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Departmental Reports

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department spent on commissioning reports from non-departmental sources (a) based in the UK and (b) based overseas in each year since 1997; and what the (i) title, (ii) terms of reference and (iii) purpose was of the reports. [182079]

Mr. Bradshaw: The information requested could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Sustainable Development

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department met the target in the Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate to reverse the then upward trend in carbon emissions by April 2007. [181318]

Mr. Bradshaw: We have, between 1999 and 2006, reduced the carbon emissions from the departmental estate by 15 per cent. The figure for 2006-07 will be published shortly in the 2007 “Sustainable Development in Government” report.

Dr Foster Intelligence

Mr. Leigh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many contracts his Department has awarded to the joint venture Dr. Foster Intelligence; and what their value is. [184145]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department does not collect information on projects awarded to private consultancy firms by the Department in the format requested. To do so would attract disproportionate cost.

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

Emergency Calls

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what proportion of calls to the 999 emergency services number were requests for an ambulance in the most recent year for which figures are available (a) in total and (b) broken down by trust; and if he will make a statement. [182632]

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Mr. Bradshaw: The Department does not collect the total number of all 999 calls across emergency services. However, in 2006-07 there were 6.33 million emergency calls reported by ambulance trusts across England.

Information broken down by trust is available in the latest statistical bulletin. “Ambulance Services, England, 2006-07” was published in June 2007 and is available in the Library and on the Information Centre for health and social care website at:


Mr. Touhig: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice and assistance his Department makes available to people aged (a) 65 to 74 and (b) over 75 years on the care of their feet. [183891]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Clinical Knowledge Summaries website contains general information on the care of feet, as well as specific information on a variety of foot conditions and how best to care for your feet.

Those patients with specific problems can be referred to specialist chiropody or podiatrist services by their general practitioner.

A copy of the general information has been placed in the Library and is also available at:

Health Services

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with (a) NHS Direct, (b) pharmaceutical companies and (c) other interested parties on the possibility of providing a (i) telephone review and (ii) follow-up service for patients participating in clinical trials through NHS Direct; what assessment he has made of the viability of NHS Direct supporting clinical trials; and if he will make a statement. [183562]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department has not held any such discussions or made any assessment of the viability of NHS Direct supporting clinical trials.

More information may be available from the chairman of NHS Direct NHS Trust.

Health Services: Complaints

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 14 November 2007, Official Report, column 286WA, on the Healthcare Commission, (1) what arrangements the Healthcare Commission has for categorising complaints; [169869]

(2) how many second stage complaints were upheld in each year. [169870]

Mr. Bradshaw: We understand from the chairman of the Healthcare Commission that it categorises the complaints it receives by subject type and specialty, for example ‘delay in diagnosis-General Practice’. Categories are then related to “Standards for Better Health” (published in 2004), the centrally set standards against which NHS
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performance is assessed. This system allows the information gathered from complaints to be used, on an anonymised basis, to contribute to the Commission’s wider regulatory work.

The Commission took on responsibility for the independent review of complaints in July 2004. Information on the number of complaints upheld is set out in the following table.

Number of complaints upheld

2004-05 (from August 2004)






2007-08 (year to 29 January)


Health Services: Overseas Visitors

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the NHS charged non-EU patients who were not permitted free health care in each year since the inception of charging; and what sums are outstanding. [183885]

Dawn Primarolo: It is not possible to provide the information requested. Successive Governments have not required the national health service to provide statistics on the number of foreign nationals seen, treated or charged under the provisions of the NHS (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 1989, as amended, nor any costs involved.

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Health at what stage in a patient’s treatment in an NHS hospital identification is requested; and in the case of non-EU residents, at what point (a) it is established that they are required to pay for their treatment and (b) they are informed of the total amount payable. [183894]

Dawn Primarolo: The National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 1989, as amended, place a legal obligation on providers of NHS hospital services to establish whether patients are ordinarily resident in the UK and, if not, whether they are exempt from charges under the provisions of the regulations or liable to pay for any treatment provided. The Department of Health has provided comprehensive guidance on implementation of the charging regulations to help NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts to discharge their obligations under these regulations.

All patients attending hospital for the first time in a course of treatment should be asked specific residency questions. Depending on the answers, the patient may be referred to the hospital’s overseas visitors manager for further inquiries to be made. This should be done as soon as is reasonably practicable, taking into account the patient’s medical condition. Where it is established that the patient is a chargeable overseas visitor, they should be informed as soon as possible of the estimated cost of the treatment being sought. In the case of routine elective treatment, guidance recommends that a deposit equivalent to that estimated cost should be obtained before treatment begins. However, immediate necessary treatment required to preserve life or to prevent a condition from becoming
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life-threatening should be provided without delay, with issues around charging and payment dealt with once the patient has been stabilised.

Hospital Wards: Gender

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidance his Department has given to NHS mental health trusts on the use of mixed-sex wards; [178666]

(2) what guidance his Department has issued on privacy and dignity of patients in NHS mental health accommodation. [178668]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The guidance issued on 1 June 2000, “Safety, privacy and dignity in mental health units: guidance on mixed sex accommodation for mental health services”, outlines the practical steps that staff should take to ensure the safety, privacy and dignity of those who are mentally ill. Additionally, it contains specific guidance on the design of mental health units, which can be a significant factor in maintaining privacy for vulnerable people.

