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19 Jan 2009 : Column 1201W—continued

Parliamentary Questions: Government Responses

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy when placing material in the Library in response to a parliamentary question to supply a copy of the material to the hon. Member who tabled the question; and if he will make a statement. [247750]

Mr. Bradshaw: It is our practice to always supply a copy to the hon. Member. If one has been inadvertently missed, we will be pleased to supply a copy.

Patients: Safety

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were harmed as a result of an error or missed diagnosis in (a) Hemel Hempstead, (b) Hertfordshire and (c) England in the last 12 months. [246561]

Ann Keen: For the period from July 2007 to June 2008, the National Patient Safety Agency received 2,300 reports where patients were harmed due to patient safety incidents classified as diagnostic delay, failure or error.

There were 171 of these incidents reported from East of England Strategic Health Authority. Reporting and learning data are collected on the basis of National Health Service service providers. it is therefore not possible to provide a breakdown of data to constituency level.

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Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which health care science disciplines his Department classifies as falling within the field of physiological science; and which of these require statutory registration of practitioners. [247036]

Ann Keen: The disciplines which fall within the field of physiological science are as follows:

Five aspirant health care science groups have already been recommended to the Secretary of State for Health for statuary regulation. These are as follows:

“The Future of the Healthcare Science Workforce Modernising Scientific Careers: The Next Steps A Consultation” published in November 2008 makes clear that proposals for a new regulatory framework for the totality of the health care science work force will be consulted upon and all matters relating to the regulation of the five aspirant groups will be resolved as part of this separate consultation. A copy of the consultation has already been placed in the Library.


Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidance his Department provides to social care establishments on obtaining repeat prescriptions of a controlled drug; [249030]

(2) on how many occasions a report has been made to the Commission for Social Care Inspection of an incident involving overdose with a controlled drug of a resident in a care establishment in each of the last three years; [249031]

(3) what procedure is followed by the Commission for Social Care Inspection when an incident of overdose with a controlled drug of a resident in a care establishment is reported to them. [249032]

Phil Hope: Regulations do not allow for schedule 2 and 3 controlled drugs to be provided through a repeat prescription, but schedule 4 and 5 controlled drugs may
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be provided. Guidance to care providers, entitled “The handling of medicines in social care” is published by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB). This includes guidance about obtaining prescribed medicines in general; it is not specific to controlled drugs. It also includes general information about the use of controlled drugs in care services.

Regulation 13 of the Care Homes Regulations 2001 requires registered providers to make arrangements for the recording, handling and, safe keeping, safe administration and disposal of medicines received into the care home. This applies to all medicines, including controlled drugs. The National Minimum Standards (NMS) contain detailed requirements, governing the protection of service users, the safe receipt, administration, recording, storage and disposal of medicines in the home. Controlled drugs are specifically referred to in the NMS, which also refer providers to the RPSGB Guidance, the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, the Misuse of Drugs (Safe Custody) Regulations 1973 and other relevant legislation.

The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) does not provide specific guidance to care providers about repeat prescriptions for controlled drugs. During regulatory inspections, CSCI looks for a robust procedure within a care home to request repeat prescriptions residents, irrespective of whether they are for controlled drugs. Failure to obtain prescribed medicines, or occasions when a care service orders more prescriptions than a person needs—for example when the medicines are prescribed for use as and when needed it would be identified to the registered provider/manager and included in the inspection report.

CSCI’s most recent guidance on reports about serious incidents in care homes includes a requirement to report every error involving a controlled drug. However, these are identified to individual services and are not collated nationally. CSCI pharmacist inspectors look at the handling of controlled drugs in the services they visit. CSCI recently carried out an analysis of its findings between April and December 2008; overdose was not an issue identified as a problem area.

If a serious incident is reported to CSCI under regulation 37 of the Care Homes Regulations, which governs notification of death, illness and other events in care homes, it is followed up by the Regulation Inspector/Regulation Manager associated with that service. Depending on circumstances, they may refer the issue to the pharmacist inspector. It is one of CSCI’s referral criteria to contact a pharmacist inspector and this may result in inspection of the care home and a resulting report with requirements and recommendations. If the overdose is a result of an incorrect prescription from the general practitioner, the pharmacist inspector will liaise via the Local Intelligence Network through the NHS Accountable Officer at the relevant primary acre trust, who will deal with the issue.

Primary Care Trusts: Per Capita Costs

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much he expects each primary care trust to spend per head of population in 2008-09, ranked from highest to lowest. [249168]

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Mr. Bradshaw: The information requested is not available until primary care trusts complete their 2008-09 audited accounts in summer 2009.

