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28 Jan 2009 : Column 619W—continued

Departmental Public Relations

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the answer to the right hon. Member for Devizes of 25 November 2008, Official Report, column 1218W, on departmental public relations, if he will list each of the external public firms on which the £5.3 million of expenditure was incurred in 2007-08; and for what reasons in-house communications staff could not provide the requisite services. [250570]

Mr. Bradshaw: The public relations (PR) agencies employed by the Department during 2007-08 were:

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PR companies are employed to support a range of marketing and policy initiatives including major public health behaviour change programmes such as tobacco control, sexual health, flu immunisation, hand and respiratory hygiene and drug and alcohol harm reduction campaigns. In addition to providing specialist knowledge of a wide range of media through which the Department needs to communicate with specific target audiences, they also provide extensive creative input to communications programmes. PR companies are a highly flexible and cost-effective resource as they can be commissioned for the duration of each individual project thus reducing the need for increasing internal headcount.

The total expenditure on external PR during 2007-08 (£5.3 million) includes VAT and both fees and costs. Typically costs may include producing materials and newsletters, creation of content for online media, advertorials, photography, research, creation of toolkits for stakeholders and costs incurred for regional activity such as stakeholder or media roadshows.

Departmental Surveys

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department's central media and communication unit spent on public surveys in each of the last three years. [247916]

Mr. Bradshaw: We are committed to consulting and involving the public to ensure that our campaigning activity and all associated publicity materials are shaped around understanding of their needs and attitudes. Our investment in communications research and insight is central in designing and evaluating our communications campaigns.

The Department's Communications Directorate spent the following in each financial year on quantitative surveys among the public in each of the last three years.

Spend (£)







These figures include evaluation of public health campaigns; evaluation of major NHS communications initiatives; evaluation of NHS careers campaign and regular tracking of public attitudes towards the NHS.

Departmental Temporary Employment

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent by his Department on (a) agency and (b) temporary staff in each financial year since 2005-06. [251357]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department allows managers to access temporary staff, when necessary, through appropriate employment agencies at their own discretion, where the appropriate funding is authorised. The Department does not collect information on agency and temporary staff spend in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

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General Practitioners: Pharmacy

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dispensing GP practices are registered in (a) Stroud constituency, (b) Gloucestershire and (c) England; and what percentage of the total number of practices this represents in each case. [247938]

Phil Hope: The number of dispensing general practitioner (GP) practices and total practices is not available by parliamentary constituency but can be provided by primary care trust (PCT).

The following table provides the total number of GP practices and the number of dispensing GP practices in England, Gloucestershire PCT and South Gloucestershire PCT as at 14 January 2009. The figures in brackets represent the percentage of the total number of practices in each category.

Gloucestershire PCT South Gloucestershire PCT England

All GP Practices

86 (1%)

29 (0.3%)


Dispensing GP Practices

29 2.6%)

4 (0.35%)


NHS Business Services Authority Organisational database

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of inappropriate dispensing of hospital prescriptions in community pharmacies were reported by each primary care trust in the latest year for which figures are available. [248226]

Phil Hope: This information is not held centrally.

Health Services: Merseyside

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health by (1) what means his Department provides access to (a) detoxification services and (b) primary health care for homeless people in Merseyside. [251453]

(2) what assessment he has made of the availability of detoxification services for homeless people in Merseyside. [251458]

Dawn Primarolo: It is the responsibility of primary care trusts (PCT) to plan, develop and improve local health services according to the health needs of their local populations.

The provision of detoxification services in Merseyside is therefore the responsibility of the local PCTs, working in partnership with relevant agencies and stakeholders.

Details of these services can be obtained from the PCTs and Drug and Alcohol Action Teams direct.

Hospitals: Construction

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average capital cost is of major hospital capital building projects initiated under (a) the private finance initiative and (b) other funding arrangements in the last three financial years. [251072]

Mr. Bradshaw: Under the private finance initiative over the last three financial years there have been 20 major hospital schemes (£25 million or over) which
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have reached financial close and started construction. Capital costs have ranged from £30 million to £1,000 million, with the average being £222 million.

Eight public capital funded major hospital schemes have awarded tenders and started construction over the last three years. Capital costs have ranged from £25 million to £75 million with the average capital cost being £47 million.

Hospitals: Food

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which NHS trusts have (a) declared and (b) been unable to declare that dieticians had confirmed that hospital menus would deliver nutritional requirements sufficient to meet the needs of all patients in the last six months. [250648]

Dawn Primarolo: Information about which NHS trusts have/have not declared that dieticians have confirmed that hospital menus would deliver nutritional requirements sufficient to meet the needs of all patients is not collected centrally.

