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Chief Medical Officer (Annual Reports)

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the dates of publication of the annual report of the chief medical officer for the past five years. [16859]

Ms Blears: Sir Kenneth Calman, the then chief medical officer, published his annual report on 25 September 1996, 30 September 1997 and 9 September 1998. Since

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then no similar reports have been published. Although the previous format served its purpose well in the past, the practice of the report containing descriptions of a wide range of Government policies added to the detailed nature of the reports and such information is well covered in other reports and is freely available on the internet.

When Professor Donaldson took up the post of chief medical officer in September 1998, he took stock of the publications issued by the chief medical officer and introduced a number of changes. One of these changes was to introduce a new style of report which is shorter, more focused and more accessible. The first use of this new format for his annual report was in December 2001.

Since his term of office Professor Donaldson has produced a number of major reports including: "An organisation with a memory: report of an expert group on learning from adverse events in the National Health Service"; "Supporting Doctors, Protecting Patients"; "Stem Cell Research: Medical Progress with Responsibility"; "Building a safer NHS for patients" and "The Removal, Retention and Use of Human Organs and Tissue from Post-mortem Examination".

Personal Social Services

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the level of (a) personal social services SSA per resident over 65 and (b) personal social services SSA per resident below 18 is for (i) Buckinghamshire, (ii) Milton Keynes and (iii) England. [19313]

Ms Blears: [holding answer 29 November 2001]: The level of personal social services standard spending assessments (SSA) per resident over 65 and per resident under 18 for Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes and England in 2001–02 is as follows:


SSA per capitaSSA per capita
aged 65 and overaged under 18
Milton Keynes715145

Community Pharmacists

Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on his decision to reduce the dispensing fees paid to community pharmacists. [25127]

Ms Blears: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for New Forest, West (Mr. Swayne) on 8 January 2002, Official Report, columns 611–12W.


Mr. Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the timetable for ERDIP sites to submit proposals under the Modernisation Enabling Project; and what plans he has to invite tenders from outside the Electronic Record Development and Implementation Programme on electronic access to patient records. [25321]

Ms Blears: The modernisation enabling projects identify gaps within the electronic record development and implementation programme (ERDIP). These pieces of

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work will be for a short timescale and with a minimum amount of funding as a major investment has already been made within the ERDIP programme. These sites have already received various amounts of funding over and above health authority allocations. The Department is currently considering a small number of sites that can do additional work linked to NHS Plan priorities that can be delivered by the 5 April 2002.

ERDIP is a national co-ordination programme, which seeks to develop solutions to national problems. The purpose of setting up the demonstrator communities was to: demonstrate the achievements in improving health and healthcare through making faster progress in their plans to modernise care, and demonstrating robust techniques and good practice reproducible on a national basis; act as a focus for the identification, definition and testing of standards and good practice; raise awareness of what is possible, and the health and healthcare benefits that can be achieved; and provide learning and feedback for the wider National Health Service community. The two patient access sites at Bury Knowle and Hadfield are an integral part of this programme.

A key element of the information management and technology strategy is to enable health communities to make decisions on procurement of software and hardware based on existing systems and reflecting local circumstances. The Government are supporting the NHS in this by ensuring that the additional money allocated for the implementation of the targets in 'Information for Health, Building the Information Core' and the NHS Plan reaches the level at which the decisions are taken. A majority of the money therefore goes out as part of health authority allocations.

Care Homes

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of (1) the cumulative percentage increases in age-standardised projected demand for care home places for older people from 2001 levels, in (a) England and (b) each local authority providing social services, in each year from 2001 to 2011; [26519]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 14 January 2002]: The Performance Assessment Framework Indicator C26 shows the usage of residential and nursing care homes by each local council in England for people aged 65 and over and indicator C32 the usage of home care. Copies of the 'Social Services Performance Assessment Framework Indicators, 2000–01' are available in the Library.

Recent work by the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) at the London School of Economics, commissioned by the Department, suggests that, in England, residential care places for older people will need to increase by 7.2 per cent. over the period 2000 to 2010 and that nursing care places for older people will need to increase by 7.7 per cent. The research also suggests that home care hours for older people will need to increase by 7.5 per cent. over the same period. These projections assume current patterns of care. The pressures may

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change as a result of government policies. Projections are not available for each council with social services responsibility or for individual years.

Further information on these projections and the model on which they are based can be found in the recent report by the PSSRU on "Demand for Long Term Care for Older People in England", published in Health Statistics Quarterly 12, Winter 2001, a copy of which is in the Library.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will require the new strategic health authorities to incorporate in their eligibility criteria the words of Lord Woolf in R v. North and East Devon health authority ex-parte Coughlan on the limits to the powers of social service departments to pay for nursing home places. [31206]

Jacqui Smith: The new strategic health authorities (SHAs) will be required to compile eligibility criteria that reflect the guidance issued in June 2001 (Health Service Circular 2001/015:Local Authority Circular (2001)18).

The guidance itself reflects very closely the Court of Appeal judgment ex-parte Coughlan.

Paragraph 20 of the guidance makes clear both the limits of the powers of social services departments to pay for nursing home places, and that the content is drawn from the Judgment:

The two indents in paragraph 20 of the guidance very closely reflect the words of the judgment at page 12, paragraph 30 (e). It will be for each SHA to determine the wording of their eligibility criteria in light of the guidance.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will ensure that no patient receiving free continuing care will be reassessed as falling outside the criteria for continuing care as a result of new eligibility criteria being drawn up for April 2002 by the new strategic health authorities. [31238]

Jacqui Smith: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will ensure that new eligibility criteria are drawn up in line with the continuing care guidance issued in June 2001 (Health Service Circular 2001/015:Local Authority Circular (2001)18). It is not envisaged that patients whose needs are of a nature, complexity, intensity or unpredictability that they currently require fully funded continuing national health service health care will cease to receive that care as a result of the new eligibility criteria being drawn up by strategic health authorities.

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