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17 Nov 2010 : Column 878Wcontinued
Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department has made recommendations to mental health trusts about access to eating disorder services for male patients following the introduction of single sex accommodation; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Burstow: While this disorder predominantly affects females, approximately 10% of new cases currently being seen are young males. When male patients are admitted to eating disorders units, the facilities provided are compliant with the Department's guidance on single sex accommodation.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has plans to permit GP consortia to contract out any services relating to their commissioning functions to private companies. 
Mr Simon Burns: It is intended that general practitioner (GP) consortia will be statutory bodies with powers and responsibilities set out through primary and secondary legislation.
Within commissioning budgets, it is envisaged that GP consortia will receive a maximum management allowance to reflect the management costs associated with commissioning. Consortia will be free to decide how to use this management allowance to carry out commissioning activities.
Consortia are likely to carry out a number of commissioning activities themselves. In other cases, consortia may choose to act collectively, with a lead commissioner negotiating and monitoring contacts with large hospital trusts or with urgent care providers. They may also choose to buy in support from external organisations, including local authorities and private and voluntary sector bodies, which might include analytical activity to profile and stratify healthcare needs, support for procurement of services, and contract monitoring.
We will be working with GPs and other healthcare professionals to look at how GP consortia will ensure any company brought in to support commissioning is both competent and suitable.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the likely effects of EU legislation on the implementation of his proposals for GP commissioning. 
Anne Milton: The coalition Government will ensure that the reform proposals set out in the White Paper comply with European Union law, particularly in relation to competition and state aid.
Julie Hilling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what processes he plans to put in place to enable patients to raise concerns regarding serious misconduct on the part of their GP following the abolition of primary care trusts; what the process will be for suspending GPs when such concerns are found to be of sufficient (a) merit and (b) importance to warrant suspension; and what arrangements will be put in place to provide care for the patient while investigations are completed. 
Mr Simon Burns: Currently a NHS complaint may be made to either the local practice or the commissioning body. The reformed NHS complaints arrangements were put in place in 2009, following a widespread public consultation, and it is envisaged that the underlying principles will remain as responsibility for commissioning services shifts to commissioning consortiums and the NHS Commissioning Board.
The National Health Service (Performers Lists) Regulations 2004 provide for primary care trusts (PCTs) to manage suspension of general practitioners. Following the abolition of PCTs, it will be the responsibility of the NHS Commissioning Board to ensure that patients continue to have access to primary medical services. The detailed arrangements for the management of performers lists are currently being considered by Ministers and departmental officials.
Julie Hilling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health by what processes his Department will ensure (a) probity, (b) quality of service and (c) cost effectiveness when GPs are commissioning services which they also provide; which body will monitor such contracts; and how his Department plans to report to the House on the probity and value for money of such arrangements. 
Paul Burstow: The NHS Commissioning Board will have the statutory responsibility for commissioning of general practitioner (GP) services.
Where GP consortiums commission services, the NHS Commissioning Board will hold them to account for delivering outcomes and financial performance. In addition, as outlined in the consultation document 'Regulating Healthcare Providers', the Government will set out in legislation the duties of the NHS Board and Commissioners to act transparently and non-discriminatorily in all commissioning activities. This will be particularly important where GP consortiums are commissioning services that could potentially be provided by GP practices.
Monitor will have powers to investigate and remedy complaints regarding commissioners' procurement decisions, or other anticompetitive conduct, acting as arbiter. The NHS Commissioning Board and Monitor will be required to report annually on the effectiveness of commissioning and economic regulation in the national health service respectively. These reports will also be laid before Parliament.
Amber Rudd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to educate young people about the health problems associated with teenage pregnancy. 
Sarah Teather: I have been asked to reply.
Evidence shows that children born to teenage mothers have a 60% higher risk of infant mortality; and 25% higher risk of low birth weight-which is a predictor for poorer health outcomes in later life. The key factors that contribute to these poor outcomes are:
later engagement with antenatal services, including lower rates of attendance at antenatal education;
poorer diet during pregnancy;
higher rates of smoking during pregnancy; and
lower rates of breastfeeding.
Teenage mothers also experience poorer emotional health and well-being, with rates of post-natal depression three times higher than those for older mothers.
All secondary schools are required to provide sex education. This provides the opportunity to raise awareness of these issues among all young people. But the extent to which schools cover the specific health risks associated with teenage pregnancy will vary, depending on teachers' assessment of their students' needs. SRE is a broad topic and curriculum time is limited. The fact that less than 1% of under-16s conceive each year means that schools may not see this issue as a priority for their students.
