These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Information on offender's residences is provided by offenders on reception into prison and recorded on a central IT system. Addresses can include a prisoner's home address, an address to which offenders intend to return on discharge or next of kin address and these figures are provided in the table above.

If no address is given, an offender's committal court address is used as a proxy for the area in which they are resident. These figures are also included in the table above. No address has been recorded and no court information is available for around 3% of all offender's, these figures are excluded from the table above.

Health

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment has been made of the relationship between geographic density of off-licences and alcohol harm in (a) young people and (b) adults. [89443]

Anne Milton: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence published guidance in June 2010, ‘Alcohol-use disorders: preventing the development of hazardous and harmful drinking’, based on a series of evidence reviews. Evidence statements 2.21, 2.22, 2.24 and 2.25 summarise the evidence for a relationship between alcohol outlet density and harm in young people and adults..

The guidance has been placed in the Library.

Cardiovascular System: Diseases

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he plans to produce a cardiovascular disease-specific NHS Atlas of Variation in order to inform the development of the outcomes framework for cardiovascular disease; and if he will make a statement. [88324]

Mr Simon Burns: There are currently no plans to produce a cardiovascular disease specific NHS Atlas of Variation. The NHS Atlas of Variation 2, published in December 2011, contains maps showing variation relating to a selected range of problems of circulation where there may be significant unwarranted variation. A copy of the atlas has been placed in the Library. The purpose of the Atlas of Variation is to enable an exploration of the reasons for variation and support decision making to improve the outcomes and value of health and care, rather than driving the development of outcomes indicators or to provide a comprehensive description of all variation which occurs within the national health service.

Care Quality Commission: Manpower

Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the adequacy of staffing levels at the Care Quality Commission. [88837]

Mr Simon Burns: The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England and has a key responsibility in the overall assurance of essential levels of safety and quality of health and adult social care services.

As an executive non-departmental public body, it is for the CQC to determine the appropriate staffing complement for its organisation, within its available resources, in order to carry out its functions efficiently and effectively.

Children

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding his Department provided to (a) Action on Addiction, (b) Adoption UK, (c) the Adoption and Fostering Information Line, (d) the Child Bereavement Charity, (e) Well Child and (f) each of East Anglia's childrens hospices in (i) 2010-11 and (ii) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [89766]

Anne Milton: The Department can confirm that funding was provided to the named organisations as follows:

16 Jan 2012 : Column 525W

16 Jan 2012 : Column 526W

£
Recipient organisations 2010-11 2011-12

Action on Addiction

0

0

Adoption UK

0

0

The UK Adoption and Fostering Information Line

0

0

The Child Bereavement Charity

39,900

0

Well Child

0

0

East Anglia’s Children's Hospices

1,406,927

748,567

Total

1,446,827

748,567

It should be noted that funding for 2011-12 represents the latest allocations and additional funding could be allocated in the remaining months of the financial year.

Co-operatives

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps (a) his Department and (b) those bodies for which his Department is responsible are taking to mark UN Year of the Co-operative 2012; and if he will make a statement. [88604]

Mr Simon Burns: We are aware of no specific departmental plans to mark this event. However, the Department is committed to supporting the creation and expansion of mutuals, co-operatives, charities and social enterprises and enabling these groups to have much greater involvement in the running of health and care services.

For example, we are running a Right to Provide Programme which extends the right to explore the opportunities of setting up a staff-led enterprise, including mutuals, joint ventures, partnerships and social enterprise, to the wider national health service and social care communities. The Social Enterprise Investment Fund has invested more than £80 million in the health and social care sector and applications for investments for 2011-12 are being progressed by the fund manager.

Apprentices

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding from the public purse has been allocated to sponsor apprenticeships in each of the public bodies for which his Department is responsible between (a) April 2010 and March 2011, (b) April 2011 and March 2012 and (c) April 2012 and March 2013. [88730]

Mr Simon Burns: Three of the Department's arm's length bodies (ALBs) have incurred, or expect to incur, expenditure on apprenticeships. Details are shown in the following table:

£
  Amount of funding allocated to sponsor apprenticeships between:
ALB April 2010 and March 2011 April 2011 and March 2012 April 2012 and March 2013

Health Protection Agency

16,567

34,394

2,782

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence

2,000

0

0

NHS Blood and Transplant

195,000

(1)157,000

(1)250,000

(1) Future costs are estimates and not firm allocations.

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding his Department allocated to sponsor apprenticeships in his Department in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and how much such funding he plans to allocate in 2012-13. [89144]

Mr Simon Burns: The Department employs apprentices in two ways:

appointing apprentices through external recruitment; and

by offering existing staff access to apprenticeship programmes as part of their learning and development.

The Department externally recruited three apprentices between April 2010 and March 2011 and April and December 2011. On completion of their apprenticeships in January 2012, the apprentices joined the Department. No specific budget was allocated to apprenticeships of this type, but the costs were £48,386 in 2010-11 and £34,348 in 2011-12.

There are no specific plans to recruit apprentices externally in the coming year, but the Department is committed to providing development opportunities through apprenticeships.

On internal apprenticeships, six staff participated in 2010-11. There were no costs to the Department as the scheme was sponsored centrally. No staff took part during 2011-12 so there were, again, no costs.

The Department plans to sponsor five internal participants in 2012-13, and has set aside £10,000 from its learning and development budget to this end.

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many apprentices were employed by his Department between (a) April 2010 and March 2011 and (b) April and December 2011; and how many apprenticeships his Department will sponsor between (i) January and March 2012 and (ii) April and March 2013. [89213]

Mr Simon Burns: The Department employs apprentices in two ways—appointing apprentices through external recruitment and by offering existing staff access to apprenticeship programmes as part of their learning and development.

The Department externally recruited three apprentices between April 2010 and March 2011 and April and

16 Jan 2012 : Column 527W

December 2011. On completion of their apprenticeships in January 2012, the three apprentices joined the Department.

There are no specific plans to recruit apprentices externally in the coming year, but the Department is committed to providing development opportunities through apprenticeships.

On internal apprenticeships, six staff participated in 2010-11. No staff participated in 2011-12. The Department plans to sponsor five internal participants in 2012-13.

