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NHS: Negligence

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total premium payable to the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts has been in each financial year since 2000-01; and what estimate he has made of the amount of such premium payments in 2009-10. [251617]

Ann Keen [holding answer 27 January 2009]: The NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) collects contributions in the third quarter of the current financial year to cover the estimated costs to be incurred by the clinical negligence scheme for trusts in the following financial year. The information requested is in the following table and was provided by the NHSLA.

Financial year Premium collected (£ million)



















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The premium to be collected for 2009-10 is £713.4 million. This is substantially higher than the previous year due to delayed settlement of over 100 high-value cases until a Court of Appeal ruling was made in the “Thompstone et al”(1) indexation cases, as well as other factors such as rising legal costs. We would expect this figure to fall back in 2010-11.

Official Cars

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what cars are (a) owned, (b) leased, (c) hired and (d) otherwise regularly used by his Department, broken down by cubic capacity of engine. [250145]

Mr. Bradshaw: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport on 26 January 2009, Official Report, column 10W. Additionally:

The Department also has an arrangement with Government Car and Despatch Agency, part of Department of Transport. They provide Toyota Prius vehicles as part of their ‘Green Cars’ Scheme.


Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the timetable is for the application to orthopaedic hospitals of amendments to the HRG4 national tariff; [252136]

(2) whether he plans to provide transitional relief to specialist orthopaedic trusts whose income is adversely affected by changes to the national tariff HRG4; [252137]

(3) what assessment he has made of the effect on the finances of each specialist orthopaedic hospital of (a) changes to the HRG4 national tariff and (b) adjustments to the market forces factor. [252138]

Mr. Bradshaw: From 1 April 2009 the national tariff which is used by all providers of NHS services will be based, in part, on the clinical grouping methodology HRG4.

Interim impact analysis, using historical activity data, has been undertaken centrally at several stages of tariff calculation. This has included the impact associated with the new market forces factor (MFF). A more accurate analysis can be carried out locally using locally available data, when the final tariff has been published.

Once the new tariff is in use strategic health authorities, involving primary care trusts where appropriate, will have discretion to manage both the transition towards the full impact of the revised MFF and the financial impact of the move to tariffs based on HRG4.

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Prescriptions: ICT

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in the development of the electronic prescription service. [252339]

Mr. Bradshaw: Deployment of release 1 of the electronic prescription service (EPS) commenced in February 2005 when the software was delivered and is now largely complete. Currently, 86 per cent. of all general practitioner practice sites and 87 per cent. of pharmacies are technically enabled. On average, EPS is being used for around 30 per cent. of prescribed daily prescription messages.

The software for release 2 was delivered in August 2006 and final compliance preparations are under way by general practitioner and pharmacy information technology suppliers for the implementation of release 2. 17 initial implementer primary care trusts have been specified in Secretary of State Directions as those that may authorise the use of the EPS by their prescribers. Subject to the conclusion of ongoing compliance testing, deployment to an initial implementation site is expected to start shortly.

NHS Connecting for Health has engaged with clinicians and patient groups to help inform the development of communication and guidance materials that will support the initial implementation of release 2.

Stroke: East Midlands

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what strategy he is pursuing to ensure that the maximum number of patients in the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust area have access to a computed axial topography scan within 24 hours of their stroke-related condition being diagnosed; and if he will make a statement. [250948]

Ann Keen: The new stroke strategy for England launched in December 2007, sets out the changes needed in the emergency management of strokes, and national support is available to drive improvements to acute care for both transient ischaemic attack (minor stroke) and stroke. All hospitals now provide computed tomography scanning and by far the majority also provide magnetic resonance imaging and carotid doppler.

We have made stroke a top priority for the national health service and this has been recognised in the recently issued NHS Operating Framework for 2009-10, where implementing the stroke strategy remains a Tier 1 Vital Sign: that is a ‘must do’ for the NHS.

Thalidomide Trust: Finance

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what financial assistance his Department has provided to the Thalidomide Trust since May 1997. [252872]

Ann Keen: The Department has not provided financial support to the Thalidomide Trust. Responsibility for providing compensation to victims rests with Messrs. Distillers, now part of Diageo plc, the company that marketed the drug in the United Kingdom. A private compensation settlement was agreed with Distillers in 1973, and Diageo continues to make annual payments to the Thalidomide Trust, the charitable trust established to administer payments to victims.

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Children, Schools and Families

Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he has taken to inform parents of changes to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal system; and if he will make a statement. [252965]

Bridget Prentice: I have been asked to reply.

On 3 November 2008, the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST) became part of the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability—SEND). It sits within the Health, Education and Social Care Chamber.

