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19 Sept 2002 : Column 372W—continued

National PAP Screening Programme

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of UK women participated in the National PAP Screening Programme, broken down by age groups (a) under 30, (b) 31 to 49, (c) 50 to 59 and (d) 60 to 64 years, in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [72501]

Ms Blears [holding answer 23 July 2002]: The national computerised call/recall system for cervical screening was introduced in 1988. Women aged 20 to 64 are invited for a free cervical screening test every three to five years. Women over 65 are invited if their previous two tests were not clear or if they have never been screened.

The coverage of the screening programme is defined as the proportion of women aged 25–64, excluding those "recall ceased" for clinical reasons, who have had a test with a result at least once in the previous five years. The national target across the age range is 80 per cent.

The information requested is shown in the table.

Women screened by the NHS Cervical Screening Programme 1997–2001, England

Age at 31 March1997 1 1998 2 1999 2 2000 2 2001 2
under 30 3 80.280.479.678.677.0


Department of Health Statistics Division 3G: Return

1 Based on resident population less recall

2 Based on resident population less recall ceased for clinical

3 As women may be first called at any age between 20 and the coverage is calculated on women aged 25-

HPV Pilot Scheme

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people took part in the limited implementation HPV pilot scheme in (a) Newcastle, (b) North Bristol and (c) Norfolk and Norwich in (i) 2001–02 and (ii) 2002–03; what the percentage was of women with a borderline/mild abnormality; how much the pilot study has cost since its commencement; and if he will make a statement. [72498]

Ms. Blears [holding answer 23 July 2002]: The human papilloma virus (HPV) pilots have been set up to assess the role that HPV testing may play in the triage of women with borderline and low-grade abnormalities. Number of HPV tests: 2001–02

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)2,7002,2003,248

The number of HPV tests will reduce in 2002–03 as HPV recruitment has ended. The outcome of the HPV pilots will be available to the Department in autumn 2003. The pilot study cost £1.1 million in 2001–02. Planned expenditure for 2002–03 is £1 million. It is estimated that the overall pilot will cost approximately £2.1 million. External quality assessment, laboratory and primary care training and central co-ordination will cost approximately £200,000–£250,000 for the duration of the pilot.

Smear Tests

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of smear tests in England and Wales resulted in women being recalled as a result of inadequate smears in (a) 2001–02 and (b) 2002; and if he will make a statement. [72500]

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Ms. Blears [holding answer 23 July 2002]: Three and a half million women aged 20–64 were tested for cervical cancer in 2000–01. 9.7 per cent. of smears were inadequate. Approximately 6.3 per cent. of women were recalled as a result of a previous inadequate smear.

Inadequate smears are tests that are not suitable for reporting for clinical or technical reasons. A proportion of inadequate smears is therefore unavoidable.

CT Scanners

Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many business plans have been submitted from north-west based hospital trusts in respect of securing additional CT scanning equipment; when the criteria to determine the distribution of additional CT scanners will be decided; and when decisions on new scanner distributions will be made. [72601]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 23 July 2002]: Some individual National Health Service trusts have submitted "cases of need" in relation to the national allocation of 50 additional computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners as outlined in the NHS Cancer Plan. However it is the responsibility of individual cancer networks in partnership with their health authorities to determine the degree of need for their respective populations with regard to access to CT and MRI scanners. There are three cancer networks in the north west, all whom are fully engaged in discussions with the Department and Directorate of Health and Social Care North in assessing the need for CT and MRI scanners.

One of the factors in establishing criteria for the allocation of additional equipment will be the relative provision of CT and MRI services to the population served, together with the efficient use of existing scanners.

We expect the criteria to be published during the summer, following consultation with the new health authorities.

Prompt Payment

Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on his Department's record on the payment of bills on time over the last two years. [72229]

Mr. Lammy: The payment record of the Department of Health and its agencies is shown in the table.

No of bills paid per cent. paid within 30 days or contract terms
April 2000–March 2001358,52395.97
April 2001–March 2002387,11994.97

19 Sept 2002 : Column 374W

Newborn Screening

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department requires primary care trusts in areas where newborn screening has been or is being implemented to allocate necessary funding to enable the screening to continue after the central funding to set up the programme runs out. [72538]

Jacqui Smith: We would expect primary care trusts as part of their priority setting to maintain and improve their services from their overall allocations for 2003–04 and future years.

Second Opinion Appointed Doctors

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the role of second opinion appointed doctors under the Mental Health Act 1983. [72135]

Jacqui Smith: The role of the second opinion appointed doctor (SOAD) is to provide an additional safeguard to patient's rights. The Mental Health Act 1983 under Section 58 provides that certain forms of medical treatment for mental disorder 1 require either the patient's consent or a second opinion. In the absence of the patient's consent, and if the treatment falls within the provisions of Section 58, the doctor in charge of the patient's treatment will request a second opinion to certify the treatment proposed.

The SOAD must decide whether the patient is in fact refusing the treatment or incapable of making a decision on it and whether the treatment should be given. The SOAD acts as an individual and must come to his or her own independent opinion as to whether or not the treatment is a reasonable one.

In order to form his or her own opinion the SOAD is statutorily obliged to consult with a nurse and another non-nursing/medical professional, both of whom have been professionally concerned with the patient's medical treatment. The SOAD should also interview the patient in private and the doctor in charge of the treatment as well as considering the medical notes and statutory detention documents.

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what fees and allowances are paid to second opinion appointed doctors under the Mental Health Act 1983 in April of each year since 1990. [72132]

Jacqui Smith: The table indicates the fee, subsistence and mileage rates in April of each year. Blank entries are where information is not known at present.

YearFees5–10 Hours10–12 HoursOver 12 HoursMileage Rate

19 Sept 2002 : Column 375W

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many doctors are required by the Mental Health Act Commission to act as second opinion appointed doctors under the Mental Health Act 1983; and how many are in such posts. [72133]

Jacqui Smith: At present the Commission arranges approximately 9,000 second opinions per year and aims to offer second opinion appointed doctors (SOADs) approximately 50 opinions each per year. This equates to a panel size of 180.

At present there are 156 SOADs, compared to 172 at this time last year. The panel size is expected to increase as a result of a forthcoming recruitment exercise. The Commission is also planning to undertake an exercise to consider its current establishment against the number of second opinions requested from each hospital and unit. This will enable the Commission to "weight" each hospital and recruit accordingly.

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