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Primary Care Trusts

Volume 407: debated on Monday 23 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what spending plans Southend Primary Care Trust has made for financial year 2003–04, broken down by types of treatment. [118512]

The information requested is not published by the Department of Health. However, Southend Primary Care Trust has taken its local delivery plans to a number of key forums to ensure a wide stakeholder involvement. This includes patients, the local Community Health Council and local general practitioners. A detailed paper was presented to Southend PCT Board in May 2003, which outlined their expenditure plans for 2003–04.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how his Department monitors compliance by PCTs with the requirement that funds are made available for the implementation of NICE guidance not later than three months after issue; and if he will make a statement; [119669](2) what further plans he has to address the local variations in prescribing atypical antipsychotic drugs for the treatment of people with schizophrenia; and if he will make a statement; [119670](3) what measures are being taken to increase the number of primary care trusts who are implementing the National Institute for Clinical Excellence guidance on HTA; [119674](4) what estimate he has made of the number of people who do not have access to the most modern drugs to treat schizophrenia as set out in the National Institute for Clinical Excellence guidance of June 2002. [119675]

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued guidance on the use of newer (atypical) antipsychotic drugs for the treatment of schizophrenia in June 2002. It is recommended that atypical antipsychotics should be considered as options for the treatment of schizophrenia. The clinician responsible for prescribing the medication should do so following appropriate assessment of the patient and taking into account the views of the patient (or their advocate if appropriate), and the relative benefits and side effects. The statistics currently available on the use of atypical antipsychotics indicate a continuing rise in the prescribing of these products, but no estimates are available of the number of patients who may not be receiving treatment in accordance with NICE guidance.National health service bodies are under a statutory obligation to fund treatments recommended in NICE technology appraisals. We expect primary care trusts (PCTs) to meet their statutory obligations, and strategic health authorities to follow up any allegations of non-compliance. We last reminded PCTs of their obligations in guidance published in January 2003.