New Enterprise Allowance

Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many jobseeker's allowance claimants have received the new enterprise allowance since its introduction in (a) the UK and (b) Swindon. [151931]

Mr Hoban: The new enterprise allowance is available only in Great Britain. The following table shows the number of starts on the new enterprise allowance made by jobseeker's allowance claimants, since its introduction in April 2011, in Great Britain and Swindon.

New enterprise allowance mentor starts and allowance starts from April 2011 up to and including November 2012
 GBSwindon

NEA mentor starts

31,540

110

NEA allowance starts

15,210

30

Source: Get Britain Working Official Statistics; figures are rounded to the nearest 10.

These figures are based upon official Get Britain Working statistics which can be found here:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/pwp/pwp_gbw_feb13.pdf

Occupational Health

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will ensure that the new health and work assessment and advisory service meets the needs of people with (a) cancer and (b) other long-term conditions; and if he will make a statement. [152297]

Mr Hoban: The new health and work assessment and advisory service will provide independent occupational health advice to employees, employers and GPs. Specialist advice and support will be tailored to an individual's needs and condition. We recognise that the service will not be appropriate for all patients, such as those with acute medical conditions, those undergoing treatment and those with long-term conditions. Clear guidance will be developed by occupational health experts and GPs to assist GPs in making appropriate referrals to the service.

Overseas Aid

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which projects administered by the Department for Work and Pensions were Official Development Assistance attributable in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012; and which projects are programmed for 2013. [152439]

Mr Hoban: My Department does not fund projects that are attributable as Official Development Assistance (ODA). Since 2012 it has been responsible for administering the United Kingdom's contribution to the International Labour Organization (ILO) and 60% of this is attributable as ODA.

22 Apr 2013 : Column 705W

Personal Independence Payments

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 21 March 2013, Official Report, column 752W, on personal independence payment, if his Department will take steps to limit the price of the initial inquiry for applicants who do not have a landline telephone. [151323]

Esther McVey: Applications for a personal independence payment are made through an 0800 number. The Department has negotiated with the major mobile providers for these calls to be free.

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) pursuant to the contribution by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions of 13 November 2012, Official Report, column 75WH, on personal independence payment, whether he has had further discussions with disability experts on the need for personal independence payments assessors to have specialist training in the disabilities they are assessing; [151381]

(2) what steps he is taking to ensure that personal independence payment applicants are matched with assessors with specific expertise in their disability. [151516]

Esther McVey: The personal independence payment assessment will not be a medical assessment—diagnosing a condition or its severity and recommending treatment options. Instead it will look at the impact of conditions and impairments on individuals' everyday lives. This requires a very different skill set from those involved in the treatment of individuals, with less need for specialist knowledge. It is therefore not our intention to make assessors experts in every condition, but that they will have a broad training in disability analysis as well as training on specific impairments, including mental, intellectual and cognitive impairments.

Both personal independence payment assessment providers have to conform to a rigorous set of quality standards regarding staff recruitment and training, which are closely monitoring.

Scotland

Margaret Curran: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he last met the Scottish Government Minister for Housing and Welfare; and what issues were discussed at that meeting. [152211]

Mr Hoban: The Secretary of State last met the Scottish Minister for Housing and Welfare on 17 December 2012. The meeting was to discuss the Child Poverty Consultation, the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission and passported benefits.

Social Security Benefits

Richard Fuller: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many people in (a) England, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland are in receipt of (i) higher rate mobility component of disability living allowance, (ii) the

22 Apr 2013 : Column 706W

enhanced rate of the mobility component of personal independence payment, (iii) the war pensioners' mobility supplement and (d) the armed forces independence payment; [151495]

(2) how many people in (a) Birmingham, (b) Glasgow, (c) Cardiff and (d) Londonderry are in receipt of (i) the higher rate mobility component of disability living allowance, (ii) the enhanced rate of the mobility component of personal independence payment, (iii) the war pensioners' mobility supplement and (iv) the armed forces independence payment. [151602]

Esther McVey: Statistics on disability living allowance split by type of mobility component can be found at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=tabtool

Guidance for users is available at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/tabtools/guidance.pdf

The responsibility for statistics in Northern Ireland lies with the Department for Social Development (DSD) and can be found at:

http://www.dsdni.gov.uk/index.htm

The responsibility for statistics on war pensioners' mobility supplement lies with the Ministry of Defence and can be found at:

http://www.dasa.mod.uk/

Personal independence payment and the armed forces independence payment were both introduced from April 2013. Although limited data will soon start to feed through we need to wait until the Department has quality-assured and meaningful figures for publication.

The Department is working to guidelines set by the UK Statistics Authority to ensure we are able to publish statistics that meet high-quality standards at the earliest opportunity. We intend to publish official statistics on personal independence payment and the armed forces independence payment from early 2014.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how national roll-out of the benefit cap will be carried out after 15 July 2013. [151880]

Mr Hoban: The cap will be implemented nationally from 15 July, with all local authorities receiving a number of cases each day between 15 July and the end of September, when all appropriate households will be capped.

Consultation will continue with local authorities as lessons are learned from phased roll-out to determine the most appropriate way to handle the schedule of activity over that period.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff in his Department will be involved in administering the overall benefit cap (a) during the pilot scheme and (b) once the national roll-out has been completed. [151881]

Mr Hoban: During phased roll-out there will be 30 members of staff administering the benefit cap. Resourcing for the period following national roll-out will be determined from the experiences and analysis of jive running of business and IT processes.

22 Apr 2013 : Column 707W

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the time will be between his Department obtaining data on a household's income for the purposes of determining whether the overall benefit cap should apply and the application of the cap. [151883]

Mr Hoban: Prior to the benefit cap being applied, DWP will be undertaking a 100% check on claimant/households' information against live system records. Once that check is complete, the information will be shared with housing benefit teams overnight so that they can accurately implement the cap via a deduction from housing benefit.

Social Security Benefits: Bedfordshire

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) employment and support allowance and (b) incapacity benefit claimants there are in the South West Bedfordshire constituency. [152506]

Mr Hoban: Statistics on the number of people in the South West Bedfordshire constituency who received (a) employment and support allowance and (b) incapacity benefit can be found at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=tabtool

Guidance for users is available at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/tabtools/guidance.pdf

Social Security Benefits: Fraud

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what data his Department (a) collects and (b) publishes about fraud. [152434]

Mr Hoban: Estimates of benefit fraud and error overpayments and underpayments, from 2005-06 to 2011-12, are published on the Department's website at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd2/index.php?page=fraud_error

These are national statistics and are available at Great Britain level only. These estimates typically show overpayments and underpayments both as the monetary value of fraud and error and as a percentage of the benefit expenditure paid out in the year. Additional tables are also published showing the percentage of claims overpaid and underpaid for certain benefits, but again at Great Britain level only:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd2/fem/fem_1112.xls

Housing Benefits Recoveries and Fraud contains statistics relating to housing benefit fraud volumes and amounts of incorrectly overpaid benefit. They are aggregate level data received on a quarterly basis from each local authority. Data have already been released for each quarter of 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12. This release includes provisional local authority level statistics for Q1 and Q2 of 2012-13 and can be found here:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/hb_ctb/recoveries_and_fraud_data/index.php?page=recoveries_and_fraud_data

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in what ways his Department assesses the return on its investment in counter-fraud

22 Apr 2013 : Column 708W

activities; and what amount in wrongly-claimed benefit has been recovered in each of the last five years. [152479]

Mr Hoban: The Department assesses its return on investment from counter-fraud activities based on 1) the amount of benefit we prevent from continuing to be paid out incorrectly and 2) the amount of benefit paid out incorrectly that is subsequently recovered. The methodology used is agreed with the Office for National Statistics and the Office for Budget responsibility.

