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18 Mar 2008 : Column 1009W—continued


18 Mar 2008 : Column 1010W

NHS: Drugs

David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of (a) the number of patients prescribed Cox 2 inhibitors in the last 10 years and (b) the number of those prescriptions which involved Vioxx as part of the treatment programme. [193801]

Dawn Primarolo: The Department does not hold information on number of patients prescribed drugs, only on prescription items that are dispensed. The number of items dispensed since 1999 for Cox 2 inhibitors and Vioxx is provided in the following table. There is no record of prescribing prior to this date.

Prescription items dispensed in the community in England
Thousand
Cox 2 inhibitors (including Vioxx) Vioxx

1997

0.0

0.0

1998

0.0

0.0

1999

162.6

162.6

2000

894.1

784.5

2001

1,943.8

1,269.8

2002

3,241.8

1,780.8

2003

4,509.0

2,128.6

2004

5,233.0

1,831.3

2005

1,317.1

0.9

2006

1,014.2

0.1

Source: Prescription Cost Analysis system.

NHS: Fraud

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library a copy of the NHS Countering Fraud and Corruption manual. [195189]

Dawn Primarolo: The NHS Countering Fraud and Corruption manual is a restricted operational document that gives detailed guidance on the methods used by accredited NHS counter fraud specialists to prevent and detect fraud in the national health service. A copy of this manual cannot be placed in the Library as it is exempt from disclosure under section 31(1)(g) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Nutrition

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the Food Standards Agency's proposed nutrient profiling scheme will relate to the scheme being developed by the European Commission and European Food Safety Authority in accordance with the provisions of the Nutrition and Health Claims on Food Regulation; and if he will make a statement. [195282]

Dawn Primarolo: The Food Standards Agency's Nutrient Profiling (NP) model and the NP model being developed by the European Commission are intended for different purposes. The agency model is used to control television advertising to children, while the European model will be to control nutrition and health claims on foods. The agency's model is consistent with the scientific principles set out in the recent European Food Safety Authority opinion on nutrient profiling.


18 Mar 2008 : Column 1011W

Obesity: Artificial Sweeteners

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has (a) undertaken and (b) evaluated on possible links between the use of aspartame in foods and obesity levels; and if he will make a statement. [193356]

Dawn Primarolo: The Department has not undertaken research or evaluation specifically on the effect of aspartame consumption on obesity levels.

Aspartame, if used to replace added sugar in foods, can help to reduce its energy content and contribute to consumer choice. The Government’s healthy eating advice remains that consumers should limit their intake of sugary foods and drinks and that sugars should provide no more than 10 per cent. of dietary energy.

Palliative Care: South Yorkshire

Jeff Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what data are used by commissioners to determine the need for specialist palliative and neurological care in Barnsley East and Mexborough constituency. [194436]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: It is for individual primary care trusts (PCTs), including Barnsley PCT, within the national health service to commission services for their resident population, including end of life care and neurological care, based on an assessment of local needs and priorities. Strategic health authorities are responsible for monitoring PCTs to ensure they are effective and efficient.

The NHS operating framework for 2007-08 asked PCTs, working with local authorities, to undertake a baseline review of their end of life care services. These will allow local commissioners to assess current services, identify gaps and obtain a much clearer view of local need, which will inform local commissioning.

Regarding neurological care, the information strategy published alongside the “National Service Framework for Long-term (Neurological) Conditions” outlines commissioners' information requirements and a series of local and national actions designed to meet those needs. A copy of the framework is available in the Library.

Palliative Care: York

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance on supportive and palliative care has been implemented in the Vale of York. [193803]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: It is for individual primary care trusts (PCTs), including North Yorkshire and York PCT, within the national health service to commission services for their resident population, including end of life care, based on assessments of local needs and priorities. The NHS has been required to set out action plans to achieve compliance with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommendations on supportive and palliative care. Implementation is being monitored by strategic health authorities (SHAs).

Information on the rate of progress locally can be obtained through the Yorkshire and the Humber SHA.


18 Mar 2008 : Column 1012W

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what data are used by commissioners to determine the need for specialist palliative and neurological care in the Vale of York. [193804]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: It is for individual primary care trusts (PCTs), including North Yorkshire and York PCT, within the national health service to commission services for their resident population, including end of life care and neurological care, based on an assessment of local needs and priorities. Strategic health authorities are responsible for monitoring PCTs to ensure they are effective and efficient.