Once a young woman has become pregnant and decides to have the baby, we would expect them to receive high quality antenatal care, which highlights the importance of a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy and the risk of poor outcomes if, for example, mothers continue to smoke during their pregnancy. In some areas, specially tailored antenatal services are available for young parents, in recognition that they have particular needs that may not be met through all-age services.
After the birth, we would expect vulnerable young mothers to receive support through children's centres which will be focusing on the most disadvantaged families and through the Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) programme in the 56 local areas where it operates. FNP recognises that first-time young mothers are more likely to need additional practical and emotional support to deal with the challenges of parenthood.
Dan Byles: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 8 November 2010, Official Report, column 148W, on hospitals: infectious diseases, what estimate he has made of the minimum number of isolation beds required for the UK to respond to a potential biological attack utilising one or more highly infectious diseases. 
Anne Milton: The minimum number of isolation beds required for the UK to respond to a potential biological attack, involving one or more highly infectious diseases, is based in part on the threat outlined in the National Risk Assessment (NRA). The NRA is a classified annual assessment of the risks (accidents, natural events and malicious attacks) facing the United Kingdom over a five-year period. As such, it is not appropriate to publish the details of estimates and available capacity for any given risk.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were on NHS waiting lists in each of the last nine months; and what estimate he has made of the change in the number of patients on waiting lists over the next five years. 
Mr Simon Burns: The Department collects and publishes monthly national statistics data on national health service referral to start of treatment waiting times and the number of patients still waiting to start treatment.
The number of patients who had not yet started their treatment at the end of each of the last nine months is shown in the following table:
|Referral to treatment (RTT): Incomplete pathways|
What matters to patients is how long they wait before starting treatment. Latest RTT data for August 2010 show that the median referral to start of treatment waiting times were 8.3 weeks for patients admitted to hospital for treatment and 4.4 weeks for non-admitted patients (patients whose treatment did not involve an admission to hospital).
Clinical priority is-and remains-the main determinant of when patients should be treated. Patients should not experience undue delay at any stage of their treatment and would not expect a return to long waiting times for operations.
Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what his estimate is of NHS spending on hospital locum doctors in each primary care trust area in (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2009-10; 
(2) what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the EU Working Time Directive on levels of expenditure on hospital locum doctors; and if he will make a statement. 
Anne Milton: This information is not collected centrally. Costs of employing locums can be incurred for a variety of reasons e.g. maternity cover and to cover illness or holiday breaks and it is impossible to identify the reason locum cover is provided.
Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will take steps to ensure that hospital trusts bill commissioners appropriately for the health care services they provide in order to reduce differential pricing between age groups for the same consultations and procedures. 
Mr Simon Burns: Under Payment by Results, acute hospital trusts invoice commissioners a national tariff, which is a list of fixed prices. For the average acute hospital trust, tariff income represents around 50% of total income. The currency, or unit of payment, for the admitted patient care tariff is the healthcare resource group (HRG). HRGs are standard groupings of clinically similar treatments which use similar levels of health care resource, and where appropriate there are different prices for different age groups. The tariff is explained in 'A simple guide to Payment by Results', which has been placed in the Library and is available at:
Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost to (a) his Department, (b) NHS Connecting for Health and (c) the National Programme for IT was of employing a team of information security architects in each year since the national programme for IT began. 
Paul Burstow: Since it came into being in April 2005, NHS Connecting for Health has been responsible, within the Department, both for central expenditure necessary for ensuring delivery of systems and services under the national programme for information technology (NPfIT), and for maintaining the critical business systems previously provided to the national health service by the former NHS Information Authority.
Relevant expenditure in the years for which information is readily available is shown in the following table.
1. No dedicated team of information security architects has been employed. Figures relate to staff working in the role of information security architect in the period.
2. Figures include national insurance and pension contributions for permanent staff, and VAT, where applicable, for expenditure on contractor staff.
3. Figures exclude office and other employment costs, and expenses (e.g. travel and subsistence) payments.
4. Information prior to 2006-07 for NPfIT was held by the NHS Information Authority, which was abolished in March 2005.
Nicola Blackwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the likely effect of the outcomes of the comprehensive spending review on the number of NHS (a) managers, (b) front-line staff, (c) junior doctors and (d) nurses. 
Mr Simon Burns: The precise number of national health service managers, front-line staff, junior doctors and nurses required over the next five years will not be known until the new organisations that will underpin the new system have been designed in more detail.
