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11 Nov 2008 : Column 1044W—continued

Note 1.

Connecting for Health is not an arms length body (ALB) but has previously been included in ALB figures so is shown for completeness.

Connecting for Health









2008-09 forecast


Depressive Illnesses: Elderly

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number and proportion of people aged 65 and over who have depression; what estimate he has made of the proportion of those people who have been (a) diagnosed and (b) treated; and if he will make a statement. [233809]

Phil Hope: The Department does not have this information. However, data derived from the Business Services Authority’s Exemption Category Estimates indicate that between July 2007 to June 2008, 40.2 per cent. of items dispensed for the treatment of depression were given to people aged 60 and over. This is based on a full analysis of all prescriptions dispensed in the community.

Drugs: Rehabilitation

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients are (a) in treatment for drug programmes, (b) receiving abstinence-based residential rehabilitation and (c) receiving abstinence-based rehabilitation on a day care basis. [232882]

Dawn Primarolo: The National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) records data about people receiving structured drug treatment in England. The most recent NDTMS data are for 2007-08 and show that 202,666 individuals were in structured drug treatment. There were 4,306 recorded in residential rehabilitation and 6,742 adults received in-patient services in hospital. There may be some overlap between these two groups. NDTMS does not collect data on the number of patients receiving abstinence based rehabilitation on a day care basis.

About one-third of the 100-plus providers of residential rehabilitation services in England do not submit any returns to NDTMS. As independent, voluntary sector organisations, they are not obliged to do so, and the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse has no powers to compel them.

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which sites offer treatment incentives for drug users; and how many service users have been offered treatment incentives at each such site since the programme's inception, broken down by incentive offered. [232883]

Dawn Primarolo: The pilot programme of the use of incentives, also known as contingency management, began in June 2008, and currently involves 14 treatment services across England, offering a number of different treatment incentive models over varying timeframes. The programme finishes at the end of December, after which the programme's results and best practice guidance will be published. Information on the number of people offered incentives and the value of the incentives will be collected as part of the evaluation, but is not yet available.

The 14 treatment services taking part in the pilot programme are:

Enfield Primary Care Trust: Manpower

Joan Ryan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) district nurses and (b) health visitors were employed by Enfield Primary Care Trust in (i) 1997 and (ii) at the latest date for which figures are available. [233892]

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Ann Keen: The number of district nurse and health visitors employed by Enfield Primary Care Trust (PCT) in each year from 2001 to 2007 can be found in the
11 Nov 2008 : Column 1046W
following table. Enfield PCT was formed in October 2001; comparable figures prior to this date are not available.

NHS hospital and community health services: district nurses and health visitors in Enfield primary care trust as at 30 September each specified year

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

Health visitors








District nurses








1. Enfield PCT was formed in October 2001. Comparable figures prior to this date are not available.
2. Data quality: work force 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.
The NHS Information Centre Non Medical Workforce Census.

Ex-servicemen: Mental Health Services

Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance is provided to GPs on the range of NHS services available to ex-military personnel suffering from combat stress and associated problems. [233973]

Mr. Bradshaw: The vast majority of ex-military personnel receive treatment for service related and other difficulties in the same way as the rest of the population.

To ensure that the national health service is doing all that it can for people who have served their country, we have created two additional initiatives. We have set up pilot schemes in nine NHS Mental Health Trusts in the UK to help ensure that veterans are able to access the treatment they need. We are evaluating this with the intention of rolling out best practice throughout the NHS.

Although we have not issued specific guidance to general practitioners (GPs) we have recently issued a document entitled Commissioning IAPT for the Whole Community that makes specific reference to the ways in which primary care trusts can ensure that their veterans population has access to the mental health help they need. We would expect that this guidance would inform local commissioning of primary care services, including GPs.

General Practitioners: Disadvantaged

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made on the opening of new general practitioner practices in deprived areas; and if he will make a statement. [233806]

Mr. Bradshaw: We are introducing 112 new general practitioner (GP) practices in the areas that need them most as part of the £250 million investment in new primary care services. We have made good progress to date, with the majority of primary care trusts (PCTs) on target to award and sign contracts by the end of December 2008 with service commencement expected during 2009. The new practices will help to address existing inequalities of health care around the country, by providing more capacity in primary care, and more choice for patients in the most deprived areas of where and when they can access GP services.

