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Health in Pregnancy Grant

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health from what budget the health in pregnancy grant will be funded. [181910]

Jane Kennedy: I have been asked to reply.

The health in pregnancy grant will be funded from the consolidated fund. Further details are set out in paragraphs 545 and 546 of the explanatory notes to the Health and Social Care Bill 2007.

Health Services: West Sussex

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will take steps to inform the NHS bodies concerned that the terms of reference of any review of health services in north eastern West Sussex and eastern Surrey should not rule out the possibility of a new Horsham and Crawley Hospital. [182401]

Dawn Primarolo: Primary care trusts (PCTs) are responsible for planning and commissioning local services, including reviews of local health services. South East Coast Strategic Health Authority has confirmed to officials that any review by local PCTs and other relevant national health service organisations will take account of all viable options.

Where it is agreed that the proposals to reconfigure services include any significant change to the way services are provided, local trusts have a duty to consult and involve the Overview and Scrutiny Committees (OSCs). OSCs take on the role of scrutiny of the NHS, both major changes and the ongoing operation and planning of services. Where the OSCs disagree with decisions made by NHS organisations then they have the power to refer the decision to the Secretary of State.

Health Visitors: Urban Areas

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has issued guidance to primary care trusts on the number of health visitors each should employ at each grade per head of the population in urban areas. [181901]

Ann Keen: No guidance has been issued. It is for primary care trusts in partnership with strategic health authorities and other local stakeholders to determine how best to use their funds to meet national and local priorities for improving health, and to commission services accordingly. This process provides the means for addressing local needs within the health community including the provision of health visiting services.

Hearing Aids: Digital Technology

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans his Department has to collect data on waiting times for digital hearing aids. [181071]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department will collect information on waits for audiology treatment, including the fitting of hearing aids, from April 2008.

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HIV Infection

Mr. Quentin Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his most recent estimate is of the number of HIV positive people in the United Kingdom; and what proportion of them are believed to have contracted HIV from (a) heterosexual and (b) homosexual acts. [181449]

Dawn Primarolo: The latest overall estimate is that 73,000 persons of all ages were living with HIV in the United Kingdom in 2006.

Estimates of the proportion of persons living with HIV in the UK whose infection is believed to have been acquired through heterosexual and homosexual or bisexual sex are only available for persons aged 15-59 due to there being limited data available for sexual behaviour in the general population. The available information is shown in the following table.

Estimated number of adults (15-59) living with HIV (includes both diagnosed and undiagnosed) in the UK for 2006
Estimated number Proportion of total (%)

Men infected through homosexual or bisexual sex



Men and women infected through heterosexual sex



Men and women infected through other routes






Source: The UK Collaborative Group for HIV and sexually transmitted infection surveillance (data published by the Health Protection Agency).

Homeopathy: Finance

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent discussions he has had with representatives of (a) primary care trusts and (b) strategic health authorities on the funding of homeopathic treatments on the NHS; [182605]

(2) what recent submissions he has received on the withdrawal of funding from complementary and alternative treatments by (a) NHS trusts and (b) primary care trusts; [182607]

(3) what recent guidance his Department has provided to (a) primary care trusts and (b) NHS trusts on the provision of funding for homeopathic treatments. [182939]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 28 January 2008]: The “Our Health, our care, our say” White Paper makes it clear that primary care trusts (PCTs) will hold practices accountable for the use of public money under practice-based commissioning, and that PCTs will be expected to support practices that are innovative and entrepreneurial. This includes working with them to secure services that are needed locally, for example complementary or alternative therapies as a component of patient choice. However, any decisions on the provision of services are the responsibility of local national health service health care organisations, taking account of evidence on the safety and efficacy of the relevant treatments and the availability of suitably trained practitioners.

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Hospitals: Closures

Mr. Wareing: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) hospitals and (b) other NHS units have closed since 1997; what the cost of these closures has been; and how much has been received from the sale of goods and equipment following such closures. [181879]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 28 January 2008]: This information is not collected centrally.

Hospitals: Standards

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which hospitals have come under special measures since May 2005; which consultancy firm was brought in for each case; and how much was spent on the consultancy in each case. [170626]

Mr. Bradshaw: We have assumed in this case that the term 'special measures' refers to the financially challenged trusts.

As identified in the Department's 2006-07 The (4th Quarter) report:

The following table outlines the cost and the consultancy company involved with each of the 17 financially challenged trusts.