Overpayments of benefit can occur for a variety of reasons. Not all overpayments are detected through counter-fraud activities. Those overpayments that are detected through counter-fraud activities are not necessarily classified as fraudulent.

For overpayment recovery purposes a debt can only be classified as fraudulent if a customer has been convicted of an offence, admitted the offence in an interview under caution, or agreed to an administrative penalty. Otherwise the debt is classified as customer error.

The amount of wrongly claimed benefit, recovered in the last five years, broken down by fraud and customer error, is as follows:

£ million
Financial yearFraudCustomer error

2008-09

25.4

167.7

2009-10

28.3

178.5

2010-11

34.2

201.2

2011-12

42.5

240.0

2012-13

49.3

253.8

Total

179.7

1,041.2

The increase in benefit recovered is mainly due to the increase in benefit paid.

Social Security Benefits: Greater London

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much (a) staff time in his Department and (b) financial resource is being committed to the benefit cap pilots in Haringey, Enfield, Croydon and Bromley between April and September 2015. [152296]

Mr Hoban: During phased roll-out there will be 30 dedicated operational staff administering the benefit cap. In addition, there are 16 operational staff within co-located hubs across the four local authorities. Further activity on changes of circumstances is subsumed within business as usual in Stratford Benefit Centre. Resourcing for the period following national roll-out will be determined from the experiences and analysis of live running of business and IT processes.

The additional financial resource being committed to phased roll-out in Haringey, Enfield, Croydon and Bromley during the phased roll-out period is over £2 million.

Social Security Benefits: Internet

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what services his Department offers to benefit claimants without access to the internet at home or in public libraries. [152338]

22 Apr 2013 : Column 709W

Mr Hoban: Jobcentre Plus staff can advise customers on where they can find sources of local public internet access. We have worked with local partnership organisations to provide up-to-date information on the services they provide. Customers will be signposted by Jobcentre Plus staff to the nearest and most suitable provision.

In addition, the vast majority of jobcentres now have internet access devices which customers can use to access any of DWP's online services or any other services they need to support them in their benefit claim or search for work. Staff are on hand to assist customers in using these devices if necessary.

Social Security Benefits: Scotland

Margaret Curran: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in (a) Scotland

22 Apr 2013 : Column 710W

and

(b)

Glasgow East constituency have been (i) overpaid and (ii) underpaid (A) jobseeker's allowance, (B) child benefit, (C) disability living allowance, (D) carer's allowance, (E) employment and support allowance, (F) child tax credit and (G) working tax credit in each year since May 2010. [152209]

Mr Hoban: The information is not available for (A) jobseeker's allowance, (B) child benefit, (C) disability living allowance, (D) carer's allowance and (E) employment and support allowance.

The following table gives the number of over and underpaid tax credit awards for Scotland and for Glasgow East.

Finalised awards underpaid and overpaid at 5 April 2011
Thousand
 UnderpaidOverpaid

Scotland

120

125

Glasgow East

2.5

3.0

Notes: 1. Data for 2011 -12 will be published in May 2013. 2. A family's tax credits award is provisional until finalised at the end of the year, when it is checked against their final income for the year. The information provided in the answer shows the number of awards, analysed by whether payments for and issued in each year were lower or higher than the finalised entitlement. Where payments are higher than the finalised entitlement they are described as overpaid at 5 April of that year. This is known only after awards are finalised. Overpaid tax credits are recovered either through direct recovery, in the case of terminated or ceased awards, or reduction of an ongoing award. 3. The figures provided in the answer relate to the number of overpaid awards and not the number of people. When a couple splits up or a single adult becomes part of a couple the previous award ceases and either or both adults can choose to apply for new awards. If an adult had more than one overpaid award during the year they would therefore be represented more than once in these data. Source: HMRC publication Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics. Finalised annual awards 2010-11. Supplement on payments in 2010-11.

Staff

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many days of work were carried out by officials in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies on average in each of the last five years; and what the total salary cost was of officials in each year. [151117]

Mr Hoban: The information is as follows:

(a) The core Department does not collect statistics on how many days of work were carried out by officials. The total salary costs for officials are published in the Department's annual report and accounts (staff costs note). The 2011-12 and 2010-11 reports are in the public domain at the following links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/department-for-work-and-pensions-annual-report-and-accounts-2011-to-2012

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/department-for-work-and-pensions-annual-report-and-accounts-2010-to-2011

The Department's annual report and accounts for the years 2009-10, 2008-09 and 2007-08 will be placed in the Library.

(b) The Department does not have any agencies. They were dissolved with effect from 3 October 2011 when their functions were returned to the core Department. With the exception of Health and Safety Executive, the Department's non-departmental public bodies do not collect statistics on how many days of work were carried out by officials. Total salary costs for officials are published in their annual report and accounts. Links are provided for your convenience:

 Web addresses

Health and Safety Executive

http://www.hse.gov.uk/aboutus/reports/

  

Independent Living Fund

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20090105201051/http://ilf.org.uk/cms_media/files/final_accounts_06fund_17jul08_website.pdf http://www.dwp.gov.uk/ilf/publications/corporate-publications/annual-reports/

  

National Employment Savings Trust

http://www.nestpensions.org.uk/schemeweb/NestWeb/public/aboutUs/contents/library.html http://www.nestpensions.org.uk/schemeweb/NestPublicWeb/faces/public/search/pages/simpleSearch.xhtml?search_text=NEST+Annual+Report+and+Accounts+2010-11 http://www.nestpensions.org.uk/schemeweb/NestWeb/includes/public/docs/NEST-annual-report-accounts-2011-2012.PDP.pdf

22 Apr 2013 : Column 711W

22 Apr 2013 : Column 712W

Pensions Ombudsman/Pension Protection Fund Ombudsman

http://www.pensions-ombudsman.org.uk/Publications/index.aspx

  

Remploy

http://www.remploy.co.uk/about-us/corporategovernance/annualreports.ashx

  

The Pensions Advisory Service

http://www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk/publications/company-documents-and-reports#report

  

The Pensions Regulator

http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/about-us/annual-reports-accounts-and-plans.aspx

Days of work carried out by officials in the Health and Safety Executive
 Number

2007-08

730,268.83

2008-09

756,411.93

2009-10

765,972.64

2010-11

759,199.36

2011-12

704,296.53

Third Sector

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the policy of his Department is on payment to charitable and not-for-profit organisations for performing public services at his Department's request. [152723]

Mr Hoban: The DWP policy is in accordance with Her Majesty's Treasury's Managing Public Money. The payment mechanisms available to DWP are grant in aid where funding is provided for a longer term requirement for the services provided, grants which are available in respect of specific purchase or action, and where DWP enters into a commercial contract delivering existing core objectives. As for any payments made by DWP it must be consistent with the Department's statutory authority and the Ambit of the Vote.

