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15 Dec 2008 : Column 458W—continued

NHS: Finance

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what (a) net NHS expenditure, (b) net NHS expenditure per head and (c) net NHS expenditure as a proportion of GDP is planned to be in England in each year from 2008-09 to 2010-11. [241218]

Mr. Bradshaw: Information on planned net NHS expenditure and net NHS expenditure per head from 2008-09 to 2010-11 is given in the following table.

The Department does not provide forecast expenditure as a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP) as forecasts of GDP are the remit of HM Treasury.

2008-09 2009-10 2010-11

Net NHS expenditure (England) (£ million)




Population (million)




Net NHS expenditure per head (£)




1. NHS expenditure is the sum of revenue and capital expenditure net of non-trust depreciation and impairments. This is in line with HMT guidance.
2. Population projection figures source: Office for National Statistics.

NHS: Internet

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much independent hospitals have paid to appear on the NHS Choices website in the latest period for which figures are available. [241426]

Mr. Bradshaw: The NHS Choices service receives no payment from any organisation in order to be listed on the NHS Choices website.

Since 1 April 2008, all patients needing elective care are entitled to choose from any provider meeting the national health service eligibility criteria, which include clinical and financial standards. This includes NHS foundation trusts, NHS acute trusts and a large number of independent sector providers and their hospitals. The information provided on NHS Choices aims to support this choice by listing details of eligible providers and key comparison information.

NHS: Manpower

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent on (a) agency nurses, (b) locum doctors and (c) other agency staff by each NHS organisation incurring such expenditure in each year from 1997-98 to 2006-07. [241102]

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Ann Keen: Information is available from 2001-02 for agency nursing including midwifery and health visiting staff, agency medical staff and other agency staff. This information has been placed in the Library.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people have been employed as (a) doctors, (b) nurses and (c) administrative or clinical staff in (i) North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust and (ii) England in each year since 1997; and how many were employed on a (A) permanent and (B) part-time basis. [241682]

Ann Keen: North Yorkshire and York primary care trust (PCT) was not in existence prior to 2002. It is not possible to map back prior to this as the organisation did not exist, even in another form.

A table which shows the staffing numbers from 2002 for the PCT and the numbers for England in each year since 1997 has been placed in the Library.

NHS: Training

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many applicants there were for student means-tested NHS bursaries in each of the last five years; [242428]

(2) how many student applicants have been refused means-tested NHS bursaries in each of the last five years. [242429]

Ann Keen: Information on the number of applicants for the means-tested NHS bursary is not held centrally and is currently not available from the NHS Business Services Authority. The NHS Business Services Authority does not hold information about how many students have been refused a means-tested NHS bursary.

The NHS Business Services Authority has provided the following information about the number of means-tested NHS bursaries, which were assessed in each of the last five academic years.

Academic year Number of student means-tested NHS bursaries assessed











Nurses: Pay

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library copies of comments made in an official capacity by (a) his Chief Nursing Officer, (b) his Director General of Workforce and (c) the NHS Chief Executive on the 2006-07 pay settlement for nurses in the NHS. [241556]

Ann Keen: We are not aware of any official comments made by the chief nursing officer, the director general of Workforce or the NHS chief executive, David Nicholson regarding the 2006-07 pay settlement for nurses in the NHS.

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Nurses: Schools

Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress is being made towards achieving his Department's target set out in the 2004 White Paper, Choosing Health, of ensuring that there is at least one full-time, qualified school nurse working with each cluster or group of primary schools in England. [241782]

Ann Keen: Linking primary schools to their nearest secondary school gives 3,300 clusters in England. The 2007 workforce census showed there were 3,162 (2,232 full-time equivalent) qualified nurses working in school health services, an increase of 753 or 31.25 per cent. since 2004. Of these, there were 1,227 (893 whole-time equivalent) nurses with the post registration school nurse qualification. This is an increase of 371 or 43.3 per cent, since 2004. In addition, the number of nurses working in the community increased by 28,235 (37 per cent.) between 1997 and 2007.

Obesity: Children

Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of children under the age of 16 years who are clinically obese in (a) England, (b) the North West, (c) the Stockport Primary Care Trust area and (d) Cheadle constituency. [243068]

Dawn Primarolo: The information requested is not available in the format requested. Figures by constituency are not available.

Information on the proportion of children aged two to 15 that are obese in England and broken down by Government office region and strategic health authority (SHA) is collected in the Health Survey for England.

This information can be found in “Health Survey for England 2006: Volume 2 Obesity and other risk factors in children”, tables 2.2 and 2.3 on pages 35 and 36 which was published on 31 January 2008. This publication is available in the Library.

Information on the proportion of children that are obese in England, the North West Strategic Health Authority and Stockport Primary Care Trust (PCT) is collected through the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP). The NCMP report provides high-level analysis of the prevalence of obese children, in reception year (aged four to five years) and year 6 (aged 10-11 years), measured in England in the school year 2007-08.

