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Written Answers

Volume 461: debated on Friday 15 June 2007

Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 14 June 2007

Health

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether her Department has conducted comparative research on the cost to the NHS of treating the effects of addiction to alcohol and tobacco. (138180)

The Department, in partnership with the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA), published Models of Care for Alcohol Misusers in November 2005. Models of Care was informed by the review of the effectiveness of treatment for alcohol problems commissioned by the NTA. Both publications have been placed in the Library and are available at:

www.dh.gov.uk/en/Policyandguidance/Healthandsocialcaretopics/Alcoholmisuse/Alcoholmisusegeneralinformation/DH_4130659

www.nta.nhs.uk/publications/documents/nta_review_of_ the_effectiveness_of_treatment_for_alcohol_problems_ fullreport_2006_alcohol2.pdf

The Health Technology Assessment Programme, part of the Department's National Institute for Health Research, is currently supporting two studies looking in part at the cost effectiveness of therapies designed to help people stop smoking. These are:

a systematic review of the effectiveness and an economic analysis of cut down to quit with nicotine replacement therapies; and

relapse prevention in NHS stop smoking services: a review of current practice, potential effectiveness and cost effectiveness.

Angina: Medical Treatments

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment (a) her Department and (b) the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has made of the use of enhanced external counter pulsation treatment for angina; (140705)

(2) which primary care trusts fund the provision of enhanced external counter pulsation treatment;

(3) what assessment she has made of the availability of enhanced external counter pulsation treatment for individuals with angina in (a) South East Essex primary care trust and (b) primary care trusts which do not provide enhanced external counter pulsation treatment.

Enhanced external counter pulsation (EECP) is not routinely offered to patients with angina by the national health service. There is currently insufficient evidence on the benefits of using EECP to treat angina. Although there is currently insufficient evidence, should this situation change the position can be reviewed. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence were made aware of EECP in 2004, but were unable to pursue an appraisal.

Most central funding is allocated directly to local primary care trusts (PCTs) and health authorities. Individual PCTs are responsible for funding services that reflect the priorities and needs of the local population. The Department is unable to comment on the funding decisions each PCT makes.

Arthritis: Young People

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many children under the age of 16 years in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England (i) were diagnosed with and (ii) required treatment for the juvenile form of rheumatoid arthritis in each year since 1997; (140827)

(2) how many adults in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England (i) were diagnosed with and (ii) required treatment for rheumatoid arthritis in each year since 1997.

Bereavement Counselling: Buckinghamshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what resources and funding have been made available for bereavement services in 2006-07 in Buckinghamshire primary care trust; and if she will make a statement. (141190)

This is a matter for Buckinghamshire primary care trust (PCT). PCTs are responsible for the provision of local services, including bereavement services.

Blood Transfusions

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what factors she will take into account when making a decision on whether to instigate prion filtration in blood transfusion. (142831)

The Department will take advice on the use of prion reduction filters from independent evaluations recommended by the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee to test the efficacy and reproducibility of the filters, an approach endorsed by Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Blood and Tissues and Organs. The Department will take the following factors into account when considering prion reduction filters: the results of clinical safety trials and whether they indicate no adverse effect on patients with the use of filtered blood; that filtered blood units meet the required product specification; the results of an independent evaluation of the efficacy of the filtered in reducing variant Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease (vCJD) infectivity in blood; estimates of the prevalence of preclinical vCJD or a carrier state in the donor population and consequent estimates of infections prevented through filtration and the benefit of life years saved; the cost of implementation of filtration compared with the benefit received and the availability of other technologies to reduce infectivity in blood.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if her Department will introduce new treatments and technologies to reduce the risk to public health from blood transfusions on the basis of successful patient trials in Europe and the US. (142833)

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) has a duty to investigate any new technologies which might improve the safety of the blood supply. Currently, NHSBT is investigating vCJD screening, new filters to remove infectious prions, bacterial screening of platelets and pathogen inactivation of platelets. Such assessments consist of review of manufacturers’ data on efficacy and quality of the product, laboratory studies and clinical trials as appropriate. NHSBT might need to perform additional studies. Only licenced methods are considered.

All blood safety measures are considered by the Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Blood, Tissues, and Organs for Transplantation.

Blood: Contamination

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many of the documents rediscovered by her Department referred to in the Review of Documentation relating to the Safety of Blood Products—1970-1985 relate to self-sufficiency; and if she will make a statement. (142663)

The review identifies that 20.5 per cent. of papers have been categorised as relating to self sufficiency. The focus of the review was 1970-85, and 90 per cent. of the documents related to this time period, just under 10 per cent. fell outside this timeline.

Lord Archer has been advised that the Department will release all papers identified in the review, in line with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The papers will be released to Lord Archer’s inquiry as quickly as possible, in batches on a monthly basis.

British Food

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of food served in (a) buildings occupied by her Department and (b) NHS hospitals was of British origin in (i) 2005 and (ii) 2006. (111125)

80 per cent. of food served through the approved supplier of catering and hospitality services to the Departmental estate was home-grown and 20 per cent. produced from other countries in 2005 and 2006.

National health service trusts select the suppliers that provide food for their trust and information relating to the proportion of food served of British origin in all NHS hospitals is not held centrally. However, NHS Supply Chain manages approximately 55 per cent. of the NHS food market, with the balance via facilities management companies and smaller wholesalers. For the period 1 April 2005 to 31 March 2006, NHS Supply Chain sourced 59 per cent. of meat from the United Kingdom, while the remainder was imported. The organisation sourced 40 per cent of fruit and vegetables in the UK, while 60 per cent. was imported.

Dental Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people accessed open access dental surgeries by health region in the last 12 months. (140985)

Information on people accessing open access dental surgeries is not collected centrally. However, information on patients seen in the last 24 months in all dental primary care settings is available.

Numbers of patients seen in the previous 24 months ending 31 March, 30 June, 30 September and 31 December 2006 are available in Section Fl of Annex 3 of the National Health Service Dental Statistics for England Q3: 31 December 2006 report, and copies are available in the Library.

