Justice

Debt Collection: Local Government

Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the number of local authorities that (a) use in-house bailiffs and (b) employ private bailiffs for debt recovery; and how many local authorities have closed their in-house operations in the last five years. [75368]

Robert Neill: I have been asked to reply.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has made no estimate of the number of local authorities that (a) use in-house bailiffs and (b) employ private bailiffs for debt recovery; nor has it collected information on the number of local authorities that have closed their in-house operations in the last five years.

Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice who supervises the (a) activities of and (b) charges made by private bailiffs' companies recovering debts owing to local authorities; how many illegal actions by bailiffs engaged in this work have been prosecuted in the last year for which figures are available; and what plans he has to establish a regulator for the charges and practices of bailiffs. [75370]

Mr Djanogly: There is no national body that supervises the activities and charges made by private bailiffs' companies recovering debts owing to local authorities. These activities and charges are governed by a combination of statute, secondary legislation and the individual contract arrangements agreed between the local authority and the bailiff company concerned. Concerns about the activities and charges of bailiffs, acting on behalf of a

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1014W

local authority, should be directed to the local authority or if appropriate, to the court for review. There are no figures available detailing the number of prosecutions against bailiffs for illegal action. The Government are clear that aggressive bailiff activity is unacceptable and are committed to bringing forward effective proposals which protect the public and ensure that bailiff action is proportionate. We will announce the details of these measures in due course.

Departmental Allowances

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much members of his departmental management board have claimed in expenses since May 2010. [74944]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: Expenditure incurred by my Department's executive management board from May 2010—including expenses claimed—is published on its website.

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/corporate-reports/moj/2010/directors-general-business-costs-and-hospitality-2010/index.htm

We will be publishing the next quarter (July-September 2011) in due course.

Procurement

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many contracts his Department has awarded directly to third sector organisations in each month since May 2010; what the value was of such contracts; and if he will make a statement. [75154]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: A combination of information from the Contracts Finder Database and internal records shows that the number of contracts the MoJ has awarded directly to third sector organisations since May 2010 is 21. The value of these contracts is circa £17 million with a proportion of the final payment dependent on performance.

A breakdown by month is not currently available.

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many contracts his Department has awarded directly to (a) small, (b) medium-sized and (c) large businesses in each month since May 2010; what the value was of such contracts; and if he will make a statement. [75155]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: The Ministry of Justice has awarded the following contracts directly to (a) small, (b) medium-sized and (c) large businesses since May 2010.


Number of contracts Total value of contracts (£ billion)

Small

66

0.31

Medium

82

0.26

Large

153

2.26

Total

301

2.83

A breakdown by month is not currently available.

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1015W

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many contracts his Department has advertised on the Contracts Finder website in each month since May 2010; what the value was of such contracts; what proportion were awarded to (a) third sector organisations and (b) small businesses; and if he will make a statement. [75157]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: Since May 2010 the Ministry of Justice has awarded a total of 301 contracts with a value of circa £2.83 billion. The requirement to publish contracts on Contracts Finder commenced in January 2011. Since January, the Ministry of Justice has published 235 contracts on Contracts Finder with a value of circa £2.79 billion.

Since May 2010 the Ministry of Justice has awarded 21 contracts to third sector organisation with a value of circa £17 million with a proportion of the final payment dependent on performance, and 66 contracts have been awarded to small businesses with a value of circa £312 million.

A breakdown by month is not currently available.

Departmental Public Expenditure

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much his Department spent on new furnishings in the last year for which figures are available. [72938]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) total expenditure on new furnishings for 2010-11 was £7.9 million. This excludes probation trusts and the Youth Justice Board.

The following is a breakdown by business groups (this excludes, probation trusts and the Youth Justice Board):


£000

Ministry of Justice HQ Core (MoJ HQ Core)

1,261

National Offender Management Service (NOMS)

2,071

Her Majesty's Courts Service (HMCS)

4,353

Tribunals Services (TS)

120

Office of the Public Guardian (OPG)

71

Total expenditure on new furnishings for 2010-11

7,876

Please note the above figure for total expenditure on new furnishings for 2010-11 includes the £2.5 million relating to capital expenditure. Please refer to the following link to MoJ annual report for 2010-11 page 139:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/corporate-reports/moj/annual-report-accounts-2010-11.htm

Cyber-Security

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps his Department is taking to improve cyber-security in relation to his Department's estate; and if he will make a statement. [75156]

Mr Djanogly: The Government take cyber-security very seriously and it has been categorised as a tier one threat to UK national security. £650 million is being

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1016W

invested over the next four years in a National Cyber- Security Programme, working across Departments, with the private sector, international partners and citizens to improve the UK's cyber security capability.

The Ministry of Justice routinely assesses the prevailing threats to its ICT systems and applies appropriate and proportionate measures in accordance with the Government standards set out in the Cabinet Office's Security Policy Framework (SPF); these standards are aligned with industry best practice approaches.

It is not in the interest of national security to make public details of particular improvements in relation to individual Departments as it may expose vulnerabilities to those who may seek to exploit them.

Harassment: Sentencing

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people are serving a prison sentence as a result of a conviction for stalking or harassment-related offences. [75436]

Mr Blunt: Information held centrally cannot separately identify offenders serving prison sentences for stalking or harassment-related offences. This detailed information may be held by the prisons on individual case files, which are not reported to Justice Statistics Analytical Services.

Human Trafficking: Victim Support Schemes

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many cases were referred to the Trafficking Victim Support Scheme run by the Salvation Army between (a) 15 and 31 July and (b) 1 and 31 August 2011; and by whom. [73427]

Mr Blunt: The information is as follows:

(a) Between 15 and 31 July, 14 individuals were referred to the Government-funded support service for adult victims of trafficking in England and Wales, which is run by the Salvation Army. The referrals were made by the police, the UK Border Agency, HM Prison Service, charities, and solicitors.

(b) Between 1 and 31 August, 36 individuals were referred. The referrals were made by the police, the UK Border Agency, social services, charities, solicitors and by individual victims (self referral).

Immunity Certificates

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many public interest immunity certificates were issued by the courts in the last five years; and under which legislative provisions in each such case. [74932]

Mr Djanogly: The Ministry of Justice does not hold information centrally on the number of public interest immunity certificates issued by the court and the legislative provision involved in each case. The requested information could be obtained only through the manual identification and inspection of individual case files held by the courts at disproportionate cost.

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1017W

Legal Aid Scheme: Greater London

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many acts of legal assistance were provided in (a) West Ham constituency, (b) the London Borough of Newham and (c) London in each of the last five years. [75039]

Mr Djanogly: The Legal Services Commission (LSC) is responsible for administering the legal aid scheme in England and Wales.

The following tables show the numbers of acts of assistance delivered by legal aid providers in the last four years with postcodes falling within the West Ham constituency separately; the London borough of Newham as a whole, which comprises the West Ham and East Ham constituencies and the London regional area which shows the providers within the vicinity of the LSC's London regional office.

This information represents the nearest matches of the LSC's available data to the information requested. The figures for 2010-11 are not yet available.

