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Genito-urinary Medicine

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been spent on genito-urinary medicine in each of the past five years. [47869]

Yvette Cooper: Spending on genito-urinary medicine by national health service trusts in each of the past five years are shown in the table.

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In 1999–2000 one NHS trust recorded expenditure on HIV/ AIDS within the speciality genito-urinary medicine. However, in 2000–01 the trust reclassified this expenditure and recorded it within the speciality infectious diseases. This accounts for an approximate decrease of £17 million in 2000–01 and also demonstrates that recording of expenditure on genito-urinary medicine can vary from year to year.


1996–97 to 2000–01 NHS Trust financial returns.

Hearing Aids

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reason analogue hearing aids continue to be fitted in hospitals involved in the modernising hearing aid services projects. [47835]

Jacqui Smith: The majority of hearing aids fitted in hospitals involved in the modernisation project are digital hearing aids. However, some of these hospitals are still fitting analogue aids as part of the continuing Medical Research Council research project, which is testing out the advantages of analogue and digital aids provided as part of a modernised service. The research project report is due at the end of 2002. In the meantime, hospitals can decide which hearing aids to fit, taking account of patient preference and exercising clinical judgment.

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when PCTs and NHS trusts in the south-east that have been allowed to make digital hearing aids available will be given another chance to bid for that provision; [53880]

Jacqui Smith: Essex Rivers Healthcare NHS trust and Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS trust are both among the thirty new sites I announced in my reply to the hon. Member for East Worthing and Shoreham (Mr. Loughton) and the hon. Member for Twickenham (Dr. Cable) on 10 April 2002, Official Report, column 466W). We have been able to involve all those sites who, having the support of their local health communities, submitted applications.

The project managers at Royal National Institute for the Deaf are now looking towards identifying those sites to be provided with training and equipment to allow them to be ready to join in the Modernising Hearing Aid Services Project from April 2003. They will be contacting all those sites not yet involved in the project and encouraging those with an interest to have discussions with their health community and put forward a bid.

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Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance he intends to give to nursery schools and other providers of early years education on accepting children who have not received their MMR inoculations. [47840]

Yvette Cooper: General guidance on infection control in schools and nurseries has been issued by this Department, the Department for Education and Skills and the public health laboratory service in the form of a poster. Copies of this have been distributed to all schools and it is also available on the wired for health web site, specifically at images/INFECT—POSTER.PDF

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the level of MMR vaccination is in Darlington. [53295]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 29 April 2002]: Information about children immunised against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) in County Durham and Darlington health authority by their 2nd birthday is contained in the Statistical Bulletin "NHS Immunisation Statistics, England: 2000–01". A copy of the bulletin is in the House of Commons Library and can also be found on the Department website sb0121.htm.

Alcohol Awareness

Miss Begg: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his Department's procedures are for ensuring that every woman is made aware of the dangers of drinking alcohol while pregnant. [51822]

Ms Blears: The Pregnancy Book, which is given free to all first time mothers, contains a section on alcohol consumption during pregnancy. It warns women that heavy or frequent drinking can seriously harm the baby's development, and they are encouraged to talk to their doctor or midwife if they need help to reduce their alcohol consumption. It also provides contact details for seeking further help and support.

Private Finance Initiative

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate he has made of the total savings to public funds of the Private Finance Initiative contract for the Nottingham university CHP generator for the Queen's Medical Centre by comparison with a non-Private Finance Initiative alternative; [49512]

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Yvette Cooper: The business case justifying the individual schemes estimating the net savings in present value terms (ie all future costs and benefits discounted to

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their present values) compared with publicly funding the scheme are shown in the table.

Net present costs of PSC v PFI option

TrustPFI Public Savings in net present value terms Percentage difference
Rotherham Priority Health Services—Elderly mental health 'Swallownest' scheme8,1669,5171,35114
Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham—combined heat and power generator20,93221,3974652
Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham—ENT ophthalmology24,28428,2263,94214


Published guidance on Public Sector Comparators notes that: "Accounting Officers should not rely solely on a straight comparison of a PFI bid to its PSC, which should never be regarded as a pass/fail test but instead as a quantitative way of informing judgment". (Treasury Taskforce Technical Note No. 5: How to construct a public sector comparator

National Insurance

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost to the care home sector of additional employers' NI contributions as summarised in the Budget statement. [51914]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 23 April 2002]: It is estimated that the changes to employers' national insurance contributions announced in the Budget will increase pay costs on average by 0.7 per cent. next year.

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his estimate is of the cost in a full year of the Budget changes to employers' national insurance contributions to (a) his Department, (b) agencies of his Department, (c) local government carrying out functions within the responsibility of his Department, (d) the national health service and (e) contractors supplying services to the national health service. [51972]

Ms Blears: I refer you to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 29 April 2002, Official Report, column 544W.

Dental Care

Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent assessment he has made of the dental care plans by dental practitioners and the impact this has on access to dental care; [52284]

Ms Blears: Health authorities in England are currently responsible for planning, and ensuring access to national health service dental services. "Modernising Health and Social Care-National Priorities Guidance 2000–01 to 2002–03" and subsequent guidance required health authorities to publish an externally assessed dentistry action plan to enable patients to access NHS dentistry through NHS Direct within locally agreed time and distance standards.

Provision of NHS dental services in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is a matter for the devolved Administrations.

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