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20 Mar 2008 : Column 1312W—continued

We have also made health inequalities a key priority for the NHS, as set out in the NHS Operating Framework 2008-09. Incentives for the NHS and local authorities have been aligned with the same health inequalities indicators in both the “NHS Operating Framework 2008/09—Vital Signs” (a copy of this
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document has been placed in the Library) and the “New Performance Framework for Local Authorities and Local Authority Partnerships: Single Set of National Indicators”, a copy of this document is available in the Library.

Joint Strategic Needs Assessment has been introduced to support primary care trusts and local authorities to develop a whole health and social care system, which meets the needs of local people and takes account of inequalities, and communities for health, a local authority-led initiative focussed on health improvement and reducing health inequalities promotes action across local organisations, including all spearheads.

In addition, the Department is providing tailored, intensive, assistance to areas that face the biggest challenges in delivering the 2010 target. We have established national support teams on health inequalities and on tobacco control and smoking cessation that will disseminate best practice across areas with high infant mortality rates and spearhead areas.

The Department and the Association of Public Health Observatories have jointly developed the interactive Health Inequalities Intervention Tool. Launched in August 2007, the tool helps local health services and councils improve life expectancy in spearhead areas.

Hepatitis

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the Answer of 6 February 2008, Official Report, column 1254W, on hepatitis, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the FaCe It campaign. [193920]

Dawn Primarolo: The aim of the hepatitis C FaCe It awareness campaign has been to increase hepatitis C diagnosis so that those infected can be referred for specialist care and treatment. There are two national outcome indicators, drawn from epidemiological surveillance by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), intended to track this.

The first indicator is the total number of laboratory confirmed hepatitis C infection reports. There has been a significant increase in hepatitis C diagnoses in England reported to the HPA through national surveillance from around 5,600 in 2003 (the year before the campaign began) to around 8,346 in 2007.

The second indicator is the proportion of injecting drug users attending treatment and support agencies, who are aware of their hepatitis C infection. The proportion who are aware of their hepatitis C infection has increased from 42 per cent. in 2003 to 54 per cent. in 2007.

Research into awareness among general practitioners and practice nurses in 2005 and the public in 2006 indicates that awareness of hepatitis C has increased since the campaign began. For example, the proportion of the public saying they know nothing at all about hepatitis C has almost halved to 23 per cent. in 2006 compared to 42 per cent. in 2003.


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Other indicators of the impact of the campaign are that:

HIV Infection: Lancashire

Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many residents of Morecambe and Lunesdale constituency had been diagnosed as HIV positive at the latest date for which figures are available. [194722]

Dawn Primarolo: The data requested are not available by constituency. However, data are available by local authority. In 2006, 33 HIV-infected residents of Lancaster city council were reported to have been seen for HIV-related care.

In-Vitro Fertilisation

Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish his Department’s recent survey of primary care trusts’ provision of in-vitro fertilisation treatment. [194088]

Dawn Primarolo: A summary of responses will be placed in the Library and on the Department’s website in due course.

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what surveys his Department has initiated on primary care trusts' progress on implementation of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's guidelines on access to in-vitro fertilisation treatment; and if he will publish the results of these surveys. [190428]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 29 February 2008]: The Department has carried out a survey of primary care trusts and a summary of responses will be placed in the Library and on the Department's website in due course. The Department also funded a survey carried out in 2006 by the leading fertility patient support organisation Infertility Network UK, and the analysis and summary of responses has been placed in the Library and is available on the Department's website at:

Chris McCafferty: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made on the consultation being conducted by the Human Fertilisation and Embroyology Authority on single embryo transfer; and if he will make a statement. [195006]

Dawn Primarolo: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority’s public consultation “The Best Possible Start to Life” was published in April 2007. It set out the options for reducing the incidence of multiple
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births following in vitro fertilisation. Following the consultation the authority concluded that a three year strategy was needed to enable the multiple birth rate to fall. They have called on the relevant professional bodies to lead on developing guidance on the best way to achieve this change. We have welcomed that work, which will be taken into account by the expert group which we are establishing to consider the barriers to the implementation of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence fertility guideline and assess how to help primary care trust commissioners.

Marie Stopes International: Finance

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding his Department has given to the Marie Stopes organisation to (a) establish and (b) maintain its recently established abortion telephone counselling service. [194711]

Dawn Primarolo: The Department has provided no such funding.

Mental Health Services

Mr. Heath: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) medium and (b) high security mental health beds there were in each of the last five years, broken down by (i) sex of occupants and (ii) region. [193500]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The data collected record the numbers of mental health and learning disability secure unit beds in national health service units, not the numbers of psychiatric secure unit beds. The data do not include independent sector beds.

The following table shows the average daily number of NHS secure unit beds, and learning disability secure unit beds in NHS units in England over the last five years.