West Ham constituency

Crime lower claims Legal help new matter starts Civil representation certificates issues Crime higher cases

2006-07

7,101

4,169

519

626

2007-08

6,078

4,599

538

629

2008-09

6,749

3,480

545

723

2009-10

8,133

1,528

409

990

London borough of Newham (comprising West Ham and East Ham constituencies)

Crime lower claims Legal help new matter starts Civil representation certificates issues Crime higher cases

2006-07

9,301

9,339

1,058

857

2007-08

8,682

9,104

1,025

877

2008-09

9,714

9,224

1,119

1,127

2009-10

9,953

6,030

1,133

1,214

London regional area

Crime lower claims Legal help new matter starts Civil representation certificates issues Crime higher cases

2006-07

266,138

158,638

26,692

22,090

2007-08

241,839

154,370

24,006

24,984

2008-09

256,332

176,957

26,989

28,759

2009-10

260,009

173,683

29,365

30,127

Offenders: Foreign Nationals

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many and what proportion of foreign national offenders subject to Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements have served custodial sentences. [75540]

Mr Blunt: As I explained in my reply to my hon. Friend of 10 October 2011, Official Report, column 162W, information on the nationality of offenders subject to Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) is not available centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Without that information,

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1018W

it is not possible to state the number and proportion of foreign national offenders subject to MAPPA who have served custodial sentences.

Prisons: Waiting Lists

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the waiting time is for places for Category D prisoners held in Category C prisons who wish to move to (a) HMP Blantyre House, (b) HMP Ford, (c) HMP Hatfield, (d) HMP Hewell, (e) HMP Hollesley Bay, (f) HMP Kirkham, (g) HMP Kirklevington Grange, (h) HMP Latchmere House, (i) HMP Leyhill, (j) HMP North Sea Camp, (k) HMP Spring Hill, (l) HMP Standford Hill and (m) HMP Sudbury. [75349]

Mr Blunt: This information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost as it would be necessary to contact every category C prison and request them to consult individual prisoner records to identify the number of category D prisoners waiting for transfer into any of the prisons requested and the length of time they had been waiting.

Public Sector

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he is taking to put in place a right to provide for public sector workers to take over the running of services; and if he will make a statement. [74784]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: In keeping with the rest of Government, Ministry of Justice employees will have a right to provide services through employee-owned or part-owned mutuals, as well as organisations such as social enterprises and co-operatives. We have been actively exploring opportunities for Ministry of Justice workers to leave the public sector to take over the running of services.

All such opportunities are being considered within the context of our strategic approach to competition, as set out in the Offender Services Competition Strategy(1).

(1) http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/corporate-reports/moj/oscs.htm

Sentencing

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people have been sentenced to prison terms of (a) less than six months , (b) between six and 12 months, (c) between one and two years and (d) over two years in each of the last five years. [74162]

Mr Blunt: The number of persons sentenced to an immediate custodial sentence at all courts in England and Wales for 2006 to 2010 (latest available) is provided in the table.

Court proceedings data for 2011 are planned for publication in the spring, 2012.

Number of persons sentenced to an immediate custodial sentence at all courts, England and Wales, 2006-10
Sentence length 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

Less than six months

59,134

57,536

58,076

57,392

58,497

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1019W

Six months to 12 months

10,973

11,633

12,572

13,014

12,670

One year to two years

10,762

10,894

11,872

12,664

12,832

Over two years

15,148

15,143

17,005

17,161

17,514

Total

96,017

95,206

99,525

100,231

101,513

Notes: 1. The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected Is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe. 2. Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. 3. Excludes data for Cardiff magistrates court for April, July and August 2008. Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services—Ministry of Justice

Trials: British Nationals Abroad

Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps his Department is taking to ensure fair trials for UK citizens involved in (a) criminal and (b) civil proceedings in other EU member states. [75057]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: All EU member states are parties to the European convention on human rights and are required under that instrument to provide those charged with a criminal offence the right to a fair trial and to respect the fundamental rights of litigants in civil proceedings. The action that the Ministry of Justice can take bilaterally in respect of the domestic legal systems of other member states is limited; however bilateral meetings are sometimes held to raise particular issues in appropriate circumstances. Consular staff from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office can offer assistance to British nationals who are detained in other EU member states. While they cannot give legal advice, they can give basic information about the local legal system and provide a list of local lawyers. If appropriate they will consider approaching the local authorities if a British national who has been arrested in another country is not being treated in line with internationally-accepted standards of justice.

At EU level, the Ministry of Justice is participating in the negotiations on a series of EU measures to set minimum standards in the area of procedural rights for defendants in criminal proceedings known as the “Roadmap” on Procedural Rights. These instruments aim to ensure that all member states provide a high minimum standard of rights to defendants so that competent authorities are able to operate EU instruments of mutual recognition against a background of mutual trust, and they will benefit UK citizens in other member

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1020W

states. The UK opted in to the first two measures on the Roadmap, but has not opted in at the initial stage of the negotiations to the latest directive: on access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and the right to communicate upon arrest. The Government believe that access to a lawyer is an essential right of accused persons at appropriate stages of any process of criminal investigations. However, we are of the view that the Commission's proposal is not proportionate and could have an adverse effect on our ability to investigate and prosecute offences effectively. The Government are participating in the negotiations and if our concerns are satisfactorily addressed, we will consider applying to opt in once the instrument has been adopted.

EU legislation in the area of civil judicial co-operation is restricted to matters having cross-border implications. In the context of facilitating the international recognition and enforcement of civil judgments within the EU, which is regulated at the EU level, a UK priority is always to secure a fair balance between enabling claimants to get their judgments recognised and enforced abroad and, at the same time, ensuring that there is proper protection for the interests of defendants. The means whereby this balance is struck varies depending on the nature of the particular civil proceedings which are being regulated.

Trials: Human Rights

Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether his Department has made an estimate of the cost to the courts service of trying issues raised by litigants under the Human Rights Act 1998 in (a) criminal and (b) civil proceedings since 1997. [75059]

Mr Djanogly: The majority of claims and actions brought under the Human Rights Act 1998 are heard in civil courts. HM Courts and Tribunals Service charges fees to recover the full costs of civil actions from plaintiffs. Appellants are not charged fees by HM Courts and Tribunals Service for criminal appeals.

The information requested is not held centrally. Costs are either unavailable or can be derived only at disproportionate cost for hearings for which it is not possible to attribute case costs to elements of the decision.

For example, providing costs relating to the Court of Appeal would involve the retrieval and individual examination of a considerable number of files. However, few appeals would be decided solely on any 1998 Human Rights Act issue/s and there is no basis for determining how such issues affect the costs of a case.

Deputy Prime Minister

Electoral Registration

Chris Ruane: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what his policy is on whether electoral registration is a (a) civic duty or (b) individual lifestyle choice; and if he will make a statement. [75890]

Mr Harper: The Government very much believe that registering to vote is a civic duty and we will strongly encourage people to register to vote. The Government also believe that the act is one of personal responsibility

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1021W

and that individuals who choose not to apply to register to vote should not be subject to a criminal offence. It is not an offence not to be registered under the current system and this will not change under the new system.

Cabinet Office

Departmental Allowances

Luciana Berger: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much members of his departmental management board have claimed in expenses since May 2010. [74960]

Mr Maude: Business expenses for senior officials in the Cabinet Office are published on a quarterly basis and can be found at:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/business-expenses-senior-officials

Information for quarters from July 2010 onwards will be published in due course. None of the non-executive board members has claimed expenses in connection with board meetings since May 2010.

