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26 Feb 2003 : Column WA33

Written Answers

Wednesday, 26th February 2003.

General Commissioners of Income Tax: Buckinghamshire, Dorset and West Sussex Divisions

Baroness Massey of Darwen asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are their proposals for the amalgamations of divisions of the General Commissioners of Income Tax in Buckinghamshire, Dorset and West Sussex.[HL1843]

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): On 21 February 2003 I made an order under Section 2(6) of the Taxes Management Act 1970 amalgamating a number of divisions in Buckinghamshire, Dorset and West Sussex as follows.

From 1 March 2003, the Amersham and High Wycombe divisions shall be merged into a new division to be called the South Buckinghamshire division. The divisions of Blandford and Wareham; New Forest West; Poole and Wimbourne shall be merged into one new division to be called the Wessex division. That order also gives effect from 1 April 2003 to the merger of Chichester; Worthing and Shoreham into one new division to be called West Sussex, Western division and the divisions of East Grinstead, Horsham and Haywards Heath to be merged into a new division to be called West Sussex, Northern division.

All the amalgamations were made at the request of the General Commissioners in all the divisions with the aim of improving the organisational efficiency of the divisions concerned. I have placed a copy of the order amalgamating the divisions in the Library of this House.

Intelligence and Security Committee Report: Government's Response

Lord Burlison asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they will respond to the Intelligence and Security Committee's inquiry into intelligence, assessments and advice prior to the terrorist bombings on Bali 12 October 2002.[HL1876]

The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Williams of Mostyn): The Prime Minister has today laid before the House the Government's response to the Intelligence and Security Committee's report.

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NHS: Use of International Healthcare Providers

Baroness Barker asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What guidance will be given to the National Health Service regarding the purchase of clinical and medical services from St George's Medical School, Grenada.[HL1246]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The National Health Service is able to purchase care from international healthcare providers by either referring patients to overseas hospitals or inviting overseas clinical teams to provide services within the United Kingdom. Recent changes to the NHS Act 1977 give primary care trusts the opportunity to purchase care on a global basis. General guidance on the purchasing of treatment and the use of medical teams from overseas is available to all NHS trusts and to potential providers via the Department of Health's website. PCTs and lead commissioners are encouraged to consider proposals from all interested providers explaining to them what is required to meet their specifications.

NHS Trusts: Retained Deficits

Baroness Noakes asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 27 January (WA 133), whether the deficits of National Health Service trusts at 31 March 2002 as listed in the Answer exceeded 0.5 per cent of the turnover of the National Health Service trust; and, if so, whether they will name those National Health Service trusts and state the expected recovery period of the deficit.[HL1338]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The recovery periods, where appropriate, are given in the following table. There are 50 National Health Service trusts listed in the Answer, of which 31 had deficits that exceeded 0.5 per cent of turnover. Of these, five were merged/dissolved at the end of 2001–02 and a further four while reporting an in-year deficit, had offset this with surpluses in previous years and therefore did not require a recovery period.

NHS trusts with retained deficit in 2001–02 exceeding 0.5 per cent of turnover Recovery period to
West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust2002–03
East Berkshire Community Health TrustNo break-even cumulative deficit
Somerset Partnership NHS and Social Care Trust2003–04
Sussex Weald and Downs NHS Trust2002–03
Bedford Hospitals NHS Trust2002–03
Mid Sussex NHS TrustMerged/Dissolved
Southampton Community Health Services TrustNo break-even cumulative deficit
United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust2004–05
Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust2002–03
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust2002–03
Royal West Sussex NHS Trust2002–03
Dartford and Gravesham NHS TrustNo break-even cumulative deficit
North Bristol NHS Trust2002–03
North Essex Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust2003–04
Avon and Wiltshire MHP NHS Trust2002–03
South Warwickshire Combined NHS TrustMerged/Dissolved
Bedfordshire and Luton Community NHS Trust2003–04
Worthing Priority Care Services TrustMerged/Dissolved
Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust2003–04
Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust2003–04
West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust2002–03
The Princess Royal Hospital NHS Trust2003–04
Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Trust2004–05
Portsmouth Health Care NHS TrustMerged/Dissolved
Weston Area Health NHS Trust2002–03
Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust2002–03
Surrey Hampshire Borders NHS TrustNo break-even cumulative deficit
Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust2002–03
North Hampshire Hospitals NHS Trust2003–04
Hounslow and Spelthorne Community and Mental Health Trust Merged/Dissolved
Royal Shrewsbury Hospitals NHS Trust2003–04


NHS trust summarisation schedules (breakeven note) and Department of Health records.

26 Feb 2003 : Column WA35

Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centres: Funding

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they intend to increase funding for drug and alcohol treatment centres, whether statutory or voluntary, in the coming financial year; and what provision is being made for increasing staff numbers in such centres.[HL1465]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: In this financial year (2002–03), to ensure both increased availability and also higher quality drug treatment services, the Government made available £195.7 million for the pooled drug treatment budget. This meant that all health authorities received an increase of at least 30 per cent on the previous year's drug treatment allocation. In 2003–04 primary care trusts, who will be acting as bankers for the pooled drug treatment budget will receive a further average increase of 23 per cent. The Government in April 2001 established the National Treatment Agency (NTA), with the remit of increasing the effectiveness and availability of drug treatment. The NTA recognises the importance of both increasing the numbers and the skills of those working within the drug treatment sector and that is why it has identified workforce issues as one of their priority work areas. Latest reports from drug action team (DAT) treatment plans suggest that the workforce is currently growing ahead of target. The treatment plan envisages growth of 350 posts between 2002–03 and 450 between 2003–04. DATs are currently reporting growth of 1,088 posts 2002–03 and are projecting a further 680 between 2003–04. The majority of the funding for alcohol treatment is spent via the general budgets of primary care trusts and local social services departments, which is consistent with provision being determined following a local consideration of need. This method of funding

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means that it is not possible to give details of current or planned future spending on alcohol treatment, but latest estimates indicate that around £95 million is spent each year on treatment in England, and that most of this funding is provided by the Government.

Smoking in Pregnancy

Baroness Gale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What measures they intend to introduce to encourage pregnant women to stop smoking.[HL1524]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Government will continue to take positive action to encourage pregnant women to stop smoking. A health education campaign specifically designed to reach pregnant women and their partners is supported by the NHS Pregnancy Smoking Helpline. Operated on behalf of the Department of Health by the charity QUIT, the helpline not only offers confidential advice but offers callbacks to women to support them through their pregnancy. In 2001–02 and 2002–03 a total of £6 million was allocated to fund the appointment of champions of services for pregnant smokers. An additional strand of this campaign involves publicity aimed at the partners of pregnant women to encourage their support. The Priorities and Planning Framework published on 2 October 2002 includes a key inequalities target for the reduction by one percentage point a year through the period 2003–04 to 2005–06 in the proportion of women continuing to smoke throughout pregnancy.

Healthy Eating among Young Adults

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 15 January 2002, what progress they have made on a healthy eating campaign for young adults.[HL1661]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Food Standards Agency commissioned research involving young people to identify appropriate ways to reach this group. In light of this and other expert opinion, the agency is currently considering the potential to undertake work to promote healthy eating to this group, possibly on a pilot basis in the first instance.

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