Information is as at strategic health authority and primary care trust level in England and the report, published by The Information Centre for health and social care, is also available at:

www.ic.nhs.uk/statistics-and-data-collections/primary-care/dentistry/nhs-dental-statistics-for-england-q3:-31-december-2006

Departments: Data Protection

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many times her Department was found to have been in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement. (139213)

The definition of found to have been in breach can be broad. Depending on their nature, breaches by Government Departments of the Data Protection Act 1998 can be dealt with by the Information Commissioner, the courts or by Departments at an informal local level. The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departments: Gateway Reference Number

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many documents coded with a gateway reference number were issued by her Department in each year since 2000. (139240)

The information is shown in the following table.

External gateway reference numbers issued for the Department for calendar years 2000-06

The Department external gateway reference numbers issued

2000 and 20011

20022

445

20032

887

20043

820

20053

1,045

20063

1,148

1 For years 2000 and 2001: no figures available as the Department’s external gateway was introduced in December 2001.

2 For years 2002 and 2003: the figures include all documents received by the Department’s external gateway; and the way the data is captured does not allow reference numbers issued to arms length bodies, other Government Departments and external organisations to be excluded.

3 The Department’s external gateway database was introduced in August 2003 and the quality of data is much more robust for years 2004-06 and not comparable to pre-August 2003.

The table highlights the number of documents/communications approved for publication/issue to the national health service/social care and that received a departmental external gateway reference number. However, these figures do not represent actual documents/communications issued, as the publication of some could have been re-considered following approval.

In addition, the majority of approved documents/communications are not directly issued to the NHS/social care as individual communications. Instead, brief summaries of the document are communicated via weekly, monthly or quarterly bulletins, with web addresses where more detailed information can be found. In some instances, documents may be approved simply for publication on the Department website only.

No one in the NHS will receive all of these documents/communications. The vast majority are targeted to specific organisations. For example, some will go to ambulance trusts, some to primary care trusts, some to strategic health authorities and so on. The communications are then further targeted so that only the appropriate audience within those organisations receive the documents, for example, cancer leads, public health leads, mental health leads, chief executives, finance directors etc.

Ministerial Travel

To ask the Secretary of State for Health which Ministers in her Department have visited India in the last 12 months; on how many occasions each Minister visited India; and what the length was of each visit. (135539)

The Government publishes an annual list of Cabinet Ministers’ travel overseas costing over £500 along with the total cost of all ministerial travel. Information for 2005-06 was published on 24 July 2006 and is available in the Library. Information for 2006-07 will be published as soon as it is ready.

All travel is in accordance with the Ministerial Code and Travel by Ministers.

A detailed list of visits by all United Kingdom Ministers to India since 2003 can be found on the British High Commission website at:

www.britishhighcommission.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1038154781863

Departments: Internet

To ask the Secretary of State for Health for which Government websites she is responsible; how many visitors each received in the latest period for which figures are available; and what the cost (a) was of establishing and (b) has been of maintaining each site. (135719)

The Department has ownership of two main websites. They are:

1: The Department of Health website (www.dh.gov.uk)

Visits

2004-05

8,643,914

2005-06

10,980,854

2006-07

10,168,508

Costs:

(a) the cost of establishing the Departmental corporate website site on a new service in 2006-07 was £1,570,000

(b) the cost of maintaining the existing service in parallel in 2006-07 was £2,343,643. This includes the cost of contingency arrangements due to the late delivery of the new service, most of which will be recovered in compensation from the supplier.

2. The NHS website (www.nhs.uk)

Visits

2005-06

12,404,000

2006-07

17,657,409

Costs:

The cost in 2006-07 (covering development, content, delivery and staffing) was £1.7 million.

In addition to the two main websites (above), the Department funds and/or manages a further 111 websites.

The Department is actively engaged in reducing this number of sites, in accordance with the guidelines and timetables set for website rationalisation under Transformational Government.

Indeed, the Department has already shut down 27 websites and has plans in place to terminate 53 sites out of the 111 figure above. By the end of this project in 2011, all 111 sites will either be closed or migrated to DH.gov.uk, NHS.uk, NHS Direct, Directgov or Business Link.

The information in the table lists visitor figures for 35 sites. To assemble the statistics for the other sites would incur disproportionate cost.

The total estimated cost for these websites in 2006-07 was £699,134. This cost is approximate and cannot be broken down further. Some sites include campaign expenditure and start-up funding and therefore costs will be spread over a period of years.

Other Department of health websites: Average monthly visits, 2006-07

Visits

www.hepc.nhs.uk

6,750

www.immunisation.nhs.uk

35,000

www.gosmokefree.co.uk

167,500

www.condomessentialwear.co.uk

181,000

www.stayinghard.info

1103,000

www.talktofrank.com

1443,000

www.uglysmoking.info

1123,000

www.breastfeeding.nhs.uk

3,250

www.nhsidentity.nhs.uk

6,000

www.photolibrary.nhs.uk

200

www.mmrthefacts.nhs.uk

20,000

www.nhscommslink.nhs.uk

1,625

www.pathologyimprovement.nhs.uk

1,500

www.clean-safe-care.nhs.uk

850

www.18weeks.nhs.uk

9,000

www.socialworkandcare.co.uk

123,000

www.smokefreeengland.co.uk

16,000

www.nhsprocure21.dh.gov.uk

1000

www.nhs-procure21.gov.uk

1500

www.info.doh.gov.uk/doh/iar.nsf?open

150

www.info.doh.gov.uk/doh/notice.nsf/frames2?openform

200

www.info.doh.gov.uk/renalnsf/renaltrans.nsf

36

www.info.doh.gov.uk/doh/depisusers.nsf/Main?readForm

369

www.info.doh.gov.uk/doh/oldpeople.nsf/main?readform

138

www.info.doh.gov.uk/pathology/patdis01.nsf

329

www.info.doh.gov.uk/publichealth/hidis.nsf

197

www.advisorybodies.doh.gov.uk

64,000

www.info.doh.gov.uk/cmo/CMOUpdate.nsf/RegistrationMenu?OpenForm

61

www.info.doh.gov.uk/Cvts/VTSPCW.nsf

24

www.info.doh.gov.uk/doh/embroadcast.nsf

1,150

www.info.doh.gov.uk/nhs/cdoweb.nsf/Main?OpenFrameset

181

www.info.doh.gov.uk/nhsfactsheets.nsf

2,600

www.info.doh.gov.uk/sar/cmopatie.nsf

3,039

www.nationalleadershipnetwork.org

800

www.performance.doh.gov.uk

96,000

Total monthly visits

1,112,449

1 Peak figure when running campaigns.

Departments: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her Department's directorates are; and how many (a) individuals and (b) full-time equivalent staff work in them. (137292)

The individual and full-time equivalent breakdown for each of the Department's directorates, as at 30 April 2007, is shown in the following table.