Departmental Re-location

Mr Weir: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many civil servants in his Department have been (a) relocated and (b) agreed for relocation in the last 12 months; and to which areas of the UK. [74921]

Mr Maude: The Cabinet Office has not relocated or agreed to relocate any civil servants over the last 12 months.

Departmental Pay

Mr Weir: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will estimate the total monetary value of London weightings and London living allowances for staff in his Department. [74922]

Mr Maude: The Cabinet Office recognises the distinction between London and National pay rates with London and National pay bands. Details of Cabinet Office pay bands, as at 31 July 2011, are published on the

www.data.gov.uk

website at the following address:

http://data.gov.uk/dataset/staff-organograms-and-pay-cabinet-office

Procurement

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what contracts of a monetary value of (a) between £100,000 and £500,000, (b) between £500,000 and £1 million and (c) over £1 million his Department has entered into with private suppliers in each year since 1990. [74217]

Mr Maude: Transparency in contract awards is important. This is why all awards from January 2011 to September 2011 are published monthly on the Contracts Finder website:

http://www.contractsfinder.co.uk

as part of the Government's transparency agenda.

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1022W

The information requested before this date could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Security

Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what steps his Department is taking to improve cyber-security in relation to his Department's estate; and if he will make a statement. [75112]

Mr Maude: The Government take cyber-security very seriously and it has been categorised as a tier one threat to UK national security. £650 million is being invested over the next four years in a National Cyber-Security Programme to improve the UK's cyber-security capability.

The Cabinet Office routinely assesses the prevailing threats to its ICT systems and applies appropriate and proportionate measures in accordance with the Government standards set out in the Cabinet Office's Security Policy Framework and these standards are aligned with best practice approaches.

It is not in the interest of national security to make public details of particular improvements in relation to individual Departments, as it may expose vulnerabilities to those who may seek to exploit them.

Government Departments: Procurement

Steve Rotheram: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what steps his Department is taking to inform small and medium-sized enterprises about the rules of public procurement. [74733]

Mr Maude: Both Cabinet Office and BIS provide a range of advice, guidance and information for SMEs on the Businesslink website at:

www.businesslink.gov.uk/procurement

while generic information about public procurement is available on the Cabinet Office website at:

www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/topic/59

We are planning to launch, in the late autumn, the new procedures for Lean Procurement, which will further help SMEs by improving pre-market engagement with prospective suppliers and by streamlining the procurement process to make it easier and simpler for all suppliers to do business with the Government.

Energy and Climate Change

Departmental Security

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department is taking to improve cyber-security in relation to his Department's estate; and if he will make a statement. [75132]

Gregory Barker: The Government take cyber-security very seriously and it has been categorised as a tier one threat to UK national security. £650 million is being invested over the next four years in a National Cyber- Security Programme, working across Departments, with the private sector, international partners and citizens to improve the UK's cyber-security capability.

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1023W

The Department routinely assesses the prevailing threats to its ICT systems and applies appropriate and proportionate measures in accordance with the Government standards set out in the Cabinet Office's Security Policy Framework (SPF); these standards are aligned with industry best practice approaches.

It is not in the interest of national security to make public details of particular improvements in relation to individual departments as it may expose vulnerabilities to those who may seek to exploit them.

Departmental Travel

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much his Department has spent on first class travel by (a) air, (b) boat and (c) train since May 2010. [75529]

Gregory Barker: In the period May 2010 to end September 2011 first class travel costs incurred by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) were:

(a) Air—0;

(b) DECC does not record boat travel separately from other travel and subsistence costs. To identify expenditure on 1(st) class boat travel in the period would incur disproportionate cost;

(c) Rail—£23,000.

All travel is undertaken in accordance with DECC's travel policy which requires that economy class travel should be undertaken unless there is a clear business or practical case for doing otherwise. First class air travel is prohibited in all circumstances.

Downstream Oil Industry Forum

Simon Hart: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether his recent discussions with energy companies have included representatives from UKLPG (the trade association for the liquefied petroleum gas industry in the UK); and whether the issue of communal contracts and the provision of variations to such contracts in order to enable individual domestic consumers to switch supplier has been discussed at such meetings. [75867]

Charles Hendry: There have been no recent discussions with representatives from UKLPG. A list of ministerial meetings with external organisations is available, on a quarterly basis, on the Department's website:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/accesstoinform/registers/ministermtgs/ministermtgs.aspx

The Office of Fair Trading published its market study on off-grid energy on 18 October and noted that it was continuing to keep this area under review.

E-mail

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether any (a) Ministers, (b) officials and (c) special advisers in his Department use private e-mail accounts for the conduct of Government business. [73214]

Gregory Barker: The Ministerial Code, the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers, and the Civil Service Code set out how Ministers, officials and special advisers should conduct Government business.

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1024W

EU Energy Policy

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his Department's priorities are for energy and climate change in European budget negotiations. [75483]

Gregory Barker [holding answer 18 October 2011]: The Government's representation in the negotiations on both the Annual Budget and Multi-Annual Financial Framework processes is led by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, my right hon. Friend the Member for Tatton (Mr Osborne), supported by relevant Government Departments on the basis of an agreed UK position.

While controlling the size of the budget is the UK's main priority, the Government believe that funding for climate change and energy objectives should make up a larger share of an EU budget that increases, at most, by no more than inflation in the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework, and that climate change objectives should be mainstreamed across all relevant Headings, ensuring that the EU's investments are compatible with and contribute to the EU's cost-effective transition to a low carbon economy. The Government have made this case to the Commission and will continue to do so as negotiations on the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework progress.

Feed-in Tariffs

Steve Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the cost of feed-in tariffs to taxpayers unable to utilise solar and wind power. [75910]

Gregory Barker: Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) are funded through consumers' energy bills rather than through general taxation. DECC estimates that FITs will lead to an average annual increase in energy bills for households that do not take up FITs of £8.50 over the 2011-30 period. This estimate is subject to change as a result of the ongoing comprehensive review of FITs; the review will seek to maximise money and cost-effectiveness in the scheme.

Fuels: Prices

Mr Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will assess the effect on the price of fuel of the practice of companies storing oil at sea; and if he will make a statement. [75242]

Charles Hendry: The Department has not undertaken a detailed assessment of the impact of storing oil at sea on fuel prices.

We recognise that changes in floating storage can have impacts on fuel prices, although, we believe, these effects in practice are small and transitory compared to more fundamental market drivers.

Green Deal

Mr Spencer: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what training his Department plans to provide to ensure that installers have the skills

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1025W

to meet demand for renewable technologies and energy-efficient products following the introduction of the Green Deal. [75354]

Gregory Barker: We are working with industry and the British Standards Institute (BSI) to set out clear standards for Green Deal installers, which will be published in January 2012. This will form the basis for new training frameworks.

In parallel, we are working with the sector skills councils, who have set up the Green Skills Alliance, to identify skills gaps and work with local training providers to create the training required to support the Green Deal. For many installers, this may simply mean updating their existing skills.

Mr Spencer: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what representations he has received from (a) high street retailers and (b) trade bodies regarding the delivery of the Green Deal; and if he will make a statement. [75356]

Gregory Barker: The Department has received representations from high street retailers, trade bodies and a range of other potential Green Deal participants. We continue to explore with a broad range of participants options on all aspects of Green Deal delivery.

