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6 Feb 2008 : Column 1250W—continued


Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding his Department provided to the “FaCe It” campaign on hepatitis C in each year since 2004; what steps he has taken to promote the campaign to (a) primary care trusts, (b) acute trusts and (c) strategic health authorities in England; how his Department has monitored the effectiveness of the campaign; and what recent meetings his Department has held with (i) patient groups, (ii) healthcare professionals, (iii) NHS bodies, (iv) community groups and (v) other stakeholders on developing the campaign. [183770]

Dawn Primarolo: The information requested on funding provided by the Department for the “FaCe It” campaign is shown in the following table.

FaCe It campaign expenditure by financial year, 2003-04 to 2007-08
Financial year Expenditure (£000 to the nearest £10,000)









2007-08 (Forecast)




The “FaCe It” campaign has used a range of communication methods to promote awareness of hepatitis C to health care professionals, including:

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A range of methods are being used to assess the effectiveness of the campaign, including:

Departmental officials or the “FaCe It” campaign team at Munro and Forster, which is acting for the Department, have held a range of meetings with stakeholders since January 2007 including:

Patient groups

Health care professionals and national health service bodies

Community groups

Other stakeholders

Hospitals: Waiting Lists

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the Answer of 24 January 2008, Official Report, column 2230W, on hospitals: waiting lists, what social reasons may be used for suspending patients from the Korner waiting list. [184469]

Mr. Bradshaw: Patients may be suspended from an in-patient waiting list for two reasons

Social suspensions can be made for a variety of reasons, where the patient indicates they are unavailable for admission. These can include

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In such cases, patients can be suspended from the waiting list for the period of time they are unavailable, after which they return to the list at the point they left it.

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority: Inspections

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many reports of occurrences inconsistent with routine patient care were made to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority by Professor Alison Murdoch in each year of her tenure as an inspector; and how many serious incidents were reported to the Authority. [181154]

Dawn Primarolo: The definition of the type of incident that would be considered to be serious and, therefore, likely to be inconsistent with routine treatment, was introduced on 5 July 2007 when the 7th edition of the “Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) code of practice” was published. The HFEA has advised me that, in accordance with its policy to encourage licensed clinics to reports incidents, including those occurrences that would be considered to be near misses, it does not disclose the names of clinics that have reported an adverse incident nor the number of incidents reported by a particular clinic.

The HFEA introduced its incident alert reporting system in 2003, requiring licensed establishments to report any adverse incident relating to treatment services that is potentially harmful or actually causes harm to any person, embryos, gametes or staff. The number of incidents handled has been included each year in the HFEA's annual report:

HFEA incident alert system: number of incidences handled since 2002-03( 1)











(1) Numbers cover all licensed clinics that have submitted a report.
(2 )The most recent year for which a report has been published.
HFEA annual reports 2003-04 to 2006-07.

HFEA has worked with clinics to encourage greater reporting, including lower risk incidents and events that are categorised as near misses. This is to ensure that that lessons learned from such events can be circulated to other clinics, so avoiding a repeat elsewhere in the sector. The HFEA attributes the increase, from 97 incidents in 2005-06 to 224 in 2006-07, to more comprehensive reporting by clinics.

Local Involvement Networks

Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps he plans to take to promote the involvement of patients and the public in monitoring the effectiveness of services provided for the NHS by the (a) third and (b) private sector; [183800]

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(2) if he will ensure that the Local Involvement Network Regulations 2008 include provisions requiring private sector providers of health and social care to allow members of local involvement networks to enter their premises for the purpose of monitoring the quality of health and social care. [183802]

Ann Keen: The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 set out important new arrangements for the involvement of patients and the public in health and social care, including local involvement networks (LINks). LINks will enable local people to monitor local services irrespective of who provides them.

LINks will build on the work of voluntary and community sector groups and enable genuine involvement of a far greater number of people than is currently available, ensuring local communities have a stronger voice in the process of commissioning health and social care and enabling them to influence key decisions about the services they both use and pay for.

In order to ensure that independent sector providers—be they from the private or third-sector—cooperate with LINks, we will make directions requiring primary care trusts and local authorities to ensure that their contracts with the independent and third sectors allow LINks entry to appropriate premises and access to appropriate information. This will ensure that LINks will have the same levels of access as they do in the public sector.

These changes are aimed at promoting open and transparent communication between communities and the health service, and will develop trust and confidence, increasing accountability to local people.

Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy to ensure members of local involvement networks (LINKs) are indemnified by his Department in relation to activities undertaken on behalf of a LINk in good faith. [183803]

Ann Keen: It will be for local authorities to determine their own policies regarding local involvement networks (LINks) and indemnity. Authorities may choose to indemnify certain LINks members directly or stipulate that host organisations must make arrangements to do so as part of their LINks contracts.

Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy to ensure members of local involvement networks are paid appropriate expenses by the host. [183804]

Ann Keen: It will be for each local involvement network (LINk) to determine its own policy regarding payment and reimbursement. However, we will remind LINks and host organisations that the Department’s ‘Reward and Recognition’ document, provides a useful guide for service providers, users and carers on the principles and practice of service user payment and reimbursement in health and social care.

A copy of the document is available in the Library and also on the Department’s website at:

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Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will ensure that local involvement networks are provided with funds to establish regional and national networks and the means to monitor effectively (a) cancer, (b) mental health, (c) ambulance and (d) other services commissioned on a (i) regional and (ii) national basis. [183805]

Ann Keen: While local involvement networks (LINks) will be independent and will have the power to develop their own priorities and agendas, they will need to develop relationships with a number of stakeholders to fulfil their statutory role effectively. In certain circumstances, LINks may want to work in partnership to monitor services provided by, for example, cancer networks, mental health services, ambulance trusts or other services commissioned across more than one Local Authority boundary. LINks may also wish to work together in regional groups, or even nationally to share experience and findings. There is nothing to prevent LINks using some of their funding to establish local, regional or national networks if they so wish.

Magnetic Resonance Imagers

Mr. Devine: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many MRI scanners there were in the NHS in (a) 2007 and (b) 1997. [182545]

Ann Keen: At the end of December 1997, there were 110 MRI scanners in the national health service in England. By December 2007, this had increased to 285.

Maternity Services

Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to provide more flexible maternity services for women, including (a) one-to-one support from pregnancy through to birth and (b) improving the quality of post-natal care. [182746]

Ann Keen: In April 2007, we published “Maternity Matters: Choice, access and continuity of care in a safe service”, which outlines a national framework for the local delivery of high quality, safe and accessible services that are both women-focused and family centred. This document introduces four national choice guarantees for women around access, antenatal care, place of birth and post-natal care. It also says that every woman will be supported by a midwife that she knows and trusts throughout her pregnancy and afterwards. It highlights how commissioners, providers and maternity professionals can shape provision to meet the needs of women and their families and includes a self-assessment tool for commissioners to identify the needs of their population. That tool will help primary care trusts and national health service trusts respectively to commission and to provide the services that the women in its catchment area need.

Midwives: Greater London

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many midwives are employed by (a) Barnet Primary Care Trust, (b) Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust and (c) the Royal Free
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Hospital; how many midwifery vacancies there are in each organisation; and if he will make a statement on progress on recruitment to fill such vacancies. [179012]

Mr. Bradshaw: The following table shows the number of midwives employed and national health service three month vacancies at Barnet and Chase Farm hospitals NHS Trust and Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust. The table shows the latest information available for the number of midwives employed (September 2006) and the number of vacancies (March 2007).

NHS London has advised that Barnet Primary Care Trust does not employ any midwives as midwifery services are provided from the acute trusts.

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Progress on recruitment to fill vacancies is a matter for local determination as local workforce planners are best placed to assess the healthcare needs of their local population.

However, we have been informed by NHS London that Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust ran a successful recruitment campaign for additional midwives in October 2007. The first new midwives commenced work in November 2007.

We have been further informed that the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust is currently running a recruitment campaign for midwives. If further midwifery cover is needed, the trust has an escalation policy where it can relocate midwives from other parts of the service and can also use its in-house bank staff.

NHS three month vacancies in each specified organisation for qualified midwifery staff: Three month vacancy rates, numbers and staff
March 2007 September 2006
Three month vacancy rate ( percentage ) Three month vacancy number Staff in post ( full - time equivalent ) Staff in post (h eadcount )

Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust





Barnet PCT





Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust





Notes: 1. Vacancy data is from the vacancies survey 2007. 2. Three month vacancy information is as at 31 March 2007. 3. Three month vacancies are vacancies which trusts are actively trying to fill, which had lasted for three months or more (full time equivalents). 4. Three month vacancy rates are three month vacancies expressed as a percentage of three month vacancies plus staff in post. 5. Three month vacancy rates are calculated using staff in post from the non-medical workforce census September 2006. 6. Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. 7. Staff in post data is from the non-medical workforce census September 2006. 8. Vacancy and staff in post numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number. 9. Calculating the vacancy rates using the above data may not equal the actual vacancy rates. Strategic health authority figures are based on trusts, and do not necessarily reflect the geographical provision of healthcare. Sources: The Information Centre for health and social care Non-Medical Workforce Census. The Information Centre for health and social care Vacancies Survey, March 2007.

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