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26 Nov 2008 : Column 2109W—continued

NHS: Translation Services

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the annual cost to the NHS of the language interpreting service is. [239565]

Mr. Bradshaw: National health service bodies are not required to report their planned or actual spending on interpretation and translation services to the Department. When planning such services, NHS bodies should take due account of their legal duties, the composition of the communities they serve, and the needs and circumstances of their patients, service users and local populations.

Nurses: Schools

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding was provided for school nurses in each primary care trust area in 2008-09. [238412]

Ann Keen: It is for primary care trusts, in discussion with their local authorities, to take decisions on how to commit the resources available to them to meet local needs, including decisions on how much to spend on school nurses, taking account of the NHS Operating Framework and of local priorities and plans developed in partnership with local schools and children’s services.

Nutrition

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on the applicability to food supplements of nutrient profiles set under the provision of the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation; and what steps he is taking to advance that policy in discussions on these matters at the Council of Ministers and its Working Groups. [239281]

Dawn Primarolo: Nutrient profiles are to be established in order that health or nutrition claims are not made on foods that contain high levels of saturated fat, salt or sugar as this could mislead consumers as to the true nutritional quality of those foods. Foods that have no nutritional impact because they contain very low or no levels of these nutrients, or are consumed in very small quantities, including food supplements as defined by the food supplements directive, are to be exempt from compliance with nutrient profiles in the European Commission proposal. The United Kingdom has and will continue to support the proposed exemption.


26 Nov 2008 : Column 2110W

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions he has had on the European Food Safety Authority's procedures to distinguish between the processes and criteria adopted in relation to claims submitted under (a) Article 14 and 13.5 and (b) Article 13.1 of the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation; and if he will make a statement. [239282]

Dawn Primarolo: The Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation requires that (a) all nutrition and health claims must be substantiated by generally accepted scientific evidence to be authorised and listed as approved for use (Article 6); and (b) the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) must be consulted during the assessment of claims for its opinion on the scientific substantiation (Articles 13 and 14). The Article 13 process where member states submitted generic lists of claims for assessment is different to that under Article 14 where individual dossiers are required from applicants. It is for EFSA as the independent advisory body to decide if and how it may tailor its approach to delivering a scientific opinion on these claims and member states have no influence on this—nor should they. Whatever EFSA's approach, the requirements of the regulation must be satisfied.

Nutrition Strategy Steering Group

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will consider the merits of widening the remit of the Nutrition Strategy Steering Group to allow it to consider malnutrition amongst older people; whether the membership of this body will be expanded to include a professional working this area; and if he will make a statement. [236945]

Dawn Primarolo: The Nutrition Action Plan Delivery Board was set up with a narrow remit to oversee delivery of Improving Nutritional Care: A joint Action Plan from the Department of Health and Nutrition Summit Stakeholders. The Board will make a final report to Ministers in the new year. It is planned that the Board will dissolve at that point but Ministers will consider this in the light of the final report.

The plan identifies five key priorities for action, one of which is:

The Board’s membership includes Professor Marinos Elia from the British Association for Parental and Enteral Nutrition which has done pioneer work on screening for malnutrition.

Obesity: Drugs

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in each age group have received oral medication of each type for the treatment of obesity in each of the last 10 years. [237219]

Ann Keen: Data are not held on the number of people receiving medication for the treatment of obesity. However, data are collected on the number of prescription items dispensed in the treatment of obesity. This information is provided in the following table:


26 Nov 2008 : Column 2111W

26 Nov 2008 : Column 2112W
Prescription items of drugs used in the treatment of obesity dispensed in England, 1998-2007
Number (Thousand)
BNF chemical name 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

Dexfenfluramine Hydrochloride

0.1

(1)

(1)

(1)

Diethylpropion Hydrochloride

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.3

0.1

(1)

(1)

(1)

(1)

(1)

Fenfluramine Hydrochloride

(1)

(1)

Mazindol

0.5

0.5

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.2

(1)

(1)

