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31 Jan 2008 : Column 640W—continued

Dentistry: Pensions

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what pension entitlements are provided to NHS (a) dentists and (b) dental nurses. [180028]

Ann Keen: Dentist performers working in independent practices have access to practitioner benefits under the national health service pension scheme. These are calculated on a career average re-valued earnings basis of 1.4 per cent. of their total pensionable pay with a fixed lump sum of 4.2 per cent. of total pensionable pay. Dental nurses employed by independent practices are not entitled to membership of the NHS pension scheme.

Salaried dentists and dental nurses directly employed by NHS trusts or primary care trusts qualify for benefits calculated on the best year of the last three years pensionable pay. This provides a pension based on 1/80 of their salary for each year of service with a fixed lump sum of three times the pension.

All such members have a normal pension age of 60.

Diabetes: Greater London

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people had a diagnosis of diabetes in (a) Romford, (b) Greater London and (c) Essex (i) in the latest period for which figures are available and (ii) in 1997. [179653]

Ann Keen: The information is not available in the format requested. The quality and outcomes framework (QOF) part of the general practitioner (GP) contract requires practices to record the number of patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes. Only patients aged 17 and over are included, as patients younger than that are considered to need specialist care that would not be provided by a GP. Therefore, all figures given underestimate the number of diabetics. Furthermore, data are not available for Romford, Greater London or Essex as they are not national health service organisations. Data are not available for 1997 as the GP contract was only introduced in the financial year 2004-05. However:

Coverage of QOF patients will only contribute to the figures in QOF if they are registered with a general practice participating in QOF.


Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many pilot projects there are of individual budgets for older people. [180435]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Of the 13 individual budget pilot sites in England, eight sites have included older people.

General Practitioners: Colchester

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will hold an inquiry into all circumstances relating to the building of the Bluebell Surgery at Highwoods, Colchester to establish (a) the reasons for the time taken and (b) who is responsible; what additional costs have been incurred by the national health service as a result of the time taken; and when he expects the surgery and associated Bluebell Centre facilities to open. [182785]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Primary care trusts (PCTs) have management responsibility for the delivery of primary medical care; including issues around existing practice premises and the development of any new practice premises. The issues the hon. Member raises are therefore local matters for North East Essex Primary Care Trust.

General Practitioners: Tamworth

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many GPs are practising in Tamworth constituency. [179388]

Ann Keen: The information requested is not held centrally. Data are held on the numbers of general practitioners (GPs) practicing within primary care trust (PCT) areas. Tamworth constituency falls within South Staffordshire PCT area. As at 30 September 2006, the latest date for which figures are available, there were 343 GPs practicing within South Staffordshire PCT. This figure excludes retainers and registrars.

Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust: Palliative Care

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money his Department has provided to Gloucestershire primary care trust for palliative care in each of the last five years for which figures are available; what the projected amounts for forthcoming financial years are; how much of these amounts are ring-fenced in each case; and if he will make a statement. [183497]

Ann Keen: In 2003-04 Ministers set up a central budget, lasting for three years, of £50 million per annum for specialist palliative care. The budget was
31 Jan 2008 : Column 642W
allocated pro rata to the cancer networks throughout the country to develop local services. Gloucestershire primary care trust (PCT) was part of the Three Counties Cancer Network which received £928,000 per annum between 2003-04 and 2005-06. The £50 million was made recurrent in PCT baseline allocations from 2006-07.

PCTs are responsible within the national health service for commissioning and funding services for their resident population, including end of life care. It is for PCTs to determine how to use the funding allocated to them to meet the health care needs of their local populations and the Department does not have figures for individual PCT expenditure on palliative care.

Health Services

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when his Department intends to issue guidance on the duty for primary care trusts and local authorities to undertake a joint strategic needs assessment. [174771]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Guidance on Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) was released by the Department on 13 December 2007 and can be found on the Department website at:

A copy has been placed in the Library.

JSNA will develop and improve over time. The Department has commissioned Yorkshire and Humber Public Health Observatory (Y and HPHO), which has a specialist role to support commissioning, to lead this process. Further developments e.g. of the JSNA ‘minimum dataset’ will be announced on the Yorkshire and Humber Public Health Observatory website at:

A draft copy has been placed in the Library.