Directorate

Number of individuals

Number of full time equivalents

Clinical Programmes

67

61.6

Commercial

5

4.6

Commissioning

264

257.4

Communications

107

105.4

Connecting for Health

29

28.5

Departmental Management

596

583.0

Equality and Human Rights1

24

22.7

Experience Involvement and Professional Leadership

75

72.9

Finance and Investment

215

208.6

Health and Care Partnerships

94

92.3

Health Improvement2

203

196.4

Healthcare Quality

51

48.2

Health Protection, International Health and Scientific Development

149

145.9

Policy and Strategy

137

133.5

Provider Development

44

43.0

Research and Development

55

51.0

Social Care

72

68.5

Workforce

106

101.2

1 Headed by a Director rather than a Director General.

2 Includes Regional Public Health Groups.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff funded by the public purse in her Department are classified as people without posts. (137668)

The Department currently has 47 people not in permanent posts but carrying out meaningful work across the organisation until a permanent post can be identified to which they are then deployed.

Departments: Ministerial Policy Advisers

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many of her Department’s special advisers were on (a) paid and (b) unpaid leave in order to assist with party political matters under section 22 (iii) of the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers on 16 May 2007; and how many days’ leave each adviser was granted. (140126)

Special advisers involvement in party political matters is conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers, including section 22 (iii), and the guidance issued by the Cabinet Secretary in December 2006 and May 2007, copies of which are available in the Library.

Departments: Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many bonuses were awarded to senior civil servants working at (a) her Department, (b) its agencies and (c) the NHS in each year between 1997 and 2006; and what the total cost was of those bonuses in each year. (139265)

The available information is as follows:

Number of bonuses awarded

Total cost (£)

2004-05

123

642,625.00

2005-06

172

884,985.88

2006-07

164

1,073,050.62

The information for years between 1997-98 and 2003-04 could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency)

Number of bonuses awarded

Total cost (£)

2005-06

62

254,567.60

2006-07

60

342,597.00

NHS PASA (Purchasing and Supply Agency)

Number of bonuses awarded

Total cost (£)

2005-06

2

7,430.00

2006-07

7

31,758.45

Both the MHRA and NHS PASA do not hold bonus information going back any further then 2005-06.

The national health service does not employ senior civil servants.

Departments: Public Relations

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent by her Department on public relations in each of the last five years. (139425)

Diabetes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in England were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in each of the last 30 years. (140640)

The number of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is not available in the format requested. Figures are not available for type 1 and type 2 diabetes separately.

The total number of patients aged 17 and over on practice registers in England who have an appropriate diabetes diagnosis in 2004-05 was 1.77 million people1.

The total number of patients aged 17 and over on practice registers in England who have an appropriate diabetes diagnosis in 2005-06 was 1.89 million people2.

It is estimated that over 90 per cent. of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.

Notes:

The difference between 1.77 million in 2004-05 and 1.89 million in 2005-06 does not mean that extra 0.12 million patients were diagnosed within those 12 months. The figures are a function of diagnosis recording on practice registers, and therefore were subject to data quality review in that period, as the QOF was being established. Patients with diabetes aged under 17 are not included because they are regarded as receiving their diabetes management in the secondary care sector.

Sources:

1 2004-05 Quality and Outcomes Framework” (QOF) data published by The Information Centre for health and social care. This is the first year of data from this source.

2 Source 2005-06 QOF data published by The Information Centre for health and social care.

Doctors: Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to safeguard patient care at the beginning of August 2007 when doctors in training will all change jobs. (135693)

Not all doctors in training will change jobs on the same date at the beginning of August. Arrangements for 2007 will reflect current practice as most doctors at the level equivalent to the senior house officer grade will start in the first week of August, while doctors at the equivalent of the specialist registrar grade will have staggered start dates.

To ensure service is maintained at the beginning of August and patient care is not compromised, NHS Employers are working with trusts to plan now for managing the transition in the period after 1 August. These plans include advertising locum posts on NHS jobs to fill training posts and using extensions to contracts or service posts.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the reasons were for abandoning the policy of staggered changeover dates for doctors in training posts. (135694)

The previous policy has not been abandoned. Arrangements for 2007 will reflect current practice.

In the past most doctors at senior house officer (SHO) level changed over in the first week of August. The doctors at specialist registrar (SpR) level traditionally change over in July, September or October.

New specialty training programmes commence in August 2007. Most doctors at the level equivalent to the SHO grade will continue to start in the first week of August. Doctors at the equivalent of SpR level will continue to have staggered start dates.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 14 May 2007, Official Report, column 582W, on the Medical Training Application Service (MTAS) website, whether her Department monitors the number of visitors to the MTAS website; and what other information about visits to the MTAS website her Department monitors. (140719)

[holding answer 6 June 2007]: The Department’s supplier monitors the number of visitors to the Medical Training Application Service website and page visits. The total average daily visits and peak daily visits are reported to the Department monthly. The most recent figures are for the month of April and are shown in the table.

April

Total number of visits to the website in period

245,314

Average number of visits per day within the period

8,177

Peak number of visits in one day within the period

22,423

Cumulative number of users registered

51,474

Elderly: Malnutrition

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what work she has undertaken on her national action plan on malnutrition among elderly patients; and when she plans to publish the outcome of that work. (140479)

The Department and stakeholders are drawing up an action plan to tackle the nutritional care of all adults in health and social care settings (which will include older people). The plan will be made available once it has been shared and discussed with stakeholders this summer.