The NHS operating framework for 2007-08 asked PCTs, working with local authorities, to undertake a baseline review of their end of life care services. These will allow local commissioners to assess current services, identify gaps and obtain a much clearer view of local need, which will inform local commissioning.

Regarding neurological care, the information strategy published alongside the “National Service Framework for Long-term (Neurological) Conditions” outlines commissioners' information requirements and a series of local and national actions designed to meet those needs. A copy of the framework is available in the Library.

Polyclinics

Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research the Department has commissioned on the likely clinical outcomes from polyclinics. [188207]

Mr. Bradshaw: The term polyclinic can be used to define a range of possible health service models characterised by the co-location and integration of different services, including those traditionally provided in a hospital outpatient setting and diagnostic services. International evidence available from these types of service models is that they can prevent out-patient appointments and reduce hospital admissions. However, clinical outcomes will depend on a range of local factors, including the local design of the services in question.

The clinical design of national health service services is determined locally by primary care trusts and service providers based on local health needs. As part of the NHS Next Stage Review, there are currently some two thousand clinicians considering the best, evidence-based models of care and delivery models.

Sex: Young People

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the percentage of people under 17 years old who had had sexual intercourse in England in each of the last five years. [194270]

Dawn Primarolo: Annual tracking surveys of sexual health campaigns have been undertaken by an independent market research company, TNS, since 2002. It is estimated from data from the surveys between 2004 and 2008 (based on 3,076, 16 to 24-year-olds (including young people who were not yet sexually active)) that 60 per cent. of young people claim to have had sex before they reached the age of 17 and this has not changed in the last five years. The surveys also found the average age of first sex to be 16.


18 Mar 2008 : Column 1013W

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Young People

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many under 17-year-olds were diagnosed with a sexually-transmitted infection in England in each of the last five years. [194273]


18 Mar 2008 : Column 1014W

Dawn Primarolo: Age specific data are not collected centrally and are only available by age groups. The following table shows the total number of new diagnoses of selected sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in under 16s and 16 to 19-year-olds in England.

T otal number of new diagnoses of selected STIs in under 16s and 16 to 19-year-olds in genitor-urinary medicine (GUM) clinics in England; 2002-06
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Under 16 16-19 Under 16 16-19 Under 16 16-19 Under 16 16-19 Under 16 16-19

Uncomplicated chlamydial infection

1,115

20,072

1,372

22,486

1,367

24,698

1,314

25,344

1,327

25,658

Uncomplicated gonorrhoea

340

4,906

322

4,737

261

4,271

230

3,391

193

3,348

Primary and secondary infectious syphilis

3

43

3

51

3

61

17

102

8

100

Anogenital herpes simplex - first attack

149

2,322

151

2,369

142

2,462

140

2,563

144

3,017

Anogenital warts - first attack

552

11,278

574

11,929

584

12,924

514

13,235

621

13,973

Notes: 1. The data available from the KC60 statutory returns are for diagnoses made in GUM clinics only. Diagnoses made in other clinical settings, such as General Practice, are not recorded in the KC60 dataset.
2. The data available from the KC60 statutory returns are the number of diagnoses made, not the number of patients diagnosed. For example, individuals may be diagnosed with chlamydia several times in one year and each diagnosis will be counted separately.
3. The information provided has been adjusted for missing clinic data.
4. Data are not yet available for 2007.
5. Data are only collected by age for the five main STIs.

Prime Minister

Chequers

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Prime Minister (a) how many, (b) which and (c) how often (i) Cabinet Office civil servants, (ii) Number 10 civil servants and (iii) Number 10 political staff have been at Chequers in his absence. [195285]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the then Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office (Gillian Merron) on 13 December 2007, Official Report, column 825W.

Written Questions

Mike Penning: To ask the Prime Minister how many written questions to him had not received an answer as at 25 February 2008 for (a) between two and four, (b) between four and six, (c) between six and eight and (d) more than eight weeks; and how many in each category were tabled for named day answer. [193392]

The Prime Minister: My Office aims to answer all ordinary written parliamentary questions within five working days, and named day written parliamentary questions on the day named.

Since the start of the current parliamentary session 100 per cent. of named day questions were answered on the day named. As at 25 February 2008 two parliamentary questions remained unanswered; neither of these were for named day answer.


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