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11 Mar 2009 : Column 521W—continued

NHS: Temporary Employment

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received on the potential additional cost to the NHS of changes to the value added tax treatment of agency staff; what estimate he has made of that potential cost; and if he will make a statement. [262120]

Ann Keen: Due to the way in which correspondence is logged, information on the specific number of representations received on the potential additional costs to the national health service of changes to the value added tax treatment of agency staff could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

The latest estimate of the potential cost to the NHS is £26 million per year, revised from an earlier estimate of £30 million when VAT stood at 17.5 per cent.

Nurses: Manpower

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the ratio of nurses to patients was at (a) Darlington Memorial Hospital, (b) York District Hospital, (c) Harrogate District Hospital, (d) Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital and (e) Charing Cross Hospital in (i) 2008, (ii) 2007, (iii) 2006 and (iv) 1997. [261655]

Ann Keen: This information is not held centrally.

Pharmacy: Chelmsford

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many licensed pharmacies there were in West Chelmsford constituency in each of the last five years. [261804]

Phil Hope: The NHS Information Centre does not hold data on the number of licensed pharmacies but we do hold the number of community pharmacies in contract with their primary care trust (PCT) at the 31 March each year.

The NHS Information Centre first published these data for 2004-05 so figures for four financial years only have been provided.

The information is held by PCT only. Prior to 2006 the PCT area which best fits West Chelmsford constituency was Chelmsford PCT. From 2006 the PCT which covers West Chelmsford constituency is Mid Essex PCT. Mid Essex PCT is larger than the old Chelmsford PCT which may account for the larger number of pharmacies listed.

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Number of community pharmacies in contract with PCT at 31 March

Chelmsford PCT Mid Essex PCT









Each community pharmacy has an arrangement with a PCT to dispense NHS prescriptions. The arrangement specifies both the premises and the named contractor. Community pharmacies can dispense the full range of drugs and appliances as listed in the monthly Drug Tariff published by the NHS Prescription Services (previously known as the Prescription Pricing Division or PPD) of the NHS Business Services Authority.

Social Services

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people of working age in each local authority who were assessed as having a level of social care need (a) received and (b) did not receive state-funded social care support in each of the last five years. [262047]

Phil Hope: Data on the outcome of social care assessments for people of working age (aged 18-64) are collected and published by the NHS Information Centre for health and social care. The table giving this information has been placed in the Library. Data on the level of social care need are not held centrally. It is for individual local authorities to decide on the eligibility criteria for receiving state-funded social care services.

Social Services: Finance

Roger Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how he plans to monitor consistency in the allocation of individual budgets among local authorities. [261348]

Phil Hope: The Government are committed to driving forward increased personalisation of public services, including ensuring that people using social care services should have access to maximum independence, choice and control. Personal budgets, building on the success of direct payments and the experiences of the thirteen individual budget pilot sites, are central to this aim.

Councils will be supported to make substantial progress on transforming their systems to deliver personalised services over the next two years. The ring-fenced social care reform grant provides £520 million to help councils redesign and reshape their systems over the next three years in order to deliver this transformation. Performance across health and social care will be measured against relevant indicators in the national indicator set and any relevant local area agreement (LAA) improvement targets. This information will inform the Care Quality Commission’s assessments of primary care trusts and councils across health and adult social care which, in turn, contribute to the comprehensive area assessment.

In addition to the existing performance mechanisms, the Department and its partners are working to improve the adult social care indicators for future spending cycles. This work builds on the lessons learnt from the current national indicator set and the first round of the LAAs. The revised indicators are likely to form part of the evidence base for both future assessments by the inspectorates and the foundation for the next round of LAAs. The Department is now taking initial development
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work forward in partnership with Association of Directors of Adult Social Services regional networks, joint investment plans and other local sector stakeholders and as part of a wider Government review of the indicator set for the next comprehensive spending review period.


Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which acute hospitals are equipped to provide (a) thrombolysis and (b) CT scanning for patients who have undergone suspected strokes; and which of those are able to provide each service at all times. [261483]

Ann Keen: This information is not collected centrally. However, the National Sentinel Stroke Audit, prepared by the Royal College of Physicians and which is based on clinical data collected directly from national health service trusts, details the latest evidence on the provision of stroke services including thrombolysis and CT scanning. The most recent audit is available at the college’s internet website at:

Energy and Climate Change

Air Pollution: Scotland

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he plans to bring forward legislation to amend the Clean Air Act 1993 to take account of recent changes in solid fuel combustion in Scotland. [260973]

Huw Irranca-Davies: I have been asked to reply.

There are, as yet, no firm plans to amend the Clean Air Act 1993 in response to changes in fuel use patterns in Scotland.

