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19 Feb 2008 : Column 662W—continued

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children were admitted to hospital via accident and emergency departments for alcohol-related conditions in England in each year since 1997. [185739]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 18 February 2008]: The following table provides a count of finished admission episodes (FAE) where the primary or secondary diagnosis was alcohol related, for males and females under the age of 18 for years 1997-98 to 2006-07.

National health service hospitals England and activity performed in the independent sector in England commissioned by the English NHS, 1997-98 to 2005-06
Total episodes





















1. FAE
A 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. All Diagnoses count of Mentions
These figures represent a count of all mentions of a diagnosis in any of the 14 diagnosis fields in the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data set. Therefore, if a diagnosis is mentioned in more than one diagnosis field during an episode, all diagnoses are counted.
3. Emergency Admission
These are the emergency admission codes to specify in more detail how the patient was admitted to hospital.
21 = Emergency: via Accident and Emergency (A and E) services, including the casualty department of the provider
28 = Emergency: other means, including patients who arrive via the A and E department of another healthcare provider
4. Alcohol Related Diagnoses
F10—Mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol.
T51—Toxic effect of alcohol.
K70—Alcoholic liver disease.
5. Data Quality
HES are compiled from data sent by over 300 NHS trusts and primary care trusts (PCTs) in England. 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.
HES, The Information Centre for health and social care

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many meetings he had with representatives from supermarkets where alcohol price, promotion and harm were discussed in the last 12 months. [185075]

Dawn Primarolo: Two such meetings have taken place.

In May 2007 the Government announced an agreement with the alcohol industry that, alcoholic drinks labels should include alcohol unit content along with guidelines on sensible drinking. As part of the
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discussions which led to this agreement, on 15 March 2007 the former Minister of State, my right hon. Friend the Member for Don Valley (Caroline Flint) met with representatives from the alcohol industry, including the British Retail Consortium.

On 21 November 2007, the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary, the Culture Secretary and the current Minister of State, my right hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, South (Dawn Primarolo), met with alcohol retailers, alcohol manufacturers, enforcement agencies, representatives of local councils and doctors and academics specialising in alcohol issues, to discuss the problems of under-age drinking and binge-drinking.

This included:

The purpose of the seminar was to inform the alcohol industry about the action the Government are taking over coming months, as set out in “Safe. Sensible. Social. The next steps in the National Alcohol Strategy” to tackle binge drinking and help people to drink sensibly and to discuss what more the industry can do to help.

Anabolic Steroids: Misuse

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many calls to the National Drugs Helpline were about anabolic steroids in each year since 1997. [185370]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 7 February 2008]: The National Drugs Helpline ceased in England in March 2003 and no data on calls are available between 1997 and March 2003.

The Frank helpline replaced the National Drugs Helpline in April 2003 and details of telephone calls since then, where anabolic steroids were mentioned are shown in the following table.

Number of calls

April 2003 to March 2004


April 2004 to March 2005


April 2005 to March 2006


April 2006 to March 2007


April 2007 to January 2008


Antibiotics: Health Education

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the Government has taken to educate the public in the last three years on the correct use of antibiotics. [186294]

Dawn Primarolo: As a result of increasing bacterial antibiotic resistance the Department has run awareness campaigns since 1999. The main message is that antibiotics do not work on most coughs and colds and until 2008 the campaigns were based on the ‘Andybiotic’ character. These materials have been available on our website and formed the basis of our campaign in 2006.

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In addition we supported the distribution of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain’s “Ask about Antibiotics” leaflet in 2006.

This year’s campaign uses new material and was launched on 4 February 2008. Advertisements are appearing in weekly magazines and national newspapers during February and March and a poster and leaflets are being distributed to general practitioners and pharmacists.


Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) children and (b) adults were prescribed anti-depressants in each year since 1997. [184517]

Dawn Primarolo: Anti-depressant drugs are classified under section 4.3 of the British National Formulary (BNF) and the information in the following table is provided on this basis. Estimated figures are based on a sample of one in 20 prescriptions and have been grossed up to reflect the population totals and rounded.

BNF 4.3—prescription items dispensed (thousand) Estimate of prescription items dispensed for children (thousand) Percentage dispensed to children









































Prescription Cost Analysis system

Breast Feeding

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding he has allocated to (a) an information campaign to promote the benefits of breastfeeding and (b) supporting a national helpline for breastfeeding mothers in the last three years, broken down by financial year. [184523]

Dawn Primarolo: Since 1993, the Department has supported the National Breastfeeding Awareness Week (NBAW) as a key activity in promoting breastfeeding. The Department has provided support to the breastfeeding helpline since 2003 and we are committed to further support the development of a national helpline at local rates of pay.

The following table sets out the funding for the NBAW and the national helpline on breastfeeding from 2005 to 2008. In the year 2005-06 no central funding was available and NBAW operated at local levels.

NBAW National Helpline









(1) planned

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British Pregnancy Advisory Service: Complaints

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many complaints were made to (a) his Department and (b) the National Health Service about the British Pregnancy Advisory Service in each of the last four years; and what the outcome was in each case where proceedings are complete. [186245]

Dawn Primarolo: The Healthcare Commission is responsible for reviewing complaints about national health service and independent healthcare services in England that have not been resolved locally(1).

Information prior to April 2004 has been archived and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Between April 2004 and December 2006, eight complaints against the British Pregnancy Advisory Service were reviewed by the Healthcare Commission, all of which were resolved satisfactorily.

Data for January 2007-January 2008 are not available.

Cancer: Expenditure

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the NHS’s average annual expenditure is on a patient with (a) breast cancer, (b) lung cancer, (c) prostate cancer and (d) bowel cancer from diagnosis to the end of treatment. [186203]

Ann Keen [holding answer 18 February 2008]: Data on the national health service expenditure on cancer are not collected by cancer type. In 2006-07 £4.35 billion was spent by the NHS on cancer services, approximately 5.2 per cent. of all NHS spending for that year. Data on this expenditure are not collected by tumour site and cannot be broken down on this basis.

Care Homes: Standards

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the Government has taken to improve standards in residential care homes since 1997. [186295]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Under the Care Standards Act 2000 and the Health and Social Care Act 2003, the Government have set up an independent inspection and regulation regime to raise the quality of care and level of protection for older and vulnerable people living in care homes.

All care homes in England must be regulated (registered and inspected) by the Commissions for Social Care Inspection (CSCI). CSCI regulates care homes in accordance with statutory regulations and national minimum standards (NMS). CSCI has a range of enforcement powers and will take action to drive up standards and protect the welfare of residents.

The regulations set out what providers must do by law. The Government introduced the NMS to set out clearly what care homes are expected to provide to demonstrate that they are complying with the regulations.
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Since their introduction, CSCI has reported a steady improvement in the performance of care homes against them. According to the CSCI report, “The State of Social Care 2006-07”, published on 29 January 2008, care homes for older people meet on average 80 per cent. of standards, a 21 per cent. improvement since 2003. Care homes for younger adults—aged 18 to 64—meet on average 83 per cent. of standards, which is a 20 per cent. improvement since 2003.

Children: Accidents

Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his assessment is of the role of regional directors of public health in the prevention of accidental injury to children; and if he will make a statement. [186337]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 18 February 2008]: The regional directors of public health have a key role in developing and co-ordinating regional strategies and initiatives for the prevention of injury to children, and in ensuring the engagement of cross-sectoral partnerships involving the public, private and voluntary sectors.

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