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SHA of treatment Under 18 18 and over

North East SHA



North West SHA



Yorkshire and the Humber SHA



East Midlands SHA



West Midlands SHA



East Of England SHA



London SHA



South East Coast SHA



South Central SHA



South West SHA



1. FAE
An FAE is the first period of in-patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. Admissions do not represent the number of in-patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year.
2. Data quality:
HES are compiled from data sent by over 300 national health service trusts, and primary care trusts (PCTs) in England. Data are also received from a number of independent sector organisations for activity commissioned by the English NHS. The Information Centre for health and social care liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies and the effect of missing and invalid data via HES processes. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain.
3. Ungrossed data:
Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in data (ie the data are ungrossed).
4. Low numbers:
Due to reasons of confidentiality, figures between 1 and 5 have been suppressed and replaced with “*”(an asterisk).
Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), The Information Centre for health and social care

Lung Cancer: Screening

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health further to the publication of the Cancer Reform Strategy, what the timetable is for (a) commissioning and (b) evaluating research on the feasibility of a UK trial of CT screening for lung cancer. [183979]

Dawn Primarolo: The Health Technology Assessment programme, part of the Department’s National Institute for Health Research, has placed an
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advertisement inviting proposals for a feasibility study and trial protocol development for a United Kingdom-based screening programme for lung cancer utilising low dose computerised tomography. The closing date is 12 March 2008. The proposals received will considered by a specially convened board sometime between mid-May and mid-June.

Mental Health Services

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when the provisions of the Mental Health Act 2007 on independent mental health advocacy will be implemented; [183228]

(2) what interim safeguards he plans to put in place for people detained in hospital or placed under supervised community treatment if the provisions in the Mental Health Act 2007 regarding independent mental health advocacy are implemented after the implementation of other provisions in the Act; [183229]

(3) how much funding has been allocated in each of the next three years to the implementation and delivery of independent mental health advocacy under the Mental Health Act 2007; [183230]

(4) what work is (a) under way and (b) planned to create good practice guidance for the delivery of independent mental health advocacy to people on supervised community treatment under the Mental Health Act 2007; [183231]

(5) what measures are (a) being developed and (b) in place for the commissioning of independent mental health advocacy. [183232]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: We aim to implement the provisions of the Mental Health Act in respect of independent mental health advocacy from April 2009. The range of safeguards under the 1983 and 2007 Mental Health Acts will be in place to provide a modernised legislative framework within which compulsory measures can be taken, when necessary, to ensure that people with mental disorders receive the treatment they require. Advocacy support is already available in a number of areas and statutory provision will strengthen this situation.

We are committed to funding independent mental health advocacy but as priorities for additional funding from 2009-10 have not yet been finalised we cannot yet confirm the exact amounts.

Good practice guidance for the delivery of independent mental health advocacy, including those on supervised community treatment, and guidance for commissioners are being developed and will be published later in 2008.

Mercury: Health Hazards

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will commission research on the link between (a) the mercury content of amalgams and (b) the thiomersal content of some inoculations and progressive neurodegenerative diseases. [184627]

Dawn Primarolo: Mercury amalgam has been in use for over 150 years to restore teeth in millions of patients and, apart from rare instances of hypersensitivity, no adverse reactions have been identified.

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Recent reports from the European Union’s Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks and the Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks are available at:


They support the United Kingdom Government’s view that there is currently no need for regulation on mercury amalgam. The Government monitor compliance with provisions in the Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005 for the safe disposal of amalgam waste and research conducted on alternative restorative materials.

The vaccines used in the UK routine childhood immunisation programme do not contain thiomersal.

The Department has funded studies into the thiomersal content in vaccines and has found no link between vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders. One such study was “Thiomersal exposure in infants and developmental disorders: A prospective Cohort Study in the United Kingdom does not support a causal association”, Jon Heron, Jean Golding and the ALSPAC Study Team “Paediatrics 2004; 114; 577-583”.

As with all medicinal products, vaccine safety is continually monitored by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) with advice from the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM). The CHM and its Expert Advisory Groups have thoroughly reviewed the safety of thiomersal-containing vaccines. The advice of CHM/MHRA remains that there is no evidence of harm from the very small quantities of thiomersal contained in some vaccines, with the exception of possible allergic reactions (typically skin rashes or local swelling at the site of injection). This view concurs with that of the World Health Organization, the United States Institute of Medicine and the European Medicines Agency.

NHS: Buildings

Mr. Bailey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the NHS estate repair backlog. [182913]

Mr. Bradshaw: Overall capital expenditure by the national health service has increased from around £1.1 billion in 1997-98 to around £5.5 billion in 2007-08. These record levels of investment mean that a quarter of the estate occupied by NHS trusts has been replaced since 1997 and the proportion of the estate that predates the establishment of the NHS itself has fallen from 50 per cent. in 1997-98 to 20 per cent. today.

NHS investment to reduce backlog maintenance will be prioritised locally based on risk assessment, reconfiguration planning and available resources. The latest figures, provided by trusts themselves, indicate that the total backlog maintenance for the NHS was £3.7 billion in 2006-07. While levels of backlog maintenance vary across the NHS, it is estimated that around 75 per cent. of the total is concentrated in 20 per cent. of organisations.