Equality

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what equality impact assessments his Department has carried out since May 2010; and for what purpose in each case. [88584]

Mr Simon Burns: The Department takes a proportionate approach to meeting its public sector equality duty which may not always entail producing separate documents

16 Jan 2012 : Column 528W

called equality impact assessments. For each function or policy that has the potential to have a substantial effect on discrimination or equality of opportunity, officials consciously think about the three aims of the public sector equality duty as part of the process of decision-making and keep records showing how they have done so. Where it is clear from initial consideration that a policy will not have any effect on equality for any of the protected characteristics, no further analysis or action is undertaken.

Therefore listing the number of documents entitled equality impact assessments produced by the Department since May 2010 would provide an inaccurate account of the work done to meet the public sector equality duty. An accurate account of the entire range of work carried out to meet the public sector equality duty across the Department can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

A list of documents entitled equality impact assessments that have been published by the Department since May 2010 is shown in the following table:

Date Title URL

May 2010

Transforming Community Services Mobile Working Readiness Assessment Framework Tool

http:[email protected][email protected][email protected]/documents/digitalasset/dh_116849.pdf

July 2010

Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS (White Paper)

http:[email protected][email protected][email protected]/documents/digitalasset/dh_117350.pdf

July 2010

The Medical Profession (Responsible Officers) Regulations 2010

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_117787.pdf

October 2010

Liberating the NHS: Greater choice and control—Extending patient choice of provider

http://www.dh.gov.uk/dh_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_128460.pdf

October 2010

NHS Constitution–Whistleblowing

http:[email protected][email protected]/documents/digitalasset/dh_130538.pdf

November 2010

A Vision for Adult Social Care: Capable Communities and Active Citizens

http:[email protected][email protected][email protected]/documents/digitalasset/dh_121666.pdf

November 2010

Improving services for women and child victims of violence: the Department of Health Action Plan

http:[email protected][email protected][email protected]/documents/digitalasset/dh_122096.pdf

December 2010

NHS Outcomes Framework 2011-12

http:[email protected][email protected][email protected]/documents/digitalasset/dh_122955.pdf

December 2010

PCT Resource Allocations 2011-12

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_122617.pdf

January 2011

Multiple Sclerosis Risk Sharing Scheme

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_123789.pdf

16 Jan 2012 : Column 529W

16 Jan 2012 : Column 530W

February 2011

Expanding the list of “never events”

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_124988.pdf

February 2011

Retention and Exit Terms for Business Case Critical Staff in PCTs and SHAs and (SpHAs, ENDPBs and Provider Development Authority)

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_124773.doc

February 2011

Review of the Mary Seacole Scholarship Awards

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_125705.pdf

March 2011

Safeguarding Adults: The role of health services

http://www.dh.gov.uk/dr_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_125065.pdf

March 2011

The Good Practice Guidelines for GP electronic patient records—version 4 (2011)

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_125352.pdf

March 2011

The UK Influenza Preparedness Strategy 2011

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_125342.pdf

April 2011

Changing Behaviour, Improving Outcomes: A new social marketing strategy for public health

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_126924.pdf

April 2011

National Heatwave Plan

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_127193.pdf

April 2011

Transparency in outcomes: a framework for quality in adult social care

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_125692.pdf

May 2011

Allied Health Professionals Service Improvement Project

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_126839.pdf

May 2011

Health Lives Healthy People: Our strategy for public health in England

http:[email protected][email protected][email protected]/documents/digitalasset/dh_122242.pdf

June 2011

Implementing the Overseas Visitors Hospital Charging Regulations 2011

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_131943.pdf

June 2011

NHS Operating Framework 2010-11

http:[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected]/documents/digitalasset/dh_110442.pdf

July 2011

A new value-based approach to the pricing of branded medicines: Government response to consultation

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_128405.pdf

16 Jan 2012 : Column 531W

16 Jan 2012 : Column 532W

July 2011

Consultation on Allocation Options for distribution of additional funding to local authorities for: Local HealthWatch, NHS Complaints Advocacy, PCT Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

http://www.dh.gov.uk/dr_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_129402.pdf

July 2011

National Dementia Strategy

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_128525.pdf

July 2011

The NHS standard contracts for acute hospital, mental health, community and ambulance services and supporting guidance 2011-12

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_128191.pdf

July 2011

Working for personalised care: a framework for supporting personal assistants working in adult social care

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_129407.pdf

August 2011

End of Life Care Strategy: Third Annual Report

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_130271.pdf

August 2011

Liberating the NHS: table of issues for the information revolution and related policies

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_129531.pdf

September 2011

Health and Social Care Bill 2011 (revised)

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_129978.pdf

September 2011

Proposals to introduce independent prescribing by physiotherapists

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_130059.pdf

September 2011

Proposals to introduce independent prescribing by podiatrists

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_130033.pdf

October 2011

Healthy lives, healthy people: a call to action on obesity in England

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_130511.pdf

October 2011

Implementing a ‘Duty of Candour’; a new contractual requirement on providers

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_130442.pdf

October 2011

Liberating the NHS: Greater choice and control—Choice of named consultant-led team

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_130451.pdf

16 Jan 2012 : Column 533W

16 Jan 2012 : Column 534W

October 2011

Market entry by means of pharmaceutical needs assessments and quality and performance (market exit)

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_130845.pdf

November 2011

A framework for technology enhanced learning

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_131063.pdf

November 2011

Cold Weather Plan for England

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_131036.pdf

December 2011

Management of HIV-infected health care workers

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_131572.pdf

Ministerial Policy Advisers

Andy Burnham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many special advisers (a) are in paid employment and (b) work in his Department. [89161]

Mr Simon Burns: The names and salaries of special advisers can be found on the Cabinet Office website at:

www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/special-adviser-data-releases

In addition to the three special advisers to the Secretary of State for Health, my right hon. Friend the Member for South Cambridgeshire (Mr Lansley), who are in paid employment at the Department, one of the advisers to the Prime Minister and one of the advisers to the Deputy Prime Minister have the use of desks and computers at Richmond House.

Telephone Services

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of levels of compliance with his Department's directions to and subsequent regulations for strategic health authorities and primary care trusts on the use of non-geographical telephone numbers; and whether he is satisfied that the directions are preventing patients paying more than the equivalent cost of a geographical call. [89922]

Mr Simon Burns: The Department has made no assessment of the level of compliance with the directions and regulations regarding the use of non-geographical numbers in the national health service.