Grant in aid to the Department's non-departmental public bodies is treated as expenditure in the core Department's Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Net Expenditure and as financing in the accounts of the non-departmental public bodies, credited to their reserves. It is accounted for on a cash basis.

Universal Credit

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the robustness of the universal credit system against fraud; and if he will make a statement. [151905]

Mr Hoban: The Department is working continually with experts across Government to ensure that the arrangements for the prevention of fraud in the universal credit system operate effectively in the interests of taxpayers.

It is not in the public interest to disclose the details of those arrangements.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of universal credit claimants who will require budgeting support. [152298]

Mr Hoban: No formal estimate has been made of the number of universal credit claimants who will require budgeting support. We are working closely with the advice sector and local authorities to monitor demand for these services during the universal credit pathfinder in order to predict estimated volumes for the national roll-out of universal credit.

Universal Credit: Kingston Upon Hull

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many single parent families in (a) Hull North and (b) Hull will be in receipt of universal credit by the time it is fully implemented; and how many such families will have (i) higher and (ii) lower entitlement under universal credit than the present system; [152336]

(2) what estimate he has made of the number of single parents under the age of 25 expected to be in receipt of universal credit in (a) Hull and (b) Hull North constituency by the time universal credit is fully implemented. [152271]

Mr Hoban: The information requested is not available as sample sizes are too small to yield reliable results for these geographical areas.

The impacts of universal credit are presented in the universal credit impact assessment available on the DWP website at:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/universal-credit-wr2011-ia.pdf

Visits Abroad

Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his Department's budget was for overseas travel for officials and Ministers in 2012-13. [151368]

Mr Hoban: There is no set budget for overseas travel at DWP.

22 Apr 2013 : Column 713W

Work Experience Programme: Scotland

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Scotland were involved in the work experience programme benefit scheme in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and what the average number of working days worked was. [151794]

Mr Hoban: The work experience scheme began in January 2011. Official statistics are available for the period January 2011 up to and including November 2012. The following table shows the number of starts in Scotland by financial year.

Work experience starts in Scotland by financial year for the period January 2011 up to and including November 2012.
Financial yearNumber of starts

2010-11

120

2011-12

4,090

2012-13

4,870

Total

9,080

Note: Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. Source: Get Britain Working Official Statistics

These figures are based upon official Get Britain Working statistics which can be found here:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/pwp/pwp_gbw_feb13.pdf

Data on the average number of 'working days worked' are unavailable.

Work Programme

Paul Blomfield: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many benefit sanction referrals have been made by Work programme providers in (a) South Yorkshire and (b) the UK in the latest period for which figures are available; [151865]

(2) how many benefit sanction referrals have been made in South Yorkshire by each Work programme provider. [151866]

Mr Hoban: This specific information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Statistics on how many jobseeker's allowance (JSA) fixed length sanction referrals, where a decision has been made, from Work programme providers in (a) South Yorkshire and (b) Great Britain from the 1 June 2011 to the 21 October 2012 can be found at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=tabtool

Guidance for users is available at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/tabtools/guidance.pdf

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was paid to Work programme providers as a result of residents in Banff and Buchan constituency being placed in employment which generated a job outcome from the inception of the programme to the latest date for which figures are available. [152276]

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was paid to Work programme providers as a result of residents in Perth and North

22 Apr 2013 : Column 714W

Perthshire constituency being placed in employment which generated a job outcome from the inception of the programme to the latest date for which figures are available. [152278]

Mr MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was paid to Work programme providers as a result of residents in Na h-Eileanan an Iar constituency being placed in employment which generated a job outcome from the inception of the programme to the latest date for which figures are available. [152280]

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was paid to Work programme providers as a result of residents in Dundee East constituency being placed in employment which generated a job outcome from the inception of the programme to the latest date for which figures are available. [152282]

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was paid to Work programme providers as a result of residents in Angus constituency being placed in employment which generated a job outcome from the inception of the programme to the latest date for which figures are available. [152284]

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was paid to Work programme providers as a result of residents in Moray constituency being placed in employment which generated a job outcome from the inception of the programme to the latest date for which figures are available. [152286]

Mr Hoban: The total paid to Work programme providers in the UK is £377.9 million from the start of the programme through to 30 July 2012, i.e. the period covered by the statistical release. Due to commercial in confidence considerations we are not able to release financial data below the national level at this time.

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of residents in Dundee East constituency who have been referred to the Work programme have been placed in employment which generated a job outcome since the inception of the programme. [152283]

Mr MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of residents in Na h-Eileanan an Iar constituency who have been referred to the Work programme have been placed in employment which generated a job outcome since the inception of the programme. [152281]

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of residents in Moray constituency who have been referred to the Work programme have been placed in employment which generated a job outcome since the inception of the programme. [152287]

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of residents in Angus constituency who have been referred to the

22 Apr 2013 : Column 715W

Work programme have been placed in employment which generated a job outcome since the inception of the programme. [152285]

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of residents in Banff and Buchan constituency who have been referred to the Work programme have been placed in employment which generated a job outcome since the inception of the programme. [152277]

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of residents in Perth and North Perthshire constituency who have been referred to the Work programme have been placed in employment which generated a job outcome since the inception of the programme. [152279]

Mr Hoban: Statistics up to 31 July 2012 on how many and what proportion of residents in Dundee East, Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Moray, Angus, Banff and Buchan, and Perth and North Perthshire constituencies who have been referred to the Work programme since its inception have been placed in employment which generated a job outcome can be found at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=tabtool

Guidance for users is available at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/tabtools/guidance.pdf

In order to calculate proportions, the population estimates for Scotland are published by the General Register Office for Scotland and can be found at:

http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/statistics/theme/population/estimates/mid-year/index.html

Business, Innovation and Skills

Apprentices

Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he has made an assessment of the value for money of the apprenticeship clauses in the Department for Work and Pensions's standard contract introduced in July 2011; and if he will make a statement. [151708]

Matthew Hancock: No such assessment has yet been made. However, apprenticeships are central to the Government's plans, and we therefore support the use of public procurement to promote the take-up of apprenticeships where appropriate. This means where such a policy represents good value for money and can be delivered in a way which is flexible, proportionate and not overly prescriptive.

Consumer Goods: Prices

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) if he will undertake research into ways to encourage private companies to avoid increasing prices of consumer goods wherever possible whilst maintaining profitability; [151976]

(2) what the Government's policy is on mitigating the effect on consumers of price increases made by private companies for the sole purpose of increasing profit; [151977]

22 Apr 2013 : Column 716W

(3) if he will consider the merits of creating incentives for private companies to provide relief for consumers by refraining from raising prices unless necessary to maintain profitability. [151978]

Jo Swinson: The Government are well aware of the pressures faced by consumers in this challenging economic climate. However, generally pricing policy is a commercial matter for the companies concerned.

The best way of ensuring consumers get a good deal is by encouraging effective competition between firms. Where firms are behaving anti-competitively and this is leading to bad outcomes for consumers, the Office of Fair Trading has strong powers to intervene.

Retail is a fiercely competitive sector, and pricing of consumer goods is one of the areas in which competition is at its most powerful.