Mental illness Learning disability

2002-03

2,064

508

2003-04

2,569

514

2004-05

2,696

503

2005-06

2,807

526

2006-07

2,993

516

Notes: These figures do not represent the full level of secure services available to the NHS. ‘Low secure’ mental health services are not consistently defined and may well fall outside the definitions. This means that the figures above mainly show the numbers in high and medium secure mental health services in NHS units. These figures also only show NHS beds and not those commissioned by the NHS and provided by independent sector providers. Source: Department of Health Dataset KH03.

The definitions of mental health and learning disability secure unit beds, for the purposes of the KH03 annual beds collection, are:

Mental Illness—Other ages, Secure unit

An ‘Age group intended’ of National Code 8 ‘Any age’, a 'Broad patient group code' of National Code 5 ‘Patients with mental illness’ and a ‘Clinical care intensity’ of National Code 51 ‘For intensive care: specially designated ward for patients needing containment and more intensive
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management. This is not to be confused with intensive nursing where a patient may require one-to-one nursing while on a standard ward’.

Learning disabilities—Other ages, Secure unit

An ‘Age group intended' of National Code 8 ‘Any age’, a ‘Broad patient group code' of National Code 6 'Patients with learning difficulties' and a 'Clinical care intensity' of National Code 61 'designated or interim secure unit'.

The information on sex and region is not available in the format requested. Information on bed availability and occupancy by NHS organisations in England for 2006-07 and the preceding four years is available on the Department's website at:

Mental Health Services: Hospital Beds

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many beds in psychiatric wards for adults (a) of working age and (b) older than the working age were occupied by patients whose discharge was delayed in each of the last three years, broken down by trust; and what proportion of all delayed discharges in the NHS those figures represented; [194730]

(2) how many discharges of psychiatric patients were delayed for reasons other than awaiting transfer to local authority care, in each of the last three years, broken down by individual trust; [194731]

(3) how many delayed discharge cases of psychiatric patients were awaiting transfer to local authority care in each of the last three years, broken down by trust. [194732]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The specific information requested is not collected. However, for information on delayed transfers of care from non-acute beds in England for 2006-07 to 2007-08, broken down by primary care trust, has been placed in the Library.

Mental Health Services: Lancashire

Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent steps his Department has taken to secure adequate psychological therapy provision in Morecambe and Lunesdale constituency. [194712]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Ensuring adequate availability of services is the responsibility of local national health service organisations. Since 2006, the delivery of mental health services in Morecambe and Lunesdale has been the responsibility of Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Mentally Ill: Discharges

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many beds on average in psychiatric wards in each trust were occupied by patients of (a) working and (b) pensionable age whose discharge was delayed in each of the last three years; and what proportion those figures represented of all delayed discharges in the NHS in each of those years; [191432]


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(2) how many delayed discharge cases there were of psychiatric patients awaiting transfer to local authority care in each trust in each of the last three years; [191433]

(3) how many discharges of psychiatric patients in each trust were delayed for reasons other than awaiting transfer to local authority care in each of the last three years; [191434]

(4) what (a) targets and (b) guidance he provides to trusts on delayed discharges; and what sanctions are applied to trusts for delayed discharge of (i) general patients and (ii) patients with mental health problems. [191435]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: There is no numeric target for delayed transfers of care, but we expect the national health service and its partners to keep delays at a minimal level. The new performance framework for local authorities and local authority partnerships includes an indicator for delayed transfers of care for all adult patients in all settings (acute, non-acute and mental health), which localities may incorporate in their local area agreement from April 2008 if appropriate to local circumstances.

Except where local multi-agency partnership working is the agreed way of helping patients to leave hospital as quickly as it is both safe and appropriate for them to do so, a council may be liable to pay £100 (£120 in London and the south-east) for each day that a patient in an acute bed has a delayed transfer of care because the council has not been able to put a suitable package of community care in place in time.

Specific guidance on hospital discharge includes the toolkits ‘Achieving timely simple discharge from hospital: A toolkit for the multi-disciplinary team’ (August 2004) and ‘Discharge from hospital: pathway, process and practice’ (January 2003). In addition, the Care Services Improvement Programme has published ‘A Positive Outlook—A good practice toolkit to improve discharge from inpatient mental health care’ (March 2007). Copies of all the documents have been placed in the Library and are available on the following websites.

Information on the numbers of people with delayed transfers of care in acute beds and in non-acute beds is collected, but is not currently available. It will be available shortly and a copy will be placed in the Library.

Palliative Care: Tamworth

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what data are used by commissioners to determine the
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need for specialist palliative and neurological care in Tamworth. [193619]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: It is for individual primary care trusts (PCTs), including South Staffordshire 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.

Patient Choice Schemes

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of (a) the number of GPs using choose and book and (b) the frequency of use by those GPs. [195315]

Mr. Bradshaw: The management information from the Department indicates that over 7,500 (89 per cent.) general practitioner (GP) practices made an electronic booking in February 2008 using choose and book. Information is not available on the frequency of use by those GPs. We can confirm over 7,300 (87 per cent.) GP practices used choose and book in each month from December 2007 to February 2008.


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