GMOs: Contamination

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the cost of the GM rice (LL601) contamination incident to (a) food businesses, (b) Government Departments, (c) local authorities, including port authorities, (d) the Food Standards Agency and (e) the catering and food service sectors. (142667)

The Food Standards Agency has not estimated the cost of the genetically modified rice (LL601) incident to itself, food businesses, Government Departments, local authorities (including port authorities) or the catering and food service sectors.

Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to maintain patient care when all junior doctors move posts on 1 August. (137208)

To ensure service is maintained at the beginning of August and patient care is not compromised, strategic health authorities are working with trusts and NHS Employers are working with the Department to plan now for managing the transition in the period after 1 August. These plans include advertising locum posts on NHS Jobs to fill training posts and using extensions to contracts or service posts.

Not all doctors in training will change jobs on the same date at the beginning of August. Arrangements for 2007 will reflect current practice as most doctors at the level equivalent to the senior house officer grade will start in the first week of August, while doctors at the equivalent of the specialist registrar grade will have staggered start dates.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will place in the Library a copy of the discussion paper on providers which she presented to the King's Fund on 7 December 2006. (137293)

Health Services: Social Work

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to re-examine the role of social care providers in the running of LINKS programmes following the recent Health Select Committee report on patient and public health involvement in the NHS; and if she will make a statement. (141148)

As stated in the Government response to the Health Select Committee report, laid in Parliament on Monday 11 June, an organisation being a social care provider does not prevent it from also advocating on behalf of patients and users of health and social care services. We believe it is more than reasonable to expect potential host organisations to demonstrate that they are able to manage their existing responsibilities as well as take on the role of supporting a LINk.

The host will be accountable to the LINk and in its support function will be required to follow the LINk’s direction irrespective of what its own interests might be. The sort of organisations that we expect to become hosts are used to dealing with these kinds of issues all the time, as indeed are local authorities.

The model contract specification currently being drafted, addresses this issue and will include a requirement for an organisation to demonstrate it can deliver the contract without any conflict of interest.

Health Visitors

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the effect of the conclusions of Agenda for Change on (a) roles and functions and (b) pay and conditions of health visitors. (139608)

The Agenda for Change pay system does not specify the roles or functions of staff but it does provide an objective means of determining the weight of jobs whose role and function is determined by the employer, and therefore the pay band in which those jobs should be placed. To assist employers in objectively assessing health visitor jobs, two national job profiles have been prepared for typical health visitor roles, which would fall in pay band 6 and pay band 7. Health visitors whose jobs match these profiles would have basic pay in the ranges of £23,458 to £31,779 and £28,313 to £37,326 (1 November 2007) respectively.

Health Visitors: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment she has made of the trends in numbers of health visitors working in the NHS over the last 10 years; (139227)

(2) how many health visitors were working for the NHS in (a) September 2005 and (b) September 2006;

(3) what work force planning the NHS has undertaken, with particular reference to the future recruitment and retention of health visitors;

(4) what assessment she has made of (a) the age profile of health visitors working for the NHS and (b) its implications for future recruitment and retention of health visitors.

Table 1 shows the number of health visitors in the national health service in England over the last 10 years.

The number of health visitors has remained static over the last 10 years but there has been significant growth in the overall number of nurses working in primary and community care settings in both 2005-06 of 1,039 (1 per cent.) and since 1997 of 29,543 (38.2 per cent.).

Work force planning in terms of the recruitment and retention of health visitors is a matter for local work force planners in local primary care trusts and strategic health authorities as they are best placed to assess the health visiting needs of their local population.

Table 2 shows the age profile of health visitors as at September 2006.

Table 1: health visitors employed in the NHS (England) as at September each year (headcount) and (FTE)

Headcount

Full time equivalent

1997

12,410

10,030

1998

12,570

10,070

1999

12,800

10,160

2000

12,827

10,046

2001

13,053

10,186

2002

12,774

9,912

2003

12,984

9,999

2004

13,303

10,137

2005

12,818

9,809

20061

12,034

9,376

1 More accurate validation in 2006 has resulted in 232 headcount duplicate records being identified and removed from the non-medical census.

Source:

Department of Health Non-Medical Workforce Census

Table 2: age profile of health visitors as at September 2006

Headcount

Health visitor

Under 25

13

25 to 29

274

30 to 34

672

35 to 39

1,402

40 to 44

2,257

45 to 49

2,590

50 to 54

2,126

55 to 59

1,588

60 to 64

672

65 and over

89

Unknown

351

All staff

12,034

Health Visitors: Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many training places there are for trainees wishing to acquire health visiting qualifications. (139229)

Hospitals: Infectious Diseases

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the purpose is of the web based surveillance system for Clostridium difficile and MRSA; and if she will make a statement. (138648)

Web-based reporting systems were introduced for all cases of Clostridium difficile associated disease in patients aged two years and over from April 2007 and for all cases of bloodstream infection caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from October 2005.

These web-based systems replace the quarterly reports sent by trusts to the Health Protection Agency regional offices. They have been introduced to support initiatives to control and prevent healthcare associated infections. These systems allow more efficient collection of reports and enable trusts to enter data at any time and view their own data. They provide trusts with a more accurate picture and contribute to building a better evidence base regarding risk factors for infection as trusts can see the data to assess the effectiveness of the interventions to reduce infections.

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust: Hospital Wards

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) mixed wards and (b) single sex wards there were in each hospital in the Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust in each of the last two years. (140844)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many wards in Hull and East Yorkshire hospitals NHS Trust were closed in the last 12 months. (140855)

This information is not collected centrally. Responsibility for local health services lies with the local national health service. It is now for primary care trusts in partnership with strategic health authorities and other local stakeholders to plan, develop and improve services for local people in accordance with local health needs.

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust: Redundancy

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many redundancies were made by Hull and East Yorkshire hospitals NHS Trust in the last 12 months. (140838)

No redundancies have been reported for the Hull and East Yorkshire hospitals NHS Trust in 2006-07.

