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30 Apr 2009 : Column 1466W—continued


Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what estimate he has made of the number of working days lost in the Cabinet Office as a result of workplace stress in the most recent year for which figures are available. [269895]

Mr. Watson: The Cabinet Office is committed to the health and well-being of its staff and has policies and support in place to manage and reduce workplace stress.

A summary of the Department’s absence data is published quarterly on the Cabinet Office website at:

Copies will be placed in the Library.

Trade Unions

Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to the answer of 2 February 2009, Official Report, columns 943-44W, on trade unions, whether special leave may be granted for trade union representatives to undertake political activities relating to their trade union responsibilities. [270166]

Mr. Watson: Union representatives are all civil servants and as such are bound by the civil service code.

The rules relating to civil servants’ involvement in political activities, including elected trade union representatives are set out in the civil service management code.

Voluntary Organisations: Finance

Keith Vaz: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many third sector organisations with international operations receive funding from his Department. [271488]

Kevin Brennan: The Office of the Third Sector provides funding only for programmes undertaken in England.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what financial criteria are used to assess the eligibility of a third sector organisation for allocation of funding. [271489]

Kevin Brennan: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for West Lancashire (Rosie Cooper) on 20 April 2009, Official Report, column 354W.


Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many alcohol-related hospital admissions of (a) men and (b) women aged (i) under 10 years, (ii) between 10 and 16 years, (iii) between 17 and 21 years, (iv) between 22 and 26 years and (v) over 26 years there were in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. [271049]

Dawn Primarolo: The information requested is given in the following table. Data are only available from 2002- 03 to 2007-08.

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30 Apr 2009 : Column 1468W
Number of finished admissions in England of patients with an alcohol-related condition, by age, sex and year

Age 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08


Under 10







10 to 16







17 to 21







22 to 26







Over 26








Under 10







10 to 16







17 to 21







22 to 26







Over 26







1. Includes activity in English National Health Service Hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector.
2. Alcohol-related admissions: The number of alcohol-related admissions is based on the methodology developed by the North West Public Health Observatory. Following international best practice, the NWPHO methodology includes a wide range of diseases and injuries in which alcohol plays a part and estimates the proportion of cases that are attributable to the consumption of alcohol. Details of the conditions and associated proportions can be found in the report Jones et al. (2008) Alcohol-attributable fractions for England: Alcohol-attributable mortality and hospital admissions. Figures for under 16s only include admissions where one or more alcohol-specific conditions were listed. This is because the research on which the attributable fractions are based does not cover
under 16s. Alcohol-specific conditions are those that are wholly attributed to alcohol—that is, those with an attributable fraction of one. They are:
Alcoholic cardiomyopathy (142.6)
Alcoholic gastritis (K29.2)
Alcoholic liver disease (K70)
Alcoholic myopathy (G72.1)
Alcoholic polyneuropathy (G62.1)
Alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing's syndrome (E24.4)
Chronic pancreatitis (alcohol induced) (K86.0)
Degeneration of nervous system due to alcohol (G31.2)
Mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol (F10)
Accidental poisoning by and exposure to alcohol (X45)
Ethanol poisoning (T51.0)
Methanol poisoning (T51.1)
Toxic effect of alcohol, unspecified (T51.9)
3. Number of episodes in which the patient had an alcohol-related primary or secondary diagnosis: These figures represent the number of episodes where an alcohol-related diagnosis was recorded in any of the 20 (14 from 2002-03 to 2006-07 and seven prior to 2002-03) primary and secondary diagnosis fields in a Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) record. Each episode is only counted once in each count, even if an alcohol-related diagnosis is recorded in more than one diagnosis field of the record.
4. Ungrossed data: Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in data (i.e. the data are ungrossed).
5. Finished admission episodes: A finished admission episode is the first period of inpatient care under one consultant within one health care provider. Finished admission episodes are counted against the year in which the admission episode finishes. Admissions do not represent the number of inpatients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year.
6. Primary diagnosis: The primary diagnosis is the first of up to 20 (14 from 2002-03 to 2006-07 and seven prior to 2002-03) diagnosis fields in the HES data set and provides the main reason why the patient was admitted to hospital.
7. Secondary diagnosis: As well as the primary diagnosis, there are up to 19 (13 from 2002-03 to 2007-08 and six prior to 2002-03) secondary diagnosis fields in HES that show other diagnoses relevant to the episode of care.
8. Data quality: HES are compiled from data sent by more than 300 NHS trusts and primary care trusts in England. Data are also received from a number of independent sector organisations for activity commissioned by the English NHS. The NHS Information Centre for health and social care liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies and the effect of missing and invalid data via HES processes. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain.
9. Assessing growth through time: HES figures are available from 1989-90 onwards. The quality and coverage of the data have improved over time. These improvements in information submitted by the NHS have been particularly marked in the earlier years and need to be borne in mind when analysing time series. Some of the increase in figures for later years (particularly 2006-07 onwards) may be due to the improvement in the coverage of independent sector activity. Changes in NHS practice also need to be borne in mind when analysing time series. For example, a number of procedures may now be undertaken in outpatient settings and may no longer be accounted for in the HES data. This may account for any reductions in activity over time.
10. Assignment of episodes to years: Years are assigned by the end of the first period of care in a patient's hospital stay.
Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), The NHS Information Centre for health and social care