The Department issued guidance and directions to NHS bodies in December 2009 on the cost of telephone calls, which prohibit the use of telephone numbers which charge the patient more than the equivalent cost of calling a geographical number to contact the NHS. It is currently the responsibility of primary care trusts to ensure that local practices are compliant with the directions and guidance.

Disability: Children

Mr Buckland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when the Government last undertook research into the number of deafblind or multi-sensory impaired children in the UK; [88387]

(2) how many children in England have been identified as deafblind or multi-sensory impaired in each of the last five years; and how many such children have received a statutory assessment. [88388]

Anne Milton: The NHS Information Centre for health and social care published the report “Registered Blind and Partially Sighted People—Year ending 31 March 2011, in England” on 1 September 2011. The report has detail on the number of people registered as blind or partially sighted by age group as at 31 March for the period 1982 to 2011. Information is not available for each of the last five years nor on the number of children who have received a statutory assessment. The report is available at:

http://www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/blindpartiallysighted11

The following tables show the number of people aged 0-17 years who are registered blind or partially sighted who also have a hearing impediment. The data are a snapshot of the position on 31 March 2006, 2008 and 2011 in England. It should be noted that the registration of blindness is voluntary.

Number of people aged 0-17 years registered blind who also have a hearing impairment, as at 31 March 2006, 2008 and 2011, England (1)
Rounded number
  With additional disability of
    Of which:  
  Deaf With speech Without speech Hearing impediment

2011

50

20

30

95

2008

70

45

30

80

2006

70

35

35

55

(1) Estimates have not been made where a council has not been able to provide the information separately for those with an additional disability, therefore the table contains the total only from those councils from which returns were received. Notes: 1. Data rounded to the nearest five. 2. Figures for 2011 are based on actual returns received from 150 councils out of 152. 3. Figures for 2008 are based on actual returns received from 145 councils out of 150. 4. Figures for 2006 are based on actual returns received from 128 councils out of 150. Source: SSDA 902.

16 Jan 2012 : Column 535W

Number of people aged 0-17 years registered partially sighted who also have a hearing impairment, as at 31 March 2006, 2008 and 2011, England (1)
Rounded number
  With additional disability of
    Of which:  
  Deaf With speech Without speech Hearing impediment

2011

55

25

30

90

2008

70

35

35

120

2006

50

25

25

80

(1) Estimates have not been made where a council has not been able to provide the information separately for those with an additional disability, therefore the table contains the total only from those councils from which returns were received. Notes: 1. Data rounded to the nearest five. 2. Figures for 2011 are based on actual returns received from 150 councils out of 152. 3. Figures for 2008 are based on actual returns received from 145 councils out of 150. 4. Figures for 2006 are based on actual returns received from 127 councils out of 150. Source: SSDA 902.

Diseases: Health Services

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether he plans to introduce an NHS specialised service for patients with (a) atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome and (b) other rare diseases; [89469]

(2) what steps he is taking to ensure that patients with (a) atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome and (b) other rare diseases can access the latest treatments. [89470]

Mr Simon Burns: Ministers take advice from the Advisory Group for National Specialised Services (AGNSS) on which highly specialised services for very rare conditions should be commissioned once nationally. AGNSS is an independent stakeholder advisory group.

Ministers are currently considering the recommendations from AGNSS for new services which will join the national portfolio from April 2012. Decisions are expected shortly.

Drugs: Rehabilitation

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if Public Health England will take steps to (a) collect data on or (b) estimate the total annual number of beds available in (i) NHS and (ii) voluntary settings to treat in-patient detoxification episodes in England; [88832]

(2) if Public Health England will take steps to (a) collect data on or (b) estimate the total annual number of beds available in (i) NHS and (ii) voluntary settings for the rehabilitation of chronic (A) alcohol and (B) drug misusers in England; [88833]

(3) how many non-statutory providers of residential treatment for (a) detoxification and (b) rehabilitation from chronic (i) alcohol and (ii) drug misuse are registered with his Department. [88834]

Anne Milton: Most, but not all, non-statutory providers of specialist residential drug treatment in England provide information on their services, including number of beds, on a voluntary basis, to a national online directory called Rehab Online, which is maintained by the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse.

16 Jan 2012 : Column 536W

Most residential rehabilitation services, and therefore beds, treat drugs and alcohol dependency. Information from Rehab Online currently suggests that there about 120 residential rehabilitation providers. However, these data are incomplete because they do not include data from all non-statutory providers. Data on the number of non-statutory providers of residential detoxification, and rehabilitation in England are not currently available centrally.

The Department does not register treatment services, as it is the Care Quality Commission's responsibility to regulate-all health and social care services, including all non-statutory providers of residential detoxification and rehabilitation treatment in England.

Epilepsy

Margot James: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department requires specialised commissioners to take account of clinical guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence when commissioning services for treatment of severe epilepsy. [88859]

Paul Burstow: Clinical guidelines published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence represent best practice and the Government expect commissioners to take them fully into account in their decision-making.

EU Law

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many of the regulations his Department brought into force through (a) primary legislation, (b) secondary legislation and (c) other means originated from proposals by the European Commission in (i) 2010 and (ii) 2011. [88971]

Mr Simon Burns: The Department of Health has brought into force the following secondary legislation in 2010 and 2011, which originated from proposals in the European Commission:

SI 2010/1673: The Medicines for Human Use (Prescribing by EEA Practitioners) (Amendment) Regulations 2010

SI 2010/1882: The Medicines for Human Use (Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2010

SI 2010/2785: The Medicines for Human Use (Prescribing by EEA Practitioners) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2010

SI 2011/915: The Medicinal Products (Herbal Remedies) (Amendment) Regulations 2011.

There has been no primary legislation originated from proposals by the European Commission.

Eyesight: Children

Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on holding a nationwide review of the availability and effectiveness of vision screening for children. [88937]

Mr Simon Burns: The UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) advises Ministers and the national health service in all four countries about all aspects of screening policy and supports implementation. The UK NSC is currently reviewing the evidence for school

16 Jan 2012 : Column 537W

entry vision screening against its criteria. The work is at an early stage, but it is anticipated that the review will be ready for public consultation in the summer before a recommendation by the UK NSC is made to Ministers.

Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children aged between four and five had their vision screened at school in the latest period for which figures are available. [88938]

Anne Milton: The information requested is not collected centrally.

General Practitioners: Contracts

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has had discussions with the Scottish Government on its proposals for future arrangements for GP contracts in Scotland. [89120]

Mr Simon Burns: Officials from the four United Kingdom Health Departments meet on a regular basis to discuss GP contractual matters. The Secretary of State for Health, my right hon. Friend the Member for South Cambridgeshire (Mr Lansley), also holds discussions with his separate counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from time to time on a wide range of issues.

Haemolytic Uremic Syndrome: Drugs

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of clinical trials of eculizumab in the treatment of Atypical hemolytic-uremic syndrome; and what steps he plans to take in response to such trials. [89558]

Mr Simon Burns: Eculizumab (Soliris) has undergone assessment for the indication of atypical haemolytic uremic syndrome via a Europe-wide centralised variation procedure. The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, as well as the Commission on Human Medicines (UK), considered and have recommended the granting of the extension of indication. Eculizumab is now licensed for the indication.

Health Services: Finance

Margot James: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the maximum duration will be of interim funding policies developed by specialised commissioning groups; and whether he proposes that (a) patients and (b) clinicians will have a right of appeal against decisions by his Department. [88860]

Mr Simon Burns: We are not aware of any interim funding arrangements currently in existence.

During 2012-13, all money and accountability for the decision making processes for access to specialised services will remain under the control of primary care trusts (PCTs). Specialised commissioning groups are joint committees of PCTs. This is therefore a matter for the local national health service.

16 Jan 2012 : Column 538W

Health Services: Foreign Nationals

John Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients whose nationality was (a) unknown and (b) unrecorded were treated by the NHS in each of the last three financial years. [88946]

Anne Milton: The Department does not hold this information centrally.

Henry Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) EEA and (b) non-EEA visitors were treated by the NHS without charge in 2010-11. [89178]

Anne Milton: The Department does not hold this information.

Under European Union rules, European Economic Area and Swiss nationals temporarily visiting the United Kingdom can access treatment that is medically necessary free of charge under the national health service if they have a valid European Health Insurance Card. They can also access pre-planned treatment free of charge under the NHS if they have a valid E112 form. Under the same rules, the UK is entitled to be reimbursed by the home member state or Switzerland for this treatment.

Jason McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department offers to GP practices on the registration of foreign nationals who seek emergency treatment while visiting the UK. [89615]

Mr Simon Burns: Under the terms of their contracts, general practitioners (GPs) are required to provide emergency and immediately necessary treatment owing to an accident or emergency at any place in its practice area to anyone, regardless of whether they are registered or not (including foreign nationals). GPs are expected to exercise their clinical judgment as to what is emergency and immediately necessary treatment.

Hearing Impaired: Children

Tessa Munt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children in Somerset were identified as (a) totally and (b) partially deaf in each of the last five years. [88436]

Anne Milton: The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is in the following table.

Number of people aged 0 to 17 years on the Register of deaf or hard of hearing within Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset and North Somerset as at 31 March 2007 and 2010
Rounded numbers
  2007 2010
  Register of deaf Register of hard of hearing Register of deaf Register of hard of hearing

Somerset

40

85

*

5

Bath and North East Somerset

*

0

*

0

16 Jan 2012 : Column 539W

North Somerset

*

0

0

0

Notes: 1. Figures are provided as in the original publications; numbers less than six are suppressed and represented as a ‘*’ on the table. Larger numbers are rounded to the nearest five. 2. Data on the number of people registered as deaf or hard of hearing in England was compiled from the ‘SSDA910 Register of People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing’ return; data were submitted every three years as at 31 March by Councils with Social Services Responsibilities (CSSRs) to the NHS Information Centre. This collection has now ceased; following consultation, in September 2011. 3. Under Section 29 of the National Assistance Act 1948, Councils are required to compile and maintain classified registers of ‘persons who are blind, deaf or dumb and other persons who are substantially and permanently handicapped by illness, injury, or congenital deformity’. 4. Although there are no formal examination procedures for determining whether a person is deaf or hard of hearing for the purposes of Section 29, cases should be classified as follows: Deaf—those who (even with a hearing aid) have little or no useful hearing. Hard of hearing—those who (with or without a hearing aid) have some useful hearing and whose normal method of communication is by speech, listening and lip reading. 5. Since registration is voluntary these figures will not provide a complete picture of the numbers of people aged 0 to 17 years in Somerset who are deaf or hard of hearing. 6. People who are registered as deaf or hard of hearing that are also blind or partially sighted are recorded on the Register of Blind and Partially Sighted Persons (SSDA 902 form) and are therefore not included in these figures. Source: SSDA 910

Heart Diseases: Young People

Chris Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps he is taking to reduce the frequency of incidence of young sudden cardiac death; [89622]

(2) what steps he is taking to make cardiac screening accessible to young people. [89623]

Mr Simon Burns: In March 2005, the National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease was extended with a new chapter that provides models of care and markers of quality for arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death.

The Department works closely with national health service and charitable organisations such as Cardiac Risk in the Young and the British Heart Foundation to develop services aimed at identifying people at risk and providing them with appropriate counselling, advice information and psychological support.

16 Jan 2012 : Column 540W

The Department supported the formation of the UK Cardiac Pathology Network (UKCPN) in order to provide local coroners with an expert cardiac pathology service and to promote best pathological practice in sudden death cases. A national database on sudden arrhythmic death was launched in November 2008 funded by the Department allowing UKCPN pathologists to record information on cases referred to them.

The UK National Screening Committee, who advise Ministers and the national health service in all four countries about all aspects of screening policy, considered its policy for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy screening in 2008. The policy review concluded that the evidence did not support the introduction of screening. The policy is due be reviewed again in 2012-13.

Circle Health

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has any plans to require additional inspections of patients services at (a) Hinchingbrooke Hospital and (b) other facilities operated by Circle Health by the Care Quality Commission. [89597]

Mr Simon Burns: The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and adult social care providers in England. All providers of regulated activities must be registered with the CQC and meet the registration requirements.

The CQC is responsible for developing and consulting on its methodology for assessing whether providers are meeting the registration requirements. This includes determining when and how providers are inspected.