Junior Doctors: Taunton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many junior doctors are registered in Taunton constituency. (141212)

The General Medical Council (GMC) keeps an up-to-date register of qualified doctors; all doctors must be registered with the GMC before they can work in the United Kingdom. Further information on the CMC can be found at:

www.gmc-uk.org

The number of doctors in training and equivalent grades employed by national health service organisations within Taunton constituency is shown in the table.

Hospital and community health services (HCHS): medical and dental staff, showing doctors in training and equivalent grades for NHS organisations within Taunton constituency as at 30 September 2006.

Number (headcount)

Total

Yeovil DistrictHospital NHS Foundation Trust

Taunton and Somerset NHS Trust

All staff

568

185

383

Doctors in training and equivalents of which:

269

75

194

Registrar group

76

10

66

Senior house officer

133

31

102

Foundation year two

19

19

0

House officer

41

15

26

Source:

The Information Centre for health and social care medical and dental workforce census.

Lincolnshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when (a) she and (b) one of her ministerial colleagues last visited Lincolnshire. (134673)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health has accepted an invitation to visit The Pilgrim hospital in Boston at a date to be agreed. No other Ministers have visited Lincolnshire.

Medical Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 19 March 2007, Official Report, column 584, on medical training, whether the medical training application system was subject to formal quality assurance. (131862)

I refer to the hon. Member to the written answer I gave the hon. Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr. Stuart) on 19 April 2007, Official Report, column 745.

Medical Training Application Service

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her answer of 16 May 2007, Official Report, columns 613-17, on the Medical Training Application Service, how many of the fixed-term specialty training posts available in 2007 will be converted into run-through training posts in 2008. (138798)

It is too early at this stage to say exactly what run-through and fixed-term posts will be available next year. This will depend, as it did this year, upon the results of local discussions between trusts and deaneries to establish the appropriate number of training posts required to meet patient and service needs.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her answer of 16 May 2007, Official Report, columns 613-17, on the Medical Training Application Service, where in the public domain the figures for the number of the medical training posts can be found. (138799)

The number of training posts agreed for the first round was available on the Medical Training Application Service while it was open.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her answer of 16 May 2007, Official Report, columns 613-7, on the Medical Training Application Service, how many training posts, in addition to those remaining from the 23,500 available after Round 1, there will be in Round 2; and when Round 2 interviews will commence. (138800)

Interviews for the further recruitment round will be managed locally and will start once the offers for each individual specialty in round one have been accepted or rejected. The number of additional training posts will include at least 200 run-through posts plus substantial further opportunities.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her answer of 16 May 2007, Official Report, columns 613-7, on the Medical Training Application Service, how many foundation year two applicants have failed to get an interview for ST1 posts. (138802)

As outlined in the statement by the Review of Recruitment and Selection for Specialty and General Practitioner Training in England on 4 April 2007, all eligible applicants to specialty training (excluding general practice) in England will be invited to an interview for their affirmed first preference.

NHS Work Force

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 26 February 2007, Official Report, column 1121W, on the NHS work force, when she expects the East of England strategic health authority to complete its feasibility study into establishing a local voluntary guaranteed employment scheme; whether she plans to publish the study; and when her Department plans to take a decision on the viability of such schemes. (131895)

One of the recommendations of “The Action Plan - A Social Partnership Forum Action Plan for Maximising Employment Opportunities for Newly Qualified Healthcare Professionals in a Changing NHS” published on 13 April is that East of England strategic health authority undertake a feasibility study to maximise employment opportunities for newly qualified health care professionals. This will include assessing the feasibility of an employment guarantee scheme for newly qualified health care professionals.

The feasibility study will last for one year and was officially launched on 15 May by East of England strategic health authority.

The outcome of the feasibility study will determine whether employment guarantee schemes are a viable option. If so, the nature and length of these schemes will be defined upon relevant factors established through the study.

Stakeholder representatives on the social partnership forum will be involved in this decision-making process and the final outcome, once known, will be published.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 25 January 2007, Official Report, column 2045W, on the NHS work force, what her Department’s most recent estimate is of changes in the NHS work force in the financial year 2006-07. (131903)

The recently published census showed there has been a small reduction in the overall national health service work force of 8,118 full-time equivalent (FTE) or 0.7 per cent. of the total (17,390 headcount) in England from September 2005 to September 2006. This should be seen in the context of there being almost 250,000 FTE (280,000 headcount) more staff working in the NHS in England than in 1997 as there are now over 34,000 FTE (35,000 HC) doctors and over 65,000 FTE (79,000 HC) more nurses in the NHS than in 1997.

Doctors account for 13.9 per cent. of the FTE increase in the work force and nurses 26.5 per cent., compared with just 5.5 per cent. managers.

There has been an increase in the number of doctors and an increase in the number of permanent qualified nurses now in the system. In addition, there are now fewer managers working in the NHS, the first fall since 1995.

The numbers show that the work force overall is starting to re-balance with demand equalling supply.

NHS: Consultants

To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what date her Department received Treasury approval for the new contract for NHS consultants agreed in October 2003. (140011)

New contracts for doctors formed part of the discussions between the Department and HM Treasury during the 2002 Spending Review, which concluded in July 2002.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether her Department set up a (a) working group, (b) steering group and (c) any other regular series of meetings on the new contract for NHS consultants prior to October 2003. (140013)

The Department set up a number of working groups and reference groups, which included key stakeholders, during the negotiation and implementation of the consultant contract.

NHS: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when account was taken of forecast rates of inflation in determining the (a) prospective increase in the rates of pay for NHS nurses and (b) proposed increase in the cost of a prescription. (126191)

The review body on nurses and other health professions is required to have regard to the Government’s inflation target, and its consideration of pay and price changes in relation to its recommendation of a 2.5 per cent. increase in nurses pay this year is set out in chapter 7 of its “Twenty Second Report on Nursing an Other Health Professions 2007” (Cm 7029) published in March.

No account was taken of forecast rates of inflation in determining the increase in the prescription charge from 1 April 2007.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average per capita social services spending has been (a) in England and (b) in each local authority area since 1979. (140560)

There would be disproportionate costs incurred to produce information at this level of detail across the whole time period requested. The following table therefore shows the information (in cash terms, including adults and children's social care) from 2000-01, from which time an improved means was introduced for collecting these data through an annual return.

