Previous Section Index Home Page


Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 18 June 2002, Official Report, column 247W, on NICE, what assessment he has made of the level of non-compliance by healthcare professionals with the recommendations of NICE. [64485]

Ms Blears: Detailed audit of the implementation of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence's guidance is only feasible at local level. The Institute has however commissioned a research project through the national health service research and development methodology programme to evaluate the impact of its guidance on clinical and managerial practice. A team from York University has been appointed to carry out this project. Preliminary results are expected in December 2002.

Building Capacity Grant

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people benefited from the building capacity grant. [64515]

Jacqui Smith: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 17 June 2002, Official Report, column 168W.

This approach has already led to over 1,000 hospital beds no longer occupied by people awaiting discharge from hospital over the period from September 2001 to March 2002. Half of the £100 million allocated in 2001–02 was spent on additional packages of care, either in residential homes or patients' own homes.

9 Jul 2002 : Column 924W

Annual Leave

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average annual leave entitlement is for staff in his Department in 2002. [64644]

Mr. Lammy: The Department holds no information on the average annual leave entitlement. Actual leave entitlement for staff is currently set at 30 days.

Electronic Health Records

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the introduction of electronic health records. [65187]

Mr. Lammy: On 12 June my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary, (Lord Hunt of Kingsheath) outlined a programme to deliver information technology in the national health service "Delivering the NHS Plan" based on the principles of "Information for Health". The programme states that by December 2005 we will have developed an electronic record service which will be accessible nationally for out of hours emergency reference. By December 2007 we will have expanded the records to contain more data and reference links to primary care and hospitals in order to support integrated care.


Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions his Department has had with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in relation to Taiwan's application for observer status at the World Health Organisation. [65216]

9 Jul 2002 : Column 925W

Mr. Lammy: Prior to the May 2002 world health assembly, the Department consulted the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on the position the UK should take in EU co-ordination discussions on Taiwan's application for observer status of the world health organisation.

Regulatory Impact Unit

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many members of his Department have been employed in its regulatory impact unit in the past five years; and if he will make a statement. [65969]

Mr. Lammy: Two officials (full time equivalent) have been employed within my Department's regulatory impact unit for each of the past five years. The unit works with the Department's policy officials and the Cabinet Office regulatory impact unit to prepare regulatory impact assessments and identify suitable regulatory reform measures.

Respiratory-related Diseases

Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will develop a national service framework for treatment of respiratory-related diseases. [66433]

Jacqui Smith: We have no plans to extend the national service framework (NSF) programme at present to include respiratory related diseases. People with respiratory related diseases will benefit from other initiatives to improve quality of treatment and care, and to improve access to services.

The 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 national service frameworks for renal services, childrens services and long term conditions. These frameworks amount to a significant programme of quality improvement across the national health service.

Green Ministers

Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Health who his Department's green minister is; when they (a) have attended and (b) plan to attend meetings of the Green Ministers' Committee; what the outcomes of meetings were for his Department's activities; and if he will make a statement. [65989]

Ms Blears: I am the Department's Green Minister. I took up my post on 10 June 2002 and I am scheduled to my first Green Ministers' Committee meeting on 15 July 2002.

The Department's previous Green Minister my hon. Friend the Member for Pontefract and Castleford (Yvette Cooper), regularly attended all Green Ministers' Committee meetings.

The Department takes a close interest in all Green Ministers' Committee discussions and takes action where appropriate to implement decisions or set work in train. For example, climate change adaptation was considered by Green Ministers' Committee in March 2002. Although the Department is not the lead Department on this issue, it does have an important role in assessing the likely impact on

9 Jul 2002 : Column 926W

health of climate change. The Department's report "Health Effects of Climate Change in the UK" has been circulated widely for comment and is due to be published in August. Also discussed at the March meeting of Green Ministers' Committee was target setting for the Government Estate in respect of environmental management systems (EMS). The Department is implementing EMS across its estate as appropriate.

National Human Stem Cell Bank

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the institutions being considered to host the National Human Stem Cell Bank; and when he will make a decision. [66088]

Ms Blears: The recommendation to establish a stem cell bank came from the Chief Medical Officer's expert group (the Donaldson Committee) in 2000. Since then the Medical Research Council (MRC) has been making progress in establishing the national stem cell bank and invited interested centres to tender in March 2002.

As the process of considering bids is, as yet, incomplete, it is not possible to provide a list of those under consideration.

The MRC is expected to make an announcement about the location of the bank later this year.

NHS Dentists

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of the population is registered with an NHS dentist; and if he will make a statement. [66076]

Mr. Lammy: Arrangements are now in place to ensure that patients can gain access to national health service services simply by calling NHS Direct. This means that even if a patient chooses not to register with a dentist it will still be possible for that patient to access all forms of dentistry that are provided by the NHS.

47 per cent. of the population, 60 per cent. of children and 43 per cent. of adults were registered with a general dental services (GDS) dentist in England at 30 April 2002. Registrations lapse if patients do not return to the dentist within 15 months.


Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much of his Department's allocated spending is forecast to not be spent by the end of the financial year; and if he will make a statement. [65582]

Mr. Lammy: Details of 2001–02 underspends will be published in the Public Expenditure Outturn White Paper. There are no planned underspends in 2003–04.

Podiatry and Chiropody Services

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the level of unsatisfied demand for podiatry and chiropody services in Essex. [66340]

Mr. Lammy: Primary care trusts (PCTs) are best placed to assess the needs of the local community. They are now responsible for providing local national health

9 Jul 2002 : Column 927W

service services, including chiropody, and have to clinically prioritise their services to meet local demand. Each PCT is free to determine its local priority criteria.

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps he will take to increase the provision of chiropody and podiatry care in the South of England; and if he will make a statement; [66430]

Jacqui Smith: We have no plans to issue any guidance on the level or strategic provision of podiatry and chiropody services. Chiropody/podiatry services are essential parts of the national service frameworks for older people and diabetes as stated the Department's literature. We have also launched a national primary and care trust programme designed to support primary care trusts (PCTs) in delivering their key functions which will be:

As local organisations, PCTs are best placed to understand the needs of their patient populations. This will ensure that the right services are delivered to the right people in the right location at the right time.

Next Section Index Home Page