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NHS: Drugs

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has received from commercial organisations on the effect of publishing the 50 most frequently notified products in its quarterly summary report for importation of unlicensed medicines; and what the reasons were for the publication of the list. [232507]

Dawn Primarolo: The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has received two representations from commercial organisations about the publication of the MHRA quarterly summary reports for importation of unlicensed medicines. One expressed commercial concerns and felt that importers may tend to prefer to import listed products at the expense of other products, and the second company commented that the information was relevant, useful and interesting.

The MHRA publishes this list in response to requests from health care professionals for information received during the current review of unlicensed medicines and to provide general information on commonly imported unlicensed products. This may encourage companies to apply for marketing authorisations and also provides transparency on the operation of the importation process.

NHS: Information Communications Technology

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answers of 22 April 2008, Official Report, column 1990W and 6 June on NHS care records, when the registers of service were transferred to the Spine; and where they were held prior to being transferred. [232450]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Spine has had the following registers of service transferred to it:

NHS: Pensions

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many part-time employees are (a) enrolled in the NHS pension scheme and (b) eligible to be enrolled in the NHS pension scheme. [230003]

Ann Keen: The latest information available for the NHS Pension Scheme England and Wales on the number of part-time members is 535,234. These data are from a special extract from the NHS Pensions mainframe as at 29 September 2005 and represents a snapshot in time. These data include employees of national health service organisations, practice staff and employees of direction bodies. As at 30 September 2005, there were 492,389 part-time staff employed by NHS organisations in England and Wales who were eligible to join the NHS pension
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scheme. These data do not include practice staff, as a breakdown by nature of contract is not collected, and the staff of direction bodies. As at 30 September 2005, there were 112,094 (headcount) and 72,990 (FTE) practice staff in England which includes practice nurses and around 18,000 pension scheme members in direction bodies. Data on practice staff are not available for Wales for the year ending 30 September 2005 .

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many national health service staff will have received a payment from the national health service pension fund in 2008 by the end of the year. [231137]

Ann Keen: Latest available data on numbers of members of the NHS pension scheme, including pensioner numbers is available in the NHS Pension Scheme Resource Accounts 2006-07. Data is not currently available for the 2007-08 year.

NHS: Reorganisation

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 21 October 2008, Official Report, column 317W, which companies are providing communications services for the NHS Next Stage Review; what value of contract has been awarded to each company; and what services are being provided by each such company in assisting the review. [231659]

Ann Keen: The national health service Next Stage Review was completed on 30 June 2008 with the publication of ‘High Quality Care for All’. I refer the hon. Member to my previous answer of 21 October 2008, Official Report, column 317W, regarding the provision of these services while the review was being undertaken.

Nurses and Other Professions Review Body

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) areas of responsibility and (b) Government-funded budget are of the Nurses and Other Health Professions Review Body. [232044]

Ann Keen: The NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB), formerly known as Nurses and Other Health Professions Review Body, is responsible for making recommendations on the remuneration of all NHS staff paid under the Agenda for Change pay system (all directly employed non-medical staff with the exception of Very senior managers).

The NHSPRB is supported by the Office of Manpower Economics (OME) who provide an independent secretariat to the review body. The Department is expecting to transfer £58,650 to OME for remuneration costs of committee members in 2008-09.

Nurses: Chelmsford

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many practice nurses there were in (a) West Chelmsford constituency and (b) the Chelmsford local authority area in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2007. [233187]


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Ann Keen: Data is not collected in the format requested. Data is available for the primary care trusts (PCTs) that serve the constituency and local authority areas for 2002 and 2007 and is shown in the following table.

Practice Nurses for selected area in 2002 and 2007
N umber (headcount)

2002 2007

Total for specified organisations

168

175

Maldon and South Chelmsford PCT

46

n/a

Chelmsford

67

n/a

Witham, Braintree and Halstead

55

n/a

Mid Essex PCT

n/a

175

n/a = Not applicable.
Notes:
1. Data for practice nurses is not available at parliamentary constituency or local authority area. West Chelmsford parliamentary constituency and the Chelmsford local authority area are contained within and served by the Primary Care Trusts provided here.
2. Mid Essex PCT was created on 1 October 2006 from a complete merger of Chelmsford PCT, Maldon and South Chelmsford PCT and Witham, Braintree and Halstead PCT
3. Prior to 2002 PCTs did not exist. It is not possible to map organisations back beyond this to provide a time series.
Data as at 30 September 2002 and 2007
Data Quality.
Workforce statistics are compiled from data sent by more than 300 NHS trusts and primary care trusts (PCTs) in England. 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. Processing methods and procedures are continually being updated to improve data quality. Where this happens any impact on figures already published will be assessed but unless this is significant at national level they will not be changed. Where there is impact only at detailed or local level this will be footnoted in relevant analyses.
Source:
The Information Centre for health and social care General and Personal Medical Services Statistics

Obesity: Children

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children in Hertfordshire have a body mass index which indicates obesity. [232749]

Dawn Primarolo: The information requested is not available in the format requested.

Information on the proportion of children aged four to five years and aged 10 to 11 years that are obese in Hertfordshire local authority (LA), East and North Hertfordshire Primary Care Trust (PCT) and West Hertfordshire PCT is collected through the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP). The NCMP report provides high-level analysis of the prevalence of obese children, aged four to five years and aged 10 to 11 years.

