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8 May 2008 : Column 1166W—continued

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people absconded from secure NHS units in each of the last five years. [204086]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department does not routinely collect data on absconsions from national health service low or medium secure mental health services. Data are collected by the Department on absconsions from high secure mental health hospitals and the five most recent years’ data are shown in the following table.

Absconsions from NHS high secure units in England, 2003 to 2007
Rampton Broadmoor Ashworth Total


























Department of Health Secure Services

Dental Services

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of units of dental activity (UDA) in England expected to be the subject of a reclaim of UDA payments from activity in 2007 in 2008. [203515]

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Ann Keen: This information is not available. For dental activity reporting purposes the year 2007-08 has not yet ended. Dental providers have until the end of May to submit all their activity reports for activity delivered during 2007-08.

Departmental Pay

Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost of (a) salaries for permanent civil service posts, (b) salaries for permanent non-civil service posts and (c) payments to temporary or agency workers in his Department was in each month since May 2005. [199553]

Maria Eagle: I have been asked to reply.

The cost of salaries and payments split by months is available only at disproportionate cost.

The total annual figures for those entities within the Accounting Boundary of Ministry of Justice for 2006-07, and a provisional figure for 2007-08 which is subject to audit, are set out in the following table.

Figures cannot readily be disaggregated between civil servants and non-civil servants.

Wages and salaries
£ million
Permanently employed Temporary/agency Total









1. Figures for 2005-06 are not readily available for an aggregated MoJ. The figures for 2006-07 and 2007-08 assume the MoJ was in existence for both years, whereas it actually came into existence on 9 May 2007.
2. Figures include wages and salaries only. No employer social security costs or employer's pension costs are included.
3. Judges, both salaried and fee-paid, are excluded, due to their independent status.
4. The annual figures are for bodies within the Accounting Boundary of MoJ and do not include non departmental public bodies sponsored by MoJ.
5. The Accounting Boundary of the Ministry of Justice includes: HM Court Service, Tribunals Service, Office of Public Guardianship, Wales Office, Scotland Office, National Probation Service, HM Prison Service and MoJ HQ.
6. Figures for 2007-08 are provisional, and subject to audit.

Dietary Supplements: EU Law

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment the Government has made of the effect of the implementation of the Food Supplements Regulations on the planting, development and import of genetically-modified material. [203512]

Dawn Primarolo: No assessment has been made of the effect of the Food Supplements Regulations on the planting, development and import of genetically modified material in the United Kingdom. The Food Supplements Regulations do not contain provisions for genetically modified material. Separate European Community legislation provide measures for the authorisation, cultivation and import of genetically modified organisms.

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Doctors: Working Hours

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate his Department has made of the number of junior doctors required to ensure that no junior doctor works more than 48 hours per week by August 2009; and how many junior doctors were working in the NHS at the latest date for which figures are available. [203440]

Ann Keen: It is for national health service trusts to implement the European working time directive (EWTD) as part of their health and safety obligations. The Department has commissioned NHS National Workforce Projects to support local implementation of the EWTD for doctors in training through a range of innovative pilot projects and supporting tools. These solutions do not rely on lots more doctors in training and the NHS has already increased the number of trainee doctors by more than half since 1997.

There were 16,024 junior doctors working in the NHS as of 30 September 2007.

Trans Fats: Restaurants

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will consider the merits of banning trans fats in restaurants; what representations he has received on this issue; and if he will make a statement. [203833]

Dawn Primarolo: In October 2007 the Food Standards Agency (FSA) was asked to review the health impacts of trans fats and potential for action in light of the measures taken in New York and Denmark. As part of this review, the FSA sought the advice of the United Kingdom’s independent Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, which examined the most recent evidence on the health implications of trans fats. The FSA recommended that mandatory restrictions on trans fats were unnecessary as voluntary measures undertaken by the industry, including the restaurant sector, had reduced average population intakes of trans fats to very low levels that are around half the maximum recommended average intake.

General Practitioners

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many GP surgeries there were in each local authority in England in each year since 1996-97. [202888]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department does not collect data on number of general practitioner (GP) surgeries by local authority area. However, data is available on number of GP practices (partnerships)—some of which operate from more than one surgery—broken down by national health service organisation.

Such information as is available has been placed in the Library.

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Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the maximum distance is which people should expect to have to travel to a GP surgery. [203387]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department does not specify maximum distances which people should expect to have to travel to a general practitioner's (GP's) surgery. Patients can seek to register with any GP practice that is taking new patient registrations. Arrangements exist locally between practices and primary care trusts (PCTs) setting out practice boundaries. PCTs are responsible for commissioning local primary care services in accordance with the needs of their local population, including ensuring appropriate access for patients to GP services.

General Practitioners: Manpower

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many GPs his Department estimates will be working in the NHS in (a) April 2009 and (b) April 2010; and how many NHS GPs there were at the latest date for which figures are available. [203398]

Ann Keen: At 30 September 2007 there were 33,364 general practitioners (GPs) (excluding GP retainers, GP registrars and locums) in the national health service, an increase of 273 (0.8 per cent.) from 2006.