The CQC has a duty to ensure that any action it takes is proportionate to the risks to which it is addressed and is targeted only where it is needed.

Hospital Beds

Sarah Newton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department collects data on the number of acute care patients aged over 75 years who are delayed in being discharged from hospital. [89069]

Paul Burstow: This information is no longer collected centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

However, the last data that were published before 2011-12 for delayed transfers of care of acute care patients aged over 75 are shown in the following tables:

Delayed transfers of care of acute patients. National health service organisations, England
Delayed transfers of care of acute patients—adults (75+)
    2010-11 2011-12
Code Name Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4 Quarter 1 Quarter 2
 

England

1,790

1,610

1,769

1,806

               

Q30

North East

67

45

50

49

Q31

North West

160

138

149

165

Q32

Yorkshire and The Humber

140

107

161

213

Q33

East Midlands

169

124

149

116

Q34

West Midlands

298

289

316

273

Q35

East of England

244

231

178

206

Q36

London

142

132

139

180

16 Jan 2012 : Column 541W

16 Jan 2012 : Column 542W

Q37

South East Coast

165

184

150

148

Q38

South Central

178

180

254

232

Q39

South West

228

180

222

225

Delayed transfers of care of acute patients—adults (18+)
    2010-11 2011-12
Code Name Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4 Quarter 1 Quarter 2
 

England

2,356

2,195

2,347

2,392

2,241

2,352

               

Q30

North East

88

57

59

77

71

89

Q31

North West

220

195

227

248

236

293

Q32

Yorkshire and The Humber

183

169

194

281

254

230

Q33

East Midlands

206

171

187

162

178

218

Q34

West Midlands

415

436.

417

395

344

342

Q35

East of England

287

281

212

247

239

236

036

London

216

191

209

229

236

250

Q37

South East Coast

206

227

205

176

205

210

Q38

South Central

249

244

323

295

182

215

Q39

South West

286

223

314

281

297

270

Notes: l. Summary: An estimate of the average number of delayed transfers of care per day in the quarter by region. 2. Period: April 2010 to September 2011. Source: Department of Health: Unify2 data collection.

Hospitals: Infectious Diseases

Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to reduce the incidence of hospital acquired infection. [89354]

Mr Simon Burns: The Government have set a zero tolerance approach to all avoidable health care associated infections. The Operating Framework for the NHS in England 2012-13 (published 24 November 2011) reinforces our approach, and sets new objectives to drive further improvements in Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream and Clostridium difficile infections.

The objectives seek to achieve a further 29% reduction in MRSA bloodstream infections and a further 18% in C. difficile infections by April 2013 (over the October 2010 to September 2011 baseline period). Those organisations with the highest rates of these infections will be required to make the largest reductions in 2012-13 with the aim to raise standards across the national health service for all patients.

Invalid Vehicles: Standards

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Pride Colt 8 mobility scooter is subject to a British Standards check. [88104]

Mr Simon Burns: The regulation of mobility scooters, as medical devices, falls within the responsibility of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), an executive agency of the Department of Health. The Department has not commissioned any safety checks on any model of mobility vehicle.

The MHRA does not commission safety checks on mobility scooters prior to placement on the market. Mobility scooters are Class I medical devices and, as such, the manufacturer is permitted to self-declare conformance with the Essential Requirements of the Medical Device Directives and apply a CE mark to their product. Once a manufacturer has CE-marked a medical device, then they are permitted to sell the product throughout the European Union. The Medical Device Directives require a manufacturer to report all adverse incidents involving serious injury or death, or with the potential to cause serious injury or death, to the MHRA (the UK Competent Authority for medical devices) through the vigilance system.

The MHRA has received a number of adverse incident reports concerning the Pride Colt 8 mobility scooter, some of which relate to a failure of the gearbox transaxle unit and this resulted in a modification to the design in September 2010. Also, a more recent adverse incident report concerning the possible reliability of the electrical systems in damp conditions was received by the MHRA in September 2011.

Medicine: Licensing

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will estimate the (a) quantity and (b) monetary value of medicines that are awaiting Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency licensing for importation from the EU; [88800]

(2) if he will estimate the proportion of medicines awaiting Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency licensing for importation from the EU that are within three months of their expiry date. [88801]

Mr Simon Burns: The commercial details of contracts between parallel importers and their suppliers in Europe

16 Jan 2012 : Column 543W

are confidential and the Medicines and Healthcare product Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has no access to this information, which has no regulatory significance and is not required information for the purpose of obtaining a parallel import licence.

The decision to purchase stock prior to approval of a parallel import licence is a commercial decision which the importer must make after careful consideration of all factors, including the available shelf life on the product. This information is commercially confidential and the MHRA has no access to it.

MHRA has no plan to make any estimates relating to confidential planned trade.

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency: Finance

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the fee income was of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in the most recent year for which figures are available; and if he will estimate the proportion of its budget this income represented. [88802]

Mr Simon Burns: The statutory fee income of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in the most recent year for which figures are available (2010-11) was £90 million.

The proportion of its budget this income represented is 90%.

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency: Manpower

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the level of staffing at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency; and what assessment he has made of the ability of the agency to meet the needs of businesses within the industry. [88799]

Mr Simon Burns: The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has sufficient staffing levels to reflect business needs and respond effectively to the industry it regulates. Staffing levels are kept under constant review and are subject to the terms of the trading fund arrangements and broader Government policies on efficiency.

Mental Health Services: Standards

Nicky Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of mental health provider quality accounts for 2010-11; [88662]

(2) if he will amend the guidance for mental health provider quality accounts to ensure mental health providers include performance against (a) Health of the Nation Outcome Scales, (b) Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service Standards, (c) Care Quality Commission inspections and (d) the Commissioning for Quality and Innovation Framework in their quality accounts for 2011-12. [88663]

16 Jan 2012 : Column 544W

Paul Burstow: Policy on quality accounts is kept under regular review. In the light of recent experience, we plan to increase the standardised content in order to facilitate comparison between providers, to support external audit, and to improve provider boards’ understanding of the link between the quality of their services and the outcomes that matter to patients. The selection of indicators will be informed by the recently revised NHS outcomes framework. This mandatory reporting will apply to all NHS trusts and foundation trusts, including those that provide mental health services.