Mr Spencer: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what meetings he has had with (a) manufacturers and (b) retailers to discuss steps to ensure that the supply of Green Deal technologies will meet demand. [75357]

Gregory Barker: The Department has had a number of meetings with manufacturers and retailers to ensure that the supply of Green Deal technologies will meet demand. We have also established a series of Green Deal fora which capture industry views and expertise, including a forum on supply capacity chaired by the Government's chief construction adviser Paul Morrell.

Green Growth Forum

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change which representatives of his Department he expects to attend the Green Growth Forum in Denmark. [74656]

Gregory Barker [holding answer 17 October 2011]: Three officials from the Department of Energy and Climate Change attended the Global Green Growth Forum on 11-12 October: Bernie Bulkin (Head of the Office of Renewable Energy Deployment), the Head of International Low Carbon Energy team and the Head of International Climate Finance Project Development.

Microgeneration

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what plans he has for the promotion of micro-combined heat and power systems. [75083]

Gregory Barker: Following the discussion of this technology at Committee Stage of the Energy Bill, the department has progressed with the commitment given

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1026W

at the end of that debate to consider the long-term role for micro-CHP. My officials met the hon. Member for Southampton, Test (Dr Whitehead) shortly afterwards and have also held talks with industry bodies.

In August the Micropower Council organised an event on micro-CHP involving senior DECC officials and the leading players from across the industry, and as a result of that meeting, the industry will shortly be presenting the Government with proposals for progressing this technology.

Micro-CHP is supported under the feed-in tariffs (FITs). A comprehensive review of the scheme is currently underway and is considering all aspects of the scheme including administration, tariffs and eligibility for FITs. We are intending to consult on formal proposals later this year. Changes as a result of the review will be implemented in April 2012 unless the review indicates the need for greater urgency.

Public Sector

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he is taking to put in place a right to provide for public sector workers to take over the running of services; and if he will make a statement. [74778]

Gregory Barker: In line with stated Government policy, DECC is committed to the principle of public service mutuals and the right to provide. DECC oversees very little service provision. Recent reviews (2011 DECC delivery review and spending review and DECC budgeting processes) have confirmed that the Department does not provide or commission services where further changes in provision arrangements would be appropriate.

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department has taken to encourage the development of public service mutuals in its area of responsibility; and if he will make a statement. [74829]

Gregory Barker: In line with stated Government policy, DECC is committed to the principle of public service mutuals and the right to provide. DECC oversees very little service provision. Recent reviews (2011 DECC delivery review and spending review and DECC budgeting processes) have confirmed that the Department does not provide or commission services where further changes in provision arrangements would be appropriate.

Renewable Energy

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the cost of National Grid transmission charges would be for (a) Westminster city council, (b) Aberdeenshire and (c) Angus council selling renewable electricity to the Grid. [75229]

Charles Hendry: Transmission Network Use of System (TNUoS) charges are paid by renewable generators over 100 MW only—most renewable generators are connected to the distribution system and are not subject to TNUoS charges.

Westminster city council falls in the central London generation charging zone where the generation TNUoS charge is -£6.85/kW.

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1027W

Aberdeenshire falls in the North Scotland generation charging zone where the generation TNUoS charge is £21.49/kW.

Angus council falls in the central Highlands charging zone where the generation TNUoS charge is £18.18/kW.

Ofgem are currently reviewing the transmission charging regime under Project TransmiT to ensure that it will facilitate low carbon generation while maintaining security of supply and having regard to the efficient use of the network. Project TransmiT is scheduled to reach a decision on any changes to the charging regime by April 2012.

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment his Department has made of the likelihood of achieving the interim target of four per cent. of UK energy consumption coming from renewable sources by 2012. [75570]

Gregory Barker: Member states are required to submit Progress Reports to the European Commission every two years to update on their progress towards meeting their interim and 2020 renewables targets. We will submit our first Report to the Commission by the end of this year. This will include a projection of expected out-turn against all of the UK's interim targets.

Renewable Heat Initiative Scheme

Mr Spencer: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the effect that the delay to the introduction of the non-domestic Renewable Heat Initiative scheme will have on the heating industry. [75353]

Gregory Barker: We have not made a formal assessment of the effect of the delay to introducing the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme. However, we are in regular contact with representatives from the heating industry. We understand that the delay is frustrating and remain committed to launching the scheme as soon as possible to minimise disruption to the industry.

Solar Power

Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department is taking to encourage the development of solar farms. [75270]

Charles Hendry: Solar photovoltaic (PV) is one of the technologies supported under the Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) scheme which is the mechanism of support to encourage the deployment of small scale low-carbon electricity generation up to 5MW. The level of support for solar PV installations over 250kW and all stand-alone PV installations is 8.5p/kwh.

Health

Departmental Allowances

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much members of his departmental management board have claimed in expenses since May 2010. [74947]

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1028W

Anne Milton: Details of expenses claimed by departmental board members are available on the Department's website at:

www.dh.gov.uk/en/Aboutus/MinistersandDepartmentLeaders/Departmentdirectors/DH_110759

This covers the period up to December 2010.

Further information on expenses claimed up to June 2011 will be published on the website shortly.

Departmental Billing

Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average cost to his Department was of processing the payment of an invoice in the latest period for which figures are available; and what proportion of invoices settled in that period his Department paid (a) electronically and (b) by cheque. [74982]

Anne Milton: Currently the Department holds no data on the cost of processing an invoice. The Department settles all its invoices electronically. This 100% electronic process has been in place since August 2006.

Departmental Re-location

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many civil servants in his Department have been (a) relocated and (b) agreed to relocation in the last 12 months; and to which areas of the UK. [74905]

Mr Simon Burns: None of the Department's civil servants have been formally relocated with the use of relocation 'packages' within the 12 months. However, there were five or fewer cases of voluntary change of location where some help was given with removals costs where the moving was to the advantage of the Department.

During the same period of time, no other cases have been approved for prospective relocation in the foreseeable future.

Departmental Pay

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate the total monetary value of London weightings and London living allowances for staff in his Department. [74906]

Mr Simon Burns: The current departmental reward system for grades administration officer (AO) to grade 6 has built-in, higher premia, which reflect the cost of living in the London region. Currently these premia are £3,500 for inner London and £1,750 for outer London. The number of staff on an inner London pay-scale (as at 30 September 2011) was 1,256, (giving a maximum of £4,396,000) and outer London was 39 (a maximum of £68,250). The maximum figures are calculated using headcount numbers on payroll. Actual expenditure will be less than those maximum figures as some Department staff work part-time.

Some AO to grade 6 staff are eligible for ‘legacy' payments, which relate to previous costs of living in London, on a reserved rights basis. The estimated cost of these payments is £206,711.

There are no regional premia or allowances attached to senior civil service pay scales.

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1029W

Departmental Press: Subscriptions

Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department spent on newspapers, periodicals and trade profession magazines in 2010-11. [75002]

Mr Simon Burns: Expenditure on newspapers, periodicals and magazines purchased for library use in financial year 2010-11 was £169,686 and from April 2011 to date was £52,788. This does not include publications purchased by individual units as local expenditure was devolved from April 2010 and the information is no longer held centrally.

Procurement

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many contracts his Department has awarded directly to third sector organisations in each month since May 2010; what the value was of such contracts; and if he will make a statement; [75142]

(2) how many contracts his Department has awarded directly to (a) small, (b) medium-sized and (c) large businesses in each month since May 2010; what the value was of such contracts; and if he will make a statement; [75143]

(3) how many contracts his Department has advertised on the Contracts Finder website in each month since May 2010; what the value was of such contracts; what proportion were awarded to (a) third sector organisations and (b) small businesses; and if he will make a statement. [75145]

Anne Milton: The Department's central procurement database, which has provided the following information, holds information at the level of purchase order (PO)—these are individual items of expenditure and more than one PO may relate to a single contractual agreement.

