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3 Feb 2009 : Column 1101W—continued

House of Commons Commission

Department of Resources: Contracts

Graham Stringer: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many contracts of employment for staff working for hon. and right hon. Members lodged with the Department of Resources that Department has been unable to locate in the last 12 months. [253984]

Nick Harvey: There are some 2,700 staff employed by hon. Members using standard contracts. About 70 new staff are appointed each month. The Green Book requires Members to lodge contracts and job descriptions with the Department of Resources. Following a recommendation by the National Audit Office, the Department carried out an exercise in 2007 to establish how many contracts were not held as required by the Green Book. At that time 371 were not held. A similar exercise in 2008 found that 218 were not held. No information is available on how many of these had been lodged but mislaid. The Department has taken action to request that copies of the contracts be deposited in accordance with the decision made by the Members Estimate Committee on 20 October 2008.

Members: Allowances

Jo Swinson: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission pursuant to the answer of 27 January 2009, Official Report, columns 542-43W, on Members: allowances, (1) what timetable was given to the contractor brought in to assist with the process of publishing the details of hon. Members’ expenses; and whether there are penalties in the contract for any delays that occur; [254039]

(2) when the process of scanning and redacting receipts for hon. Members’ expenses will be completed and passed to hon. Members for checking. [254040]

Nick Harvey: The process of scanning and redacting claims, receipts etc has been undertaken in two stages. The first stage included the scanning of all relevant documentation and the initial editing and was concluded in October 2008 within agreed deadlines. The second
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stage has involved further editing to take account of privacy and security concerns apparent on completion of stage 1. This work is currently in hand and will be completed in March within agreed time frames. There have been no delays in the fulfilment of the contract. On completion of the scanning and editing work, hon. Members will need to check the records relating to them, and further editing may then be required. A date for sending out this information has not yet been set, but Members will receive advance notification of what they will need to do and how to raise matters of concern.

Public Relations

Mr. Hurd: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission if he will list the external public relations consultants or contractors who are employed or commissioned by the House of Commons Commission; and what payments have been made to Ms Sheree Dodd in relation to the provision of public relations in the last three years. [250527]

Nick Harvey: Sheree Dodd was contracted through the Central Office of Information in February 2008 to provide media advice to the House of Commons Commission. Payments for her services from 26 February 2008 to date, including a COI administration charge, have totalled £41,986.05. In addition, Colman Getty is being paid in connection with public relations for Big Ben’s 150th anniversary.


Ambulance Services: Standards

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has any plans (a) to assess and (b) publish the performance of ambulance trusts at district-by-district level; and if he will make a statement. [253904]

Mr. Bradshaw: Emergency ambulance response time data are collected centrally by the Department of Health at ambulance trust level. The Department currently has no plans to change the level at which this data are collected. It is a matter for the local national health service to ensure there is appropriate provision of emergency services that are responsive to people’s needs.

Asthma: Greater London

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the rates of asthma in (a) children aged four years and under, (b) children aged five to 14 years and (c) adults in each London borough per 1,000 population; and if he will make a statement. [253212]

Ann Keen [holding answer 2 February 2009]: Data are not collected in the format requested. Data are collected on the number of people in each practice on the asthma disease register by primary care trust (PCT), and by prevalence. The national Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) records the number of people recorded on practice registers; the number of patients on the clinical registers can be used to calculate measures of disease prevalence, expressing the number of patients on each register as a percentage of the number of patients on practices lists. 2007-08 data are contained in ‘PCT level QOF tables’.
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The following table shows the number of people recorded on asthma registers in 2007-08 from the QOF.

Numbers of QOF disease registers and unadjusted prevalence rates by primary care trust
Primary care trust (PCT) name Sum of asthma register counts Asthma unadjusted prevalence (percentage)