Mental Illness

Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983. [89371]

Paul Burstow: The primary responsibility for ensuring the effective and appropriate use of section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 lies with the relevant local agencies. The Mental Health Act 1983 code of practice makes clear that locally agreed policies should include arrangements for effective monitoring of how, in what circumstances and with what outcome, section 136 is being used locally.

The use of place of safety orders under section 136 of the 1983 Act also falls within the remit of the Care Quality Commission (CQC). In its “Mental Health Act Annual Report 2010/11” the CQC noted that the number of people detained under section 136 in England rose from 12,038 in 2009-10 to 14,111 in 2010-11.

Source:

The Health and Social Care Information Centre, “In-patients formally detained under the Mental Health Act 1983—and patients subject to supervised community treatment, Annual figures, England 2010/11” (October 2011.)

Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department plans to take to (a) raise awareness of and (b) combat stigma about mental illness. [89978]

Paul Burstow: Over the last three years, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery have funded a major anti-stigma programme, Time to Change, led by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness and evaluated by the Institute of Psychiatry. The programme of 35 projects aims to inspire people to work together to end the discrimination surrounding mental illness. The programme is based on international evidence and engages with people with direct experience of mental health problems. Support for the programme has come from individuals, politicians, employers, sports organisations and national health service trusts, among others.

As a result of people being made aware of Time to Change and subsequently being better informed about mental health issues, there has been a positive behaviour change. Time to Change have estimated that from phase one of their campaign, approximately 75,000 fewer people lost a job due to mental health discrimination in 2010 compared to 2008.

Overall, public attitudes to mental illness are improving and people with mental health problems are experiencing less discrimination. Over the past two years, approximately

16 Jan 2012 : Column 545W

78,000 people with mental health problems who had contact with Time to Change have increased knowledge, confidence and assertiveness to challenge discrimination.

Discussions with voluntary and private sector organisations have shown that there is an appetite for continuing and developing this anti-stigma programme. In the mental health strategy, “No Health without Mental Health”, we committed to supporting and working actively with Time to Change and other partners on reducing stigma for people of all ages and backgrounds. Departmental funding of up to £16 million has been earmarked to support the programme over years 2011-12 to 2014-15. Comic Relief have agreed to work in partnership with Government and provide funds of £4 million over the same period.

Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of the budget provided to the NHS is allocated for researching the (a) causes and treatments of (i) schizophrenia, (ii) depression and (iii) other serious mental illness and (b) the psychological and social impact of mental illness. [89979]

Paul Burstow: Estimated spend by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in 2010-11 on directly-funded research relating to the causes and treatments of schizophrenia, depression and other serious mental illness, and relating to the psychological and social impact of mental illness is shown in the following table as a proportion of total directly-funded NIHR research.

2010-11 Proportion of total directly-funded NIHR research (percentage)

Schizophrenia

1.7

Depression

1.9

Other serious mental illness

5.3

Psychological and social impact of mental illness

1.6

In addition, the NIHR clinical research network provided national health service research infrastructure support to a wide range of trials and other clinical studies in mental illness.

Multiple Sclerosis: Drugs

Ben Gummer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many primary care trusts prescribed Nabiximols between April and November 2011; and what quantity was prescribed in each such case. [89088]

Mr Simon Burns: Sativex is the only licensed form of Nabiximols in the United Kingdom. It is classified in the British National Formulary section 10.2.2 Skeletal muscle relaxants, under the chemical name cannabis extract.

Between April and October 2011, the latest month for which figures are available, 115 out of the 151 primary care trusts (PCTs) in England issued prescriptions for “sativex” or its generic alternative, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, that were dispensed in the community in the UK. The issuing PCTs and associated number of prescription items are shown in the table.

16 Jan 2012 : Column 546W

Number of prescription items for Sativex or its generic alternative that were prescribed in England and dispensed in the community in the UK, by PCT—April to October 2011
Name Number of items (1)

Barnet

5

Bedfordshire

6

Berkshire East

4

Berkshire West

36

Bexley Care Trust

30

Birmingham East and North

5

Blackburn with Darwen CTP

1

Blackpool

11

Bolton

4

Bournemouth and Poole Teaching

10

Brighton and Hove City

12

Bristol

4

Bromley

7

Buckinghamshire

24

Calderdale

19

Cambridgeshire

13

Camden

4

Central and Eastern Cheshire

18

Central Lancashire

22

City and Hackney Teaching

3

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly

6

County Durham

44

Coventry Teaching

4

Croydon

17

Cumbria Teaching

35

Derby City

2

Derbyshire County

7

Devon

29

Doncaster

1

Dorset

13

Dudley

5

Ealing

14

East Lancashire Teaching

11

East Riding of Yorkshire

14

East Sussex Downs and Weald

4

Eastern and Coastal Kent

17

Enfield

7

Gloucestershire

16

Great Yarmouth and Waveney

17

Greenwich Teaching

14

Halton and St Helens

8

Hammersmith and Fulham

7

Hampshire

62

Hastings and Rother

7

Havering

1

Heart of Birmingham

1

Herefordshire

11

Hertfordshire

13

Hillingdon

13

Hounslow

3

Hull Teaching

7

Isle of Wight NHS

1

Islington

8

Kensington and Chelsea

23

Knowsley

7

Lambeth

12

Leicestershire County and Rutland

2

Lewisham

12

Lincolnshire

26

16 Jan 2012 : Column 547W

Luton

9

Manchester

13

Mid Essex

14

Milton Keynes

3

Newcastle

2

Newham

5

Norfolk

20

North East Essex

6

NE Lincolnshire Care Trust Plus

1

North Lancashire Teaching

30

North Lincolnshire

5

North Staffordshire

11

North Tyneside

3

North Yorkshire and York

25

Northamptonshire Teaching

51

Northumberland Care Trust

25

Nottingham City

5

Nottinghamshire County Teaching

15

Oxfordshire

11

Plymouth Teaching

1

Portsmouth City Teaching

12

Richmond and Twickenham

1

Sandwell

16

Sefton

3

Sheffield

10

Shropshire County

4

Solihull

2

Somerset

1

South Birmingham

19

South East Essex

22

South Staffordshire

14

South Tyneside

6

South West Essex

17

Southampton City

4

Southwark

1

Stockport

5

Stoke on Trent

1

Suffolk

16

Surrey

57

Sutton and Merton

7

Telford and Wrekin

18

Torbay Care Trust

4

Tower Hamlets

5

Walsall Teaching

6

Waltham Forest

4

Wandsworth Teaching

2

Warrington

2

Warwickshire

10

West Essex

5

West Kent

60

West Sussex

61

Western Cheshire

4

Wiltshire

6

Wirral

7

Wolverhampton City

11

16 Jan 2012 : Column 548W

Worcestershire

3

Total—England

1,420

(1) Prescriptions are written on a prescription form known as a FP10. Each single item written on the form is counted as a prescription item. An item does not refer to the amount being prescribed and therefore an item could be a number of doses, a single vial or multiple vials. Source: Prescribing Analysis and CosT tool (PACT) system.

