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Treatment Data

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health by which procedures he collects activity information disaggregated by (a) private hospitals, (b) private beds in NHS hospitals and (c) NHS hospitals. [50062]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 16 April 2002]: The Department collects hospital activity information by several mechanisms, including Hospital Episodes Statistics and the Service and Financial Framework Return.

Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) provide information on in-patient care delivered by national health service hospitals in England and are compiled from data sent by over 300 NHS trusts. The HES database includes information about the treatment of private patients in NHS hospitals. Information from HES may be downloaded free of charge from

The Service and Financial Framework Return (SaFFR) is the mechanism for monitoring the delivery of all NHS targets in the NHS Plan and the NHS Plan Implementation Programme. Data are collected quarterly from primary care trusts and include data on all NHS-funded activity, whether or not it takes place in NHS hospitals.

Some elements within the SaFFR ask for information that distinguishes activity carried out within the NHS from activity commissioned from non-NHS organisations. However, no information is collected solely in relation to activity in private hospitals (as distinct from other independent provider organisations). The Department has also carried out a survey of NHS health authorities and trusts on the acute elective activity they commissioned from the independent sector last year, and will make available key results shortly.

The Department does not collect information about activity in private hospitals for private patients.


Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he collates into delays in prescription of electrically powered indoor-outdoor wheelchairs; and what service standards are set centrally in this area. [48819]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 17 April 2002]: We do not collect details centrally, of the length of time it takes to receive an EPIOC (electrically powered indoor- outdoor) wheelchair once it is assessed to be appropriate.

We do not set service standards centrally; these are a matter for local services.

The Department is embarking on work, in partnership with the Modernisation Agency and Wheelchair Services themselves, aimed at improving services generally and spreading best practice across the country.

Brain Injury

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what evidence his Department collates on the cost- effectiveness of rehabilitation following (a) stroke and (b) head injury among persons of working age. [48811]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 17 April 2002]: We do not collate information centrally on the cost-effectiveness of rehabilitation following stroke or head injury among

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persons of working age. Getting people back to functional independence following an accident or illness however, is a priority for the national health service. This recovery process will include access to rehabilitation services.

We are working with the Department for Work and Pensions and the Health and Safety Executive on job retention and rehabilitation pilots to test different health and employment strategies to help people with long term sickness or disability to remain in their jobs. They will start in late summer 2002 and run for two years. Job retention advisers will act early to assist those who have been forced to give up work through prolonged illness or disability to retain their skills and links with employers.

NCSC Projects

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the (a) NCSC IS infrastructure, (b) NCSC Registration and Inspection Package, (c) NCSC Finance Package and (d) NCSC pay and personnel system have been completed on time; and what the final costs of each project are. [50070]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 17 April 2002]: The design and testing stages of the information systems infrastructure project completed on time. The roll out of the information systems infrastructure to each office has been under way since July 2001. A total of 69 offices have been fully rolled out with a further 11 due to complete by July. Final costs are not available, as the project has not completed but are not expected to exceed the £19.6 million budget for the project.

The registration and inspection system project is expected to complete in June 2002 as scheduled. However the system is now available for initial processing of applications and the start of training. The final costs are not available as the project has not completed but are not expected to exceed the £4.5 million budget for the project.

The finance information technology system was in place on 2 April 2002 as scheduled. Final cost for the project will be £1.4 million.

The pay and personnel system is scheduled to be completed on time at a cost of £1.1 million.

Acute Hospital Trusts

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what powers PCTs will have to determine service provision by acute hospital trusts. [50807]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 18 April 2002]: Primary care trusts (PCTs) have a legal duty to work in partnership to deliver the agreed objectives of a local health economy. With the shift in the balance of power to the frontline, PCTs (subject to legislation) will lead the development of a local health improvement and modernisation plan that will inform the development of local services. PCTs have a legal duty and freedom to secure the provision of locally relevant, high quality services for the populations they serve. By engaging front-line clinicians in decision making, PCTs will be in a position to ensure better informed commissioning agreements are reached with acute providers.

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Performance Measures

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the publicly available performance measures for (a) PCTs, (b) acute hospital trusts, (c) consultants and (d) departments within acute hospitals. [50793]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 18 April 2002]: In September 2001 for the first time, the Government published 'NHS Performance ('star') Ratings' for all acute trusts. The publication is available on the Department's website: The ratings are formulated on the basis of performance over 2001–01 using a set of key targets supplemented by a balanced scorecard covering the areas of staff, clinical, and patient focus.

In February this year, we published a third set of 'NHS Performance Indicators', and the first to include a full range of indicators for NHS hospital trusts. The publication is available on the Department's website: The set of indicators chosen for publication was developed through a process of extensive public consultation that included the NHS and the Royal colleges.

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Our intention is for the Commission for Health Improvement (CHI) to take over the publication of 'NHS Performance Indicators' and the 'NHS Performance Ratings', which for future will be brought together into one annual publication covering not just hospitals but all other types of NHS trust including primary care trusts.

To date, we have not published information on the performance of individual departments within acute hospitals, or individual consultants.

National Service Frameworks

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans there are to increase the number of national service frameworks. [50802]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 18 April 2002]: The national service framework (NSF) programme currently includes frameworks for mental health (1999), coronary heart disease (2000), the national cancer plan (2000), older people (2001) and diabetes standards (2001). The diabetes NSF delivery strategy is due to be published in 2002 and work is in hand on NSFs for renal services, childrens' services and long term conditions. These frameworks amount to a significant programme of quality improvement across the national health service. We have no plans to amend the programme at present.