This information is available in the National Child Measurement Programme: 2006-07 school year, headline results which was published on 21 February 2008. The prevalence of obese children in the Hertfordshire LA can be found in table C (pages 39-40). The prevalence of obese children in East and North Hertfordshire PCT and West Hertfordshire PCT can be found in Table A (pages 36-37). This publication has been placed in the Library.


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Oxygen: Medical Equipment

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what accidents with home oxygen have been reported to his Department in the last 12 months. [231979]

Ann Keen: The Department does not hold this information.

Palliative Care

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what amendments there have been to the Liverpool Care Pathway since its introduction in the NHS. [231590]

Ann Keen: The Department did not develop the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) and is not responsible for its content. The LCP was developed by the Specialist Palliative Care Team at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust and the Marie Curie Hospice, Liverpool. Although originally developed for the care of cancer patients in the acute environment, it has been adapted and disseminated across all care settings irrespective of diagnosis. The LCP is reviewed on an ongoing basis.

Patient Choice Schemes

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS hospitals use the Appointments Line service of Choose and Book; and what assessment the Government have made of the effectiveness of the Appointments Line. [230535]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Appointments Line provides a booking service for patients in England referred via Choose and Book. This service is available for all patients who are referred via Choose and Book, where the hospital has a complaint Patient Administration System (PAS) thereby enabling a direct booking. Some 86 per cent. of hospitals are directly bookable.

The Appointments Line is assessed monthly by commissioners against a range of performance indicators including Calls answered in 30 seconds, percentage of calls terminated with engaged tone, calls resulting in complaints. The service performs well against those targets and mechanisms are in place to apply financial deductions in the event of under performance.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the performance of the NHS Choose and Book service against its objectives; where and when the service has been implemented; what measures are in place to monitor its performance against objectives; and what plans he has for modification of the service. [230737]

Mr. Bradshaw: The objective of Choose and Book is to support referrers in offering their patients a choice of a clinically appropriate provider when referring to hospital, and to enable patients to book appointments, electronically or by telephone, at a time and date that is convenient to them.


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Nationally, the Choose and Book electronic referral system has performed well since its launch in 2004. Local benchmarking suggests that when local configuration is correct Choose and Book is easy and convenient to use, and over the last 12 months the national system has been available for use over 99 per cent. of the time.

All national health service hospitals are now using Choose and Book, along with 93 per cent. of general practitioner (GP) practices in England. There are now up to 28,000 bookings taking place every day, and 107,000 referrals every week. Over 10 million referrals having been made using the system.

Choose and Book continues to become the everyday method of referral across the NHS. Around half of all GP referrals to first consultant out-patient appointments are going through Choose and Book, and the number of referrals to other services, including community based services and allied health professionals are increasing steadily.

These utilisation measures are routinely tracked through a variety of performance monitoring processes. Most importantly, feedback from patients about Choose and Book is positive.

The scope and design of future releases is informed by the results of consultation with users and other stakeholders, including patients. Following the successful delivery of Release 4.1, Choose and Book’s next system upgrade, Release 4.2, is currently scheduled for mid-2009. This release will introduce new ‘Finding Services Effectively’ functionality, making it easier for referrers to search and select services.

The latest Choose and Book software release was deployed successfully to users on 19 October 2008. Significant enhancements were made including improvements to rejected bookings, GP work lists, reports and a new alerts page with links to system and training information. The system was also greatly streamlined—with changes to attachment descriptions, full screen displays and Directory of Service screens making the system more intuitive.

Perinatal Mortality

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding was allocated to research into stillbirth in 2007-08. [231477]

Ann Keen: The Department’s Policy Research Programme(1) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) spent £2.2 million(2) in 2007-08 on research related to stillbirth.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is one of the main agencies through which the Government support medical and clinical research. The MRC spent £1.2 million in 2007-08 on research related to stillbirth. The MRC also funds several large cohort studies that include a stillbirth research component; and supports a large portfolio of underpinning reproductive medicine and paediatric research, much of which may be relevant to stillbirth.

The Government fund the confidential inquiry into maternal and child health (CEMACH) which undertakes a confidential enquiry into the deaths of babies between 22 weeks of gestation and 28 days old. CEMACH
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publishes an annual report into perinatal mortality, including stillbirth, which records progress and identifies risk factors.

Pharmacy

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will meet the Dispensing Doctors Association to discuss the Pharmacy White Paper consultations. [232243]

Phil Hope: The Pharmacy White Paper “Pharmacy in England: Building on Strengths - delivering the future” published on 3 April 2008 set out the Government’s programme for taking forward national health service pharmaceutical services. The Department held a series of well-attended national events in May 2008 to hear views on the programme and its implementation, including ideas concerning dispensing doctors. A summary report of these events has been placed in the Library and was published on the Department’s website on 27 August at:

In addition, the Department has also met various stakeholders, including members of the Dispensing Doctors Association (DDA), subsequent to publication to discuss areas in more detail, and would be happy to arrange further meetings with them.

We are currently consulting, as promised in the White Paper. “Pharmacy in England: Building on Strengths - delivering the future - proposals for legislative change” was published on 27 August 2008 and a copy has already been placed in the Library. The consultation ends on 20 November 2008. This consultation is also supported by national listening events, which representatives of the DDA are attending in significant numbers.


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