 onwards.

Previous Government targets that applied to the Government estate were launched in March 2004 but have since been superseded by the new targets.

The Department has consistently exceeded the targets. Our performance over the past five years is as follows:

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Waste arisings (tonnes) Proportion recycled (percentage)
















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