This information is available in the “National Child Measurement Programme 2007/08 school year headline results” which was published on 11 December 2008. The prevalence of obese children in England is shown in table i (page 4). The prevalence of obese children at PCT level can be found in annex 1: Detailed tables, table A (pages 31-32) and the prevalence of obese children at SHA level can be found in table B (page 33). This publication has been placed in the Library.

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Mr. Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the benefits and disbenefits which multiple dispensing licences have for dispensing appliance contractors under (a) the current on-cost system and (b) the system of remuneration proposed by his Department. [242907]

Phil Hope: Consultation on a number of proposals for legislative and structural reform to NHS pharmaceutical services arising from the White Paper “Pharmacy in England: Building on strengths—delivering the future” was launched on 27 August 2008. It ended on the 20 November 2008.

The consultation included options to reform market entry arrangements for dispensing appliance contractors. An impact assessment containing the Department's assessment of possible costs and benefits was published alongside the consultation on which views and comments were invited. Responses are being analysed. We will come forward with decisions once we have fully considered these and what, if any, action is appropriate. A copy of the impact assessment that accompanied the consultation has been placed in the Library.

Prescriptions: Fees and Charges

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to page 116 of the 2008 Pre-Budget Report, Cm 7484, whether his plans to provide free prescriptions for everyone with long-term conditions will be paid for from the planned £550 million savings in the cost of the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme. [241109]

Dawn Primarolo: We have asked the President of the Royal College of Physicians (Professor Ian Gilmore) to carry out a review of prescription charges that will consider how to implement the commitment to exempt patients with long-term conditions from prescription charges. The review will take into account the views of patients, the public, patient representative bodies, clinicians and health care organisations and is due to make its recommendations to departmental Ministers in summer 2009. Following this, the Government will decide how exemption from charging can best be phased in, including how the proposed changes can be funded. The expectation is that savings in the drugs budget achieved through the new Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme agreement will help fund the new exemption.

Teenage Pregnancy

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to reduce the conception rate among those under the age of 18. [240726]

Beverley Hughes: I have been asked to reply.

Since the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy was launched in 1999, there has been a steady decline in the under-18 conception rate. Latest annual data (2006) show a rate of 40.6 conceptions per 1,000 females aged 15 to 17, a fall of 12.9 per cent. from the 1998 baseline rate. The 2006 under-18 conception rate is the lowest for over 20 years.

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Tackling England's high rate of teenage pregnancy rates remains a Government priority and we are determined to reduce rates further, using the lessons from local areas where rates have fallen fastest to drive progress. At a national level, the key focus will be on:

Thalidomide: Compensation

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with Chemie Grunethal on obtaining compensation for British victims of thalidomide. [243600]

Dawn Primarolo: Ministers have not met with representatives of Chemie Grunethal. A private compensation settlement was agreed with Distillers, now part of Diageo plc, the company that marketed the drug in the United Kingdom, and the Thalidomide Trust, the charitable trust established to administer annual payments to victims.



Norman Lamb: To ask the Solicitor-General how many cases relating to allegations of corruption overseas are being processed by the Attorney-General's Office. [240533]

The Solicitor-General: The Attorney-General's Office is not currently considering any applications for consent to prosecute allegations of overseas corruption.

Departmental Disabled Staff

Mr. Harper: To ask the Solicitor-General what conclusions the Law Officers' Departments have reached in fulfilment of their duty under section 3.111 of the statutory code of practice of the disability equality duty. [240973]

The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) published a single equality scheme encompassing its disability equality scheme in December 2006. This scheme was significantly informed by involvement of disabled staff and community stakeholders. The scheme has been actively implemented since then. CPS accounts for delivery of the scheme through a national Community Accountability Forum, which includes both disabled staff and disabled community stakeholders.

The CPS has published an annual public report on its progress in implementing the scheme including the action plans. The CPS Community Accountability Forum (including disabled members of the forum) were consulted on this annual report. The report, which is available on the CPS website, identifies significant progress in implementation of the disability equality duty to date.

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Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office (RCPO) has recently published a single equality scheme and action plan that incorporates the disability duty. An Equality and Diversity Committee chaired by a non-executive director is responsible for ensuring that targets set in the equality action plan are complied with. The committee reports directly to the RCPO Board.

In the past year RCPO has made good progress and in June 2008 obtained the “two tick's” accreditation, which is a positive action scheme that guarantees an interview for disabled candidates who meet the minimum criteria for an advertised post. The new action plan also carries forward a target from an earlier action plan for all RCPO staff to be provided training on equality and diversity, which will include disability equality.

In addition, RCPO is currently carrying out impact assessments of its policies and functions to ensure compliance with its duties under equality legislation, including disability discrimination legislation.

The Treasury Solicitor's Department (TSol) will shortly publish a review of its disability equality scheme, including updates of all local divisional assessments which are relevant to the duty. Actions taken to eliminate discrimination and promote equality include:

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