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11 Jan 2010 : Column 754W—continued

Departmental Domestic Visits

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many planned visits by Ministers in his Department within the UK were cancelled within 72 hours of the visit taking place in the last 12 months; and what the planned venue or venues were for each such visit. [309876]

Phil Hope: The information requested is not held centrally.

Diabetes: Young People

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children under the age of 16 years old are being treated for diabetes in (a) England, (b) Leicester and (c) the East Midlands. [308737]

Ann Keen: Sufficient data to answer the question are not collected routinely. Participation in the National Diabetes Audit (NDA) is not mandatory. The NDA does not have one hundred per cent. coverage or participation and therefore cannot provide the information required.

Data from 'Growing Up with Diabetes: Children and Young People with Diabetes in England' reported that in February 2009 there were 16,219 children under the age of 16 in England with diabetes and 950 children under the age of 16 in the East Midlands strategic health authority (SHA) with diabetes. Data are available at SHA level only, not for individual primary care trusts.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the link between diet and diabetes in children. [308743]

Gillian Merron: The Department's National Institute for Health Research is supporting research relating to diabetes in children and associated risk factors such as obesity through the University College London Hospitals biomedical research centre, and through its programme grants for applied research and research for patient benefit funding schemes.

The Yorkshire register of diabetes in children and young people is funded by the Department's policy research programme. Its aim is to describe the epidemiology of diabetes, investigate the molecular and environmental causes of the disease, and facilitate health services research.

Evaluation of the evidence base linking diet to chronic diabetes has informed Government policy on obesity as set out in the strategy document, 'Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives,' and promoted via social marketing campaign Change4Life.

The Department continues to monitor emerging research findings in this area.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding has been allocated for the prevention of diabetes in children in the next 12 months. [308746]

Gillian Merron: There are currently no evidence-based interventions that can prevent onset of type 1 diabetes. Therefore, there is no specific funding allocated in the next 12 months for the prevention of type 1 diabetes in children.

Type 2 diabetes is much rarer in children than type 1, and there is a strong evidence base closely linking type 2 diabetes with obesity and inactivity.

The Government are helping to prevent type 2 diabetes in children through cross-government strategies like 'Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives' which has an aim to reduce the proportion of overweight and obese children,
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and schemes such as the £75 million Change4Life social marketing programme, which helps individuals and families to make changes for a healthier lifestyle.

We are investing in research into all areas of diabetes. The Department and the Medical Research Council jointly are currently investing around £51 million into diabetes related research.

Dieticians: Manpower

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many vacancies there were for dieticians in the national health service on average in each of the last five years. [310466]

Ann Keen: Dieticians are not separately identified in the NHS Workforce Census. Dieticians are, however, included within the category of dietetics. The following table outlines the three-month vacancy numbers, for the period March 2005 to March 2009, and total vacancy numbers, for the period March 2008 to March 2009, for the dietetics speciality.

Dietetic vacancy numbers

Three-month vacancies( 1)

March each year











(1)( )Three-month vacancies are vacancies as at 31 March which trusts are actively trying to fill, which had lasted for three months or more.

Doctors: Working Hours

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much PA Consulting is being paid to assist Sir John Temple with his review of medical training under European Working Time Regulations. [309649]

Ann Keen: Professor Sir John Temple's review is looking into the impact of the European Working Time Directive on the quality of postgraduate training for doctors, dentists, pharmacists and healthcare scientists.

The review follows concerns raised by some professional groups, trainees and trainers and it was important to undertake an independent and objective assessment.

Sir John is the review's independent chair and is carrying out the work on behalf of Medical Education England. He is being supported by PA Consulting and their work on this complex project will include a wide range of evidence gathering activities with a large number of professional stakeholders. The contract is worth £297,000.

Drugs: Young Offender Institutions

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what proportion of inmates of young offenders' institutions were treated for drug addiction in each of the last three years. [310068]

Phil Hope: The information requested is not available.

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General Practitioners: Musculoskeletal Disorders

Patrick Hall: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to enhance training for general practitioners in musculoskeletal medicine with a view to reducing the length of time taken in referral, diagnosis and treatment. [309067]

Ann Keen: The content of curriculum and quality and standard of training for medical students and general practitioners is not the responsibility of the Department but the responsibility of the appropriate professional regulatory body.