Consumers who understand their rights can play a strong part in driving market competition because they force businesses to innovate and pursue efficiency. The Government published a number of consultations last year that together proposed a fundamental reform of consumer legislation. The proposals clarify the law where it is confusing for consumers or where it has not kept pace with technological developments and contains important new protections for consumers alongside measures to lower regulatory burdens for business, all with the aim of making markets work better.

In addition, the Government recently introduced legislation which will ban excessive payment surcharges being charged to consumers. The Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations 2012 prohibit traders from charging consumers more than the cost borne by the trader for the use of a given means of payment such as a credit card.

The Government have also better equipped Trading Standards to take greater responsibility for consumer law enforcement by transferring central Government funding for national leadership and co-ordination of enforcement activity from the OFT to the National Trading Standards Board. Trading Standards is taking on responsiblity for consumer code schemes and most business-facing education. Together, these measures will support business to better respond to customers, and promote those who serve customers well, while strengthening protection against poor practice.

The Consumer Protection Partnership (CPP), formerly the Strategic Intelligence, Prevention and Enforcement Partnership, works together to share intelligence, and identify current and future issues that could adversely affect consumers. The CPP is developing an agreed mechanism for gathering, analysing and utilising relevant intelligence and information in order to highlight potential areas of consumer detriment for study and action.

Export Controls

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he takes to ensure that UK companies are not disadvantaged by export licence decisions made by UK Trade and Investment. [152449]

Michael Fallon: The Export Control Organisation (ECO) is the licensing authority for strategic exports in the United Kingdom. The ECO aims to operate an efficient, predictable and transparent licensing regime

22 Apr 2013 : Column 717W

which takes account of the needs of business while ensuring that all export licence applications are rigorously assessed against the consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria. We do not allow commercial considerations to outweigh the need to give each case proper scrutiny and to take decisions in line with announced policy and our international obligations.

However, where a decision is taken to refuse a licence application for a UK export, a denial notification is issued to all EU member states and, where appropriate, participating states in the relevant international export control regimes. This assists other Governments to apply the ‘no-undercut’ principle where they have an essentially identical export, and this helps to minimise any disadvantage to the UK exporter affected.

Although UK Trade and Investment is not involved in the export licensing decision making process, ECO works closely with UKTI to ensure that export controls are considered at an early stage of planning major export campaigns. ECO and UKTI also work jointly to raise awareness of export controls with UK companies.

Export Controls: India

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many and what proportion of applications for export licences to India have been refused in each of the last five years. [152450]

Michael Fallon: The number of standard individual export licences granted and refused for India for the last five years are as follows:

 Licences grantedLicences refusedPercentage refusal rate

2012

995

12

1.2

2011

900

10

1.0

2010

926

7

0.8

2009

818

4

0.4

2008

757

1

0.1

Higher Education: Admissions

Damian Hinds: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of (a) all young people in state education, (b) young people in state education with grades BBB or above at A-level and (c) young people in state education with grades AAA or above at A-level (i) applied as one of their UCAS choices to and (ii) were offered and accepted a place at (A) Oxford or Cambridge universities and (B) any other Russell group university for each local authority area in England in the last three years. [151936]

Mr Willetts: The information is not available centrally. Data on applicants and acceptances to full-time undergraduate courses are collected by the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS).

UCAS has not calculated these data. Its end of cycle report for 2012, available at:

http://www.ucas.ac.uk/about_us/media_enquiries/

shows that acceptance rates for applicants who achieve AAA, AAB, ABB or BBB are high, around 90%. UCAS is an organisation independent from Government.

22 Apr 2013 : Column 718W

Industrial Disputes

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effect on the UK economy of (a) strike action and (b) threatened strike action in each of the last five years. [151937]

Jo Swinson: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 28 February 2013, Official Report, column 636W.

London Underground: Industrial Disputes

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the (a) effect on the UK economy of and (b) number of people adversely affected by industrial action on the London Underground in each of the last five years. [151938]

Jo Swinson: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 28 February 2013, Official Report, column 636W.

Minimum Wage

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what his policy is on the future of the national minimum wage; and if he will make a statement. [151948]

Jo Swinson: The Government are committed to the national minimum wage.

Our aim is to have a minimum wage rate that helps as many low-paid workers as possible, while making sure that we do not damage their employment prospects by setting it too high.

I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement given by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, my right hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Vince Cable), on 15 April 2013, Official Report, columns 1-3WS, which set out the increased minimum wage rates that will apply from 1 October 2013.

In addition to the minimum wage, the Government are doing everything they can to help all working people on low pay with the cost of living. That is why we are cutting income tax for the low paid and taking 2.4 million people out of tax altogether.

Public Sector: Industrial Disputes

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment has he made of the incidence of bullying and harassment of employees to support public sector strike action. [151941]

Jo Swinson: No such assessment has been made. However the Government are clear that bullying and harassment of employees in the workplace is completely unacceptable.

Legislation provides safeguards for employees against various types of harassment in the workplace (on grounds of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, etc). In addition, protection is provided by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (where intentional harassment is made a criminal offence), and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (where harassment is made a criminal offence and victims have a right to damages).

22 Apr 2013 : Column 719W

Persons who induce employees to breach their contracts of employment (eg by taking industrial action), or are involved in intimidation or conspiracy become liable for industrial torts. Trade unions and individuals are only shielded from such liability as long as their actions with regard to an industrial dispute remain lawful—ie by complying with the various statutory requirements and by picketing peacefully. Bullying and harassment in respect of industrial action is not protected, thereby exposing those involved to the possibility of injunctions and liability in tort. If a trade union becomes aware that such activities are taking place it will almost certainly repudiate them in order to maintain statutory protection.

Government, through the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), have a national helpline offering advice to both employers and employees: 0845 747 4747.

Public Sector: Procurement

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what his policy is on the proposed change to Article 19 of the European directive on the procurement of contracts for public works, public supply and public service. [151714]

Jo Swinson: The European Commission, following an extensive consultation with member states, has issued proposals for new directives on public procurement. The proposals represent the first wholesale revision of public procurement law in the European Union since 2004 and are aimed at modernising the legislation. Within those proposals is a change to Article 19 which relates to reserved contracts.

Previously, contracting authorities (such as BIS) were able to go directly to organisations which employed more than 50% of disadvantaged individuals (defined in the legislation) and award a contract without competing for the requirement to achieve certain social objectives.

The revision to Article 19 is contained within the new proposed Article 17. The significant changes are that the threshold for employees has been reduced to 30%; however, the requirement will now need to be competed for and limited to other similarly structured organisations.

These proposals are due to be finalised during the summer of 2013 and will then need to be transposed into UK legislation (usually within 21 months). During this period BIS will need to investigate and generate a policy on how it can take advantage of the opportunity presented by these proposed changes.

Skills Funding Agency

Jenny Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills which company holds the largest contract to provide mobile telephony services to the Skills Funding Agency; how much was paid under the contract in the last year for which figures are available; how many individual services are covered by the contract; when the contract was awarded; when the contract will next be renewed; and for how long. [151712]

Matthew Hancock: The chief executive of the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) is responsible for all matters concerning the operation and running of the SFA. I

22 Apr 2013 : Column 720W

have therefore asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member direct, and place a copy of the reply in the House Library.