The average per capita social services spending from 2000-01 to 2005-06 for each council

£

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Cumbria

169

189

217

247

283

308

Northumberland

212

240

260

314

349

387

Gateshead

278

288

322

338

377

396

Newcastle upon Tyne

282

306

416

378

412

429

North Tyneside

251

274

350

396

405

442

South Tyneside

286

303

332

403

511

429

Sunderland

236

257

290

330

334

347

Hartlepool UA

232

242

287

305

356

385

Middlesbrough UA

243

274

313

324

344

382

Redcar and Cleveland UA

225

236

260

274

324

347

Stockton-on-Tees UA

194

205

221

236

263

294

Durham

204

226

260

319

349

365

Darlington UA

197

217

254

311

294

316

Barnsley

203

223

259

251

322

340

Doncaster

212

224

237

273

285

304

Rotherham

227

237

260

288

329

353

Sheffield

254

260

270

310

335

358

Bradford

218

229

258

303

335

343

Calderdale

216

229

252

285

308

335

Kirklees

207

226

247

268

321

358

Leeds

219

246

273

312

341

361

Wakefield

203

215

233

270

309

340

East Riding of Yorkshire UA

154

161

188

217

246

261

Kingston upon hull UA

300

312

338

345

370

428

North-east Lincolnshire UA

208

216

262

282

296

333

North Lincolnshire UA

189

209

246

268

298

313

North Yorkshire

159

167

201

238

266

282

York UA

166

169

208

228

242

260

Bolton

213

224

240

275

307

333

Bury

200

219

246

270

307

323

Manchester

324

368

414

462

515

557

Oldham

232

241

270

336

324

349

Rochdale

238

249

264

275

310

350

Salford

296

310

338

373

409

433

Stockport

224

229

249

278

309

322

Tameside

233

239

258

285

305

323

Trafford

198

215

240

267

286

312

Wigan

200

216

238

263

290

303

Knowsley

244

263

308

326

354

389

Liverpool

354

336

377

414

412

443

Sefton

238

249

295

316

337

352

St. Helens

246

256

263

295

330

372

Wirral

239

269

307

329

367

382

Cheshire

171

187

211

228

259

288

Halton UA

212

221

251

300

331

362

Warrington UA

163

177

207

228

259

286

Lancashire

194

206

237

286

313

331

Blackburn with Darwen UA

244

260

309

331

369

390

Blackpool UA

266

271

292

366

413

428

Warwickshire

151

168

197

235

255

267

Birmingham

266

277

302

332

371

411

Coventry

248

257

300

319

347

393

Dudley

188

202

231

260

292

318

Sandwell

261

283

322

352

425

433

Solihull

184

196

232

268

316

348

Walsall

243

263

319

394

439

457

Wolverhampton

268

281

315

343

386

424

Staffordshire

155

167

190

225

254

289

Stoke-on-Trent UA

221

240

276

306

345

377

Herefordshire UA

174

181

218

235

265

283

Worcestershire

170

178

207

254

270

288

Shropshire

161

178

203

252

258

271

Telford and the Wrekin UA

192

195

214

236

277

295

Lincolnshire

164

172

204

256

292

303

Northamptonshire

190

177

221

265

301

322

Derbyshire

194

202

225

268

293

313

Derby UA

233

247

253

283

304

329

Leicestershire

134

143

167

200

215

229

Leicester UA

258

276

309

330

357

379

Rutland UA

139

151

168

182

197

218

Nottinghamshire

172

181

212

280

305

315

Nottingham UA

287

298

324

338

371

375

Hertfordshire

189

207

236

285

315

333

Norfolk

185

198

233

277

309

356

Oxfordshire

190

200

214

252

262

265

Suffolk

177

193

225

269

307

336

Bedfordshire

181

192

216

261

294

284

Luton UA

239

253

266

293

355

376

Buckinghamshire

157

171

195

224

265

274

Milton Keynes UA

183

191

224

233

246

283

Bracknell Forest UA

201

219

226

246

266

298

West Berkshire UA

188

201

232

245

286

305

Reading UA

241

270

296

324

351

357

Slough UA

304

265

313

340

352

370

Windsor and Maidenhead UA

188

190

210

243

274

280

Wokingham UA

156

177

195

228

228

248

Essex

184

200

241

290

320

347

Southend-on-Sea UA

248

266

308

341

375

386

Thurrock UA

202

220

241

268

299

99

Cambridgeshire

161

178

203

248

277

307

Peterborough UA

231

237

283

267

307

330

Camden

471

469

480

502

525

540

Greenwich

402

414

447

477

509

517

Hackney

489

464

469

576

556

586

Hammersmith and Fulham

492

509

523

562

557

566

Islington

596

591

613

645

670

667

Kensington and Chelsea

462

434

438

430

424

411

Lambeth

473

497

519

589

607

631

Lewisham

384

429

452

498

549

546

Southwark

523

501

496

529

589

603

Tower Hamlets

450

502

537

540

581

615

Wandsworth

337

323

357

355

429

404

Westminster

516

514

537

513

505

472

City of London

1,005

929

920

926

816

817

Barking and Dagenham

373

391

439

468

497

521

Barnet

271

316

322

358

353

388

Bexley

216

232

256

279

291

306

Brent

278

272

303

358

360

381

Bromley

274

235

235

269

289

301

Croydon

242

268

315

364

380

401

Ealing

285

309

318

356

383

404

Enfield

266

285

310

370

347

388

Haringey

478

529

521

614

563

583

Harrow

267

278

290

310

350

361

Havering

210

232

259

265

304

312

Hillingdon

229

326

357

383

433

453

Hounslow

283

301

326

376

408

439

Kingston upon Thames

231

246

284

306

326

347

Merton

245

261

276

313

314

309

Newham

424

431

460

496

491

520

Redbridge

264

270

284

310

307

317

Richmond upon Thames

227

323

321

321

329

342

Sutton

228

227

266

288

311

333

Waltham Forest

353

355

372

403

401

403

Isle of Wight UA

203

212

259

301

334

361

Surrey

167

180

205

248

281

297

West Sussex

183

195

235

276

299

317

Dorset

165

179

200

252

279

310

Bournemouth UA

260

274

302

327

347

376

Poole UA

174

196

225

231

255

280

Hampshire

141

153

177

199

239

251

Portsmouth UA

257

262

303

308

340

359

Southampton UA

249

225

297

330

345

354

East Sussex

211

227

264

320

350

370

Brighton and Hove UA

267

285

332

376

430

439

Wiltshire

163

164

192

233

265

289

Swindon UA

178

200

232

250

279

292

Kent

211

225

270

302

310

311

Medway Towns UA

169

188

208

231

257

269

Cornwall