The following table sets information on purchase orders awarded to third sector organisations by month since May 2010.


PO Creation date Number of POs awarded to third sector organisations Total monthly PO value (£)

2010

May

83

5,080,277.35

 

June

63

1,475,514.09

 

July

41

129,030.81

 

August

67

2,373,930.41

 

September

39

1,228,959.93

 

October

52

2,787,669.17

 

November

55

3,025,349.80

 

December

48

1,380,619.08

2011

January

48

1,682,418.14

 

February

59

1,071,796.51

 

March

59

2,190,488.24

 

April

11

1,956,891.17

 

May

9

23,425,727.33

 

June

18

244,568.63

 

July

13

30,932.75

 

August

18

4,199,772.81

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1030W

 

September

11

2,436,608.38

 

October

8

169,917.22

Suppliers are categorised simply according to whether they are a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) or not. Suppliers are not further categorised separately by small enterprise and medium-sized enterprise. The following table sets out information on purchase orders awarded to SMEs and non-SMEs by month since May 2010:


PO Creation date SME or non-SME supplier Number of POs awarded to non-SME or SME Total monthly PO value (£)

2010

May

Non-SME Commercial Supplier

532

39,183,145.04

   

SME Commercial Supplier

369

7,991,056.82

 

June

Non-SME Commercial Supplier

527

85,478,962.88

   

SME Commercial Supplier

286

12,071,267.23

 

July

Non-SME Commercial supplier

372

15,472,706.38

   

SME Commercial Supplier

242

12,267,207.61

 

August

Non-SME Commercial Supplier

392

34,520,461.61

   

SME Commercial Supplier

154

12,337,549.03

 

September

Non-SME Commercial Supplier

514

11,433,708.91

   

SME Commercial Supplier

187

4,799,244.01

 

October

Non-SME Commercial Supplier

456

36,216,845.04

   

SME Commercial Supplier

203

7,155,178.08

 

November

Non-SME Commercial Supplier

498

47,545,633.09

   

SME Commercial Supplier

210

1,781,971.33

 

December

Non-SME Commercial Supplier

311

10,985,166.29

   

SME Commercial Supplier

166

2,112,601.83

2011

January

Non-SME Commercial supplier

394

35,169,522.91

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1031W

   

SME Commercial Supplier

149

17,655480.23

 

February

Non-SME Commercial Supplier

405

9,769,790.22

   

SME Commercial Supplier

172

2,495,222.96

 

March

Non-SME Commercial Supplier

505

27,072,473.18

   

SME Commercial Supplier

235

9,639,484.15

 

April

Non-SME Commercial Supplier

186

30,243,827.75

   

SME Commercial Supplier

96

13,545,853.90

 

May

Non-SME Commercial Supplier

208

39,557,768.29

   

SME Commercial Supplier

88

1,591,531.28

 

June

Non-SME Commercial Supplier

328

93,444,950.43

   

SME Commercial Supplier

128

15,882,092.23

 

July

Non-SME Commercial Supplier

250

13,717,226.15

   

SME Commercial Supplier

97

14,183,572.51

 

August

Non-SME Commercial Supplier

259

44,900,738.06

   

SME Commercial Supplier

84

2,049,183.98

 

September

Non-SME Commercial Supplier

227

8,372,253.47

   

SME Commercial Supplier

94

3,610,157.56

 

October

Non-SME Commercial Supplier

115

2,495,716.56

   

SME Commercial Supplier

41

373,776.37

The Department has advertised a total of 243 contracts or tenders on the Contracts Finder website, between May 2010 and July 2011. Information held within Contracts Finder does not permit reconciliation of the total contract value of these transactions or the proportion of business awarded to SMEs or third sector organisations.

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1032W

Cyber-Security

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to improve cyber-security in relation to his Department's estate; and if he will make a statement. [75144]

Mr Simon Burns: The Government take cyber-security very seriously and it has been categorised as a tier one threat to the United Kingdom's national security. £650 million is being invested over the next four years in a National Cyber-Security programme, working across Departments, with the private sector, international partners and citizens to improve the UK's cyber-security capability.

The Department routinely assesses the prevailing threats to its information and communications systems and applies appropriate and proportionate measures in accordance with the government standards set out in the Cabinet Office's Security Policy Framework (SPF); these standards are aligned with industry best practice approaches.

It is not in the interest of national security to make public details of particular improvements in relation to individual Departments as it may expose vulnerabilities to those who may seek to exploit them.

Diabetes: Screening

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to provide resources for opticians, chiropodists and pharmacists to acquire facilities and training to screen for diabetes. [74927]

Paul Burstow: The Government have no plans to provide specific resources for opticians, chiropodists and pharmacists to acquire facilities and training to screen for diabetes.

The Government remain committed to NHS Health Check, a public health programme for people in England aged 40-74 which assesses people's risk of developing or having undiagnosed diabetes, as part of a wider vascular risk assessment, and supports people to reduce or manage that risk through appropriate follow up.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he plans to take to encourage members of British South Asian communities to undergo early diabetes screening. [75192]

Paul Burstow: The Government remain committed to NHS Health Check, a public health programme for people in England aged 40-74 which assesses people's risk of developing or having undiagnosed diabetes, as part of a wider vascular risk assessment, and supports people to reduce or manage that risk through appropriate follow up.

The NHS Health Check is included in the operating framework for the NHS in England 2011-12 and primary care trusts (PCTs) have been provided with funding for the programme in their baselines. Around 15 million people are eligible for the programme, which PCTs have been progressively rolling out since April 2009. The risk assessment element of the programme has been specifically designed so that it can be delivered in a variety of settings, including pharmacy and community settings

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1033W

to help ensure it is accessible to all. It is for PCTs to decide how best to commission their programmes to suit the needs of their individual populations, including how they meet the needs of members of the South Asian community, which has a higher risk of developing of diabetes than the national average.

General Practitioners: Codes of Practice

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidelines exist to assess the work of GPs who have previously been sanctioned for professional malpractice. [75330]

Anne Milton: The General Medical Council's (GMC) fitness to practise panels make decisions on appropriate sanctions for doctors whose fitness to practise is found to be impaired.

If the panel directs that a period of conditions or suspension should be imposed on a doctor's registration, it will usually also direct that a review hearing takes place shortly before the date on which the sanction is due to expire. At the review hearing, a panel will consider whether any further action needs to be taken against the doctor's registration.

Panels make their decisions independently, but are required to take account of the GMC's policy and guidance in determining the appropriate sanction, for example the GMC's ‘Indicative Sanctions Guidance’.

Guidance for local primary care trusts on managing general practitioners (GPs) where concerns about their practice have been identified is published by the National Clinical Assessment Service in ‘Handling performance concerns in primary care (2010)’ and also in ‘The Back on Track Framework for Further Training—Restoring practitioners to safe and valued practice’.

General Practitioners: Newham

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many GPs in the London borough of Newham have been sanctioned for professional malpractice but continue to practice in the borough. [75331]

Anne Milton: This information is not centrally held. The hon. Member may wish to contact NHS East London and the City for further information.

