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12 Jan 2010 : Column 911W—continued

General Practitioners: Manpower

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many general practitioners were employed by the NHS in (a) 1997 and (b) 2009. [310462]

Ann Keen: The headcount number of general practitioners (GPs) (excluding retainers) for 1997 and 2008 is shown in the following table.


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GP numbers for 2009 will not be available until March 2010, when the 2009 workforce census is published.

GPs in England (excluding GP retainers and GP registrars)

Headcount Full-time equivalent

1997

28,046

26,359

2008

34,010

30,675

Source:
NHS Information Centre

Since 1997, the number of doctors in training has increased by 60 per cent. to reflect the greater interest in part-time and flexible working across medicine, particularly in primary care.

General Practitioners: Working Hours

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many GP practices had extended opening hours in (a) 1997 and (b) 2009. [310474]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Data was not collected in 1997 on numbers of general practitioner (GP) practices offering extended opening. Information last collected in July 2009 showed that 6,384 of the 8,279 GP practices in England (77.1 per cent.) had extended their opening hours, offering their patients access to routine appointments. We expect this to continue to increase.

Health Professions: Regulation

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has made a recent estimate of the (a) time taken to process cases and (b) the number of outstanding cases awaiting adjudication by the (i) General Medical Council, (ii) Nursing and Midwifery Council, (iii) Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain and (iv) Health Professions Council; and if he will make a statement. [309448]

Ann Keen: The Department does not routinely collect this information. The health care profession's regulators are independent statutory bodies.

Health Services: Armed Forces

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the (a) quality of service provision and (b) adequacy of funding for (i) prosthetics and (ii) orthotics care in NHS trusts given to injured (A) service and (B) non-service personnel. [309490]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Overall quality of service provision within the national health service is monitored by the Care Quality Commission and funding for prosthetic and orthotic care and services is provided within the NHS budget. The provision of care and service required by individuals, whether they be service or non-service personnel, is determined through multidisciplinary assessments to ensure clinical appropriateness. I refer the hon. Lady to the written statement made on 11 January 2010, Official Report, column 15WS, around medical care for veterans, in which is announced a package of measures to support service personnel, together with a guarantee of early and comprehensive assessment of long-term needs for those sustaining serious injury.


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Homeopathy: Merseyside

Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent on NHS homeopathic treatment in Merseyside in the last year for which information is available. [309764]

Gillian Merron: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Hospitals: Infectious Diseases

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what tests are available to detect (a) MRSA and (b) clostridium difficile infection; and by what means such tests are deployed in the NHS. [309967]

Ann Keen: Diagnostic tests for the presence and illness caused by both Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus and Clostridium difficile can be divided into the following categories:

The actual choice of test or combination of tests is a decision made by each laboratory. This decision is based on experience and national guidance, for example diagnostic methods published by the Health Protection Agency.

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent progress has been made on the deployment in the NHS of new tests for (a) MRSA and (b) clostridium difficile; and what steps he is taking to ensure the deployment in the NHS of the most accurate, rapid and cost-effective tests available. [309968]

Ann Keen: Information on the tests used by National Health Service laboratories is not collected centrally.

We provide advice and guidance to help laboratories develop testing strategies and measures taken include for:

Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)

Clostridium difficile (C. difficile ) infection


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Neurology

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the (a) quality of care provided for neuro-disability and neuro-rehabilitation patients and (b) merits of a national service framework for neuro-rehabilitation. [309503]

Ann Keen: We have made no recent assessment of the quality of care for neuro-disability and neuro-rehabilitation patients, or the merits of a national service framework for neuro-rehabilitation.

NHS: Non-Profit Making Associations

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which NHS services in the East of England are considering a right to request to set up a social enterprise; how many staff employed by such services would be transferred to such an enterprise if established; and if he will make a statement. [309884]

Phil Hope: This information is not held centrally and is a matter for local national health service organisations.

Parkinson's Disease

Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he has taken to ensure the implementation of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines on Parkinson's Disease. [310371]

Ann Keen: We have no plans to ensure the implementation of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's clinical (NICE) guidelines on Parkinson's disease. It is the responsibility of individual health professionals to ensure they comply with all existing clinical guidelines when providing health and social care.

From April 2009, the Care Quality Commission took over from the Healthcare Commission and will consider, in discussion with stakeholders including NICE, how to take account of NICE guidance as it develops its compliance criteria.

In December 2009 I wrote to all strategic health authorities reinforcing the importance of implementing National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's guidance, and the National Service Framework for Long-term neurological Conditions in delivering high quality, accessible services for those living with Parkinson's disease.

Prescriptions: Fees and Charges

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) cancer patients and (b) people being treated for the effects of cancer treatment have received free prescriptions since their introduction for such patients. [310473]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: A cancer patient in England is eligible to apply for a prescription charge exemption certificate if he or she is undergoing treatment for cancer, the effects of cancer or the effects of cancer treatment. However, the application process does not distinguish between these grounds for exemption. By
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the end of 2009, the number of valid prescription charge exemption certificate applications processed by National Health Service Business Services Authority, where cancer was the only medical condition ticked on the FP92A application form, was almost 74,000.

Primary Care Trusts: East of England

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with the East of England Strategic Health Authority on the status of primary care trust (PCT) provider organisations within the PCT; and if he will make a statement. [309888]

Phil Hope: None. The Department holds monthly meetings with Transforming Community Services leads from each strategic health authority at which issues such as the future provision of community services are discussed.

Children, Schools and Families

CAFCASS

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many (a) family court advisers and (b) active self-employed contractors worked for the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service at the latest date for which figures are available. [307417]

Dawn Primarolo: The employment and payment of staff are operational matters for CAFCASS. Nationally, as of 11 December 2009, CAFCASS had 1,291 family court advisors and 266 self-employed contractors actively working on cases.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many reviews Ofsted has undertaken in relation to the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) in each CAFCASS region in the last 12 months; [307484]

(2) what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of each Ofsted inspection of CAFCASS and Support Service in each year since such inspections began. [307489]

Dawn Primarolo: This is a matter for Ofsted. HM Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert, has written to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply has been placed in the House Libraries.

Letter from Christine Gilbert, dated 17 December 2009:


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Letter from Christine Gilbert, dated 31 December 2009:

Children Act 1989

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families on how many occasions Section 47 statutory interventions under the Children Act 1989 were issued by Essex County Council for 16 to 18 year-olds in each of the last five years. [308341]

Dawn Primarolo: Information on the number of section 47 inquiries carried out by each local authority is not available for individual age groups.

Children: Adoption

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many children have been classified as having adoption in their best interest in each year since 2001. [305322]

Dawn Primarolo: The information requested is not available.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many adopted children of each ethnicity adopted in the year ended 31 March 2009 had waited longer than (a) six, (b) 12, (c) 18, (d) 24, (e) 30, (f) 36, (g) 42, (h) 48, (i ) 54 and (j) 60 months to be adopted following the decision that adoption was in their best interest. [305326]

Dawn Primarolo: The number of looked-after-children of each ethnicity adopted in the year ending 31 March 2009 who had waited longer than (a) six, (b) 12, (c) 18, (d) 24, (e) 30, (f) 36, (g) 42, (h) 48, (i) 54 and (j) 60 months to be adopted following a local authority decision that they should be placed for adoption can be found in the following table. The figures shown for the time between the local authority decision and the date of the making of the adoption order are cumulative.


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