|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 5 February 2007, Official Report, column 721W, on drug analysis, (1) what the time scale is for the planned programme for the resolution of the technical and data issues relating to the production of drug analysis prints; and when the problems are due to be resolved; 
(2) what assessment she has made of the implications of the technical problems experienced by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Yellow Card Scheme on the MHRAs commitment to pharmaco-vigilance and the provision of information to the general public on adverse drug reactions. 
Caroline Flint: Drug Analysis Prints (DAPs) are reports that collect together information on suspected adverse drug reactions submitted to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) through the yellow card scheme. The programme for resolving the technical and data issues relating to the production of DAP on the MHRA website is ongoing. This is a high priority for the Agency and full resolution is planned by the end of the 2007-08 business year. The Agency does provide anonymised information on suspected adverse drug reactions upon request to the general public, health professionals, and pharmaceutical companies, interim measures are in place for providing these data ad-hoc in an equivalent, non-automated, format to the DAP.
The MHRA continue to have total commitment to its pharmacovigilance function and the provision of data on adverse drug reactions. The technical issues experienced at the MHRA have however had an impact upon the format in which these data are presented. The resolution of these issues and full utilisation of the future Sentinel system will enable the Agency to further enhance the pharmacovigilance capabilities and continue to be a world leader in the provision of authoritative, high quality drug safety information by maximising the best technologies available.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff funded by the public purse in the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency are classified as people without posts. 
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what relevance (a) existing and (b) proposed European Union directives have to her Departments decision to require independent midwives to have professional indemnity insurance. 
[holding answer 7 June 2007]: European directive 2005/36 on the recognition of professional qualifications allows (but does not require) regulatory bodies to demand evidence of indemnity insurance from incoming European migrants, provided that they
demand the same information from United Kingdom nationals. The directive is not therefore directly relevant to Government policy, which is to include provision for compulsory indemnity cover as a condition of registration in legislation for each profession, as the opportunity arises in wider legislative change.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 23 May 2007, Official Report, columns 1317-18W, on midwives: insurance, if she will clarify the information included in the White Paper. 
In response to a government initiative, indemnity insurance is also becoming a requirement''.
The introduction of compulsory professional indemnity cover for midwives will require secondary legislation. A three-month public consultation will form part of that legislative process. No specific date for this has yet been set.
Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans her Department has to fund elsewhere in the UK research initiatives similar to the Translational Research Centre of Excellence for Neuromuscular Diseases in London. 
The Medical Research Council (MRC) is the main body through which the UK Government support initiatives similar to the Translational Research Centre of Excellence. The MRC currently funds 21 such centres, including six new translational centres last year, and will continue to support centres of excellence in priority areas. MRC has set aside this year's funding for centres in lifelong health and ageing.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding was provided to the NHS Alliance from (a) her Department's budget and (b) the NHS budget in each financial year since 1997-98. 
Andy Burnham: The Department does not provide any core funding to the NHS Alliance. However, the Department does hold contracts with the NHS Alliance to provide services for the Department. The annual totals for payments made by the Department of Health to the NHS Alliance since 2002 are as follows:
|Payments made to NHS Alliance (£)|
There are currently six staff from the Department on secondment to foundation trust hospitals across England. In addition, we have 10 staff seconded to strategic health authorities (SHA). However, we do not maintain records of previous secondments to either foundation trusts or SHAs.
Caroline Flint: National health service numbers are currently issued and controlled by the national health service central register (NHSCR). At close of business on 5 June 2007 the total number of records held by NHSCR on the central health record inquiry system (CHRIS) was 74,581,472. This included a number of deceased patients (9,166,168), and number of invalid records (355,735). The total of NHS numbers 'in issuance, at that point was therefore 65,059,569.
The in issuance figure includes a further 7,903,001 numbers where the patient entry contains an exit or cancelled flag. There can be a number of reasons for this, such as where patients are known to have left the country on a permanent basis, armed forces personnel, and unregistered, the majority of which will be of notified births that have not yet been registered with a general practitioner.
the NHS Central Register (CHRIS);
demographic functions of the national health applications and infrastructure services (NHAIS);
the NHS strategic tracing service (NSTS); and
NHS number for babies (NN4B).
