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6 Oct 2008 : Column 407W—continued

Departmental Retirement

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green of 14 July 2008, Official Report, columns 193-4W, on departmental retirement, how many requests to work beyond the mandatory retirement age were received by his Department in each of the last four years. [222433]

Mr. Bradshaw: The number of requests to work beyond the mandatory retirement age received by the Department in each of the last four years are given in the following table:










Departmental Surveillance

James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many applications (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have made under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 to (i) undertake directed surveillance, (ii) use covert human intelligence sources, (iii) acquire communications data and (iv) undertake intrusive surveillance in the last 24 months. [222092]

Mr. Bradshaw: Figures on public authority use of covert techniques controlled by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (‘RIPA’) are published annually by the Interception of Communications Commissioner, the Chief Surveillance Commissioner and the Intelligence Services Commissioner who each have particular inspection and oversight responsibilities under RIPA. The latest reports were laid before Parliament and copies placed in the Library on 22 July. The figures provided in the reports are not broken down by individual public authority use of specific covert technique as, depending on the particular technique and authority using it, this could either reveal sensitivities or be misleading. The question of further disclosure for any particular public authority is a matter for the relevant Commissioner.

Direct Payments

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in (a) England, (b) Yorkshire and the Humber and (c) Wakefield District have requested direct payments (i) for care provision for themselves and (ii) as a carer. [223767]

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Dawn Primarolo: Table 1 shows the number of clients (aged 18 and over) receiving direct payments. Information is shown for England, for Yorkshire and the Humber region and for Wakefield council with Adult Social Services Responsibilities between 1 April 2006 and 31 March 2007. Table 2 shows the number of carers (aged 16 or over) receiving direct payments for carer’s services at 31 March 2007. There is no information available on the numbers of people requesting direct payments.

Table 1: Number of clients aged 18 and over receiving direct payments 2006-07

Rounded numbers



Yorkshire and the Humber




RAP proforma P2f

The England and Regional totals are estimates based on the figures from 150 P2f proformas received.

Table 2: Number of carers aged 16 and over receiving direct payments at 31 March 2007

Rounded numbers



Yorkshire and the Humber(2)




(1) Actual figures—19 councils in England did not submit data.
(2) Actual figures—one council in Yorkshire and the Humber did not submit data.
(3) Data less than six.

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether a (a) carer and (b) care receiver is classified as an employer when receiving direct care payments and using them to secure the care services of other professionals; what legislation governs carers and care receivers in these circumstances; and if he will make a statement; [223768]

(2) what sources of assistance are available to carers and care receivers who decide not to apply for direct payments; [223769]

(3) what (a) targets and (b) guidelines there are for the period of time between a carer or care receiver making a request for direct payments and that request being implemented. [223770]

Dawn Primarolo: Both a care receiver and carer in receipt of direct payments are classified as employers when using the payments to secure the services of other professionals. They would have all the legal responsibilities of an employer and would need to ensure that they are aware of and comply with these responsibilities.

Councils should make it clear that a person does not have to receive direct payments. If a carer or care receiver decide not to have direct payments, their local council has an obligation to meet their needs, therefore the local council remains responsible for providing or arranging the provision of services they are assessed as needing. They should also discuss with people who are to receive direct payments what they should do if they no longer wish to receive direct payments.

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The Department has not set any targets or deadlines for the period of time between a carer or care receiver making a request for direct payments and that request being implemented. This would be a local decision.


James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for Horsham of 19 June 2008, Official Report, column 1187W, on Dorneywood: official hospitality, what use his Department has made of Dorneywood for official engagements in the last 12 months. [222085]

Mr. Bradshaw: None.

Down's Syndrome

Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many live births of children with Down's syndrome were recorded in each year for which records are available since 1980. [222580]

Dawn Primarolo: The number of live birth episodes recorded in each year from 1997-98 to 2006-07 are given in the following table. Before 1997-08 problems with data quality of the maternity data mean that figures are not available.

The figure for each year shows the number of live born recorded births with a primary or secondary diagnosis of Down's syndrome which have taken place in a national health service hospital or in an unspecified location. It does not show births that have taken place in a location that is known to be outside of an NHS hospital setting.

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Live born birth episodes





















1. Finished Consultant Episode (FCE): A finished consultant episode (FCE) is defined as a period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one health care provider. FCEs are counted against the year in which the FCE finishes. Please note that the figures do not represent the number of patients, as a person may have more than one episode of care within the year. (Episode type used: 3—Birth event 6—Other Birth event)
2. Data Quality: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) are compiled from data sent by over 300 NHS trusts, and primary care trusts (PCTs) in England. Data are also received from a number of independent sector organisations for activity commissioned by the English NHS. The NHS Information Centre for health and social care liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies and the effect of missing and invalid data via HES processes. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain.
3. Assessing growth through time: HES figures are available from 1989-90 onwards. During the years that these records have been collected the NHS there have been ongoing improvements in quality and coverage. These improvements in information submitted by the NHS have been particularly marked in the earlier years and need to be borne in mind when analysing time series.
4. Some of the increase in figures for later years (particularly 2006-07 onwards) may be due to the improvement in the coverage of independent sector activity.
5. Changes in NHS practice also need to be borne in mind when analysing time series. For example a number of procedures may now be undertaken in outpatient settings and may no longer be accounted in the HES data. This may account for any reductions in activity over time.
6. Number of episodes in which the patient had a (named) primary or secondary diagnosis: These figures represent the number of episodes where the diagnosis was recorded in any of the 20 (14 from 2002-03 to 2006-07 and seven prior to 2002-03) primary and secondary diagnosis fields in an HES record. Each episode is only counted once in each count, even if the diagnosis is recorded in more than one diagnosis field of the record.
7. Down's syndrome codes used:
Q90.0—Trisomy 21, meiotic nondisjunction
Q90.1—Trisomy 21, mosaicism (mitotic nondisjunction)
Q90.--Trisomy 21, translocation
Q90.9—Down's syndrome, unspecified
8. Liveborn codes used:
Z38.0—Singleton, born in hospital
Z38.2—Singleton, unspecified as to place of birth
Z38.3—Twin, born in hospital
Z38.5—Twin, unspecified as to place of birth
Z38.6—Other multiple, born in hospital
Z38.8—Other multiple, unspecified as to place of birth
8. Ungrossed Data: Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in data (i.e. the data are ungrossed).
HES, The NHS Information Centre for health and social care