Genito-urinary Medicine: Young People

Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to promote sexual health amongst young people. [75272]

Anne Milton: Improving sexual health by reducing unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections is very important for young people. Young people need the right information and advice to make responsible choices. We are planning to publish our policy document on sexual health next year and this document will consider how these issues should be tackled, focusing on public health, and an evidence based approach.

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1034W

Health

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what criteria he plans to use to determine which draft outcome indicators will be included in the final Public Health Outcomes Framework. [75324]

Anne Milton: We published a list of 12 criteria for the selection of indicators in the consultation on the Public Health Outcomes Framework. They have been further refined by feedback from the consultation and engagement exercises with key stakeholders. An additional criterion was added as a result of this process. The criteria are as follows:

measure of health outcome or factor closely correlated to a health outcome;

aligns with the Government's direction for public health;

aligns with other Government Departments priorities/strategies;

evidence-based interventions to support the measure;

amenable to public health intervention, e.g. by public health professionals, local authorities, Public Health England, national health service;

major cause of premature mortality or avoidable ill health;

improvements in this measure will improve health-related quality of life (including mental health);

improvement in this measure will help reduce inequalities in health;

improvement in this measure will help improve healthy life expectancy;

meaningful to, and likely to be perceived as important by, the public;

meaningful to, and likely to be perceived as important by, local authorities;

existing system to collect data required to monitor the measure; and

statistically appropriate, fit for purpose.

In the light of these criteria, Ministers will decide which indicators are included in the final outcomes framework to be published in the autumn.

Health Services

Dr Phillip Lee: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has plans for the future consolidation of acute services. [75573]

Mr Simon Burns: It is for national health service commissioners, working with providers, to determine the most effective configuration of services to deliver high quality care. It is important that strategic decisions are taken at the appropriate level, where commissioning is underpinned by clinical insight and knowledge of local healthcare needs.

The development of reconfiguration proposals by the NHS should also satisfy the Secretary of State for Health’s four tests. These are that schemes should demonstrate:

a clear clinical evidence base, which focuses on improved outcomes for patients;

clear support for proposals from general practitioners as the commissioners of local services;

strengthened arrangements for patient and public engagement; and

support for patient choice.

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1035W

Health Services: Greater London

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether health services will be centralised at The Royal London Hospital should the proposed merger plans of the Barts and East London Healthcare Trust proceed; [75325]

(2) whether local GP commissioning groups will be involved in service reconfiguration as a result of the proposed merger plans of the Barts and East London Healthcare Trust; [75326]

(3) whether a mechanism is in place to retain health services currently being delivered in Newham in the borough should the proposed merger of the Barts and East London Healthcare Trust proceed; [75327]

(4) what financial modelling of the proposed merger of the Barts and East London Healthcare Trust has taken place in respect of (a) Newham University Trust's revenue deficit, (b) Whipps Cross University Hospital's capital deficit and (c) the private finance initiative requirements on Barts and the London Hospital; [75328]

(5) whether a mechanism is in place to ensure equal access to services and consultants for residents of the London borough of Newham should the proposed merger of Barts and East London take place. [75329]

Mr Simon Burns: This is a matter for the local national health service.

An outline business case for the proposal to establish Barts and East London Healthcare (BELH) was approved by NHS London on 4 August 2011. The three trusts, Barts and the London NHS Trust, Whipps Cross University Hospital NHS Trust and Newham University Hospital NHS Trust have continued to develop the proposal into a full business case which includes work on financial modelling for all trusts involved in the prospective merger.

In the future it will be for local general practitioner commissioning groups to ensure that local services meet the needs of the local population. They will work closely with local acute providers to improve quality of care. BELH's immediate priority, when established, will be to improve local services.

Hearing Impairment: Health Services

Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to encourage accessible audiology services in England. [75271]

Paul Burstow: In 2010, the Department funded NHS Improvement to work with a number of national health service organisations to identify the benefits of pathway redesign in audiology services and spread good practice. Models to improve accessibility of audiology services including delivering care closer to home, delivering services in the community and the introduction of direct access healthcare scientist-led clinics have been identified and shared with the NHS.

A key enabler to improve accessibility is extending patient choice of provider which is intended to empower patients and carers, improve their outcomes and experience, enable service innovation and free up clinicians to drive change and improve practice.

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1036W

Any qualified provider (AQP) is a model to support such choice—it means that when patients are referred (usually by their general practitioner) for a particular service, they should be able to choose from a list of qualified providers which meet NHS service quality requirements, prices and normal contractual obligations. Adult hearing services is one of the eight clinical areas identified through consultation as a priority for the first phase of AQP implementation. Subject to local commissioning decisions, during 2012, the AQP model will start to benefit people with hearing problems and will be a key step to ensuring greater access, choice and convenience for patients needing audiology services.

HIV Infection

Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to tackle HIV in the UK. [75186]

Anne Milton: The Department continues to fund the Terrence Higgins Trust and African Health Policy Network for national HIV prevention programmes for men who have sex with men and people from African communities respectively. This is additional to local HIV prevention funded by the national health service and others.

The Department is also taking steps to increase HIV testing to help reduce undiagnosed and late diagnosis of HIV. The Department funded eight pilot projects to assess the feasibility of increasing HIV testing in a primary and secondary care. The Health Protection Agency reviewed the pilots and we are considering the findings of their review report published in September. A copy of the report, “Time to test for HIV: Expanding HIV testing in healthcare and community services in England”, has been placed in the Library.

The Department is also funding the Medical Foundation for AIDS and Sexual Health to produce resources to support primary care staff in offering HIV testing.

Hospitals: Correspondence

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether guidance is in place regarding the length of time an hon. Member should wait to receive a response to correspondence from a Chief Executive of a Hospital Alliance in respect of a constituency matter. [75332]

Mr Simon Burns: All national health service organisations have a procedure for handling complaints within a reasonable period of time, and we would expect enquiries from hon. Members to be accorded at least the same priority.

Musculoskeletal Disorders

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the level of expenditure from the public purse on musculoskeletal diseases in the NHS in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [74933]

Paul Burstow: Estimated gross expenditure on problems of the musculoskeletal system in England in 2009-10 was £4.76 billion. This estimate is derived from programme budgeting returns from strategic health authorities and

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1037W

primary care trusts. It includes the costs of prescribing by general practitioners, but not the cost of primary care consultations.

Oliver Colvile: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the contribution by the Minister of State of 4 July 2011, Official Report, column 1345, on musculoskeletal diseases, whether the National Quality Board has met to discuss musculoskeletal diseases. [75444]

Paul Burstow: The National Quality Board met on 14 July 2011. In the course of a discussion on its future work programme, the board noted the proposal from the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance for an outcome strategy for musculoskeletal disease. The board concluded that the final decision on whether to develop such a strategy must rest with the Department; and the board would stand ready to help with any issues of implementation.

Neurology

Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on making provision in the Health and Social Care Bill for establishing and supporting neurology networks. [74884]

Paul Burstow: We are committed to retain and strengthen clinical networks and to use clinical networks to help ensure that a range of professionals play an integral part in the clinical commissioning of patient care. A review of current networks is being undertaken to assess how they can, in the future, most effectively support clinical commissioning groups and the NHS Commissioning Board in their commissioning arrangements.