Orlistat

17.9

127.8

156.3

416.0

541.4

485.7

493.3

646.7

775.7

828.8

Phentermine

20.5

19.8

5.5

0.2

(1)

(1)

(1)

(1)

Rimonabant

23.5

113.2

Sibutramine

53.4

197.0

204.1

208.4

227.0

264.4

295.0

Sterculia

(1)

(1)

(1)

(1)

Total

39.2

148.1

162.3

470.3

738.9

690.0

701.8

873.7

1,063.7

1,237.0

— signifies less than 50 items dispensed. Notes: 1. Specific age group data do not exist on the Prescription Cost Analysis database. 2. The data do not cover drugs dispensed in hospitals, including mental health trusts, or private prescriptions.

Obesity: Surgery

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in each age group have received gastric surgery of each type for the treatment of obesity in each of the last 10 years. [237402]

Dawn Primarolo: Data on finished consultant episodes for gastric surgery related to obesity by age group is provided in the following table:


26 Nov 2008 : Column 2113W
Count of finished consultant episodes where there was a main operative procedure for gastric surgery and a primary diagnosis of Obesity in data years 1997-98 to 2006-07

Gastric bypass Stomach stapling Banded gastroplasty Sleeve gastrectomy

2006-07

Under 15

15-44

462

75

388

25

45-64

337

38

309

15

65+

*

9

Age Unknown

2005-06

Under 15

15-44

268

13

270

45-64

200

8

203

65+

*

Age Unknown

*

2004-05

Under 15

15-44

188

*

263

45-64

110

*

136

65+

*

*

Age Unknown

*

2003-04

Under 15

*

15-44

141

*

147

45-64

80

*

90

65+

*

Age Unknown

2002-03

Under 15

15-44

72

*

142

45-64

55

*

65

65+

*

Age Unknown

2001-02

Under 15

15-44

44

*

126

45-64

31

66

65+

*

*

Age Unknown

"

*

2000-01

Under 15

15-44

39

8

129

45-64

16

*

64

65+

*

Age Unknown

*

1999-00

Under 15

15-44

30

*

100

45-64

17

*

38

65+

Age Unknown

1998-99

Under 15

15-44

20

119

45-64

5

31

65+

*

*

Age Unknown

1997-98

Under 15

15-44

21

*

74

45-64

5

*

40

65+

Age Unknown

*

Notes:
Finished Consultant Episode (FCE)
An FCE is defined as a period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. The figures do not represent the number of patients, as a person may have more than one episode of care within the year.
Data Quality
Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) are compiled from data sent by over 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 via HES processes. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain.
Assessing growth through time
HES figures are available from 1989-90 onwards. During the years that these records have been collected by 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.
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 out-patient settings and may no longer be accounted in the HES data. This may account for any reductions in activity over time.
Diagnosis (Primary Diagnosis)
The primary diagnosis is the first of up to 14 (7 prior to 2002-03) diagnosis fields in the HES data set and provides the main reason why the patient was in hospital.
Diagnosis Code Used:
E660 - Obesity due to excess calories
E661 - Drug-induced obesity
E662 - Extreme obesity with alveolar hypoventilation
E668 - Other obesity
E669 - Obesity, unspecified
Ungrossed Data
Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in data (i.e. the data are ungrossed).
Small numbers
Due to reasons of confidentiality, figures between 1 and 5 have been suppressed and replaced with “*” (an asterisk). Where it was possible to identify numbers from the total due to a single suppressed number in a row or column, an additional number (the next smallest) has been suppressed in order to protect patient confidentiality.
Main Operation
The main operation is the first recorded operation in the HES data set and is usually the most resource intensive procedure performed during the episode. It is appropriate to use main operation when looking at admission details, e.g. time waited, but the figures for ‘all operations count of episodes’ give a more complete count of episodes with an operation.
Secondary Procedure
As well as the main operative procedure, there are up to 11 (3 prior to 2002-03) secondary operation fields in HES that show secondary or additional procedures performed on the patient during the episode of care.
Source:
HES. The NHS Information Centre for health and social care.

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