29 Jan 2008 : Column 342W
Total costs of financially challenged trust review
Organisation Consultancy firm contracted Cost to the NHS (£)

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust



University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust



Royal Wolverhampton Hospital NHS Trust

Ernst and Young


Hinchingbrooke Healthcare NHS Trust



Bromley Hospitals National Health Service Trust



Queen Mary's Sidcup NHS Trust



The Lewisham Hospital NHS Trust



Queen Elizabeth Hospital NHS Trust



Whipps Cross University Hospital NHS Trust

Ernst and Young


Barkering Havering and Redbridge Hospital NHS Trust

Ernst and Young


West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust



Surrey and Sussex healthcare NHS Trust

Ernst and Young


The Royal West Sussex NHS Trust



North Bristol NHS Trust

Ernst and Young


Royal Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust



Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust

Ernst and Young


Weston Area Health NHS Trust

Ernst and Young and PriceWaterhouseCoopers


Total cost to the NHS for the financially challenged trust reviews across England


Hospitals: Vetting

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effects on hospitals of the time taken to complete criminal records bureau checks on applicants for hospital jobs. [180738]

Ann Keen: This information is not held centrally. Staff recruitment is a matter for local national health service employers.

Human Embryo Experiments: Licensing

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which centres have had research licence applications refused by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority; on what grounds such refusals were made in each case; on how many occasions amended applications were received following initial refusal; and in how many such cases licences were granted, giving the changes made to the re-application in each case. [181155]

Dawn Primarolo: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that since 1999, the year from which a central record of licence committee decisions has been maintained, it has refused one application for a research licence.

In 2004 the Newcastle Fertility Centre at LIFE applied for a licence to use embryos to study mitochondrial DeoxyriboNucleic Acid (DNA) disorders. This application was considered by the HFEA’s Research Licence Committee on 15 July 2004. The Committee refused to grant a licence on the grounds that the proposed research activities were prohibited under paragraph 3(4) of Schedule 2 to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. Representations against this decision by the centre were heard by the Research Licence Committee on 24 November 2004. The Committee decided to uphold its original decision and refused to grant a research licence. An appeal by the centre against this decision was heard by a HFEA Appeal Panel on 1 September 2005. After hearing arguments from both sides and obtaining independent scientific and legal advice, the Appeal Committee was satisfied that none of the activities in the proposed research involved altering the genetic structure of any cell while it formed part of an embryo. The Appeal Panel decided to grant a research licence authorising the use of human embryos to study the prevention of mitochondrial DNA disorders.

The numbers of applications refused by the HFEA’s Research Licence Committee is limited because the HFEA works closely with research teams on the development of the project, prior to a licence application being submitted, to ensure that it meets the requirements of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 and the HFEA’s code of practice. In this way, applications for projects that would not be considered suitable for licensing tend not to be submitted.

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Where a project would, in principle, be suitable to be licensed but insufficient information has been submitted to the Licence Committee, or the Committee is of the view that an aspect of the project needs to be reconsidered, it is usual practice for the Committee not to reject the application but to ask the applicant to submit further information or undertake changes to the specifications of the project, for reconsideration at a later date.


Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many letters his Department has received since the deadline for comments on the proposed changes to Part IX of the Drug Tariff from (a) right hon. and hon. Members and (b) others; and whether the views expressed in those letters will be taken into account when he considers the options for Arrangements under Part IX of the Drug Tariff for the provision of stoma and incontinence appliances - and related services - to Primary Care. [181986] [Official Report, 17 March 2008, Vol. 473, c. 3MC.]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 25 January 2008]: The following table summarises the number of letters the Department has received since 28 December 2007 regarding the review of part IX of the Drug Tariff. The majority of correspondence from right hon. and hon. Members enclosed letters from constituents.

Type Number received after 28 December







As the review is ongoing, all comments will be considered.

However, any correspondence dated after 28 December 2007 will not be counted among the responses to the three-month consultation ‘Arrangements under Part IX of the Drug Tariff for the provision of stoma and incontinence appliances— and related services— to Primary Care. Revised Proposals’ as the closing date was 28 December 2007.

Incontinence: Medical Equipment

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been spent (a) in total, (b) in civil servant time and (c) on private consultants in relation to the consultation on NHS provision of stoma and incontinence appliances since its inception in October 2005. [178701]

Dawn Primarolo: The review of the arrangements under Part IX of the drug tariff for the provision of stoma and incontinence appliances and related services in primary care is addressing £487 million per annum of national health service expenditure.

Costs for civil servants' time is not available and can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

To date, £2.2 million has been spent on the Part IX review with contractors. This covers both Phase 1—a review of arrangements relating to dressings and chemical reagents which delivered £24 million per annum in savings to primary care—and Phase 2—stoma and incontinence—which is ongoing.

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