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22 Jan 2009 : Column 1617W—continued

Chronically Sick: Pupils

Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent guidance his Department has given to primary care trusts on advice and support for teachers in (a) developing school policy and (b) providing support to individual pupils to assist children and young people discussed with long-term conditions to manage their condition effectively in schools. [250602]

Ann Keen: In March 2005, the Department of Children Schools and Families (DCSF) published “Managing Medicines in Schools and Early Years Settings” with contributions from Department of Health. However, that guidance was for teachers rather than primary care trusts (PCTs). The National Service Framework for Children, Families and Maternity (Children’s NSF),
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published in 2004 included guidance for health and social care professionals as well as parents and children on managing long term conditions. For children with diabetes, the report ‘Making every young person with diabetes matter’ included a generic specification for children and young people. This included a section on managing diabetes in schools and early years settings. A copy of the report has already been placed in the Library.

Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the estimated cost is of testing for vCJD all those considered potentially at risk of having contracted vCJD after using infected blood products under the NHS; and if he will make a statement; [247050]

(2) how many and what proportion of those considered to be potentially at risk of having contracted vCJD after using infected blood products under the NHS have been informed of their at risk status; and if he will make a statement; [247051]

(3) how many haemophiliacs are estimated to be potentially at risk of having contracted vCJD after using infected blood products under the NHS; and if he will make a statement; [247052]

(4) how many people are estimated to be potentially at risk of having contracted vCJD after using infected blood products under the NHS; and if he will make a statement. [247053]

Dawn Primarolo: There are between 4,000 and 5,000 people, mostly haemophiliacs, currently considered at risk of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease because of exposure or potential exposure via blood products. The haemophiliacs have been informed of their risk status by the haemophilia doctors managing their care, and the general practitioners of those who are not haemophiliacs have been informed of the need to advise their patients appropriately. The cost of testing this group, should suitable tests become available, has not been estimated.

Dental Services: Fees and Charges

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) in what circumstances a dentist may charge a patient for (a) descaling and (b) cleaning and polishing after the first-tier check up; [247537]

(2) if he will initiate an investigation into the practice of dentists charging patients for descaling, cleaning and polishing following the first-tier check up; and if he will make a statement; [247538]

(3) how many NHS dental patients (a) were charged for and (b) received free under the NHS descaling, cleaning and polishing following the first-tier treatment in the latest period for which information is available. [247626]

Ann Keen: The information is not available in the format requested. However, the number of courses of treatment delivered to charge payers and non-charge payers by treatment band in 2007-08 is available in Table 25 of “NHS Dental Statistics for England: 2007-08”.
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This publication has already been placed in the Library and is also available on the NHS Information Centre website at:

National health service dental contracts require dentists to provide all proper clinically necessary dental care and treatment that the patient is willing to undergo. A band 1 course of treatment (diagnosis, treatment planning and maintenance) includes examination, diagnosis (for example x-rays), advice on how to prevent future problems, and scaling and polishing if clinically needed. Fee paying NHS patients will be charged £16.20 for a band 1 course of treatment. Those exempt from NHS charges receive treatment without charge.

Patients who are assessed as not clinically needing a scale and polish are free to obtain it privately. As with any treatment if there is no clinical need for the patient to receive a scale and polish it is entirely appropriate that it is provided, if at all, outside the NHS.

We take very seriously the need to ensure that all NHS patients receive clinically appropriate treatment. A dentist who identified a clinical need for a scale and polish under NHS treatment and then refused such care would be potentially in breach of contract. The NHS Business Services Authority is enhancing the role of the dental reference service to ensure that primary care trusts (PCTs) have the tools to check that dental care provided is appropriate to patients’ needs. Patients who have concerns about any aspect of their dental care should in the first instance raise this with the practice and then if not satisfied, with the PCT.

The independent review of NHS dentistry chaired by Professor Jimmy Steele will also look at how we can ensure that NHS dentists deliver consistently high quality
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care and provide the right level of preventative work. Professor Steele is due to publish his findings later in the year.

Direct Payments

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in England are eligible to receive direct payments; and how many of them have taken them up. [250173]

Phil Hope: Since 2003, councils have had a duty to offer direct payments to people found eligible for social services support. During 2007-08, around 1.75 million people of working age and older people used social care services either provided by their local council or commissioned on their behalf from private and voluntary organisations. As at March 2008, 73,540 people, including carers, used direct payments to buy the help they wanted.