The Department has consulted on how the new organisations should be designed and is analysing responses. Information on how the new organisations should be designed will be announced in due course.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists he expects to be working in the NHS in each of the next five years. 
Mr Simon Burns: The Department is currently undertaking a dental work-force review, which will include a sample survey of dentists' working patterns and career plans. Initial results should be available next spring.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many midwives he expects to be employed in the NHS in each of the next five years. 
Anne Milton: It is the responsibility of strategic health authorities (SHAs) to commission their work force. SHAs base their decisions for work force planning on assessment of their local national health service organisations. The local NHS organisations are best placed to determine work force needs.
The coalition Government value the contribution by the maternity work force and SHAs are considering the number of maternity staff needed to deliver safe maternity services which extend maternity choice.
A national assessment will be made as part of the operating framework assurance process.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many general practitioners he expects to be employed in the NHS in each of the next five years. 
Mr Simon Burns:
The White Paper makes it clear that accountability for decisions affecting work force supply and demand needs to sit in the right place, with employers
having greater autonomy for planning and developing the work force alongside greater professional ownership of the quality of education and training.
The number of general practitioners employed by the national health service in each of the next five years will depend on local plans.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health under what conditions applications under the right to request scheme for NHS organisations are granted. 
Paul Burstow: Applications under the right to request scheme are assessed by primary care trusts, and assured by strategic health authorities, against a national assurance framework. The assurance framework includes assessment of service development plans, financial planning and viability, and staff engagement.
Ben Gummer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to support the development of patient education for children in paediatric wards. 
Anne Milton: Patient education programmes are essential to securing optimal management of illnesses in children, particularly where a clear understanding of ongoing treatment is necessary for the prevention and mitigation of morbidity associated with the illness. The Department is currently supporting production of dedicated patient information leaflets as a key practical guide for parents and young people. The leaflets will be accessible through NHS Choices, and can be an option for downloading in paediatric wards as a part of the discharge procedure.
Mr Robin Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what mechanism he plans to put in place for (a) commissioning, (b) monitoring and (c) auditing procedures to ensure GP consortia provide high-quality care and support for terminally ill patients. 
Paul Burstow: The Government's reform proposals are about placing the power and responsibility to commission health services in the hands of national health service professionals who see and talk to patients every day, and know the most about their needs. As such, consortia will be better placed to efficiently commission high-quality services for all, including terminally ill patients.
An independent NHS Commissioning Board will support consortia, helping them commission for continuous improvements in the quality of all NHS funded services, including those for the terminally ill. The Board will do this by, for example, producing Commissioning Guidance to which consortia should have regard. The Board will also promote choice and patient engagement, help to reduce health inequalities, hold general practitioner consortia to account, directly commission certain services including primary medical care, and allocate and account for NHS resources.
Liberating the NHS was the start of an extensive consultation on how best to implement these changes. A number of supporting documents were published and in particular, "Liberating the NHS: Commissioning for Patients" invited views on a number of areas of the commissioning agenda. The consultation closed on 11 October, and further details are being worked up as a result of this exercise.
Mr Robin Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what changes in NHS end of life services he envisages as a result of his Department's commitment to 24/7 community nursing to support terminally-ill patients at home; 
(2) whether the palliative care funding review will publish an interim report. 
Paul Burstow: The Government have confirmed their commitment to improving quality and choice in palliative and end of life care in 'Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS'. This includes the commitment to move towards a national choice offer to support people's preferences about care at the end of their life.
The Department's end of life care strategy provides our blueprint for improving end of life care for adults. The strategy encourages the development of services such as improved community services, rapid response services, access to services in the community 24 hours a day, seven days a week and specialist palliative care outreach services, which will allow more people to choose where they are cared for and die. How these services are provided and resourced is for local determination.
The independent palliative care funding review will make recommendations for a funding system that will cover care provided by the national health service, a hospice or any appropriate provider, and which encourages more community-based care, so people can remain in their own homes, or in a care home.
The review is to make its interim report to Ministers this autumn. Whether the report is published is a matter for the review team to determine.
Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his estimate is of NHS spending on (a) travel vaccinations and (b) travel vaccination clinics in each year since 2005. 
Anne Milton: This information is not held centrally.
Certain vaccinations are provided free of charge for travel in accordance with the National Health Service (General Medical Services Contracts) Regulations 2004. General practitioners receive remuneration for providing these services within the 'global sum' of the General Medical Services Contract. Some vaccines provided free of charge for travel are also used for occupational health purposes. Financial records held centrally do not separately identify NHS expenditure on travel vaccinations.