Barking and Dagenham PCT



Barnet Primary Care Trust



Bexley Care Trust



Brent PCT



Bromley PCT



Camden Primary Care Trust



City and Hackney Primary Care Team



Croydon Primary Care Trust



Ealing PCT



Enfield PCT



Greenwich PCT



Hammersmith and Fulham PCT



Haringey PCT



Harrow PCT



Havering PCT



Hillingdon PCT



Hounslow PCT



Islington Primary Care Trust



Kensington and Chelsea PCT






Lambeth PCT



Lewisham PCT



Newham Primary Care Team



Redbridge PCT



Richmond and Twickenham



Southwark PCT



Sutton and Merton PCT



Tower Hamlets Primary Care Team



Waltham Forest PCT



Wandsworth PCT



Westminster PCT



1. QOF is the national Quality and Outcomes Framework, introduced as part of the new General Medical Services contract on 1 April 2004.
2. Participation by practices in the QOF is voluntary, though participation rates are very high, with most Personal Medical Services practices also taking part.
3. The published QOF information was derived from the Quality Management Analysis System (QMAS), a national system developed by NHS Connecting for Health.
4. QMAS uses data from general practices to calculate individual practices' QOF achievement. QMAS is a national IT system developed by NHS Connecting for Health to support the QOF.
5. The system calculates practice achievement against national targets. It gives general practices, PCTs and strategic health authorities (SHAs) objective evidence and feedback on the quality of care delivered to patients.
6. The QMAS captures the number of patients on the various disease registers for each practice. The number of patients on the clinical registers can be used to calculate measures of disease prevalence, expressing the number of patients on each register as a percentage of the number of patients on practices' lists.
7. Unadjusted prevalence = (number on disease register/list size) *100. These are raw data.
8. QOF data are collected annually.
The Information Centre for health and social care
Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) for April 2007 to March 2008, England
QMAS database—2007-08 data as at end of June 2008

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Care Homes: Standards

Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidelines his Department has issued to local authorities on incentives to care homes to achieve three stars under the Commission for Social Care Inspection's rating scheme; [252701]

(2) how many local authorities provide special payments to care homes which achieve three stars under the Commission for Social Care Inspection's rating scheme. [252702]

Phil Hope: The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) introduced its star rating system in May 2008 to enable commissioners and users of services and the public to see whether CSCI judges a care service to be excellent, good, adequate or poor. Star ratings are based on the results of CSCI inspections of services against the relevant regulations and national minimum standards.

The Department has not issued guidance to local authorities on incentives to care homes to achieve higher quality ratings. However, we expect local authorities to commission high quality services and would, therefore, anticipate that care homes which are rated as good or excellent will be more likely to attract local authorities’ business.

Fees paid by local authorities for care are for local negotiation. Information on whether councils make special payments to care homes which are awarded three stars by CSCI is not collected centrally.

Diabetes: Children

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the Government is taking to assist those with childhood diabetes in (a) England, (b) the North East, (c) the Tees Valley district and (d) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency. [252555]

Ann Keen: Our document “Making Every Young Person with Diabetes Matter”, published in April 2007, drew attention to differences in the management of diabetes in children and young people—which is complex and significantly different from adult care. A copy of the document has already been placed in the Library.

It stated that all children and young people with diabetes should have access to a Children and Young Person Specialist Diabetes (CYPSD) team with appropriate training and competencies; routine care, continuing care and annual assessment; and access to routine and integrated psychological support.

A Children and Young People Diabetes Implementation Support Group has been set up to take forward work on the report’s recommendations. The group is chaired by the National Clinical Director for Children, Dr. Sheila Shribman, and includes representation from Diabetes UK, Royal Colleges, young people with diabetes, parents and representatives from organisations with an interest in this area, including the Healthcare Commission.

One of the obligations of the group is to raise the profile of quality care for children and young people with diabetes across the country.

It is for primary care trusts (PCTs) and trusts to take forward implementation locally. One example of this is
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Middlesbrough PCT which has in place a multi-disciplinary team currently providing a service for some 140 children with diabetes. The PCT is developing closer ties with partners in education to develop protocols for use in schools.


John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to control the illegal re-sale of diazepam; and if he will make a statement. [245280]

Mr. Alan Campbell: I have been asked to reply.

As a Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 the illegal re-sale of diazepam is controlled; its illegal supply is a serious criminal matter.

Police must prioritise resources towards tackling crime, including drugs crime with a focus on those offences which cause the most harm. As such, operational activity may focus on Class A and B drugs, particularly the supply of drugs such as cocaine and heroin.

Where there is an identified need for a local response to a priority problem—such as the supply of diazepam in clubs, partner agencies, including the police, can be tasked through existing Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships to work towards achieving a joined-up solution.

This may include enforcement, treatment, improved communication or a range of other options depending on what is needed within the community concerned.

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