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Health Community/Economy

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his definition is of (a) a health community and (b) health economy. [47833]

Mr. Hutton: The terms "health economy" and "health community" can be used to describe all statutory and voluntary organisations in one area with an interest in local health service delivery and tackling health inequalities.

The term "health economy" can be used to refer to financial relationships between local health service providers and other key stakeholders. The term "health community" encompasses all local groups and individuals with an interest in all aspects of the health of a local community, including the wider determinants of health. This may include patient groups, carers, primary care trusts, local authorities, voluntary and community groups and the private sector.

Care Homes

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list those medical interventions which would allow an elderly person in need of nursing care to be treated free of charge in an NHS setting. [50851]

Jacqui Smith: If a person's continuing health care needs are of a nature, complexity, intensity or unpredictability that requires regular supervision by a member of the national health service multidisciplinary team then they would be able to receive continuing NHS health care in a hospital, care home, hospice or domiciliary setting. All nursing care provided by the NHS is free of charge.

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Mrs. Browning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library a risk analysis of infants vaccinated against polio who (a) do not travel outside the UK and (b) travel outside the UK. [51604]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 22 April 2002]: I am advised that children who are vaccinated against polio and who do not travel outside of the United Kingdom face extremely small risks from polio, and would only be vulnerable if the vaccine had failed to protect and they were exposed to wild polio virus from a recently arrived infected visitor from an endemic country. Children who have been immunised against polio and who travel abroad are at similarly low risk if visiting another non-endemic country. The risks will increase progressively according to the extent of endemicity of countries visited.

Experts advise that the risk of vaccine associated polio is approximately one in every million doses administered and this will not be affected by travel.


Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were treated, and what the underlying costs to the NHS were, as a result of (a) accidents incurred and (b) diseases contracted abroad in each of the last 10 years. [52693]

Yvette Cooper: Information on the number of patients treated in the national health service after suffering an accident or contracting an illness while abroad, and the associated costs, is not held centrally.

Waiting Lists

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many people were waiting more than eight months to have heart by-pass surgery in Lancashire in each year since 1997; [53106]

Jacqui Smith: This information is not available on the basis requested. Waiting list data are collected down to specialty level, but not by specific procedure. Figures are recorded in three-month time bands, so it is not possible to identify people waiting more than eight months.


Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action the Government are taking to promote the benefits of breastfeeding in the UK; how many and what percentage of women in the UK breastfed their child in the last year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [53521]

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Yvette Cooper: The Government are fully committed to the promotion of breastfeeding, which is accepted as the best form of nutrition for infants. Action includes the development and dissemination of the evidence base on good practice, embedding messages into national health service practice and other policies, and ensuring effective monitoring of infant feeding practices.

A total of 79 'best breastfeeding practice' projects have been funded across all regions. The aim is to increase the rates of breastfeeding, both initiation and duration. This is a goal shared by all sure start initiatives and several health action zone programmes. Many of the 'best breastfeeding practice' projects have now obtained mainstream funding from sure start initiatives.

Other related Department activities include support for an annual national breastfeeding awareness week, four main voluntary organisations involved in the promotion of breastfeeding, research into breastfeeding through quinquennial infant feeding surveys, and maintaining close links with United Nations Children's Fund's baby friendly initiative. The forthcoming national service framework for children will cover maternity services and we are considering how best to include breastfeeding within this framework.

The results of the infant feeding survey 2000 showed an increase in the breastfeeding rates between 1995 and 2000: 71 per cent. of the mothers in England and Wales breastfed their infants as compared to 68 per cent. in 1995. In social class V there has been a significant increase in the incidence of breastfeeding from 50 per cent. in 1995 to 59 per cent. in 2000.

Healthcare Audit and Inspection

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when his Department intends to introduce legislation and guidance on the respective division of responsibilities between the Healthcare Audit and Inspection and the new Commission for Social Care Inspection. [53768]

Jacqui Smith: Primary legislation will be required for the establishment and functions of the Commission for Healthcare Audit and Inspection and the Commission for Social Care Inspection. We hope to introduce the necessary legislation as early as possible.


Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the estimated level of losses to fraud and corruption was in (a) his Department's vote 1 budget and (b) his Department's vote 2 budget for (i) 1999–2000 and (ii) 2000–01. [54721]

Ms Blears: A number of risk measurement exercises have been carried out since the inception of the national health service counter fraud service in 1998. The purpose of these exercises is to show the actual figures for losses to fraud and corruption, and figures for the sums at risk in each area of the NHS (the vote 1 budget). The status and results of these exercises are set out in the table.