The majority of backlog relates to low priority work which trusts will undertake through maintenance programmes. Where higher risks are present, work will be undertaken as a priority.

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NHS: Finance

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many primary care trusts transferred NHS funds to local authorities in the last 12 months; and what the value of those transfers was; [180656]

(2) what restrictions there are on how NHS funds transferred to local authorities can be spent. [180666]

Mr. Bradshaw: The following table shows the number of primary care trusts (PCTs) transferring grants, and the value of those transfers to local authorities for the year ended 31 March 2007. No other information about the transfer of funds to local authorities (LAs) is collected centrally.

Type of grant Value (£ million) Number of PCTs transferring funds in 2006-07

Revenue grants to fund capital projects(1)



Revenue grants to fund revenue projects(2)



(1) Department of Health audited PCT accounts 2006-07.
(2) Department of Health forecast outturn month 12 national health service financial returns.

PCTs may make payments to LAs as a contribution towards expenditure by the LA on certain community services, including social services and certain health- related services specified in legislation. These payments are made under section 256 of the National Health Service Act 2006, which re-enacted earlier legislation.

Payments may also be made to LAs under partnership arrangements. Under section 75 of the National Health Service Act 2006 the Secretary of State may prescribe arrangements as to the making of payments by an NHS body to a LA in connection with arrangements for exercise of the NHS functions. The arrangements that may be made are specified in the NHS Bodies and Local Authorities Partnership Arrangements Regulations 2000.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 18 January 2008, Official Report, column 1353W, on departmental public expenditure, what level of funding he estimates will be needed by strategic health authorities (SHAs) in (a) 2008-09 and (b) each subsequent financial year until the 2012 Olympics; what this funding will be spent on; and to which SHAs it will be allocated. [182590]

Mr. Bradshaw: We have agreed an allocation of at least £316,000 to NHS London for the period 2008-09. Further funding to support the delivery of health services during the Olympic Games and a lasting health legacy is under discussion. In particular the current review of sport and physical activity being led by HM Treasury will contribute to our planning for an ambitious and effective health programme leading up to 2012 and beyond. More substantial plans will be announced in August to coincide with the official start of the London Olympiad.

NHS: Fire Extinguishers

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many and what proportion of NHS hospitals are equipped with sprinkler systems; [180484]

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(2) what guidance his Department has produced on the use of sprinkler systems in (a) hospitals and (b) other NHS buildings. [180485]

Mr. Bradshaw: Information on the number of national health service hospitals equipped with sprinkler systems is not collected centrally.

The Department publishes guidance on fire safety for the NHS in England in the “Firecode” suite of documents. This requires that all NHS organisations in England comply with legislation relating to fire safety. The guidance it contains about the installation of sprinklers in health care buildings is consistent with the policy of the Chief Fire Officers’ Association.

While the “Firecode” guidance does not specifically require the installation of sprinkler systems in patient care areas of health care buildings, it does make it clear that the design team is expected to consider the advantages that might be gained by installing sprinklers throughout the building. “Firecode” does however recommend that auto-suppression systems (which can include sprinkler systems) should be installed in clearly defined high fire risk or high fire load areas that are located adjacent to patient accommodation.

Patients: Transport

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will require the Healthcare Commission to include the monitoring of private patient transport services provided for NHS patients in the annual health check. [182898]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Healthcare Commission's annual health check is an independent assessment of performance of national health service organisations for their quality of services and use of resources. The quality element assesses an organisation on progress against the core standards, existing national targets and new national targets set out by the Department. The Healthcare Commission are currently consulting to determine their proposals for the 2008-09 assessment process.

Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: Midwives

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many fully qualified midwives were employed by Peterborough and Stamford hospitals NHS foundation trust in each quarterly period since 2001; and if he will make a statement. [184444]

Ann Keen: The following table shows the count of midwifery staff at the Peterborough and Stamford hospitals NHS foundation trust at 30 September for 2001 to 2006, which are the latest figures available.

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Peterborough and Stamford hospitals NHS foundation trust













1. More accurate validation processes in 2006 have resulted in the identification and removal of 9,858 duplicate non-medical staff records out of the total work force figure of 1.3 million in 2006. Earlier years’ figures could not be accurately validated in this way and so will be slightly inflated. The level of inflation in earlier years’ figures is estimated to be less than 1 per cent. of total across all non-medical staff groups for headcount figures (and negligible for full-time equivalents). This should be taken into consideration when analysing trends over time.
2. On 25 January 2008 Alan Johnson announced £330 million in extra funding for maternity services over the next three years, which will ensure growth in the maternity work force where it is needed as well as the best possible care and a full range of choices for mothers.
The Information Centre for health and social care Non-Medical Workforce Census

Prescriptions: Students

Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will take steps to reduce the financial burden of prescription costs on students; [184304]

(2) how many times Ministers met representatives of the National Union of Students to discuss NHS prescription charges in 2007. [184305]

Dawn Primarolo: The Government's review of prescription charges will be inviting views shortly on options for changes to prescription charges that are cost neutral to the national health service.

Ministers met representatives of the National Union of Students on 23 May 2007.

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