Previous Section Index Home Page

10 Nov 2008 : Column 843W—continued

10 Nov 2008 : Column 844W

Perinatal Mortality

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether there is a national strategy for reducing the number of stillbirths; [231475]

(2) what assessment he has made of the trends in the numbers of stillbirths in different regions. [231476]

Ann Keen: There is no specific national strategy for reducing stillbirths. However, the purpose of the following publications is to improve the outcomes for mothers and babies:

These policies include offering screening for abnormalities and pre-conception care and monitoring for complications of pregnancy that may effect foetal growth and well-being.

The Confidential Enquiry for Maternal and Child Health (CEMACH) report “Perinatal Mortality 2006—England Wales and Northern Ireland”, published in May 2008 found no significant change in the stillbirth rate and stated that differences in mortality rates between trusts should not be interpreted as direct indicators of the quality of care as it is not yet possible to adjust for case mix or the socio-demographic characteristics of the population. A copy of this report has already been placed in the Library.

Plain English

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many documents produced by his Department were submitted to the Plain English Campaign for approval for Crystal Mark status in each year since 2005; and how many documents achieved such status in each year. [231119]

Mr. Bradshaw: The information requested is not collected centrally by the Department.

Prescriptions: Fees and Charges

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what percentage of exempt prescription items were dispensed to people aged 60 years or over in (a) Vale of York constituency and (b) England in the last three years; [233207]

(2) what percentage of prescription items were dispensed free to patients in (a) Vale of York constituency and (b) England in the last three years. [233209]

Dawn Primarolo: The number of prescription items exempt from the prescription charge is available for primary care trusts (PCTs) in England. There is an exemption category for the elderly, defined as men and women aged 60 and over. Figures are taken from a one in 20 sample of prescriptions. The figures provided are for the PCT which is the closest match to the Vale of York, namely North Yorkshire and York PCT.

10 Nov 2008 : Column 845W

Figures show the percentage of all prescription items exempt from the prescription charge where the exemption category was given as elderly.

Items dispensed in the community by calendar year
Region Exemption status 2005 2006 2007


Proportion to exempt patients




Proportion of exempt prescriptions to 60+




North Yorkshire and York PCT

Proportion to exempt patients




Proportion of exempt prescriptions to 60+




PCA data—exemption category estimates

Scarborough Hospital

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what capacity increases have been made at Scarborough Hospital as a consequence of closures of services at Bridlington Hospital; and if he will make a statement. [234346]

Ann Keen: This is a matter for the national health service locally to determine.

The recommendations of the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) on proposals to reconfigure acute and coronary services at Bridlington and district hospital were accepted in full by the Secretary of State for Health on 4 September 2008.

The IRP recommended that it was not in the best clinical interests of patients to continue cardiac and acute medical admissions at Bridlington and district hospital and that providing these services to the standards set out in national clinical guidance was not sustainable. The IRP recommended that these services should transfer to Scarborough hospital as soon as the appropriate staff and facilities are in place to handle the extra in-patients.

The implementation of the agreed service change proposals is a matter for the Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare NHS Trust. The North Yorkshire and York and the East Riding of Yorkshire Primary Care Trusts will monitor progress together with the Yorkshire and the Humber Strategic Health Authority.

Suffolk Primary Care Trust: Pay

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent by Suffolk Primary Care Trust on salaries and wages for (a) general and senior managers, (b) nurses and midwives and (c) administrative and clerical staff in each year since its creation. [232627]

Ann Keen: Suffolk Primary Care Trust (PCT) was established on 1 October 2006. Data are provided for 2006-07 and 2007-08.

10 Nov 2008 : Column 846W

2006-07 2007-08

Managers and senior managers



Nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff



Administrative and clerical staff



1. Suffolk PCT was established on 1 October 2006 from four dissolving PCTs: Suffolk Coastal, Ipswich, Central Suffolk and Suffolk West. Note that the 2006-07 figures contain data for the four former PCTs for the first six months of the financial year plus Suffolk PCT for the second half of the financial year and may be distorted due to the merger. It is not possible to split the 2006-07 data between the former PCTs and Suffolk PCT.
2. Data include salaries and wages, social security costs and pension contributions. It is not possible to separately identify salaries and wages for these groups of staff.
3 Figures include permanently employed staff and non-NHS staff, e.g. agency staff.
Information is from the 2006-07 and 2007-08 financial returns for Suffolk PCT. The data are not audited but are validated to the audited financial monitoring and accounts forms.



Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research on foreign commercial activity using algal biofuel was commissioned or evaluated by the Carbon Trust before the announcement of its Algae Biofuel Challenge. [231601]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Carbon Trust commissioned a three-month scoping study in 2007, which included an assessment of overseas private-sector activity in algae biofuels. This was followed in 2008 by a stakeholder workshop organised by the Carbon Trust, at which the international experts in the algae community were well represented, and attendance by Carbon Trust employees at a number of international scientific conferences. The detailed design of the Algae Biofuels Challenge was then carried out in consultation with a leading US-based expert, who has detailed knowledge of the companies in the US and elsewhere that have received significant investment for algae biofuels technology.

Bus Services: Concessions

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what powers local authorities have to offer (a) free and (b) subsidised bus services in areas where commercial bus services operate. [232581]

Paul Clark: The Concessionary Bus Travel Act 2007 provides that everyone aged 60 and over in England, and eligible disabled people in England, will get free off-peak travel on all local buses anywhere in England. The off-peak concession applies between 9.30 am and 11 pm on weekdays, and all day weekends and bank holidays. This scheme gives the opportunity of greater freedom and independence to more than 11 million people.

10 Nov 2008 : Column 847W

In addition to the mandatory concession, local authorities outside London have the discretion to offer further travel concessions to eligible residents, under section 93 of the Transport Act 1985.

In London, the London Councils operate a discretionary Freedom Pass scheme on behalf of all 33 London boroughs. This entitles all London residents over the age of 60 to free travel on bus, tube, national rail and DLR/tram services in Greater London all day at the weekend and after 9 am on a weekday; and since April 2003, disabled pass holders have had free 24-hour access to these services.

In the event that the discretionary scheme operated in London did not offer certain minimum bus (and other) concessions for London residents, the ‘reserve free travel scheme’ provisions under section 240 of the GLA Act 1999 would be triggered.

Section 63 of the Transport Act 1985 provides for a local authority to secure through the payment of subsidy the provision of bus services which meet a public transport requirement that would not otherwise be met. Sections 89-92 of the 1985 Act, as amended by section 152 of the Transport Act 2000, set out the obligations to invite tenders for contracts for the provision of subsidised bus services. Section 153 of the Transport Act 2000 applies the competition test included in schedule 10 of that Act to the exercise of a local authority’s functions relating to subsidised bus services. The Local Transport Bill, now before Parliament, includes an amendment to section 63 of the 1985 Act which will enable local authorities to use its subsidy powers where a service of a particular standard would not be provided without subsidy.

Departmental Liability

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what dates in each of the last five years his Department informed the House of the creation of contingent liabilities relating to his Department or its non-departmental public bodies. [232723]

Mr. Hoon: Department for Transport informed the House of contingent liabilities on the following dates:

The Department discloses its contingent liabilities in its Resource Accounts in accordance with Financial Reporting Standard 12, as interpreted by HM Treasury's Financial Reporting Manual.

Government Car and Despatch Agency: Marketing

Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department has spent on (a) design fees, (b) printing costs, (c) painting of vehicles
10 Nov 2008 : Column 848W
and (d) consultancy fees with regard to the corporate logo of the Government Car and Despatch Agency in (i) each of the last three years and (ii) 2008 to date. [232423]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 3 November 2008]: The Government Car and Despatch spent the following amounts on its corporate logo:


2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008 to date

Printing costs





Painting of vehicles





Consultancy and design fees





GCDA undertook a major rebranding exercise, agreed with the Cabinet Office, just before it joined the Department for Transport in 2005. A design consultancy was appointed through open competition to develop the new corporate logo and separate product logos for Government Mail and Government Cars. The rebranding has been very successful in raising the awareness of the agency and its services, particularly for Government Mail.

There are no plans to change the current logos.


Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate his Department has made of the revenue which would accrue from charging motorists for using hard shoulders as emergency lanes; and if he will make a statement. [234348]

Paul Clark: The Government have no plans to charge motorists to use the hard shoulder so no estimate has been made of the revenues that could be raised.

Motorways: Accidents

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of deaths from traffic accidents occurred on motorways in (a) 2005, (b) 2006 and (c) 2007. [234347]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The proportion of fatalities resulting from personal injury road accidents on Motorways in Great Britain was 6 per cent. in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Casualties by road type are published in table 5c of “Road Casualties Great Britain: 2007 annual report”. Copies of the report have been deposited in Libraries of the House. This table can also be found on the Department’s website at the following web address:

Next Section Index Home Page