Area of measurementCurrent statusFraud measuredCompletion date
Pharmaceutical patient fraudTwo full measurement exercises completed1998–99: £117 millionDecember 2000
1999–2000: £69 million
A reduction of 41 per cent.
Pharmaceutical contractor fraudFirst full measurement exercise nearing completionData currently with statisticians for analysis
Dental patient fraudTwo full measurement exercises completed1999–2000: £40.3 millionJanuary 2002
2000–01: £30 million
A reduction of 25 per cent.
Dental contractor fraudFirst baseline measurement exercise completedSums found to be 'at risk'January 2002
1999–2000: £59.7 million
Optical patient fraudFirst full measurement exercise completed1999–2000: £13.25 millionJanuary 2002
Optical contractor fraudBaseline measurement exercise completedSums found to be 'at risk'February 2002
1999–2000: £20.9 million
GMS fraudBaseline measurement exercise nearing completionData currently with statisticians for analysis
Health authorities and NHS trustsInitial work commenced

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The estimated levels of losses to fraud and corruption in the Departments vote 2 budget are as follows:


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From 2002 work to counter fraud and corruption in the Department of Health vote 2 budget will be the responsibility of the NHS counter fraud service.


Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what new data series separated by gender, race, disability and age have been commissioned by his Department since August 1997. [54832]

Ms Blears: The readily available information on new or revised statistical data collections is shown in the table.

Department of Health: Information collections on gender, race, disability or age since August 1997(32)

TitleInformation collected(33)Collection period
Population surveys(34)
ONS omnibus survey (Sun exposure 1997, ultraviolet monitor 1999, physical punishment of Children 1998)Age, gender, ethnicitySurvey is annual, but elements vary—these items may not be included every year
National survey of patient experienceAge, gender, ethnicity, disability (limited information)Annual
Mental health of children and adolescents in Great Britain 1999Age, gender, ethnicity, special learning difficultiesEvery five years
Adult psychiatric morbidity among adults 16–74 in Great Britain 2000Age, gender, ethnicityPeriod varies, but every few years
Ethnic minority psychiatric illness rates in the communityAge, gender, ethnicity, disability (limited information)Every 5 years
Mental health of carersAge, gender, ethnicity, disability (limited information)Period varies, but every few years
Mental health of children looked after in Great BritainAge, gender, ethnicity, disabilityNew survey—likely to be every 5 years
Learning difficulties survey 2003Age, gender, ethnicity, disabilityFeasibility commissioned
Health survey for England—ethnic minority Groups 1999Age, gender, ethnicityAnnual, but elements vary
Health survey for England—health of older people 2000Age, gender, ethnicity, disabilityAnnual, but elements vary
Health care
Smoking cessation services returnAge, gender, ethnicityAnnual
NHS written complaintsEthnicityAnnual
NHS performance indicatorsAge, genderAnnual
Mixed sex hospital accommodationGenderAnnual
Social care
Children looked after by local authoritiesAge, gender, ethnicityAnnual
Children in need censusAge, gender, ethnicity, disability (limited information)Biannual
Children on child protection registersAge, gender, ethnicityAnnual
Referrals, assessments and packages of careAge (limited), ethnicityAnnual
Social services staffing returnGender, ethnicityAnnual

(32) Includes only those collections which started after August 1997, or those previously existing collections that changed after August 1997 to include gender, race, disability or age. "One off" surveys are also not included.

(33) For some collections, the types of information shown have been built up over time; e.g. data on ethnic origin may not have been collected for as long as those for age.

(34) The population surveys listed are commissioned by the Department but carried out by others (eg ONS).

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Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to maintain the continuity of medical, epidemiological, financial and other data series in respect of (a) the former Isle of Wight health authority, (b) the former Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and South East Hampshire health authority, (c) other health authorities which have been abolished since 1997 and (d) other health authorities which may be abolished; what his policy is on this matter; and if he will make a statement. [55082]

Ms Blears: Throughout all changes to the structure of the national health service, whether the merger of two health authorities or the major restructuring of the NHS that took place in April this year, the need to maintain sound data systems has been paramount. Throughout the changes, the Department's officials involved in the collation and publication of data have and continue to take action to ensure the continuity of key data streams is maintained.

Since 1 April, primary care trusts have taken on the majority of functions previously carried out by health authorities and will be the focal point locally for improving the health of the community, securing high quality services and integrating health and social care locally. They will become the unit of collection for many data systems.

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