In preparation for the move into the new tribunals structure there has been a two-part consultation process on the changes for those jurisdictions, including SENDIST: “Transforming Tribunals” discussed the proposals for a new tribunals structure and ran from 28 November 2007 to 22 February 2008; and, the “Health, Education and Social Care Chamber Rules” were consulted upon from 29 May until 11 July 2008.

Information on draft practice directions was available on the SENDIST website in July 2008, and the draft practice directions themselves were also sent out to a wide range of service user groups, including parents, parent representative groups and local education authorities, in early October.

Two newsletters were also issued to the service user groups, the first in July and the second in October 2008. Both contained detailed information on changes to processes and the latter addressed specific issues of concern raised by users.

There has also been a service user group made up of representatives from a range of voluntary groups and local education authorities working with the judiciary to ensure the rules, practice direction and case management system were fit for purpose.

Since November 2008, SEND judiciary and members of the user service group have provided free training on the rules, practice directions and case management system for 840 user and user representatives; a further 130 are booked for training in February 2009.

In addition, application forms for appeals and claims under the new system are available on the SEND website together with guidance on how to appeal and other relevant information. A clear link has been added to the site’s front page to direct users to this information. Further briefing notes on particular issues, for example, the assessment of children under rule 15 (4) (“provision to have a child assessed”), have been produced and issued to users.

The tribunal has also provided a final list of appeal numbers for cases that will be dealt with under the SENDIST regulation, and how onward appeals from the First-Tier Tribunal’s decisions will be dealt with under the new rules.

Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal: Children in Care

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many cases of looked-after children were considered by the Special
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Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal system in the last year for which figures are available. [251771]

Bridget Prentice: I have been asked to reply.

The First-Tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability), known as Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST) prior to 3 November 2008, does not retain any statistical information on how many appeals relate to looked-after children. This information could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

The tribunal keeps data on the total number of appeals, the type of appeal, the category of the special educational need, the outcome of the appeal and the length of time to reach a decision.

In 2007-08, SENDIST received a total of 3,396 appeals.

Duchy of Lancaster

Departmental Disciplinary Proceedings

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many civil servants in his Department have been (a) disciplined and (b) dismissed for breaches of the Civil Service Code in each of the last three years. [241407]

Mr. Watson: The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of all civil servants and forms part of the Civil Service Management Code and other conduct rules.

Between 2006-08 16 Cabinet Office employees have either been disciplined or dismissed.

Departmental NDPBs

Mr. Evans: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what the (a) highest, (b) lowest and (c) average pro-rata compensation of board members of non-departmental public bodies associated with the Cabinet Office was in each of the last five years; [251208]

(2) what the (a) highest, (b) lowest and (c) average salary of board members of non-departmental public bodies associated with the Cabinet Office was in each of the last five years. [251209]

Mr. Watson: Information on 2005-06 and 2006-07 is published in the Cabinet Office Public Appointments Plans for 2006 and 2007, available at:

Copies are also available in the Libraries of the House.

Details of remuneration before 2005-06 are not held centrally and could be collected only at disproportionate cost.

Information on 2007-08 will be published in due course.

Government Departments: Information Officers

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many civil servants in Government departments and agencies have a title of head of messaging according to records held by (a) Government Communications and (b) the Central Office of Information. [250325]

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Mr. Watson: Government Communication does not hold information on job titles of civil servants. COI do not have any record of civil servants bearing this job title.

Members Interests

Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will place in the Library a copy of the most recent version of the model declaration letter provided for Ministers to declare their interests. [249959]

Mr. Byrne: A list of Ministers’ interests will be published shortly. It will include details of the categories of information required to be provided.

Public Service Forum

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) who the members of the Public Service Forum are; [250327]

(2) on what dates the Public Service Forum has met; and what the criteria for determining its membership are. [250509]

Mr. Watson: The Public Services Forum (PSF) was formed in 2003 to improve dialogue between Government, public service employers and trade unions. It has met three times a year until 2008 when this was increased to four times a year.

There is no fixed ‘membership’ of the PSF; the ministerial chair invites employers and trade union representatives in roughly equal numbers to engage in dialogue with the Government on public service work force issues. Representatives are sent from the CBI, Business Services Association, Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations and the National Council of Voluntary Organisations are also invited to attend some meetings.

Public Services Forum Task Group

Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Fareham of 17 March 2008, Official Report, column 870W, on Warwick Task Force Group contact, what the names are of the members of the Public Services Forum Task Group; and if he will place in the Library copies of the minutes of Group meetings held in the last 12 months. [249957]

Mr. Watson: The Public Services Forum Task Group was chaired by an official nominated by the Cabinet Office and attended by a further three civil servants from relevant Departments, four representatives from the CBI, private and third sector umbrella organisations and four Trades Union Congress representatives.

The group developed the Joint Statement on Access to Skills, Trade Unions and Advice in Government Contracting, which came into effect on 15 July 2008. A copy of the Joint Statement has been placed in the Library of the House.

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