Staff

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many days of work were carried out by officials in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies on average in each of the last five years; and what the total salary cost was of officials in each year. [151098]

Jo Swinson: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) was formed through a Machinery of Government change that occurred in June 2009. Therefore there are no data available prior to that date.

All civil servants employed by BIS are expected, on average, to attend for 220 working days per year. This excludes weekends, public and privilege leave and annual leave for full-time employees. The total salary costs for civil servants employed by BIS are shown in the Annual Report and Accounts which can be viewed at:

BIS Annual Report and Accounts 2010-11:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/31935/11-p102-bis-annual-report-and-accounts-2010-11.pdf

BIS Annual Report and Accounts 2011-12:

http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/corporate/docs/B/12-p102-bis-annual-report-and-accounts-2011-12

This Department does not hold centrally the information you request concerning its non-departmental public bodies and it could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

I have approached the Chief Executives of the Department's Executive Agencies (Insolvency Service, Companies House, National Measurement Office, Intellectual Property Office, UK Space Agency, Ordnance Survey, Met Office, Land Registry and the Skills Funding Agency) and they will respond to the hon. Member directly.

Letter from Tim Moss, dated 12 April 2013:

I am replying on behalf of Companies House to your Parliamentary Question tabled 10 April 2013, to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, UIN 151098.

Companies House employs officials on contracts that cover a wide variety of working patterns, and a breakdown of the number of days worked by officials for each of the last five years could only be provided at disproportionate cost. The total salary cost of officials working for Companies House is contained in our annual reports, which are published on our website at:

http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/about/corporateDocuments.shtml

Letter from John Alty, dated 15 April 2013:

I am responding in respect of the Intellectual Property Office to your Parliamentary Question tabled 10th April 2013, to the Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the Operating name of The Patent Office and an Executive Agency of BIS.

All civil servants employed by the IPO are expected, on average, to attend for 220 working days per year. This excludes weekends, public and privilege leave and annual leave for full-time employees. The total salary costs for civil servants employed by the IPO are shown in the Annual Report and Accounts which can be viewed at:

22 Apr 2013 : Column 721W

The Patent Annual Report and Accounts 2010-11:

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/about-anrep1011.pdf

The Patent Annual Report and Accounts 2011 -12:

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/about-anrep1112.pdf

Letter from David Parker, dated 12 April 2013:

Thank you for your question addressed to the Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills asking how many days of work were carried out by officials in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies on average in each of the last five years; and what the total salary cost was of officials in each year.

The UK Space Agency became an Executive Agency of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills on the 1st April 2011.

All civil servants employed by the UK Space Agency are expected, on average, to attend for 220 working days per year. This excludes weekends, public and privilege leave and annual leave. The total salary costs for civil servants employed by the UK Space Agency are shown in the Annual Report and Accounts which can be viewed at:

http://www.bis.gov.uk/ukspaceagency/publications

Letter from Peter Mason, dated 15 April 2013:

I am responding in respect of the National Measurement Office (NMO) to your Parliamentary Question tabled on 10 April 2013, asking the Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) about the average number of days of work officials carried out in each of the last five years, and their total salary cost in each year.

A breakdown of the number of days worked by NMO officials for each of the last five years could only be provided at disproportionate cost. The total salary costs for civil servants employed by NMO are shown in the Annual Report and Accounts which can be viewed as follows:

NMO Annual Report and Accounts 2011-12:

http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/nmo/docs/about-us/key-docs/nmo-annual-report-and-accounts-2011-12-website-version.pdf

NMO Annual Report and Accounts 2010-11:

http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/nmo/docs/about-us/key-docs/nmo-annual-report-and-accounts-2010-11-website-version.pdf

Letter from Jon Cocking, dated 15 April 2013:

I write on behalf of Land Registry in response to Parliamentary Question 151098 tabled on 10 April 2013 which asked the following:

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how many days of work were carried out by officials in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies on average in each of the last five years; and what the total salary cost was of officials in each year.

Land Registry has been an Executive Agency of BIS since July 2011.

All employees of Land Registry are expected, on average, to attend for 220 working days per year. This excludes weekends, public holidays and annual leave for full-time employees. The total salary costs for employees of Land Registry are shown in the Annual Reports and Accounts which can be viewed at:

Land Registry Annual Report and Accounts 2010-11:

http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/1754/Annual_Report_1011.pdf

Land Registry Annual Report and Accounts 2011-12:

http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/12710/Annual-Report-2011_12-web.pdf

I hope you find this information useful.

Letter from Dr Vanessa Lawrence CB, dated 16 April 2013:

As Director General and Chief Executive of Ordnance Survey, I have been asked to respond to your Parliamentary Question

22 Apr 2013 : Column 722W

asking the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, “how many days of work were carried out by officials in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies on average in each of the last five years; and what the total salary cost was of officials in each year”.

The average number of days worked by each of Ordnance Survey's full-time members of staff in each of the past five years was as follows:

 Number

2007-08

220

2008-09

220

2009-10

220

2010-11

219

2011-12

219

These figures take into account weekends, annual leave, public holidays and privilege days.

The total salary cost in each year was as follows:

 £ million

2007-08

40.85

2008-09

41.48

2009-10

38.97

2010-11

36.52

2011-12

35.45

I hope this information is helpful.

Letter from Dr Richard Judge, dated 16 April 2013:

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has asked me to reply to your question, how many days of work were carried out by officials in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies on average in each of the last five years; and what the total salary cost was of officials in each year.

All civil servants employed by The Insolvency Service are expected, on average, to attend for 220 working days per year. This excludes weekends, public and privilege leave and annual leave for full-time employees.

The total salary costs for civil servants employed by The Insolvency Service are shown in the Agency's Annual Reports, which can be viewed at:

The Insolvency Annual Report 2007-08:

http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc0708/hc08/0800/0800.pdf

The Insolvency Annual Report 2008-09:

http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc0809/hc06/0623/0623.pdf

The Insolvency Annual Report 2009-10:

http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc1011/hc02/0236/0236.pdf

The Insolvency Annual Report 2010-11:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/32579/1388.pdf

The Insolvency Annual Report 2011-12:

http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc1213/hc03/0358/0358.pdf

Letter from Nick Jobling, dated 16 April 2013:

I am replying on behalf of the Chief Executive of the Met Office to your Parliamentary Question tabled on 10 April 2013, UIN 151098 to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The average number of days worked and the total salary cost for Met Office staff in each of the last 5 years are shown in the following table.

22 Apr 2013 : Column 723W

 2011-122010-112009-102008-092007-08

Total salary cost (£000)

58,487

58,507

58,434

55,847

51,721

Average working days per full time equivalent(1)

215

215

216

215

215

(1) Excluding weekends, bank holidays, leave entitlements and average working days lost.

I hope this helps.

Letter from Kim Thorneywork, dated 12 April 2013:

Thank you for your question addressed to the Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills asking how many days of work were carried out by officials in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies on average in each of the last five years; and what the total salary cost was of officials in each year.

The Skills Funding Agency formed in 2010 therefore data has been provided from this period onwards.