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Bolton North East of 10 February 2009, Official Report, column 1923W, on alcoholic drinks: misuse, when he expects figures for alcohol-related admissions to hospital for 2007-08 to be available. [271414]

Dawn Primarolo: Figures for 2007-08 for alcohol-related admissions to hospital are shown in the following table.

Number of alcohol-related finished hospital admissions in England from 2003-04 to 2007-08, the latest year for which figures are available.

30 Apr 2009 : Column 1469W

Number of alcohol-related finished hospital admissions in England











Blood Transfusions

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effect of testing for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in blood products on the supply of red cells, platelets and plasma in the UK; and whether his Department is assessing the merits of importing such products. [271518]

Dawn Primarolo: At present, there is no validated test for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) suitable for the mass screening of blood donations on the market, although the technology is under development. The UK blood services have already conducted research to assess the impact of introducing such a test on blood supply. Further research is planned to explore the potential impact of a vCJD test on the behaviour of donors and potential donors. This will assist in decision making and planning to ensure the future safety and sufficiency of the blood supply for patients.

NHS Blood and Transplant has also conducted preliminary research into whether red cells could be imported from Europe, as under European Union law all donated blood must meet the same standards of safety and quality. The independent Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs, which advises the Government on matters of blood safety, will consider steps to reduce the risk of vCJD disease, including importation of red cells and fresh frozen plasma, at meetings in April and July 2009.

Coeliac Disease

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what evaluation his Department has undertaken of the uptake of National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommendations on the treatment of coeliac disease. [272309]

Dawn Primarolo: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence are expected to publish their guidelines, the recognition and diagnosis of coeliac disease, very shortly. The Department has therefore not made any evaluation of the uptake of these recommendations.

Depressive Illnesses

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on guidelines for the treatment and management of depression in adults; when he expects NICE to issue new guidelines; what role he will play in the process; and if he will make a statement. [272188]

Phil Hope: We have had no discussions with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) about the clinical guidelines currently in development on depression in adults and depression
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in adults with chronic physical health problems. NICE currently expects to issue final guidance for both clinical guidelines in September 2009.

NICE is an independent organisation and its guidance is based on a thorough assessment of the available evidence and is developed through wide consultation with stakeholders. The Department is a stakeholder in the development of NICE guidance and has responded to the recent consultations on the draft guidance for these two clinical guidelines.

Drugs: Misuse

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on implementation of provisions relating to drug users in the Welfare Reform Bill. [272085]

Phil Hope: The Secretary of State for Health regularly discusses matters of joint interest with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, including the provisions in the Welfare Reform Bill.

Hospitals: Construction

Dr. Vis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average cost of building a new district hospital in England was in the latest period for which figures are available. [271591]

Mr. Bradshaw: An indicative cost of building a medium-sized general acute hospital is approximately £280 million (excluding VAT) which reflects the current business case approval information. The cost includes the capital construction cost for a new 418-bed hospital built on a greenfield site, together with supporting services such as operating theatres, outpatient department, accident and emergency services, catering, office accommodation, public areas, pharmacy, pathology and radiography. The cost also includes for equipment costs and professional fees incurred. It does not include the running costs to make the hospital operational, such as staffing and other facilities management services.

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