The 2007-08 NHS Operating Framework for England, published in 2006, states that primary care trusts (PCTs) should ensure local implementation of the commitment to reduce mixed-sex accommodation and maximise privacy and dignity in situations where the need to treat and admit takes precedence over complete segregation. The 2008-09 Operating Framework, published on 13 December 2007, calls on PCTs to work with all trusts to agree, publish and implement stretching local plans for improvement.

Also, in December 2007 the Institute for Innovation and Improvement published “Privacy and Dignity: the elimination of mixed sex accommodation” which states:

On 15 August 2007, we announced that the ‘Dignity in Care’ campaign would be extended to cover mental health services. The campaign has proved successful in raising awareness of dignity in care and driving forward improvements in the way in which people are treated.

In order to promote privacy and dignity, staff vigilance underpinned by appropriate policies, procedures and training are as important as the physical environment. This is reflected in the core standards measured by the Healthcare Commission as part of the annual health check with which all trusts need to comply. This checklist will assist trusts to demonstrate their compliance with a number of standards, in particular that healthcare organisations have systems in place to ensure that staff treat patients, their relatives and carers with dignity and respect.

Hospitals Beds: Costs

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average cost was of the occupancy of an NHS hospital bed per night (a) in England and (b) in each NHS hospital for each of the last three years. [182293]

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Mr. Bradshaw: The cost of keeping a patient in hospital overnight is not collected centrally.

Human Papilloma Virus: Vaccination

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health further to the publication of the Cancer Reform Strategy, what the timetable is for introducing the national vaccination programme for young girls against the human papilloma virus; when he plans to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme; and by what means. [183973]

Dawn Primarolo: Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine will be introduced for girls aged 12 to 13 years of age, starting from September 2008. A two-year catch-up campaign will commence in autumn 2009 for girls up to 18 years of age.

Vaccine uptake will be monitored during the programme, and plans to measure the incidence of HPV infection in the vaccinated age groups are currently being considered. In the first few years of the programme, studies will be carried out to test a sample of women for HPV deoxyribonucleic acid and antibodies, and to monitor the reduction in HPV infections. The impact of the programme will be seen when the vaccinated girls reach the age at which cervical screening starts as this is when a reduction in abnormal screening results will begin to be seen.

Incontinence: Medical Equipment

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what clinical advice was sought by his Commercial Directorate in drawing up their proposals for urology and stoma products and services; [183116]

(2) what discussions his Commercial Directorate has had on their proposals for urology and stoma products and services with officials in the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform; [183117]

(3) what estimate his Department has made of the number of people who use urology or stoma products; [183118]

(4) if he will seek a regulatory impact assessment before he makes final decisions concerning his Department’s Commercial Directorate proposals in respect of urology and stoma services. [183119]

Dawn Primarolo: The proposals relating to service have been informed by feedback from providers, specialist healthcare professionals and patients. Specialist healthcare professionals have advised the Department of the proposed classification relating to items.

As part of the review, the Department has held meetings with the Department for Trade and Industry (now the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform).

The Department estimates that about 450,000 people use stoma or incontinence items. Some will use them intermittently but the majority will be dependent on them.

Two partial regulatory impact assessments have already been published as part of this review; the first in October 2005 and the second in November 2006. An
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impact assessment will be published before any decisions are made and interested parties will have an opportunity to comment on this.


Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) pursuant to the answer of 9 January 2008, Official Report, column 597W, on influenza, which critical national infrastructure industries participated in the Winter Willow exercise in 2007; [184217]

(2) whether the armed forces were involved in his Department's Winter Willow pandemic influenza contingency planning exercise of January and February 2007; and if he will make a statement. [184549]

Dawn Primarolo: The armed forces were not directly involved in exercise Winter Willow. However, the Ministry of Defence were involved in planning the exercise and observing Cabinet Office briefing room discussions.

In addition to the health sector, other sectors within the critical national infrastructure industries that participated in the Winter Willow exercise included the:

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 9 January 2008, Official Report, column 596W, on influenza, what proportion of businesses which participated in the National Capabilities Survey in 2006 had an influenza pandemic-specific business continuity plan. [184218]

Dawn Primarolo: Businesses did not participate in the National Capabilities Survey. Therefore, we do not have this information.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) pursuant to the answer of 9 January 2008, Official Report, column 595W, on influenza, what non-scientific considerations are taken into account when deciding on the stockpile levels of treatments to be purchased; [184219]

(2) when he plans to produce guidance on the eligibility of staff for vaccination against A/H5N1 based on a clinical assessment of the staff groups which may be at risk, as stated in paragraph 3.28, page 28, of his Department’s document “Pandemic influenza: human resources guidance for the NHS,” published on 21 November 2007; [184511]

(3) who will receive antiviral treatment in the event of an influenza pandemic should its clinical attack rate be greater than the quantity of antivirals stockpiled; and in what order of priority. [184551]

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