However, the Department is committed to working with the professional regulatory bodies, Royal Colleges and others to promote high standards of education and training to ensure that students and doctors are equipped with the up to date knowledge, skills and attitudes essential for professional practice.

Health Services: Armed Forces

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of progress towards implementing the commitments made in the document "The nation's commitment: cross-Government support to our armed forces, their families and veterans". [309491]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The first annual report of the External Reference Group on progress in meeting the commitments contained in the Command Paper, "The Nation's Commitment: Cross-Government support to our Armed Forces, their Families and Veterans" was published on 19 November 2009. All of the health commitments for which the Department has responsibility have been delivered or, in the case of longer term commitments, on course for delivery.

Copies of the report have already been placed in the Library.

Home Care Services

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on the creation of independent provider arms for community care. [309438]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: 'NHS Next Stage Review: Our Vision for Primary and Community Care', (Department of Health July 2008) made a commitment to support the national health service in making local decisions on the governance and organisational models that best underpin the development of flexible, responsive community services. 'Enabling New Patterns of Provision' (Department of Health, January 2009) set out best practice guidance for primary care trusts (PCTs) to support them to make decisions on the most appropriate organisational form or forms for delivery of their directly provided community services. This followed a requirement in the 'Operating Framework 2008-09' that they must have moved into a contractual relationship with the community provider function and achieve business readiness by April 2009.

The 'Operating Framework 2010-11' (Department of Health, 16 December 2009) sets out that by March 2010 PCTs must have agreed with strategic health authorities proposals for the future organisational structure of all current PCT-provided community services.

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'NHS Next Stage Review: Our Vision for Primary and Community Care', 'Enabling New Patterns of Provision' and 'Operating Framework 2010-11' have already been placed in the Library and are also available on the Department's website at:

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons the Green Paper on Shaping the Future of Care Together did not refer to the Government's policy on there being no cash losers among existing benefit recipients after the implementation of a National Care Service. [310098]

Phil Hope: The Green Paper, 'Shaping the Future of Care and Support Together', made clear that if we reform disability benefits as part of the National Care Service, anyone receiving an affected benefit at the time of reform would continue to receive the equivalent level of support and protection.

Hospital Beds: Dorset

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans there are for (a) the number of bed spaces in Bournemouth hospital and (b) the future of Christchurch hospital. [309611]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The information requested is a matter for The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. We have written to Sheila Collins, Chair of Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, informing her of the hon. Member's enquiry. She will reply shortly and a copy of the letter will be placed in the Library.

Hospitals: Waiting Lists

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time was between general practitioner referral and treatment in respect of (a) breast cancer, (b) hip replacements, (c) cataracts and (d) endoscopy in the latest period for which figures are available. [308494]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The available information on average waiting times is as follows:


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hotel room nights were booked by officials in (a) his Department and (b) its agencies in each year since 2007; and how much (i) his Department and (ii) its agencies spent on the fees of third party agents in booking hotel accommodation in each of those years. [309054]

Phil Hope: Hotel bookings by civil servants are undertaken in accordance with the Ministerial Code and the Civil Service Management Code respectively, and all expenditure has to be incurred in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.

The majority of hotel bookings are made through our hotel contract although some are booked directly. Information on the number of hotel rooms nights booked through our hotel contract is shown as follows.

Department Purchasing and supply agency Medicines and healthcare products regulatory authority

April 2007 to March 2008




April 2008 to March 2009




April 2009 to November 2009




No fees are paid by the Department or its agencies for bookings made through its hotel booking contract.

Leeds General Infirmary: Manpower

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) doctors and (b) nurses were employed at Leeds General Infirmary in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2009. [309391]

Ann Keen: The information is not available in the format requested. The following table shows the national health service staff in each specified group at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust as at 30 September each year.


1997 2008

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust



Medical and dental staff



Qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff



1. Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust was formed in 1998 from a complete merger of St. James' and Seacroft University Hospital and United Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
2. Figures for 1997 are an aggregate of these two predecessor organisations.
3. 2009 figures are not yet available.
The NHS Information Centre for health and social care Non-Medical Workforce Census.
The NHS Information Centre for health and social care Medical and Dental Workforce Census.

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