Muscular Dystrophy: Health Services

Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements he has put in place for the implementation phase of the national neuromuscular work plan from April 2012; and if he will make a statement. [88865]

Henry Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements he has made for the implementation phase of the national neuromuscular work plan from April 2012; and if he will make a statement. [89174]

Paul Burstow: The national neuromuscular work plan is currently been consulted on prior to being finalised by April 2012.

The 10 specialised commissioning groups that commission specialised services for their regional populations will be responsible for ensuring implementation of the national plan from April 2012 onwards.

Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the recent audit conducted by Professor Michael Hanna at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, what steps he is taking to reduce the number of avoidable emergency admissions for neuromuscular conditions; and if he will make a statement. [88866]

Henry Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the recent audit by Professor Michael Hanna at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, what steps he is taking to reduce the number of avoidable emergency admissions for neuromuscular conditions; and if he will make a statement. [89173]

Paul Burstow: Reduction of avoidable emergency admissions will require improvements in services for neuromuscular conditions to be made at both a local and regional level.

Currently, primary care trusts have the responsibility for ensuring that local services meet the needs of people living with these conditions. The proposed move to clinical commissioning groups will ensure that health professionals will have a greater responsibility for the commissioning of appropriate local services to better meet the needs of patients with neuromuscular conditions.

During 2010-11, the 10 regional Specialised Commissioning Groups (SCGs) and National Specialised Commissioning team collaborated to produce a detailed work plan for improving the commissioning of neuromuscular services.

16 Jan 2012 : Column 549W

A workshop to which patents, carers and support organisations were invited was held in December 2011. At this workshop the SCGs presented draft service specifications for neuromuscular services. These service specifications, which set out the standards of service that all neuromuscular patients in England should expect to receive, will be consulted on and then finalised by April 2012, when the SCGs will start to implement them.

Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to appoint a national lead for specialist neuromuscular care; and if he will make a statement. [88867]

Paul Burstow: In December 2011 the 10 specialised commissioning groups held a workshop to present their draft service specifications for neuromuscular services. At this workshop they announced their intention to appoint a national lead for specialist neuromuscular care. The Department is not involved in this appointment.

Prescription Drugs: Prices

Neil Parish: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans he has to extend the provisions for reimbursement set out in part VIIIB of the Drug Tariff to dispensing doctors when dispensing specials; [88936]

(2) what plans he has to extend the £20 fixed rate of reimbursement set out in Part VIIIB of the Drug Tariff to dispensing doctors when dispensing specials. [88863]

Mr Simon Burns: Discussions between the General Practitioners' Committee of the British Medical Association and NHS Employers are ongoing. Once those negotiations have been concluded and Ministers have considered the outcome, an announcement will be made.

Social Services: Costs

Kwasi Kwarteng: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to reduce the cost of social care provision. [88830]

Paul Burstow: Local authorities are accountable for delivering efficiency savings in adult social care, but the Department has worked with the sector to consider the opportunities to reduce costs. To this end, the Department has part-funded a programme of Adult Social Care Efficiency launched by the Local Government Association in November 2011.

Furthermore, in November 2010 the Department published “A Vision for Adult Social Care” outlining a number of suggestions for areas where local authorities could make efficiency savings. Among others, these included:

maximising the potential of reablement services;

developing an integrated crisis or rapid response services;

rolling out telecare support; and

minimising back office administration.

As a result of wishing to keep local authorities free of additional burdens, the Department does not collect its own data on efficiency savings. However, other sources including the Association of Directors of Adult Social

16 Jan 2012 : Column 550W

Services budget survey suggest that efficiencies are being delivered successfully, without unduly affecting frontline services.

Telemedicine: Prisons

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment his Department has made of likely savings from increased use of telemedicine technologies in prisons; [87942]

(2) what plans his Department has to use telemedicine in the prison service. [87943]

Paul Burstow: The Department has made no recent assessment into the potential savings which could be made from an increased use of telemedicine in prisons, nor does it currently plan to promote the use of this technology within prisons.

Primary care trusts (PCTs) are currently responsible for commissioning health care in prisons and each PCT with a prison population should assess the needs of its prison population, review what services are required and how they should be delivered. Decisions on whether to use telemedicine technologies in prisons are made by PCTs and prison partnerships, not by the Department.

Visual Impairment: Driving

Rebecca Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to ensure that (a) optometrists and (b) other medical practitioners inform (i) the police and (ii) the DVLA if they believe a patient to be unfit to drive. [88888]

Mr Simon Burns: There is a legal obligation, under section 94(1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988, on the applicant/licence holder to notify, at any time, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) of any medical condition, which may affect their fitness to drive.

The DVLA publishes advice on the medical standards of fitness to drive in a booklet (At a Glance Guide to the current Medical Standards of Fitness to Drive) which is available to all general practitioners and health care professionals. It is also available for public use on DVLA's website at:

www.dft.gov.uk/dvla/medical/ataglance.aspx

While there is no legal obligation on doctors and optometrists to notify the police or the DVLA, they do have a duty of care, not only to their patient but also to the general public. The General Medical Council has published guidance on reporting concerns about patients to the DVLA or Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) in Northern Ireland. The College of Optometrists' Code of Ethics and Guidance for Professional Conduct (July 2011) quotes the General Medical Council guidance.

Communities and Local Government

Allotments

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) allotment and (b) smallholdings authorities there were in the most recent year for which data are available. [89133]

16 Jan 2012 : Column 551W

Andrew Stunell: Information on the number of (a) allotment and (b) smallholdings authorities in England is not held by central Government.