Financial records held centrally do not separately identify NHS expenditure on travel vaccination clinics.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the answer of 30 November 2010, Official Report, column 539W, on incinerators: health hazards, for what reasons it was decided that the Environment Agency should undertake a review of the health effects of combustion processes, including incineration, in view of the Health Protection Agency advice that studies of public health around modern, well-managed municipal waste incinerators are not recommended. 
Richard Benyon: I have been asked to reply.
The Environment Agency regulates incinerators and other large combustion processes. The review referred to will provide additional evidence to underpin the agency's role in regulating industrial emissions. It will consider all large combustion processes and any potential effects on health. Emissions from waste incineration are included in the review, although they make up only a small proportion of the total emissions from combustion processes. By contrast, the Health Protection Agency 2009 report addresses emissions from incineration only.
Jake Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will commission an investigation into the solvency of Crown Currency Exchange while it was trading; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Davey: Following the administration of Currency Crown Exchange Ltd on 4 October, officials have been in contact with the administrators, and the failure of this company is under active consideration.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of funding allocations to be made by the higher education innovation fund in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12, (c) 2012-13, (d) 2013-14 and (e) 2014-15. 
Mr Hayes: The Department is currently forecasting to spend £144.3 million on the higher education innovation fund in financial year 2010-11 (which is £150 million in academic year 2010-11). This grant scheme is administered by the Higher Education Funding Council for England on behalf of BIS.
Future allocations for science and research between the years 2011-12 and 2014-15 will be covered by the spending review 2010 which has recently been announced at a departmental level. Decisions on the detailed allocations have not yet been taken.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if his Department will publish the criteria for the access agreements each university will be expected to sign with the Office for Fair Access. 
Mr Hayes [holding answer 12 November 2010]: The Director of Fair Access is responsible for approving universities' and colleges' access agreements to safeguard access to higher education. All guidance for producing access agreements and their monitoring is published by the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) and this will continue to be the case. OFFA also publishes all approved access agreements as well as an annual monitoring report. In setting guidance, the Director of Fair Access must have regard to any guidance given to him by the Secretary of State and this is also published.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of first-year undergraduates were female in each of the last five academic years. 
Mr Hayes [holding answer 15 November 2010]: The numbers and proportions of first-year undergraduate students who were female are shown in the following table for the academic years 2004/05 to 2008/09. Figures for the 2009/10 academic year will become available from the Higher Education Statistics Agency in January 2011.
|UK higher education institutions including the Open University academic years 2004/05 to 2008/09-female first year undergraduates( 1)|
|Academic year||Number who were female||Proportion who were female (percentage)|
|(1) Covers full-time and part-time undergraduates of all domiciles.|
1. Figures are based on a HESA standard registration population and are rounded to the nearest five.
2. Percentages are given to one decimal place and are based on unrounded figures.
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Student Record
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the level of funding likely to be allocated by the Higher Education Funding Council for England for widening participation in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12, (c) 2012-13, (d) 2013-14 and (e) 2014-15. 
Mr Hayes: The funding council's allocation for widening participation in the academic year 2010/11 is £143.4 million. Allocations for future years will be determined by the council in response to the funding and priorities set by the Department, which will be announced for each year in due course.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills when he plans to publish the grant letter to the Higher Education Funding Council for England for 2011-12. 
Mr Hayes: We intend to publish the grant letter for 2011-12 by Christmas this year.
David Mowat: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much and what proportion of his Department's capital expenditure was allocated to (a) London and (b) the North West in each of the last five financial years. 
Mr Davey: The data requested are shown in the following tables, based on the HM Treasury Country and Regional Analysis used for the Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses Command Paper (PESA 2010, CM 7890).
Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills when he last met the First Minister of Scotland; and what matters were discussed at that meeting. 
Mr Davey: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills last met with the First Minister of Scotland on 1 June. They discussed various energy related issues and banking reform.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment his Department has made of the likely effects on mature students of the implementation of his proposals for the level of tuition fees. 
Mr Hayes [holding answer 12 November 2010]: The Government are committed to delivering a high-quality university sector that is more responsive to the needs of students and which is based on a progressive graduate contribution system. No one should be put off from raising their skills because of a lack of access to finance. In 2008/09, 92% (91.6%) 297,080 of UK-domiciled undergraduate entrants to part-time courses at UK higher education institutions, including the Open University, were mature (21+). Under our proposals for higher education funding, for the first time, eligible part-time students studying at at least one-third the intensity of a full-time course, will be entitled to a full loan for tuition, on the same basis as full-timers.