Moving to the PDS becoming the single authoritative source of demographics will enable the
existing national demographic systems to be shut down, resulting in reduced operational costs.
The PDS is an essential element of the NHS care records service, underpinning the creation of an electronic care record for every registered NHS patient in England. It will serve as a gateway to the clinical record, enabling authorised healthcare professionals to locate quickly the clinical record that is uniquely associated with each demographic record. Unlike the previous services, this single authoritative source of demographics is already accessible throughout the NHS and is integrated fully with the other applications and services delivered as part of the national programme for information technology. It provides more convenience for patients as they need only notify one authorised healthcare organisation of a change of address, and this change will be then available to all healthcare organisations as and when the patients records are accessed.
The demographics migration programme is also endeavouring to eliminate use of NHS temporary, and old-format numbers. These peaked in November 2004 at some 273,578 temporary, and 8,474 old-format numbers. By May 2007 nationally these figures had reduced to some 78,997 temporary, and just 30 old-format numbers. The elimination of use of all temporary and old-format numbers within the NHS is on target to be achieved by spring 2008.
|Hospital and community services and family health services, written complaints in England, 1997-2006|
|Number of written complaints|
To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the proposals contained in her Departments consultation, Arrangements for the remuneration of services relating to appliances within
Part IX of the Drug Tariff, would restrict the ability of firms to choose the prices of the services they provide to NHS patients; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: In reviewing Part IX of the Drug Tariff, the Department is trying to ensure that there is transparency for the national health service between the reimbursement price for items and remuneration for services provided; there is none today. The aim is also to ensure that the NHS, and the taxpayer, is getting value for moneyand, most importantly, that patient care is maintained or, where appropriate, improved.
This is why there have been two recent consultations. One set out proposals for reimbursement levels for item priceArrangements for the reimbursement pricing of stoma and incontinence appliances under Part IX of the Drug Tariff.
The other, Arrangements for the remuneration of services relating to appliances within Part IX of the Drug Tariff, set our proposals relating to service provision; both what that service should be and the remuneration that the NHS would make for such services. Here the intent was to ensure fair remuneration of valued services provided by the pharmacy and appliance contractors. It was also designed to make sure that the services provided by all dispensing contractors are to the same standard no matter where in England a user of appliances may live.
As previously advised, the volume and complexity of the responses to the consultation are such that the Department has decided that it needs more time to analyse the information provided. Consequently, no changes will be implemented in July 2007 as proposed in the consultation documents.
Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on private firms seeking to use the Freedom of Information legislation to obtain details of management decisions or discussions by primary care trusts and other NHS bodies. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Information about Freedom of Information requests made to the national health service is not collected centrally. Primary care trusts and other NHS organisations are public authorities and are consequently obliged to comply fully with the law, including the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the value has been of her Department's forward payments to local service providers under the National Programme for Information Technology since the programme's inception. 
Forward payments have been made to the National Programme for Information Technology (NPfIT) suppliers to reduce contract costs. All forward
payments are repayable in the event of subsequent non-commencement of services and are protected by bonds or charges against assets, which enable the payments to be withdrawn on demand. Moreover, forward payments are typically made after the contractor has already incurred the costs to which the payments relate. This prudent approach has subsequently been adopted as an option in guidance issued by the Office of Government Commerce in respect of the procurement of IT-enabled services from the private sector.
The value of forward payments made to local service providers (LSPs) since inception of NPfIT, as at 31 March 2007 are shown in the following tables. Forward payments are depleted as the supplier successfully delivers the contracted solutions. Instead of being paid as the projects go live, suppliers are allowed to recognise the appropriate amount of the forward payment for that project. The principle of payment on delivery is thus maintained.
|LSP area||Total advance payments||Earned to date||Repaid||Total advance payments outstanding|
|(1) Payments made to CSC in respect of seven trusts in the London and South LSP areas which have opted to take the iSoft solution from CSC rather than the London and South LSPs Cerner solution.|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|