It is for primary care trusts (PCTs), working locally, to determine the precise workforce requirements for services. More GPs will be needed for the new GP-led health centres and for the new practices in deprived areas. PCTs will be procuring through the new GP practices and health centres during 2008-09 up to 900 extra GPs, nurses and health care assistants.

Hospitals: Cleaning Services

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when he expects the deep clean of hospitals in England to take place; [203396]

(2) what proportion of hospitals in England were (a) deep cleaned throughout, (b) deep cleaned on targeted wards only and (c) not deep cleaned as part of his Department's recent deep cleaning programme. [203406]

Ann Keen: As set out in the written ministerial statement given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 21 April 2008, Official Report, column 93-94WS, deep cleaning is part of a comprehensive range of measures to improve cleanliness and tackle infections set out in the Strategy "Clean, Safe Care: Reducing Infections and Saving Lives”. Copies of the strategy are available in the Library.

The national health service will maintain the high standards of cleanliness that the current programme has provided. This will be monitored and performance managed at a local level. Deep cleaning will be included in Patient Environment Action Team inspection programme from next year. Specialist Healthcare Commission inspections began this month, inspecting against the “Code of Practice for the Prevention and Control of Healthcare Associated Infections”. Copies of this publication are available in the Library. All acute trusts will be inspected annually on the cleanliness of their environment. We will also publish
8 May 2008 : Column 1170W
best practice guidance on deep cleaning later this year to help hospitals continue to achieve the best possible environment for patient care.

Information on trusts which had completed the deep cleans as part of the national programme is detailed in the written ministerial statement of 21 April 2008. Details of each trust's cleaning plan are not held centrally as this is a matter for local discretion. Each strategic health authority was responsible for ensuring that appropriate deep cleaning programmes (that complemented existing cleaning regimes) were agreed in their areas and also that the plans were funded appropriately by commissioners.

Hospitals: Waiting Lists

Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when Ministers in his Department first knew that the NHS quarterly statistics for inpatient and outpatient waiting times did not meet each of the six statistical criteria. [202770]

Mr. Bradshaw: On 10 March 2008 I received briefing from departmental officials on the findings of the Statistics Commission report entitled ‘Review of Statistical First Releases’. This report was published on 13 March 2008 and copies are available in the Library.

The report included analysis of a release entitled NHS inpatient and outpatient waiting times figures, events during the quarter ending 30 June 2007 which was published on 31 August 2007.

In order to provide as much information as possible and accord with best practice, from 1 April 2008, all of the Department's National Statistics, including monthly inpatient and outpatient waiting times, are being released in accordance with arrangements approved by the new UK Statistics Authority.

Monthly inpatient and outpatient waiting statistics, in addition to our newer referral to treatment waiting statistics, continue to be accompanied by neutral statistical commentary.

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consultation his Department had with interested parties to inform the drafting of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill in 2007; and what form such consultation took in each case. [203447]

Dawn Primarolo: The Government announced a review of the law on assisted reproduction and embryo research in January 2004, and in drafting the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill 2007, have taken account of the views of a wide range of interested parties. Following an inquiry and evidence gathering by the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee into human reproductive technologies and the law, the Department launched a public consultation exercise which ran from 16 August to 25 November 2005. A total of 535 responses were received from a wide range of stakeholders organisations and members of the public. A White Paper setting out the Government’s policy proposals was published in December 2006, followed by publication of draft legislation for pre-legislative scrutiny by a Joint
8 May 2008 : Column 1171W
Committee of both Houses in May 2007. Revised in the light of the Joint Committee’s report, the Bill was introduced in the House of Lords on 8 November 2007.

Human Umbilical Cord Blood Cells

Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the terms of reference are of the umbilical cord blood review being undertaken by his Department; and which organisations and individuals have accepted invitations to the review meeting on 28 May 2008. [202390]

Dawn Primarolo: The proposed review will assess the following:

The review, to be carried out by Technopolis Ltd, will prepare an initial report on the current use of stem cells collected at birth. This will be presented to an expert workshop on 28 May 2008.

Those invited to the workshop include representatives from Government Departments, regulatory agencies, research councils, public and private blood banks and the Royal Colleges. Two international cord blood research experts, Professor Colin McGuckin from Newcastle university and Albert Bekassy from Lund university Sweden, have also agreed to attend.

Replies are still being received but, so far, 19 representatives from the organisations have agreed to attend.

Keep Warm, Keep Well

Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost has been of the (a) publication and (b) distribution of his Department’s Keep Warm, Keep Well information booklet; when the booklets were first made available for distribution in 2007; what assessment he has made of the efficacy of the distribution of the booklets; which agencies were involved in the distribution to doctors’ surgeries of the booklets; and if he will make a statement. [202243]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department recognises the importance of fuel poverty and its impact upon excess winter mortality, health and well-being. The Department works in partnership with other Government Departments and works in close collaboration with Warm Front to increase health sector referral rates for winter warmth interventions. The Keep Well, Keep Warm, campaign is a key aspect of the Department’s commitment to address fuel poverty and promote winter warmth.

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