167

184

209

256

293

305

Gloucestershire

168

176

208

277

307

315

Somerset

167

174

203

231

264

288

Isles of Scilly

192

250

265

237

264

Bath and North-east Somerset UA

192

211

245

260

288

294

Bristol UA

242

261

298

325

369

381

North Somerset UA

157

168

223

288

322

337

South Gloucestershire UA

140

153

177

198

226

265

Devon

178

189

231

253

277

294

Plymouth UA

240

253

282

309

362

379

Torbay UA

238

250

301

392

425

445

England total

222

236

265

301

329

348

Notes:

1. The table shows total net cost of social services per head of population, this is the total spend excluding capital charges minus income received from client contributions and other income which includes income from the national health service.

2. In 2003-04 the supported people grant was introduced which should be taken into consideration when making comparisons over time. The expenditure information is actual spend and has not been adjusted for inflation.

3. Data are unavailable for the Isles of Scilly for 2000-01.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much budget allocation was provided for (a) NHS Greater Manchester, (b) Tameside and Glossop primary care trust and (c) Oldham primary care trust in each of the last three years, broken down by main categories of activity; and how much was spent against each budget in each case. (140650)

Primary care trusts (PCTs) are responsible for meeting the health needs of their population using the resources available to them. The following table shows the revenue resource limit for PCTs in Greater Manchester from the published accounts and the draft figures for 2006-07.

£ million

Organisation name

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Oldham PCT

267.9

300.4

318.5

Tameside and Glossop PCT

263.5

292.0

311.5

Ashton, Leigh and Wigan PCT

357.9

392.3

418.2

Bolton PCT

300.5

342.6

351.2

Bury PCT

194.4

214.3

231.6

Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale PCT

247.1

274.4

288.5

Salford Teaching PCT

325.6

344.3

368.3

Manchester PCT

672.5

735.4

781.6

Stockport PCT

313.8

356.8

366.2

Trafford PCT

239.7

271.4

275.3

NHS: Labour Turnover

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate her Department has made of the number of NHS staff who left the NHS (a) to work in the private health sector and (b) to work outside the UK in each of the last three years, broken down by category of job. (139016)

NHS: Overseas Workers

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what provision there is for those UK citizens who are not ordinarily resident in the UK through undertaking long term charitable or aid work abroad to access NHS care in the UK. (141978)

Anyone who is not ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom is subject to the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 1989, as amended and will be liable for charges for any hospital treatment they receive unless they are exempt from charge under a number of exemption categories listed in these regulations.

One exemption category relates to people engaged in employment outside the UK for no more than five years. Another relates to anyone who is working overseas as a missionary for an organisation with its principal place of business in the UK, for any length of time and regardless of whether they derive a salary or wage from the organisation, or receive any type of funding or assistance from the organisation. We have no plans to extend that to other unpaid charitable or aid workers. Such people will be able to access national health service hospital treatment, but they will be liable for charges for it unless considered exempt under another category.

NHS: Sick Leave

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average sickness absence rate was for NHS staff in 2006. (131954)

Average sickness absence for national health service organisations (excluding foundation trusts) from April to December 2006 is estimated at 10 working days, reported through the financial information management system. This figure equates to 4.0 per cent.

NHS: Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the ratio of speciality training to fixed term speciality training appointments is by speciality in England. (133708)

The information requested in show in the following table.

Percentage split of posts by post type

Post types (percentage)

Specialty

Theme

Specialty training

Fixed-term specialist training appointment (FTSTA)

Academic

Acute care common stem (ACCS)

Acute medicine

83

17

0

Anaesthesia

80

20

0

Emergency medicine

70

29

1

Intensive care medicine

0

100

0

Acute medicine

100

0

0

Allergy

100

0

0

Anaesthesia

71

28

0

Audiological medicine

67

0

33

Cardiology

98

0

2

Cardiothoracic surgery

83

0

17

Chemical pathology

100

0

0

Child and adolescent psychiatry

100

0

0

Clinical genetics

80

0

20

Clinical neurophysiology

88

0

13

Clinical oncology

97

0

3

Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics

75

0

25

Clinical radiology

96

0

4

Core medical training

65

34

1

Dermatology

100

0

0

Emergency medicine

94

6

0

Endocrinology and diabetes

97

0

3

Forensic psychiatry

96

0

4

Gastroenterology

100

0

0

General adult psychiatry

99

0

1

General practice

100

0

0

General surgery

99

0

1

Genito-urinary medicine

100

0

0

Geriatric medicine

97

0

3

Haematoloqy

95

0

5

Histopathology

100

0

0

Immunology

80

0

20

Infectious diseases

100

0

0

Infectious diseases and medical microbiology and virology (MMV)

Medical microbiology

100

0

0

Infectious diseases and MMV

Virology

50

0

50

Medical microbiology and virology

87

13

0

Medical microbiology and virology

100

0

0

Medical oncology

75

0

25

Medical ophthalmology

100

0

0

Neurology

90

0

10

Neurosurgery

60

39

1

Nuclear medicine

100

0

0

Obstetrics and gynaecology

85

14

1

Occupational medicine

100

0

0

Old age psychiatry

100

0

0

Ophthalmology

59

40

0

Oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS)

78

22

0

Otolaryngology (ENT)