Allotment surveys undertaken by West Kirby Transition Town in conjunction with the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners show that there are 323 English principal authorities that manage allotments (county councils do not manage allotments) and over 8,700 parish and town councils (who are not covered by this survey). The survey does not extend to cover smallholdings authorities nor does it cover allotments owned by other public bodies, or by private allotment associations. The survey can be downloaded from:

http://www.transitiontownwestkirby.org.uk/allotment_ surveys.html

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what data his Department collect from allotment authorities. [89134]

Andrew Stunell: The Department does not collect any data from allotment authorities. Local authorities are responsible for keeping and managing waiting lists for allotments they provide. Information on waiting lists and the total number of allotments provided by local authorities is not held centrally.

However, the Department does retain, via the national planning casework unit, information from local authorities on their disposal application cases that they are required to put to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the right hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr Pickles).

Biofuels

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent assessment he has made of permitted development rights for (a) biomass and (b) anaerobic digestion; and if he will make a statement. [89289]

Robert Neill: We are considering responses to a consultation which included proposals to introduce permitted development rights for the installation of flues for biomass systems on non-domestic premises and clarifying that permitted development rights are available for the erection of structures to house anaerobic digestion systems on agricultural and forestry land.

Business Improvement Districts

John Stevenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many business improvement districts there are. [89062]

Robert Neill: The 'British Business Improvement Districts' website shows that there are currently 123 formal Business Improvement Districts across the UK.

Charities: Shops

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the proportion of retail sales made by charity shops in the west midlands in each of the last five years. [89300]

16 Jan 2012 : Column 552W

Grant Shapps: The Government do not hold data on the level of retail sales made by charity shops.

Departmental Manpower

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many speechwriters his Department employs at each pay grade. [89406]

Robert Neill: The Department currently employs one full-time speechwriter at pay band 7.1.

I also refer the hon. Member to my answer of 12 December 2011, Official Report, column 482W, which outlines the savings my Department is making in the field of communications.

Empty Property: Shops

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what steps he is taking to increase footfall on high streets with high levels of empty buildings; and if he will make a statement; [89299]

(2) what assessment he has made of the role of (a) charity shops and (b) local independent traders in (i) increasing footfall and (ii) supporting efforts to regenerate the high street; and if he will make a statement. [89301]

Grant Shapps: Mary Portas published her independent review of the high street in December. Her report addresses the issues raised of empty buildings, increasing footfall, local independent traders, charity shops and what needs to be done to develop more prosperous and diverse high streets. The Government are considering the recommendations made in the report and will publish their response in the spring.

Fire Services: Somerset

Chris Williamson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the potential effects of the Memorandum of Understanding between Devon and Somerset Fire Brigade and Falck EMS UK Ltd on the ability of the fire service to discharge its (a) statutory and (b) non-statutory duties; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding. [89936]

Robert Neill: My Department has made no assessment on the potential effects of the Memorandum of Understanding between Devon and Somerset Fire Brigade and Falck EMS UK Ltd since this is a matter for the fire and rescue authority. We do not hold a copy of the memorandum.

First-time Buyers

Paul Uppal: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department is taking to ensure that providing first-time property buyers with a partial mortgage guarantee does not reduce access to the housing market for existing property owners. [89061]

16 Jan 2012 : Column 553W

Grant Shapps: My Department is supporting the industry-led new build mortgage indemnity scheme. The scheme will apply to new build properties from participating builders and will be available to all potential buyers, subject to appropriate underwriting and selection criteria. This will include existing property owners who want to move house and buy a new build property.

Approximately 14% of transactions in England in 2010 were for new build properties. The scheme is intended to help builders to build more new homes, and support people to buy them.

Ben Gummer: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he has any plans to provide additional support for shared equity schemes for first-time buyers. [89089]

Grant Shapps: The Government provides support to first-time buyers in partnership with housebuilders through the FirstBuy shared equity scheme. FirstBuy will help almost 10,500 aspiring home owners by 2013 with a 20% equity loan to purchase a new build property in England. The equity loan reduces the deposit required by purchasers enabling them to fulfil their aspirations of home ownership.

Housing associations and other registered providers may offer equity loans through the Affordable Homes Programme until 2015, where they meet local needs and have the support of the local authority.

Green Belt

Roberta Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department has taken to ensure that current protection for the green belt is not lost following the changes to the planning system due to come into effect in April 2012. [87755]

Greg Clark: The Government have clearly stated their commitment to maintaining the green belt, and the draft National Planning Policy Framework continues the same key protections as current green belt policy. Our proposed abolition of the unpopular regional strategies, through the Localism Act, will remove top-down pressure on councils to review the extent of their green belt. This was likely to affect more than 30 areas across England. Our revision to planning guidance on Traveller sites, currently in draft, proposes to strengthen protection of the green belt and open countryside.

Housing: Construction

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the proportion of new homes built on land classified as gardens since 1997. [89291]

Greg Clark: The following table shows the percentage of dwellings built on previously-residential land since 1997 which includes gardens and land on which dwellings have been demolished.

  Percentage of new dwellings built on previously-residential land (1, 2)

1997

11

16 Jan 2012 : Column 554W

1998

12

1999

12

2000

15

2001

15

2002

15

2003

16

2004

19

2005

20

2006

22

2007

27

2008

24

2009

28

2010(p)

23

(1 )As reported by Ordnance Survey, mainly excluding conversions. (2 )Includes development on gardens and after demolition of dwellings. Source: Land Use Change Statistics Live Table 221

Until June 2010, gardens were classified as brownfield sites, despite their contribution to the environment, biodiversity, and local character. In June 2010, the coalition Government amended the definition of brownfield sites to exclude gardens to give councils greater powers to prevent unwanted garden grabbing.

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 21 November 2011, Official Report, columns 59-60W, on housing, what estimate he has made of the number of square miles of land needed for additional households by 2033. [89495]

Andrew Stunell: The Department does not estimate the amount of land needed for additional households. However, the Department publishes household projections, which are a trend-based view of the number of households that would form given a projected population and previous demographic trends. Local authorities should use the household projections as a part of the evidence base for assessing future housing demand, including the amount of land needed to accommodate that housing.