Diseases: Children

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the incidence of (a) diphtheria, (b) tetanus and (c) pertussis, (d) Haemophilus influenzae type b, (e) polio, (f) meningitis C, (g) measles, (h) mumps, (i) rubella and (j) acellular pertussis was amongst children in (i) London and (ii) the rest of England in each of the last three years. [249793]

Dawn Primarolo: The information given is for the last three years for which data is available, and is set out in the following table. Data included in this table refers to the incidence of infections in children up to 15 years of age.

2005 2006 2007

London Rest of England London Rest of England London Rest of England

Diphtheria(1)

1

0

0

2

0

0

Tetanus

0

0

0

0

0

0

Pertussis(2)

27

391

42

322

37

359

Haemophilus Influenzae type b

4

41

6

42

9

31

Polio

0

0

0

0

0

0

Meningitis C

0

3

1

5

1

8

Measles(3)

30

28

195

334

345

422

Mumps(3)

220

1,823

67

322

21

137

Rubella(3)

2

5

1

1

2

5

(1 )Isolation of toxigenic Corynebacterium diphtheriae or C ulcerans.
(2) Notified cases of whooping cough. Acellular pertussis is a vaccine not a disease.
(3) The number includes cases confirmed by both oral fluid IgM antibody tests and other laboratory reported cases.

Diseases: EU Action

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking in response to the European Commission’s November 2008 Communication on Rare Diseases, Europe’s Challenges, COM (2008) 679. [249521]

Dawn Primarolo: We broadly welcome the Council’s Communication on Rare Diseases and the opportunity it presents for gathering further expertise, exchange of information and best practice between member states.

United Kingdom Government representatives are now involved in continuing negotiations at the European Council about an EC recommendation about action on rare diseases, which we understand is intended to be published under the Czech presidency.

Health Hazards: Lighting

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has (a) evaluated, (b) commissioned and (c) undertaken on the effects of the use of low-energy fluorescent bulbs on public health. [249874]


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Dawn Primarolo: The Health Protection Agency (HPA) advises the Department on scientific matters concerning optical radiation including low energy light bulbs. The HPA tested a sample of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and found that some emitted ultraviolet radiation which could, under certain conditions, expose people above international guidelines. As a result of its findings, the HPA issued precautionary advice on 9 October 2008 to the general public concerning the use of open CFLs in close-working situations. The HPA’s advice can be found at:

The HPA’s research was considered alongside other available evidence to inform a report by the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR). SCENIHR’s opinion on light sensitivity can be found at:

During 2008, the Department undertook a literature review on lighting and light sensitive and neurological conditions.

HIV Infection

Mr. Borrow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how he intends to respond to the resolution of the European Parliament of 20 November 2008, addressed to all member states, on HIV/AIDS: early diagnosis and early care. [248328]

Dawn Primarolo: The Department is already responding to the actions for member states set out in the European Parliament’s resolution on HIV and AIDS. HIV testing remains free and confidential and the Department continues to fund awareness campaigns for men-who-have-sex-with-men and African communities, the groups most at risk of HIV in the UK. These awareness campaigns are additional to the Condom Essential Wear campaign which targets young adults. The Department also funds the National AIDS Manual and the Terrence Higgins Trust for information and helpline services on HIV treatment and living with HIV. This year, the Department is also investing £750,000 in new work to reduce undiagnosed HIV.

The Disability Discrimination Act provides protection for people with HIV in employment, education and in the provision of goods and services. There are no restrictions on the freedom of movement of people with HIV in the United Kingdom.

Mental Health Services: Prisoners

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prisoners have been transferred from prison to hospital for psychiatric care since 1997. [242408]

Phil Hope: The following table shows the number of transfers of mentally ill prisoners to more appropriate care in hospital under the Mental Health Act:


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Number of prisoners

1997

757

1998

737

1999

732

2000

664

2001

670

2002

723

2003

786

2004

891

2005

900

2006

961

2007

926

Source:
Ministry of Justice.

In 2007 the Department launched guidelines and conducted 17 pilots across the country to test more efficient protocols for speedier transfer. Since then the guidelines show a 28 per cent. improvement in transfer times and the Department plans to consider how this improvement could be rolled out across all prison sites.


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