All civil servants employed by the Skills Funding Agency are expected, on average, to attend for 221 working days per year. This excludes weekends, bank holidays and annual leave. The total salary costs for civil servants employed by the Skills Funding Agency are shown in the Annual Report and Accounts which can be viewed at:

http://skillsfundingagency.bis.gov.uk/publications/

UK Trade and Investment

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will review the salary of the Chief Executive of UK Trade and Investment. [152578]

Jo Swinson: The salary of the current Chief Executive of UKTI was set using normal civil service pay rules and was in line with the advertised rate for the role. As a serving civil servant the current incumbent is eligible for base pay increases and performance awards in line with the annual recommendations of the Senior Salaries Remuneration Body. No further review is planned.

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will outsource responsibility of exports from UKTI to a private sector company for three years in order to make an assessment of UKTI's comparative performance. [152610]

Michael Fallon: UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) already outsources responsibility for a large and increasing share of its export services. Services currently outsourced include the UK-based advisory services provided by teams of international trade advisers in the English regions, the Export Marketing Research Scheme and the Export Communications Review service. Seven years of performance and impact monitoring data for these services are available in a consistent and comparable form, allowing robust comparison over time. Time series for these data are published for each service in the quarterly and annual reports on the Performance and Impact Monitoring Survey (PIMS), available on the UKTI website (www.ukti.gov.uk) at:

http://www.ukti.gov.uk/uktihome/aboutukti/ourperformance/performanceimpactandmonitoringsurvey/quarterlysurveys.html

22 Apr 2013 : Column 724W

In addition, UKTI is currently in the process of extending the range of services which are outsourced by contracting out primary responsibility for delivering export related events. The contractual arrangements will provide for robust monitoring of performance and impact through the same PIMS process which is currently used to monitor performance of UKTI supported events. This will allow for robust comparison of performance of events under the new arrangements with that of events delivered under previous arrangements.

A recent independent evaluation of the commercial services delivered by the network of UKTI teams in UK embassies and consulates overseas(1 )investigated the scope for further private sector engagement in these services. The final report included a recommendation to explore the opportunities for selective outsourcing, which UKTI has accepted.

The full report and UKTI response are available on the UKTI website at:

http://www.ukti.gov.uk/uktihome/aboutukti/ourperformance/evaluation/comparativeandcrosscutting.html

(1 )London Economics (2011) Evaluation of the commercial services provided by UK Trade and Investment's overseas network.

Ultra Electronics

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 13 March 2013, Official Report, column 221W, on Ultra Electronics, what the purpose was of the meetings between Mr Douglas Caster and Lord Green and other members of the Middle East Task Force; and if he will place a copy of the minutes of those meetings in the Library. [150955]

Michael Fallon: The Middle East Task Force is a business-led informal stakeholder group, providing a forum for high-level discussion on strategic issues and opportunities relating to Britain's business interests in the Middle East. The membership comprises senior representatives from business and institutions. My Noble Friend the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, chairs the Task Force and Mr Douglas Caster is a member. Minutes of the Middle East Task Force are recorded but not published. To publish such records would not be in the public interest as it would be likely to prejudice the free and frank advice that Ministers receive from officials and external bodies.

Vocational Training

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to his Department's report, Rigour and Responsiveness in Skills, published in April 2013, when the new intervention process will take effect. [152339]

Matthew Hancock: The new intervention process will be fully operational from the new academic year starting in August 2013, once the appointment of an FE Commissioner has been completed.

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to his Department's report, Rigour and Responsiveness in Skills, published in April 2013, whether there will be set points in the academic year at which risks in colleges will be assessed. [152340]

22 Apr 2013 : Column 725W

Matthew Hancock: Ofsted inspections happen at any time and could lead to risks in colleges being assessed, specifically if they are graded as requiring improvement or inadequate. The current routine assessments of the risks in colleges brought together regularly across the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department for Education, the Skills Funding Agency, the Education Funding Agency and Ofsted will in future also involve the new FE Commissioner when they are appointed as appropriate. These will be based on a structured review taking place on at least a quarterly basis and more frequently when that is felt to be needed.

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to his Department's report, Rigour and Responsiveness in Skills, published in April 2013, how his Department will define failing financial control in colleges. [152341]

Matthew Hancock: The Skills Funding Agency defines failing financial control in colleges as occurring where as part of their regular monitoring of colleges' financial positions, they identify significant non-compliance with regulatory requirements or significant concerns from an overall qualified opinion from any of the colleges’ auditors.

22 Apr 2013 : Column 726W

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to his Department's report, Rigour and Responsiveness in Skills, published in April 2013, what specific responsibilities an FE Commissioner will hold. [152342]

Matthew Hancock: The FE Commissioner will act as the single point of contact in cases where intervention action is deemed necessary in a college. They will offer expert advice, opinion and recommendations to me and my Departments on how to address underperformance and work directly with a college to create and deliver improvement plans or other solutions as appropriate. In particular, their role will be to:

consult with and advise the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education, the Skills Funding Agency and the Education Funding Agency on the intervention action that is needed so that Ministers can take decisions;

help review the position of the relevant college within a two-week timeframe, holding discussions with the college governors, the principal, local stakeholders and the agencies;

advise and recommend solutions from a suite of potential interventions as set out in ‘Rigour and Responsiveness’;

work with the college governing body and senior management team to develop and take forward a recovery plan that will need to be implemented.

Written Answers to Questions

Monsday 22 April 2013

Health

Accident and Emergency Departments

Yasmin Qureshi: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients waited longer than four hours for treatment in Accident and Emergency departments in 2012; and if he will make a statement. [151055]

Anna Soubry: The total number of people in accident and emergency (A and E) departments who waited longer than four hours from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge in 2012 is 813,474 across all A and E types.

The A and E waiting time standard as set out in the NHS Constitution is for 95% of patients to be seen within four hours from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge. In 2012, 96% of patients were seen within four hours.

Source:

Weekly A and E situation reports, Department of Health for the period week ending 8 January 2012 to 30 December 2012.

Mr George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what his policy is on procedures for immuno-suppressed patients entering hospital accident and emergency departments; [151946]

(2) what assessment he has made of five-year survival rates for immuno-suppressed patients in (a) the UK, (b) other European countries and (c) the United States. [151947]

22 Apr 2013 : Column 728W

Norman Lamb: Hospitals are responsible for ensuring that they have procedures in place for managing immuno-suppressed patients entering accident and emergency departments and minimising the risks of patients developing infections. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence issued updated guidance on the prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections in primary and community care in March 2012, and also issue guidance on dealing with specific immuno-suppressive treatments.

The information on five-year survival rates for immuno-suppressed patients in the UK, other European countries and the United States is not collected or held centrally by the Department.

Accidents

Mr Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many falls resulting in hospital admissions were attributable to (a) vision impairment, (b) neurological conditions, (c) hip replacements and (d) other causes in each primary care trust in each of the last five years for which figures are available; [151944]

(2) what the five most frequent causes of falls were resulting in hospital admissions for people aged (a) 49 and under, (b) from 50 to 59 years, (c) from 60 to 69 years, (d) from 70 to 79 years and (e) 80 years and older in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [151958]

Anna Soubry: This information is not available in the format requested.

Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data can provide a reason for an injury where appropriate, this includes falls. However, this data does not include a reason for falls attributable to hip replacements, neurological conditions or vision impairment.