Primary Care Trusts: Standards

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Healthcare Commission's annual healthcheck for 2008-09 will include an assessment of primary care trust performance as providers and commissioners against National Institute for Heath and Clinical Excellence clinical guidelines. [246674]

Mr. Bradshaw: The 2008-09 Annual Health Check incorporates primary care trusts’ self-declarations, as providers and commissioners, on levels of compliance with the following core standards in relation to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence:

Respite Care: Havering

Angela Watkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much of the £150 million funding awarded by his Department for respite to carers will be allocated to the London Borough of Havering. [248018]

Phil Hope: The £150 million funding announced in the Carers' Strategy is included in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 primary care trust (PCT) revenue allocations, announced on 8 December 2008. This money will go to all PCTs and will support all carers. The actual level of spend in each year is for PCTs to decide locally in the light of their local circumstances and priorities, as set out in the NHS Operating Framework and Vital Signs.


Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent meetings he and his officials have had to discuss prevention of shingles and post herpetic neuralgia in older people through immunisation. [247536]

Dawn Primarolo: The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is currently in the process of considering the benefits of shingles vaccination. The Varicella subgroup met in December 2007 and April 2008 and is due to meet again in March 2009. The subgroup is expected to provide advice on shingles vaccination to JCVI in June 2009. Minutes of the meetings are placed on the JCVI website at:


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of regular smokers in (a) Stroud constituency, (b) Gloucestershire and (c) England; and how many people have given up smoking in each area over the last 12 months. [247936]

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Dawn Primarolo: The information requested is not available in the exact format requested. Data for Stroud constituency are not collected. Data for England, Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust (PCT) and South Gloucestershire PCT are available.

Information on the prevalence of smoking among adults aged 16 and over by gender and age group in England is available from the General Household Survey 2006, Table 1.1, page 15. This publication has already been placed in the Library.

Estimated prevalence of smokers among adults aged 16 and over, along with associated confidence intervals for Gloucestershire PCT and South Gloucestershire PCT are available from Healthy Lifestyle Behaviours: Model Based Estimates, 2003-2005. 2006 Health Hierarchy. This publication has been placed in the Library.

Information on the number of people who successfully quit smoking at the four week follow up (based on self report) in South Gloucestershire PCT, Gloucestershire PCT and England in the last year 2007-08 are available from the Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services: England, April 2007 to March 2008, Table 2.4, page 11 at national level and Table 3.5, pages 28-30 at PCT level. This publication has already been placed in the Library.

Social Services: Elderly and Disabled

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he plans to take to assist social workers in protecting the elderly and disabled. [247942]

Phil Hope: The protection of older, disabled and other people who use services is covered by the National Occupational Standards for Social Work, which form the basis for the social work degree.

Statutory guidance, entitled “No Secrets”, was issued to local authorities (LAs) by the Department and the Home Office in 2000. A copy has been placed in the Library. It provides a complete definition of abuse and a framework for councils to work with the police, the national health service and regulators to tackle abuse of older and vulnerable people and prevent it from occurring. It is designed to help LAs to investigate reports of abuse and develop measures for prevention.

“No Secrets” is currently being reviewed and a public consultation is under way. The consultation document includes a question on the delivery of training in safeguarding adults and asks whether national occupational training standards should be introduced. The consultation closes on 31 January 2009.

Tuberculosis: Ashford Kent

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many instances of tuberculosis have been recorded in Ashford constituency in each quarter of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [249258]

Dawn Primarolo: Data are not available for the constituency of Ashford. The following table gives the number of tuberculosis cases in the local authority of Ashford as the closest measure, for the calendar years 2001 to 2006.

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Ashford local authority













1. Data by local authority are not yet available for 2007 or 2008.
2. In years when there have been fewer than five cases, the exact number of cases is not given because of the risk of deductive disclosure.
3. Data are not provided by quarter because the numbers of cases in each quarter is likely to be very low (fewer than five) and could not be released because of the risk of deductive disclosure.


Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what changes he plans to the weight limits applying to the classification of wheelchairs in (a) class one and (b) class two. [R] [247796]

Paul Clark [holding answer 15 January 2009]: I have been asked to reply.

We have no plans to change the weight limits applying to class one and class two wheelchairs at this time.

Home Department

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) prosecutions and (b) convictions there were for the offences of (i) drunkenness simple and (ii) drunkenness with aggravation in 2007. [244845]

Jacqui Smith: Data showing the number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for drunkenness simple and drunkenness with aggravation in England and Wales in 2007 are in the table.

The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

Data showing the number of Penalty Notices for Disorder (PNDs) issued for “Drunk and disorderly”, “Drunk in a highway” and “Consumption of alcohol in a designated public place” are also shown in the following table.

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