Previous Section Index Home Page

2 Apr 2008 : Column 1094W—continued

Drugs: Rehabilitation

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in the commitment in the 2008 drug strategy, “Tackling drugs, changing lives”, to achieve better outcomes for those entering treatment by raising standards across all treatment providers through new local clinical governance arrangements; and if he will make a statement. [196531]

Dawn Primarolo: Clinical governance is an increasingly important quality and safety assurance framework for all drug treatment providers. There are important issues about how clinical governance can work across complex drug treatment systems and how this can be helpful to drug treatment services, not just those in the national health service, and their commissioners.

The National Treatment Agency (NTA) is working with local partnerships to help ensure that clinical governance is operating effectively across the drug treatment sector. The NTA have asked that partnerships set out in their annual treatment plans what actions were planned at a partnership level to identify the current arrangements for clinical governance and what is planned to support their future development to enable service providers to respond to recent guidelines. This should include, as a minimum:

In February this year the NTA published a consultation draft of guidance on clinical governance in drug treatment. Consultation will finish on 14 May 2008.

Eyesight: Testing

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the percentage of (a) children under 16-years-old and (b) adults entitled to free eye tests who have regular eye examinations. [197968]

Ann Keen: The Department has made no estimate of the numbers of individuals who are entitled to a sight test and who have regular eye examinations.

Numbers of General Ophthalmic Services (GOS) sight tests paid for by the national health service per 10,000 persons in England, Wales, Scotland and Great Britain for the years ending 31 March 1996 to 2005 are
2 Apr 2008 : Column 1095W
available in Table 3 of “General Ophthalmic Services: Consultation tables for England, Wales and Scotland, 2004-05”. Information is available for children (aged 15 and under), students in full-time education (aged 16 to 18) and other eligible adults.

Copies of this report, published 30 November 2005, have been placed in the Library and is available at:

The Information Centre for health and social care will aim to publish a complete time series of population rates for numbers of GOS sight tests paid for by the NHS, by patient eligibility in the “General Ophthalmic Services: Activity Statistics for England and Wales—Year Ending 31 March 2008” report. This report is due to be published in July 2008.

Folic Acid

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will meet representatives of (a) Folic Acid Action and (b) the Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus to discuss the proposals of the Food Standards Agency to limit the strength of folic acid in food supplements. [196594]

Dawn Primarolo: Women who might become pregnant are recommended to take 400 micrograms per day folic acid until the 12 week of pregnancy to reduce the risk of neural tube defect affected pregnancies. There are no plans to revise this long standing Food Standards Agency/departmental advice or to limit the levels of folic acid in those supplements aimed at women of child-bearing age. There are therefore no plans for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to meet these organisations.

General Practitioners: Training

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hours of training relating to substance misuse those preparing to become GPs receive. [197329]

Ann Keen: The educational and training curricula of doctors is set and managed by the appropriate Royal College for the specialty concerned. The content of the training curriculum is agreed by the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board. The Department is not
2 Apr 2008 : Column 1096W
involved in setting training programmes but does share a commitment with those bodies that all health professionals are trained so that they have the skills and knowledge to deliver high quality healthcare in their specialty.

Genetics: Testing

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to regulate the sale by biotechnology companies of genetic testing kits which determine susceptibility to psychiatric disorders; and if he will make a statement. [196229]

Dawn Primarolo: In its response to the Human Genetics Commission (HGC) report on direct to consumer genetic tests in 2007, the Department and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency undertook to work with the HGC and other interested parties, such as the Advertising Standards Authority, to develop a voluntary code of practice to ensure that genetic testing services are safe, effective and are promoted responsibly.

Health Centres: Railway Stations

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the use by UK nationals of drop-in health centres at London's mainline stations in the last two years. [197336]

Mr. Bradshaw: There are three centrally procured operational contracts for commuter walk-in centres in London at Victoria, Liverpool Street and Canary Wharf. These are located close to major commuter hubs and not actually within mainline stations.

The Department collects information on ethnic origin from patients but has made no formal analysis of this data. All patients visiting the commuter walk-in centres are asked to fill in a form which gathers information on ethnic origin. It is not compulsory to fill in these forms and therefore the Department does not hold full data sets about the ethnic origin of the patients treated.

The following table shows the number of patients who voluntarily recorded their ethnic origin as British at commuter walk-in centres in London for January 2006 to December 2007.

Facility Patients treated Number of recorded British nationals treated( 1) Date of service commencement Average number of patients per day

Liverpool Street



December 2005


Canary Wharf



April 2006





December 2006





(1) This column represents people who have listed themselves as ‘white British’' ‘Asian or Asian British’ and ‘black or black British’. Due to the way ethnic origin statistics are collected this means the number of people recorded here could also include some non-British nationals.