HES data showing the five most frequent types of falls resulting in hospital admissions for people aged 49 and under, from 50 to 59 years, from 60 to 69 years, from 70 to 79 years and 80 years and older in each of the last five years has been placed in the following table.

A count of finished admission episodes(1) for the top five* types of fall(2) as well as the total falls for (a) 49 years and under, (b) from 50 to 59 years, (c) from 60 to 69 years, (d) from 70 to 79 years and (e) 80 years and older for 2007-08 to 2011-12(3)—Activity in English NHS hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector
Age groupTop five types of fall (external cause)*2007-082008-092009-102010-112011-12

0-49

W19

Unspecified fall

23,186

24,074

25,645

24,554

24,659

 

W01

Fall on same level from slipping tripping and stumbling

20,096

19,866

20,068

19,382

19,506

 

W10

Fall on and from stairs and steps

11,785

12,186

13,287

13,531

13,595

 

W18

Other fall on same level

8,258

8,772

10,106

10,470

11,108

 

W09

Fall involving playground equipment

7,858

7,557

8,591

8,747

9,409

  

Total falls

106,939

108,964

119,413

117,596

116,839

        

50-59

W19

Unspecified fall

7,046

7,629

8,316

8,545

8,700

 

W01

Fall on same level from slipping tripping and stumbling

6,170

6,354

6,702

6,563

6,515

22 Apr 2013 : Column 729W

22 Apr 2013 : Column 730W

 

W10

Fall on and from stairs and steps

3,606

3,803

4,146

4,112

4,186

 

W18

Other fall on same level

1,887

2,102

2,434

2,615

2,812

 

W11

Fall on and from ladder

1,261

1,196

1,385

1,316

1,342

 

W00

Fall on same level involving ice and snow

202

1,299

3,299

2,654

778

  

Total falls

22,902

25,031

29,201

28,869

27,473

        

60-69

W19

Unspecified fall

10,831

12,061

13,323

13,975

14,917

 

W01

Fall on same level from slipping tripping and stumbling

8,854

9,158

9,950

10,117

10,572

 

W10

Fall on and from stairs and steps

3,828

4,073

4,521

4,854

5,144

 

W18

Other fall on same level

2,851

3,105

3,654

4,230

4,636

 

W11

Fall on and from ladder

1,233

1,220

1,483

1,512

1,539

 

W00

Fall on same level involving ice and snow

215

1,490

3,774

3,077

900

  

Total falls

30,775

34,336

40,432

41,692

41,918

        

70-79

W19

Unspecified fall

26,008

28,305

29,736

32,101

33,134

 

W01

Fall on same level from slipping tripping and stumbling

15,273

15,736

16,212

16,531

17,074

 

W18

Other fall on same level

6,222

6,649

7,850

8,508

9,311

 

W10

Fall on and from stairs and steps

4,714

5,305

5,830

6,103

6,267

 

W06

Fall involving bed

2,274

2,516

2,941

3,380

3,621

 

W00

Fall on same level involving ice and snow

223

1,361

3,357

2,590

747

  

Total falls

58,206

63,763

70,367

73,891

74,886

        

80+

W19

Unspecified fall

79,065

88,444

95,513

105,614

111,960

 

W01

Fall on same level from slipping tripping and stumbling

32,459

32,561

34,838

36,244

38,051

 

W18

Other fall on same level

17,064

18,690

22,387

25,320

28,008

 

W06

Fall involving bed

8,404

9,467

11,123

12,717

13,961

22 Apr 2013 : Column 731W

22 Apr 2013 : Column 732W

 

W10

Fall on and from stairs and steps

6,481

6,967

8,193

8,723

9,419

  

Total falls

150,458

164,660

183,096

199,916

212,171

* Top five for 2011-12. Where this is different for previous years additional codes have been shown to include the top five for that year. (1) Finished admission episodes A finished admission episode (FAE) is the first period of in-patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. FAEs 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. (2) ICD 10 external cause codes Falls are coded by the following external cause codes: W00 Fall on same level involving ice and snow W01 Fall on same level from slipping tripping and stumbling W02 Fall involving ice-skates skis roller-skates or skateboards W03 Other fall same level due collision/pushing by another person W04 Fall while being carried or supported by other persons W05 Fall involving wheelchair W06 Fall involving bed W07 Fall involving chair W08 Fall involving other furniture W09 Fall involving playground equipment W10 Fall on and from stairs and steps W11 Fall on and from ladder W12 Fall on and from scaffolding W13 Fall from out of or through building or structure W14 Fall from tree W15 Fall from cliff W16 Diving/jumping into water causing injury other than drowning or submersion W17 Other fall from one level to another W18 Other fall on same level W19 Unspecified fall (3) Assessing growth through time (in-patients) HES figures are available from 1989-90 onwards. Changes to the figures over time need to be interpreted in the context of improvements in data quality and coverage (particularly in earlier years), improvements in coverage of independent sector activity (particularly from 2006-07) and changes in NHS practice. For example, changes in activity may be due to changes in the provision of care. Data quality: HES are compiled from data sent by more than 300 NHS trusts and primary care trusts in England and from some independent sector organisations for activity commissioned by the English NHS, Health and Social Care Information Centre liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain.

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to reduce spending on treating alcohol-related illnesses (a) generally and (b) among middle-aged, middle-class women. [150905]

Anna Soubry: The Government's Alcohol Strategy, published on 23 March 2012, brings together the Government's approach to reducing the incidence of alcohol-related disease and crime.

The Strategy includes a range of actions such as:

proposals to tackle the availability of cheap alcohol;

an industry pledge through the Responsibility Deal to take one billion units out of the market by 2015;

building on the introduction of a ring-fenced public health grant to local authorities in England through greater use of brief interventions, specialised alcohol treatment, and alcohol liaison nurses within hospital emergency departments; and

in England, we are funding an alcohol check within the NHS Health Check for adults aged between 40 and 74 for the first time from April 2013.

The Government sought views on a number of measures set out in the Alcohol Strategy, in a consultation published by the Home Office on 28 November, which concluded on 6 February. We will set out a response in due course.

Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer, will oversee a review of the alcohol guidelines to ensure they are based on the best possible evidence. This will include consideration of health risks from alcohol consumption for women.

Ambulance Services

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what powers he has to remove members of ambulance service NHS trusts. [150867]

Anna Soubry: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health has delegated his powers to remove members of a national health service trust's board to the NHS Trust Development Authority (NTDA). The NTDA can invoke Secretary of State's intervention and default powers where a trust is not carrying out its functions properly, for instance in the case of immediate quality or safety breakdown. The powers include suspension and replacement of chair, and any or all directors including executive directors. The NTDA can also trigger the unsustainable provider regime (UPR) where a trust is in distress. The UPR entails the suspension and replacement of the trust's Board by a trust special administrator.

22 Apr 2013 : Column 733W

The NTDA also has powers to terminate the appointment of Chairs and non-executive directors of. an NHS trust if a person is bankrupt, has a criminal conviction involving a prison sentence of three months or more, or has been dismissed from paid health service employment other than redundancy. The NTDA may also disqualify such persons from being a chair or non executive director.