General Practitioners: Pay

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made for benchmarking purposes of average pay for general practitioners in (a) the UK, (b) other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries and (c) other EU countries. [233808]

Ann Keen: Since the introduction of the new general practitioner (GP) contract in 2004, GP practices in the UK have been able to increase their income by increasing the range and quality of services they provide for their patients, for example by extending their surgery opening times. This is reflected in the average pay of a general practitioner partner. It is not possible to compare the level and quality of services provided in the UK with that in other countries and any benchmarking of average pay would therefore be of very limited value.

Health Centres

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 20 October 2008, Official Report, column 64W, on health centres, (1) what the postcode of each planned new GP-led health centre is; what the expected service commencement date of each is; and in which primary care trust each is to be located, according to the most recent monthly update information provided by primary care trusts; [231064]

(2) against which core criteria of his Department's GP-led health centres programme he requires primary care trusts to provide monthly updates. [231065]

Mr. Bradshaw: A table containing the latest information has been placed in the Library.

The core criteria that primary care trusts are asked to report against in their monthly returns is set out as follows:

11 Nov 2008 : Column 1047W

Health Insurance

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information his Department holds on the number of people who have private medical insurance. [233734]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department does not routinely collect this information centrally.

However, Laing's Healthcare Market Review estimates that there were 3,683,000 private medical insurance subscribers in the United Kingdom at the end of 2007.

Health Services: Discrimination

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reason age is not included in the draft NHS Constitution as a basis for discrimination in the provision of NHS services. [233810]

Ann Keen: The draft NHS constitution, which was open for consultation until 17 October, makes a powerful commitment against unfair discrimination of any kind.

The first principle in the draft constitution is that

The draft constitution also says that patients

The only reason this list does not include age is that the draft constitution only refers to “rights” that are legally binding, and age discrimination is not currently prohibited by law.

However, the Government have made clear in the 2008-09 draft legislative programme that we intend to legislate on age discrimination in a forthcoming Equality Bill. Subject to parliamentary approval, age discrimination will become unlawful and will therefore automatically be covered by the right not to be unlawfully discriminated against.

11 Nov 2008 : Column 1048W

Healthy Start Scheme

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people (a) qualified for Healthy Start, (b) took up Healthy Start vouchers and (c) used Healthy Start vouchers to purchase Healthy Start products in each year since Healthy Start began. [233289]

Dawn Primarolo: The numbers qualifying for Healthy Start fluctuate according to the numbers of pregnant women and young children in families getting the qualifying benefits and tax credits. We estimate that approximately 473,000 families qualified for support from the scheme when it was launched across the UK on 28 November 2006. All of these families were transferred automatically from the old Welfare Food Scheme onto the new scheme without having to apply for it.

On 27 October 2008, approximately 409,500 families were receiving vouchers.

Most Healthy Start vouchers are issued for use within a specific four-week period and retailers have six months from the end of that period to claim payment for them. Retailers claimed payment for approximately 87 per cent. of all vouchers issued for use between 27 November 2006 and 25 November 2007. This rose to 89 per cent. of all vouchers issued for use between 26 November 2007 and 16 March 2008.


Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 6 October 2008, Official Report, columns 424-5W, on hepatitis, how many drugs were dispensed for the treatment of hepatitis B in each strategic health authority area in each year since 1997, broken down by type of drug. [231966]

Dawn Primarolo: The following three tables show the number of prescription items dispensed in the community for the treatment of hepatitis B. The information is provided according to the individual British National Formulary (BNF) categories hepatitis B drugs fall within. Figures are split by strategic health authority (SHA) and presented in thousands. The data do not cover drugs dispensed in hospitals, including mental health trusts, or private prescriptions.

Due to the disclosive nature of the data, it was not possible to present the data by type of drug. As such, data were aggregated to BNF category to maintain some measure of difference between drug type.

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