Networks will not be separate new organisations, but it is expected that in future they will be hosted by the NHS Commissioning Board, to allow them to maximise the range and scale of support they provide to be most effective to clinical commissioning groups.

NHS: Finance

Damian Hinds: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 12 September 2011, Official Report, column 1053W, on NHS: finance, what information his Department holds on income from third parties received by the NHS. [74883]

Mr Simon Burns: The document “NHS (England) Summarised Accounts 2010-2011 (HC1297)”, which is available in the Library, discloses information on income received by strategic health authorities, primary care trusts and national health service trusts. The income disclosures for each type of body can be found at pages A23, B27 and C26 of the published document. The document can be viewed electronically at the following URL:

www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc1012/hc12/1297/1297.pdf

The Department collects data, for the purpose of producing the Summarised Accounts, from the NHS via the audited summarisation schedules. These schedules

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1038W

require NHS bodies to disclose, for each income line in the accounts, how much of that income is from other NHS bodies.

As such the Department is able to derive, for each income line in the accounts, how much of that income is received from third parties (i.e. non-NHS bodies). However, it is not possible to disaggregate this income by individual (non-NHS) third parties.

The Department does not collect data from NHS foundation trusts. Where an NHS trust obtains foundation trust status, the Summarised Account of NHS trusts only includes the part of the year the organisation operated as an NHS trust.

Additionally, the Department has historically collected some data on income from staff, patient and visitors from parking charges. In this respect, I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave him on 12 September 2011, Official Report, column 1053W.

NHS: Redundancy

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS public health consultant posts have been made redundant since May 2010; and what proportion of those were from black and ethnic minority backgrounds. [75576]

Anne Milton: Data on public health consultant redundancies and the associated diversity data are not collected centrally.

As part of the Department's commitment to ensuring a smooth transition to the new local public health service, the Department has, since April 2011, collected data from strategic health authorities and primary care trusts on the total number of public health staff in post. The Department is analysing the information collected and this work will enable the Department to identify increases or reductions in specific functions.

NHS: Reorganisation

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the effects of planned NHS reorganisation on the number of public health professionals in the NHS. [75575]

Anne Milton: As part of our commitment to ensuring a smooth transition to the new local public health service, the Department is monitoring the total number of public health staff in post in strategic health authorities and primary care trusts.

A baseline position of staff numbers within the public health workforce was established in April 2011 and updates are supplied and assessed on a quarterly basis. The Department is analysing the information collected and this work will enable the Department to identify increases or reductions in specific functions.

The Department's intention is to ensure that public health capability is maintained and robust transition arrangements are in place, and is working closely with strategic health authority cluster directors of public health who are responsible for overseeing public health transition in their regions.

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1039W

Ovarian Cancer

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether ovarian cancer is included in his Department and Cancer Research UK's Stratified Medicine Programme; and if he will make a statement; [74934]

(2) what steps he is taking to make (a) members of the public and (b) GPs aware of the (i) signs and (ii) symptoms of ovarian cancer; and if he will make a statement; [74935]

(3) when his Department will publish guidance on how clinical commissioning groups should work with local authorities to promote (a) cancer prevention and (b) the awareness and early diagnosis of cancer; and if he will make a statement; [74937]

(4) what recent assessment he has made of whether a population screening programme should be introduced for ovarian cancer; and if he will make a statement. [74938]

Anne Milton: In “Improving Outcomes: A Strategy for Cancer”, published on 12 January 2011, we have committed over £450 million over the next four years to support earlier diagnosis of cancer. This money will be used to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer; fund increased general practitioner (GP) access to diagnostic tests; and pay for more testing and treatment in secondary care. One of the tests we are increasing access to is non-obstetric ultrasound to support the diagnosis of ovarian cancer. We are working on a guide to help GPs with the relevant criteria for requesting non-obstetric ultrasounds.

To assess what more can be done to encourage appropriate referrals to secondary care and to diagnose less common cancers such as ovarian cancer earlier, the Strategy also set out our commitment to work with a number of rarer cancer-focused charities to discuss their concerns. Departmental officials have already met with a number of these charities, including an ovarian cancer charity, with the aim of identifying some of the barriers to early diagnosis, such as symptom awareness, and to discuss potential solutions. This will inform our future work in this area.

Early symptoms ovarian cancer can include pain in the pelvis and lower stomach, persistent bloating and difficulty eating. However, they can be difficult to recognise, especially when the disease is at an early stage, as they are often the same as the symptoms of other, less serious, conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome or pre-menstrual syndrome.

To improve public awareness of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer the Department has worked with health professionals, patient groups and charities to develop key standardised messages on ovarian cancer for the public. These are now available on NHS Choices and the Department encourages the national health service and charities to use them widely in awareness raising activities. Key messages have also been developed for health professionals to support the early diagnosis of ovarian cancer and are available on the Department's website.

In April this year, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published a clinical guideline, the “Recognition and initial management of ovarian cancer”, which sets out recommendations for the detection of the disease in primary care. In addition

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1040W

to this, NICE is developing a Quality Standard (QS) for ovarian cancer which will set out what good ovarian cancer treatment and support looks like and will help support clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) when they take responsibility for commissioning ovarian cancer services. Detection of ovarian cancer in primary care will also be considered when developing this standard.

Subject to the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill, the Department will hold the NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) to account for the outcomes it achieves through the NHS Outcomes Framework, and will publish a mandate to the NHS CB which will set out objectives the NHS CB should seek to achieve. The Department will not, therefore, issue guidance directly to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), but the NHS CB will be able to publish guidance for clinical commissioning groups, to which CCGs must have regard.

The Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) will be the forum to bring together elected councillors, local authority officers, patient representatives and clinical commissioning groups to develop shared understanding of local need, develop joint local priorities, and encourage commissioners to work in a more integrated and joined up manner, we have strengthened the requirements around HWBs involvement in the commissioning plans of CCGs.

Regarding the introduction of a screening programme for ovarian cancer, the NHS Constitution commits the Government to provide screening programmes as recommended by the United Kingdom National Screening Committee (UK NSC). The UK NSC is responsible for advising Ministers and the NHS in all four countries about all aspects of screening policy.

The UK NSC's current position on ovarian cancer screening is that it should not be offered except in the context of the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKTOCS) randomised controlled trial. The UK NSC agreed at its meeting in June 2010 that screening for ovarian cancer would next be reviewed when results of UKTOCS were published or earlier if any new significant peer reviewed evidence emerges in the meantime. The initial follow up of the UKTOCS trial is expected to be complete in December 2014.

Finally, the Department is a partner in the Technology Strategy Board's Stratified Medicine Innovation Platform (SMIP) initiative and also Cancer Research UK's (CRUK) Stratified Medicine Programme. The SMIP brings together the stratified medicine-related activities of a number of important organisations to accelerate the development and uptake of stratified medicine in the UK. Specifically in cancer, the SMIP has so far invested £6 million in industry-led collaborations developing new genetic tests and data handling solutions, which are co-ordinated with CRUK's Stratified Medicine Programme.

CRUK is carrying out a two-year project to collect genetic data from tumours and information on how gene faults affect patient survival, helping research to develop new cancer drugs targeted at specific genetic mutations. The project will recruit up to 9,000 patients and collect data on six tumour types, including ovarian.