Antibiotics

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department uses the definition of treatment and prevention set out in the questions and answers document EMA/CVMP/414812/2005 on the Committee for Veterinary Medicinal Products guideline on the Summary Product Characteristics for antimicrobial products EMEA/CVMP/SAGAM/383441/2005, providing clearer guidance on the indication treatment and prevention. [151075]

Norman Lamb: The Department of Health and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) do not use the definitions from the Committee for Veterinary Medicinal Products Guidelines EMA/CVMP/414812/2005 and EMEA/CVMP/SAGAM/383441/2005 on the Summary Product Characteristics for antimicrobial products. This is because they concern treatment and prevention of diseases in animals and do not fall within the remit of the MHRA.

Under these guidelines the term “treatment” refers to the treatment of an individual animal, or a group of animals showing clinical signs of an infectious disease.

The term “prevention” refers to the administration of the product at the same time to other in-contact animals, to prevent them from developing clinical signs, and to prevent further spread of the disease. The presence of the disease in the group/flock must be established before the product is used.

This is the remit of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate.

A copy of the documents mentioned has been placed in the Library.

Ashleigh Ewing

Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to publish the investigation by the North East Strategic Health Authority into the death of Ashleigh Ewing. [151235]

Dr Poulter: The former North East Strategic Health Authority commissioned an independent investigation relating to the death of Ashleigh Ewing. On 1 April 2013, NHS England became responsible for publication of the independent investigation.

NHS England advises that the investigation has taken longer than originally expected and will publish the report as soon as possible.

Blood: Contamination

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will give consideration to issuing a formal acknowledgement that the contamination of NHS blood products 30 years ago was the responsibility of the then Government. [152624]

22 Apr 2013 : Column 734W

Anna Soubry: This Government have previously said how sorry it is that these events occurred, and have expressed deep regret for the pain and misery that many have suffered as a result, 10 January 2011, Official Report, column 33W. I would like to reiterate those sentiments.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will take steps to mark 2013 as the 30th anniversary of the first haemophiliac fatality attributed to contaminated NHS-supplied blood products. [152625]

Anna Soubry: There are no plans to mark 2013 as the 30th anniversary of the first haemophiliac fatality attributed to contaminated NHS-supplied blood products. This Government have already said how sorry they are that this happened, and have expressed deep regret for the pain and misery that many have suffered as a result.

Cancer

Mr Virendra Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when he expects the NHS Commissioning Board to announce further operational details on Strategic Clinical Networks for Cancer; [151146]

(2) how local cancer networks will be used to inform the design and delivery of cancer services. [151263]

Anna Soubry: Cancer is a priority condition for the first strategic clinical networks (SCNs) that were established from 1 April 2013. ‘Single Operating Framework for Strategic Clinical Networks’, published in November 2012, covers the establishment, development and function of SCNs, and includes areas such as accountability and governance arrangements, models of the support teams and evaluation of network effectiveness. The framework was developed to promote consistency, but also to allow for local interpretation so health communities can develop their SCN structures in line with local needs and circumstances. A copy of the report has been placed in the Library.

SCNs bring together all commissioners and providers in the new health system to plan pathways of care that deliver the best outcomes for patients. Commissioners can use networks as a source of clinical advice and support in driving their quality improvement programmes locally.

More information on the SCNs can be found on the NHS England website at:

www.england.nhs.uk

by typing ‘Resources for networks and senates’ into the search bar.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) pursuant to the answer of 14 February 2013, Official Report, column 804W, on cancer, which trusts have produced action plans based on the results of the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey; [152326]

(2) what role his Department will have in improving cancer patient experience. [152327]

Anna Soubry: As set out in the NHS Mandate, NHS Constitution and the NHS Outcomes Framework, patient experience, making the national health service more responsive to patients' needs is a key Government priority.

22 Apr 2013 : Column 735W

The mandate to NHS England requires it to deliver continued improvements in relation to patients' experience of care, including cancer care. The results of the Cancer Patient Experience Survey will continue to support the improvement of the local NHS.

Since April this year, responsibility for the cancer patient experience survey lies with NHS England.

The Department does not hold a record of every trust that has produced an action plan following the results of the National Cancer Patient Experience survey 2011-12.

The National Cancer Action Team (now part of NHS Improving Quality) published a report entitled ‘Improvement in cancer patient experience ratings: how have they been made?’, in which the top 10 performing and most improved trusts were interviewed following the results of the survey, to see how trusts could improve patient experience across the NHS. A list of these trusts is available in the report.

A copy of this report has been placed in the Library.

Cancer: Drugs

Mark Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the Cancer Drugs Fund, as announced by the NHS Commissioning Board, whether access to some treatments previously available through the fund will be restricted. [151790]

Norman Lamb: Since NHS England took on oversight of the Cancer Drugs Fund from 1 April 2013, it has published a national list of cancer drugs covered by cohort policies on its website at:

www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/ncdf-list.pdf

We understand that the great majority of cancer drugs previously funded by strategic health authority panels are on this cohort policy list, supporting timely and consistent access. Clinicians can apply to the national Cancer Drugs Fund for the inclusion of a drug within the approved cohort list.

Regional clinical panels will continue to consider individual patient applications where a patient is considered to be exceptional to a cohort, policy or where use under a cohort policy has not been considered due to the rarity of the condition.

Vascular Services

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance he has issued to NHS providers on maximum acceptable transfer times for patients requiring in-patient vascular services. [152630]

Norman Lamb: The Department has not published any guidance on this matter.

Decisions about local NHS services are a matter for the local NHS. Vascular services are being reviewed locally across England in response to robust evidence, which shows that better patient outcomes are achieved when complex procedures, such as vascular surgery, are provided by units which treat higher volumes of patients.

22 Apr 2013 : Column 736W

Chemotherapy

Mr Virendra Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which groups will henceforward be responsible for commissioning personalised and stratified medicine genomic tests that assess the need for chemotherapy. [151382]

Anna Soubry: The commissioning of all chemotherapy drugs is defined as a prescribed service for direct commissioning by NHS England. Medical Genetics is additionally a prescribed service for direct commissioning by NHS England. National clinical reference groups have been established for both chemotherapy drugs and for Medical Genetics to improve the commissioning of these services.

Mr Virendra Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether a diagnostic test which assesses the need for chemotherapy for breast cancer patients will be commissioned within the specialised commissioning budget. [151383]

Anna Soubry: The suitability of a diagnostic for specialised commissioning would be a matter for NHS England.

The National institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is consulting on draft diagnostic guidance on tests to assess the suitability of chemotherapy in certain breast cancer patients. It is anticipated that the final guidance ‘Gene expression profiling and expanded immunohistochemistry tests to guide the use of adjuvant chemotherapy in early breast cancer management: MammaPrint, Oncotype DX, IHC4 and Mammostrat’ will be published in September 2013. The guidance can be found on the NICE website at:

www.nice.org.uk

by typing ‘gene expression profiling’ into the search bar.

Computers

Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) desktop computers, (b) laptop computers and (c) tablet devices his Department has purchased in the last two years. [151338]

Dr Poulter: The Department has purchased the following devices during the last two calendar years commencing January 2011.

 Calendar years
 20112012

Thin client

331

255

Desktop

53

253

Laptop

33

1,981

Tablet

10

174

Note: Period covers January 2011 to December 2012