Knee/Hip Replacements

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time for a (1) knee operation in (a) England, (b) the North East and (c) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency was in the latest period for which information is available; [249549]

(2) hip operation in (a) England, (b) the North East and (c) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland was in the latest period for which information is available. [249623]

Mr. Bradshaw: The median time waited for a hip and a knee replacement in England, the north east, Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland in the latest period for which information is available is shown in the following table.

Median time waited for hip and knee replacements( 1) of residents in England, North East Strategic Health Authority (SHA), Middlesb r ough Primary Care Trust (PCT) and Redcar and Cleveland PCT in 2006-07
Activity in English national health service hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector
Median waiting time (days)

Hip Knee




North East SHA



Middlesbrough PCT(2)



Redcar and Cleveland PCT(2)



(1 )The term knee/hip ‘operation’ has been classed as too broad by Information Centre for health and social care clinical coders. As a result we have provided waiting times for hip/knee replacements as this is a term requested frequently in other parliamentary questions.
(2 )Information Centre for health and social care are unable to break the data down by Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland, but have data for Middlesbrough PCT and Redcar and Cleveland PCT.
Hospital Episode Statistics, The NHS Information Centre for health and social care.

Maternity Services: Disadvantaged

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 17 June 2008, Official Report, column 875W, on breastfeeding, what steps are
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being taken to promote the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative to maternity units in areas of high social deprivation. [251307]

Dawn Primarolo: We are investing £4 million in 2008-09 for primary care trusts to develop local interventions to promote breastfeeding. These include implementing the principles of the Baby Friendly Initiative in both hospitals and community settings. As part of this initiative, training will be provided to all frontline staff. The overall aim is to increase breastfeeding rates, maximise the coverage of numbers of non-breastfeeding mothers in England and address inequalities.

Medical Treatments: EC Countries

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many European Health Insurance Cards (a) his Department and (b) other issuers within the UK have issued to non-UK nationals in each of the last 11 years, broken down by member state. [250880]

Dawn Primarolo: The United Kingdom has issued around 30 million UK European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) to date. A breakdown by year can be found in the following table. The EHIC was only introduced across the European Economic Area in September 2005, therefore data for 11 years are not available. There is only one issuer of the EHIC within the UK, which is the NHS Business Services Authority. The nationality of the applicant is not recorded during the EHIC application process as this is irrelevant; entitlement to free national health service treatment and also to an EHIC, is based on being ordinarily resident in the UK rather than on British nationality or the previous payment of taxes to the UK.

EHIC cards issued

September 2005-March 2006


April 2006-March 2007


April 2007-March 2008


April 2008-December 2008


As part of the transition to the EHIC from the E111, E111 applicants could automatically apply for an EHIC by indicating so on the application. 11,477,178 EHICs have been issued in this way.

Mobile Phones: Health Hazards

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to publish the report of Interphone. [251747]

Dawn Primarolo: Interphone is a multinational collaborative population study set up to help determine whether the radio frequency radiation emitted by mobile phones contributes to a cancer risk. It is not in the gift of the Department to publish the results. The study team, based at the International Centre for Research on Cancer in France issued an update on its website in October 2008. This can be found at:

Although the whole study has not been published in full, many of the collaborating research centres have already published their own individual results in scientific
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journals. The United Kingdom based Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) programme has supported two of the interphone centres and details of these studies with a list of publications can be found on the MTHR website at:

The 2007 MTHR report on the full range of studies supported under the MTHR programme can also be found at this website.

NHS: Debts

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of NHS hospital and community health services which will be in deficit at the end of the financial years (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10; and what projections he has made of future likely deficits. [251071]

Mr. Bradshaw: As discussed in the quarter 2 edition of the departmental publication, The Quarter, there are 11 national health service organisations forecasting that they will end the 2008-09 financial year with an operating deficit.

In addition to these eleven organisations, there are six organisations forecasting a technical deficit for the 2008-09 financial year. Five of these organisations have a technical deficit relating to the impairment of assets, which does not form part of their operating position (one of these organisations is also in the list of 11 organisations with an operating deficit). The remaining technical deficit is a phasing issue for a part year foundation trust, relating to the period that it was an NHS trust.

All NHS organisations are currently working to finalise their financial plans for 2009-10. We would expect these financial plans to be in line with the local direction and priorities agreed with their strategic health authorities, and the priorities set out in the Operating Framework for 2009-10.

A copy of the quarter 2 edition of The Quarter has been placed in the Library and can be found at the following website:

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