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16 July 2008 : Column 539W—continued


Primary Care Trusts: Equality

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) which primary care trusts have completed a local equality impact assessment; and whether those assessments are centrally collated; [218542]

(2) what requirements there are on primary care trusts to conduct local equality impact assessments; and whether those assessments are required to cover cancer services. [218599]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: All primary care trusts (PCTs) have a duty to undertake and publish equality impact assessments (EqIAs). These are not centrally collected by the Department. However, the Healthcare Commission has conducted audits of national health service trusts to look at whether trusts have published the required information. Each PCT is required under the equality legislation to equality-impact assess their functions, policies, strategies and procedures. The Healthcare Commission when inspecting PCTs will assess the quality of the EqIA which will go towards their annual rating.

The “Cancer Reform Strategy” was published in December 2007 and has an equality impact assessment which highlights the strategic equality issues regarding cancer which are there to inform PCTs of the issues they should take in due regard when commissioning their own cancer services. Copies of the strategy have already been placed in the Library.

Primary Care Trusts: Managers

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) which primary care trusts employ a medical director; [218903]

(2) whether each primary care trust employs a medical director. [219193]

Ann Keen: This information is not collected centrally.

Senior Salaries Review Body

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what factors underlay his decision to accept the Senior Salaries Review Body recommendation for an increase to basic pay of 2.2 per cent. for executive staff covered by the Very Senior Managers' Pay framework from 1 April 2008. [217486]

Ann Keen: In considering their response to each pay review body the Government take into consideration the recruitment and retention position of the work force, affordability, the consumer price index inflation target and value for money for taxpayers.


16 July 2008 : Column 540W

Sight Impaired: Children

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children aged (a) less than six, (b) six to 10 and (c) 11 to 16 years old have been prescribed glasses in each of the last five years. [218074]

Ann Keen: The Department does not collect statistics broken down by the age groups requested. The following table shows the numbers of national health service optical vouchers paid for by the NHS in England for persons aged under 16 and 16-18 in full-time education.

Numbers of spectacles for which vouchers were reimbursed

0-15 (Children) 16-18 (Students)

2002-03

992,220

252,720

2003-04

1,022,960

233,530

2004-05

997,768

236,065

2005-06

996,535

244,534

2006-07

1,011,619

257,918


The data are published by The Information Centre for health and social care in the General “Ophthalmic Services: Activity Statistics for England and Wales”, copies of these publication have already been placed in the Library.

All figures are the total number of NHS optical vouchers and do not take into account individuals who may have received more than one NHS optical voucher.

Wheelchairs

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the adequacy of provision of wheelchair transportation to and from NHS hospitals. [214344]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: There have been no assessments made of the adequacy of provision of wheelchair transportation to and from national health service hospitals. It is for local NHS organisations and Social Services to decide how resources should to allocated and to commission appropriate services, taking account of local circumstances and priorities.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the implementation of the new model for the delivery of wheelchair services is intended to reduce waiting times for (a) assessment for and (b) delivery of powered wheelchairs. [216571]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Transforming Community Equipment and Wheelchair Services Programme (TCEWS) was set up in 2006 to design a radical new model for delivery of both community equipment and wheelchairs in England. The remit of the programme was to place service users and carers at the heart of any new service model and build on the strengths of the third and private sector. The overall aim was to develop a new high quality system for delivering equipment which would give those supported by the state the sort of choice and control they have not previously enjoyed. Responsibility for assessment of need remains with local health and social care commissioners.

The programme has developed a business case for a new model of delivery of wheelchair services which is currently being considered by senior officials in the Department.


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