The Clean Air Act 1993 is an important part of the regulatory system which is helping to improve air quality and protect public health. Its provisions cover the whole of the UK and any changes to it need to be considered on that basis. Such consideration will need to take into account the different ways in which the UK's Devolved Administrations will seek to deliver the increases in renewable heat and energy needed to achieve the UK's obligations.

British Plastics Federation

Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he plans to reply to the letter sent to him by the British Plastics Federation on 4 November 2008 on the climate change levy. [257813]

Joan Ruddock: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State replied to the letter from the British Plastics Federation on 27 February 2009.

Carbon Challenge Programme

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much has been allocated to the Carbon Challenge Programme in each year since its inception. [260590]

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Mr. Iain Wright [holding answer 4 March 2009]: I have been asked to reply.

The Carbon Challenge was launched in February 2007. This initiative has been developed by the Homes and Communities Agency on behalf of the Department. It is aimed at helping the house-building industry accelerate its response to climate change through innovation and the development of skills. Homes delivered through the Carbon Challenge will be designed to meet the highest level of the Code for Sustainable Homes and will emit net zero carbon in the course of a year.

The Homes and Communities Agency has allocated £750,000 to the initiative over a three year period from 2007-08 until 2009-10. To date overall expenditure has amounted to £341,017 on the first phase of four sites which are owned by the public sector. This covers matters such as the development of the generic brief for the sites, the provision of advice to partners as well as monitoring and evaluation.

Carbon Emissions

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the implications of the European Court of Justice's ruling in the Citiworks case for achievement of the Government's targets for carbon dioxide emissions reduction. [255154]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Although no specific assessment has been made of the implications of the Citiworks ruling for carbon dioxide emissions reductions, DECC will be consulting on the full implications of the Citiworks ruling and any necessary legislative changes later this year.


Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much his Department has spent on (a) Christmas cards, (b) Christmas decorations and (c) Christmas parties since its inception. [261051]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: DECC has spent nothing on Christmas cards, decorations or parties. DECC’s Christmas greetings were sent to recipients as e-cards, via e-mail. These e-cards were designed in-house using images submitted by staff, at no additional cost.

Climate Change

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he plans to publish his response to the Eliasch Review. [260026]

Joan Ruddock: The UK is already acting on the Eliasch Review recommendations in most areas and is taking forward the analysis in relevant parts of the climate change negotiations for a future arrangement through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Government do not intend to make a formal response to the review.

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Electricity Generation

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what further reports he expects to be published by the Electricity Networks Strategy Group. [262713]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: A second phase of the ENSG 2020 Electricity Transmission Network study, available at

will now consider generation scenarios for 2025 and 2030. A report of this further work is expected to be published in the spring.

Energy Saving Trust

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the cost to his Department and its predecessor of (a) the Energy Saving Trust and (b) its contractors has been since the Trust's inception; to which (i) regional and (ii) local organisations the Energy Saving Trust contracts domestic and business consumer enquiries; how many complaints about its service the Energy Saving Trust and its contractors received in each of the last two years; what assessment his Department makes of the cost-effectiveness of the Energy Saving Trust; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Energy Saving Trust in reducing domestic and business greenhouse gas emissions. [262434]

Joan Ruddock: The Energy Saving Trust is a private company limited by guarantee, and details of their contractors and complaints procedures are therefore a matter for the trust's board.

The Department grant funds the Energy Saving Trust year-on-year, supporting the valuable work in the domestic carbon abatement field. We do not fund the Energy Saving Trust for business consumer inquiries. The Department and its predecessors grant funded the trust annually as follows(1):

Funding (£ million)



























Analysis in the Climate Change Programme (March 2006) showed that the trust's activity is very cost-effective in terms of £/tCO2. In 2007-08 the overall cost-effectiveness of the trust's work improved to £1.20 per tonne of lifetime carbon dioxide saved. The trust's influenced lifetime CO2 savings have improved in 2007-08 to 21.5mt CO2 compared to 16mt CO2 in 2006-07. The EST's
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activities make an effective and respected contribution to our climate change ambitions.

Fossil Fuels: North Sea

Sir Robert Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the oral answer of 5 March 2009, Official Report, columns 980-81, what discussions he has had with industry representatives on the effect of phase 3 of the European Emission Trading Scheme on the attractiveness of the UK continental shelf to global oil and gas investors. [R] [262301]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The impact of phase III of the EU emission trading system (EU ETS) on the UK upstream oil and gas industry was discussed at the PILOT meeting on 10 February 2009 which was chaired by the Secretary of State of Energy and Climate Change. The meeting was attended by representatives of the oil and gas industry, including Oil and Gas UK. Officials from the Department of Energy and Climate Change are continuing to work with Oil and Gas UK and individual companies to analyse the impacts of phase III of the EU ETS on the sector.

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