Health Visitors

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many health visitors there were in each (a) region and (b) primary care trust in each of the last five years for which figures are available in terms of (i) headcount and (ii) full-time equivalent staff. [196818]

Ann Keen: A table has been placed in the Library which shows the number of health visitors in England during the last five years, broken down by strategic health authority and primary care trust for both headcount and full-time equivalent staff.

Heart Diseases: Greater London

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many men under the age of 35 years in (a) Romford constituency, (b) the London borough of
2 Apr 2008 : Column 1097W
Havering and (c) Greater London had heart attacks in each of the last five years. [196673]

Ann Keen: This information is not held centrally.

Heart Diseases: Health Services

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the evaluation report on pilot sites for the provision of primary angioplasty will be published. [197877]

Ann Keen: The evaluation of the primary angioplasty pilot sites being carried out by the University of Sheffield into staffing, patient experience and costs is due to be completed by the end of April 2008. This will feed into the final report by the Department to be published later this year.

Hereditary Diseases

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether (a) he, (b) his Ministers and (c) his officials have had meetings in relation to birth defects in consanguineous marriages in the last six months. [196755]

Ann Keen: Information on the number of birth defects in consanguineous marriages is not collected centrally. The Department's correspondence unit has no record of any representations on birth defects as a result of from consanguineous marriages this year. Neither Ministers nor officials have met to discuss this issue in the last six months.

Hospitals: Cleaning Services

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding his Department has allocated to hospitals in the west midlands for deep cleaning to date, broken down by hospital. [195416]

Ann Keen: All trusts were required to submit and agree their deep clean plans with primary care trusts in their area by 14 December 2007 and this process has been monitored and assessed by strategic health authorities (SHAs). As set out in the written ministerial statement given by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State on 17 January, Official Report, columns 38-39WS, further information on the implementation of the deep clean of the national health service is available from SHAs. All deep cleans will be complete by the end of March 2008.

Hospitals: Parking

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance he issues to NHS bodies on the level of charges levied at hospital car parks; whether such guidance permits the setting of charges at levels above those required for cost recovery; and if he will make a statement. [197718]

Mr. Bradshaw: National health service bodies are able to charge for car parking on their premises as an income generation scheme. NHS bodies have income
2 Apr 2008 : Column 1098W
generation powers enabling them to generate income by utilising spare capacity resulting from a non-core function.

Providing car parking services will inevitably incur overheads that must be paid for, such as maintenance and operational costs, security and lighting. If no charges were imposed, these costs would have to be found from elsewhere, at the risk of diverting funds away from patient services. Profits after covering these costs are allowed, but they must only be used to improve the health service.

The Department issued revised guidance to the NHS in December 2006 entitled Income Generation: Car Parking Charges—Best Practice for Implementation on the issues to be considered when setting up a car parking scheme or when reviewing existing ones, including what kind of car parking scheme to offer, what charges to impose and what concessions to consider.

However, the fact remains that it is for individual NHS bodies to set the level of car parking charges on their premises, taking account of all the relevant local factors.

Hospitals: Waste Disposal

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department monitors the (a) level of emissions from hospital incinerators and (b) effects on health of dioxins produced from burning hospital waste. [197835]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department provides advice and guidance to the national health service on the management and disposal routes of healthcare waste in health technical memorandum (HTM) 07-01: “Safe management of healthcare waste”. A copy of HTM 07-01 is available in the Library and is also available at:

It is the role of the Environment Agency and the relevant local authority to licence and register all waste disposal plant, including NHS operated sites and a number of privately operated sites that are still located on hospital land. This will include monitoring the level of emissions and reporting on dioxin levels to ensure they are within acceptable and permissible limits.

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill: Hearing Impaired

Janet Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with representatives of deaf communities on provisions in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. [196923]

Dawn Primarolo: Officials at the Department have had contact with the Royal National Institute for the Deaf, the British Deaf Association, Islington Deaf Campaign and the Stop Eugenics group. Communication with these groups is ongoing.

2 Apr 2008 : Column 1099W

Injuries: Sports

Mr. Caborn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people attended accident and emergency departments as a result of sports injuries in the last two years. [197258]

Dawn Primarolo: The information requested is not collected centrally. Hospital Episode Statistics does not collect data on accident and emergency attendance.

Junior Doctors: Labour Turnover

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many junior doctors left the NHS in each of the last five years for which figures are available; what estimate he has made of the number likely to leave the NHS in 2008; and if he will make a statement. [196161]

Ann Keen: We do not collect the number of junior doctors who have left the national health service. We do collect the number in post, which is shown in the following table.

England as 30 September each year
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

Registrar Group






Senior House Officer






Foundation Year 2



House Officer and Foundation

Programme Year 1












Next Section Index Home Page