Palliative Care: Liverpool

Tracey Crouch: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how often the Liverpool Care Pathway has been used in each primary care trust in each of the last five years; [75405]

19 Oct 2011 : Column 1041W

(2) what obligation there is for medical staff to discuss the Liverpool Care Pathway with family or carers of a patient; [75406]

(3) what guidelines are issued relating to the use of the Liverpool Care Pathway. [75407]

Paul Burstow: The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) was developed by the Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute in Liverpool as an approach to support the delivery of good care in the last days of life. Where the LCP is utilised, senior doctors and nurses involved in the patient's care should agree that death is very likely to be imminent and that being placed on the pathway will be beneficial to the patient. The decision to use the pathway should always involve the patient if possible, and family members if not.

The Department does not collect information centrally on how often the LCP has been used as a possible option for treating patients. The latest information on the LCP is available from the LCP website, which also provides information on how the pathway should be used:

www.mcpcil.org.uk/liverpool-care-pathway/index.htm

Physiotherapy: Arthritis

Mr Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to improve access to specialist physiotherapy services for people with rheumatoid arthritis. [75345]

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the report of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society and Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, “RA and physiotherapy: a national survey”, published in October 2011, if he will take steps to improve early intervention access to physiotherapy for people with rheumatoid arthritis. [75364]

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he plans to take to improve access to physiotherapy services for people with rheumatoid arthritis. [75430]

Paul Burstow: The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society and Chartered Society of Physiotherapy “RA and physiotherapy: a national survey” provides welcome additional information for local services in considering how they might improve services for individuals with rheumatoid arthritis.

There have been a number of initiatives to improve access to physiotherapy and other allied health professional (AHP) services. These include:

The self-referral to physiotherapy pilots which supported the findings from research in Scotland. The pilots identified a number of benefits including earlier presentation and supporting self-care by empowering patients to be more actively involved in managing their condition. Information about this project can be found in the “Self-referral pilots to musculoskeletal physiotherapy and the implications for improving access to other AHP services”:

[email protected][email protected]/documents/digitalasset/dh_116358.pdf

Information from APH Referral to Treatment data collection will enable AHPs, including physiotherapists,

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to innovate to improve services. The “Allied Health Professional Referral to Treatment guide” can be found at:

[email protected][email protected][email protected]/documents/digitalasset/dh_115297.pdf

The AHP Service Improvement Project which demonstrated in a range of services, including physiotherapy, how service redesign can improve access and clinical outcomes. Details about this project can be found at:

www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_126840

Prescription Drugs: Packaging

Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has considered reviewing the regulations of packaging for prescription drugs for the purpose of ensuring that each individual strip or part of strip is packaged and labelled clearly; and if he will make a statement. [75285]

Mr Simon Burns: The requirements for medicines labelling are set out in European and national legislation. Blister strips are intended to be enclosed within outer packaging which is fully labelled with detailed information on the safe and effective use of the product. Each blister strip must be labelled with the name of the product, the expiry date, batch number and the name and address of the marketing authorisation holder.

The Medicines Act consolidation and review of the legislation, including the provisions for the labelling of medicines supplied in blister strips, will be subject to a public consultation.

Thalidomide

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prescriptions were issued for the sedative drug Thalidomide in each of the last three years. [75081]

Mr Simon Burns: Thalidomide is listed in the British National Formulary as a possible treatment for leprosy and untreated multiple myeloma. The table shows the actual number of prescription items dispensed in the community for Thalidomide in each of the last three calendar years.

Thalidomide prescription items written in the United Kingdom and dispensed in the community in England

Number

2008

464

2009

404

2010

267

Total

1,135

Note: The data do not cover drugs dispensed in hospitals, including mental health trusts, or private prescriptions. It is unknown how many prescription items were dispensed in these areas which means it is unknown what the total number of thalidomide prescriptions were. Source: Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) system

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Communities and Local Government

Council Tax Benefits

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he proposes that local authorities will have access to real-time PAYE data for the purpose of calculating council tax benefit. [75423]

Robert Neill [holding answer 18 October 2011]: The consultation on localising support for council tax in England from April 2013-14 closed on 14 October. We will be publishing the Government response to the consultation in due course, where further details will be set out, including on any future arrangements for sharing data.

The Government recognise that sharing data will be an important way of maximising convenience and reducing complexity for claimants, while also helping to reduce administrative costs.

Councillors: Teachers

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his policy is on teachers at foundation schools standing for election as councillors in the local authority that maintains their school. [75201]

Robert Neill: We are reviewing the provisions of section 80 of the Local Government Act 1972, under which teachers in foundation schools are disqualified from being a member of the local authority that maintains the school, and intend to reach conclusions in due course.

Sick Leave

Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for how many days on average his Department's staff in each pay grade were absent from work as a result of ill health in 2010-11. [75009]

Robert Neill: The Department for Communities and Local Government lost an average of 6.4 days per staff member in the 2010-11 year. This covers any sickness absence in the period 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011.

The average working days lost breakdown by civil service pay grade is as follows:


Average working days lost

Administrative Assistant (AA)

36.6

Administrative Officer (AO)

14.5

Executive Officer (EO)

9.1

Higher Executive Officer (HEO)

5.9

Senior Executive Officer (SEO)

5.6

Grade 7 (G7)

3.9

Grade 6 (G6)

3.4

Senior Civil Service (SCS)

3.3

Please note the figures for administrative assistants are heavily influenced by the low number of staff at this grade, a total of four staff in the Department for 2010-11.

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Fire Services: Pensions

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of fire services employees are members of Government-guaranteed pension schemes; and what estimate he has made of changes to this proportion over the next five years. [75095]

Robert Neill: As at the end of 2009-10, fire and rescue authorities in England reported that there were:

24,351 regular firefighter members and 145 optants outs of the Firefighters' Pension Scheme 1992, representing a participation rate of 99.4%

5,045 regular firefighter members (which includes whole-time and part-time regulars but excludes retained) and 392 optants of the New Firefighters' Pension Scheme 2006, representing a participation rate of 92.8%, and

6,928 retained firefighter members and 2,833 optants out of the New Firefighters' Pension Scheme 2006, representing a participation rate of 71.0%.

The Department does not hold information on the percentage of control staff who are members of the Local Government Pension Scheme.

The Treasury published an estimate of likely opt-out rates for the unfunded public service pension schemes at the spending review:

http://cdn.hm-treasury.gov.uk/sr2010_policycostings.pdf

which has been scrutinised by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility. No further estimate has been made on changes to participation rates over the next five years.

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the proportion of workers who will opt out of fire service pension schemes in the next five years. [75096]

Robert Neill: In his interim report, the right hon. the Lord Hutton of Furness, recommended increasing employee contributions as the cost of public service pensions had increased by a third due to improving longevity and this additional cost had fallen primarily on taxpayers. The Government accepted Lord Hutton's rationale and, at the spending review, announced the intention to implement progressive increases to employee contribution rates in public sector pension schemes, equivalent to 3.2% on average to be phased in from April 2012.

The Treasury published an estimate of likely opt-out rates, which applied to the fire service pension schemes, at the spending review:

http://cdn.hm-treasury.gov.uk/sr2010_policycostings.pdf

which has been scrutinised by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility.

To help minimise opt-outs, a statutory consultation for the firefighters' pension schemes, published on 9 September 2011, proposes that any increases in contributions should be progressive and phased, and that there will be protection from increases for lower earners. There will also remain a strong economic rationale for all members to remain in good quality, guaranteed, reformed public service pension schemes.