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when his Department plans to publish new good practice guidelines on care planning, including support for self care; whether his Department intends to consult on these guidelines; and if he will make a statement. [183563]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department plans to publish a framework on personalised and integrated care planning in the spring of 2008, which includes support for self care as an integral part of the process. The framework has been developed in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders from the national health service, social care, the third sector and patient and carers representative groups.

Healthy Living Centres

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many of the healthy living centres established as part of the New Opportunities Fund Healthy Living Centres programme remain in operation, broken down by region. [181346]

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Dawn Primarolo: The Department has no direct relationship with Healthy Living Centres in England and does not collect data from them.

Healthy Living Centres are funded by the Big Lottery Fund (formerly the New Opportunities Fund).

Hearing Aids: Greater London

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were (a) assessed for and (b) provided with a hearing aid in each London primary care trust in the last year for which figures are available. [179330]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: This information is not held centrally. However, the Department will collect referral-to-treatment data on direct access audiology—including the fitting of hearing aids—for the first time from April 2008. The Department continues to work with the national health service to improve audiology services. A national audiology framework was published in March 2007 and the Department is working directly with the most challenged organisations.

Hospital Beds

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to prevent inappropriate discharges of patients into the community by (a) trust and (b) foundation hospitals; and if he will make a statement. [180346]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The decision to discharge a patient is a medical one, made by clinicians. The health and social care needs of patients are assessed as part of the hospital discharge process to ensure that the patients care needs are met. On 1 October 2007 the national health service implemented the National Framework for Continuing Healthcare and NHS-funded Nursing Care which contains guidance on assessing the care needs of patients.

Hospital Wards: Gender

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many complaints his Department received on mixed-sex accommodation in hospitals in each of the last 12 months. [180858]

Ann Keen: During 2007 the Department received a total of 36 complaints related to mixed sex accommodation, through the central correspondence system. The monthly breakdown is shown in the table.

The Department does not, as a rule, investigate individual complaints; rather it advises correspondents to follow the national health service complaints procedure. This directs complainants to local organisations to register and pursue the complaints.

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NHS estates/mixed sex wards—monthly stats

January 2007


February 2007


March 2007


April 2007


May 2007


June 2007


July 2007


August 2007


September 2007


October 2007


November 2007


December 2007




Hospitals: Cleaning Services

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the cleanliness of hospitals contracted to South Staffordshire Primary Care Trust. [179769]

Ann Keen: The national health service is assessed by the Healthcare Commission against core and developmental standards within Standards for Better Health. In respect of cleanliness, South Staffordshire primary care trust rated itself as compliant against core standard 21, which states:

The Healthcare Commission also conducts the national patient surveys, which ask a variety of questions regarding cleanliness. The patient survey results are used as part of the evidence of compliance with the standards.

In addition, the National Patient Safety Agency conducts an annual patient environment action team (PEAT) inspection of all hospitals of 10 or more beds. This is a self-assessment, which includes cleanliness among other patient environment issues. The score generated is then banded into either: unacceptable, poor, acceptable, good or excellent. This report is available in full on the internet at

The following table identifies those hospitals that contract with South Staffordshire PCT, their assessment of compliance against core standard 21 and their PEAT score. Compliance with core standard 21 is taken at trust level and the PEAT score at individual site level.

Name of hospital Core standard 21 PEAT environment rating

Samuel Johnson Community Hospital

Compliant as South Staffordshire PCT


Sir Robert Peel Hospital

Compliant as South Staffordshire PCT


Cannock Chase

Compliant as Mid Staffordshire General Hospitals


St. George’s Hospital

Compliant as South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare Foundation Trust


Queens Hospital Burton

Compliant as Burton Hospitals NHS Trust


Staffordshire General Hospital

Compliant as Mid Staffordshire General Hospitals


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Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measurements will be used to assess the effectiveness of the deep cleaning of hospitals in England. [181809]

Ann Keen: As set out in the written ministerial statement made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 17 January 2008, Official Report, columns 38-39WS, following completion of the deep clean of the national health service on 31 March 2008, the Department will work with strategic health authorities (SHAs) to draw up examples of where a deep clean has had a demonstrable effect in improving patient care and experience and will share these across the NHS.

SHAs will take the lead on evaluation locally as the impact of each trust’s programme will be different and no single measurement method will pick up all the benefits, particularly as trusts may be implementing a range of measures to improve cleanliness and tackle healthcare associated infections.

Improvements to patient experience and environment may be measurable through:

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