EDF Energy

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what contracts (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have with EDF; and how much (i) his Department and (ii) its agencies paid to EDF in each of the last 10 years, broken down by the purpose of the payment. [221841]

Mr. Bradshaw: Our records for contracts only go as far back as 2002 and some data can only be partially provided for the period before 2004. The information of the contracts that the Department of Health and its Executive Agencies have had with EDF since 2002 is as follows:

Organisation Dates Amount (£) Purpose

NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency

October 2002 to September 2003


Electricity supply for Reading Office

NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency

October 2002 to September 2003


Electricity supply for Chester Office

Department of Health

October 2002 to October 2003


Electricity supply for London Offices

Department of Health April

2006 to March 2007


Power supply to part of Richmond House

Department of Health

April 2007 to March 2008


Power supply to part of Richmond House

(1)Data not available

EU Law

Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many officials in his Department are wholly or mainly tasked with the negotiation, implementation or the administration of EU legislation and consequent policies. [222279]

Dawn Primarolo: As a matter of course, the management of European Union (EU) business rests with policy officials, throughout the Department, depending on the
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range and type of active EU legislation being negotiated/administered. The Department has an EU coordination unit (six officials) which supports the handling of EU policy business. In addition to this unit, there is an overseas healthcare team (eight officials) responsible for the management of healthcare regulation/overseas payments to other EU member states.

Fluoride: Drinking Water

Mr. Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has commissioned to monitor the incidence of primary bone cancer in populations receiving fluoridated water. [223845]

Dawn Primarolo: The Department has commissioned research into the effects of fluoridation on health. A Systematic Review of Public Water Fluoridation published by the university of York in 2000 found no significant association between, water fluoridation and cancer, but called for further research to strengthen the evidence base. Section 58 of the Water Act 2003 placed a duty on strategic health authorities (SHAs) to monitor the effects of fluoridation schemes on the health of persons living in the fluoridated area and publish reports containing an analysis of the effects on health at four-yearly intervals. We have commissioned the West Midland Public Health Observatory to propose a set of standard indicators, which can be used by SHAs to discharge this duty. We understand that, in compiling its proposals, the Observatory is considering whether data on the incidence of bone cancer held in cancer registries could be included among the indicators.

General Practitioners

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the evidential basis is for the Minister of State's statement on his interview published with the BBC News website on 3 July 2008 that GPs are entering into gentlemen's agreements in order to restrict a patient's ability to change practice. [218304]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department has received communications from members of the public citing examples of general practitioner (GP) surgeries that are not willing to accept other doctors' patients and thereby restricting patient choice. We do not consider that these practices are widespread but, where they do occur, they can cause significant concern to members of the public. The General Practitioners Committee of the British Medical Association has recently issued a statement, indicating that it too has been made aware of such examples and urging GP practices to ensure that this unacceptable practice does not occur.

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England were seen by a GP in each year since 1997. [223738]

Mr. Bradshaw: This information is not held centrally.

6 Oct 2008 : Column 412W

General Practitioners: Private Sector

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which GP contracts were awarded to private sector operators for (a) 2007, (b) 2008 and (c) 2009. [224439]

Mr. Bradshaw: Primary care trusts are responsible for awarding general practice (GP) contracts to the providers that can offer the best quality and value for money services to meet local needs, including independent, voluntary and third sector organisations and entrepreneurial GPs. The Department does not routinely collect this information.

However, the Department is providing the local national health service with procurement support through the national Fairness in Primary Care initiative, for which nine contracts have been awarded in 2008; of which four were awarded to independent sector operators, three to GP-led organisations and two to social enterprises.

Information on Fairness in Primary Care contracts is in the following table.

PCT scheme Provider Type of organisation Date signed

Nottinghamshire County Teaching PCT

Central Nottingham Clinical Services

Social enterprise


Hartlepool PCT


Independent sector


County Durham PCT

Blackball and Peterlee Practice



Bolton PCT

SSP Health



Ashton Leigh and Wigan PCT (Scheme B)


Independent sector


Ashton Leigh and Wigan PCT (Scheme C)

Integral health partnership



Ashton Leigh and Wigan PCT (Scheme D)


Independent sector


Luton PCT

SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association)

Social enterprise


Manchester PCT

Care UK

Independent sector


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