98

0

2

Paediatric cardiology

100

0

0

Paediatric surgery

100

0

0

Paediatrics

72

28

1

Palliative medicine

100

0

0

Plastic surgery

98

0

2

Psychiatry

67

32

1

Psychiatry of learning disability

100

0

0

Psychotherapy

100

0

0

Public health

90

0

10

Rehabilitation medicine

96

0

4

Renal medicine

93

0

7

Respiratory Medicine

100

0

0

Rheumatology

96

0

4

Sports and exercise medicine

100

0

0

Surgery in general

Cardiothoracic Surgery

3

97

0

Surgery in general

General surgery

33

66

1

Surgery in general

Generic

56

42

2

Surgery in general

Otolaryngology (ENT)

36

62

2

Surgery in general

Paediatric surgery

45

55

0

Surgery in general

Plastic surgery

38

61

1

Surgery in general

Trauma and orthopaedic surgery

41

59

0

Surgery in general

Urology

41

57

3

Trauma and orthopaedic surgery

98

0

2

Urology

96

0

4

14,600

4,400

200

Grand total

(76)

(23)

(1)

Nurses

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans she has to maximise the amount of time nurses spend on directly caring for patients; (138640)

(2) what plans she has to minimise the paperwork which needs to be completed by nurses as part of their duties;

(3) what estimate she has made of the proportion of time spent on a shift by a nurse who was assigned to (a) administrative work and (b) caring duties in (i) 1997 and (ii) the latest date for which figures are available.

No estimates have been made centrally. Nurses work in teams of nursing staff of different grades as well as being members of multi-disciplinary teams. They will spend differing time on patient care according to their roles and responsibilities in the team.

The Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) is working with the National Health Service Institute for Innovation and Improvement and the Royal College of Nursing to promote the spread of good practice being generated by the productive ward programme. The programme will remove processes that distract nurses and will help staff reorganise wards so that the focus is on needs of patients and on easing the workload generated by some activities.

The report of the programme, “Releasing Time to Care: Productive Ward”, was released by the CNO in April and aims to promote greater efficiency so that more nursing time is released for direct patient care.

Nutrition: Drinking Water

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether it is the policy of her Department to support the World Health Organisation definition of water as an important nutrient for the human body and critical to human life. (141211)

Physiotherapy: Graduates

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will publish the minutes of her latest meeting with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy on physiotherapy graduates. (136714)

The Secretary of State for Health met the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy on 11 July 2006. There were no formal minutes of the meeting.

Public Private Partnerships: Hearing Aids

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the public private partnership for the provision of digital hearing aids; and if she will make a statement. (140655)

Following a public tendering process, the National Framework Contract (NFC) Public Private Partnership (PPP) with David Ormerod Hearing Centres and Ultravox Holdings plc was announced in October 2003.

The contract allowed national health service trusts to use the two private hearing aid dispensers to see NHS patients.

It was fundamental to the NFC that the quality of service, and hearing aid, that the patient received mirror those of the local NHS audiology department. Quality assurance was key in the initiative. Both companies demonstrated their commitment to meeting these standards and invested resources in terms of equipment, information technology and staff training in order to do so.

The NFC PPP was successful in increasing capacity in the NHS, with over 50,000 patient journeys completed through the partnership. NHS trusts have also benefitted from the competitive pricing and quality of service provision available through the PPP.

Social Services: Warrington

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much was allocated to Warrington borough council to fund social services in each year since 1997, broken down by funding stream; (141899)

(2) how much funding was allocated to Warrington borough council to provide services for (a) adults with learning difficulties and (b) children and young people with learning difficulties in each year since 1997.

[holding answer 11 June 2007]: The Government do not make allocations to social care (other than for relatively limited specific grants) but only for local government as a whole.

Within those allocations, it is for local councils to fund and provide appropriate services for their population in the light of local needs and priorities.

Overall, local councils will receive more than £65 billion in 2007-08, a 4.9 per cent. increase on 2006-07.

Transplant Surgery

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the number of people who require organ transplants; how many and what proportion of people requiring donated organs received them in the most recent year for which figures are available; what the shortfall is; and if she will make a statement. (139491)

The number of people registered on the organ transplant list as at 20 May 2007 is shown in table 1. Table 2 shows the number of people joining the list in years 1997, 2000 and 2003 and the percentage that have subsequently received transplants or are still listed.

The transplant list does not reflect the true extent of need for a transplant, as clinicians are reluctant to list more patients than are likely to receive organs.

An organ donation taskforce is currently looking at the barriers to increasing organ donation and will put recommendations to the Department later this year.

Table 1: Registrations for transplant list—current (as at 20 May 2007)

Organ

Active

Suspended1

Total

Kidney

6,326

1,842

8,168

Pancreas

62

44

106

Kidney/pancreas

145

80

225

Heart

97

6

103

Lung(s)

269

7

276

Heart/lungs

25

1

26

Liver

316

4

320

Total organs

7,240

1,984

9,224

1 Suspended means the patient has been temporarily removed from the list. This happens for such reasons as being too ill to undergo the operation or being away on holiday.

Table 2: Numbers joining the active organ transplant list in the year and percentage transplanted (deceased organ donor) since or still listed (at 22 May 2007)

Organ

Joining

Percentage transplanted

Percentage still listed

2003

Kidney

1,964

54.8

29.4

Pancreas

12

50.0

8.3

Kidney/pancreas

72

75.0

13.9

Heart

196

65.8

1.0

Lung(s)

174

58.0

4.0

Heart/lungs

39

17.9

2.6

Liver

839

82.1

Total organs

3,296

62.6

18.1

2000

Kidney

1,985

66.1

10.1

Pancreas

16

37.5

6.2

Kidney/pancreas

68

79.4

2.9

Heart

222

64.0

0.9

Lung(s)

178

59.6

1.7

Heart/lungs

92

38.0

1.1

Liver

785

84.1

Total organs

3,346

69.2

6.3

1997

Kidney

2,210

70.6

3.4

Pancreas

5

80.0

Kidney/pancreas

34

73.5

2.9

Heart

365

67.1

Lung(s)

185

51.4

Heart/lungs

80

56.2

Liver

726

80.3

Total organs

3,605

71.0

2.1

vCJD: Blood

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to be in a position to make a decision on the steps her Department will take to reduce the risk of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease transmission via the transfusion of blood from asymptomatic carriers. (142830)

There is currently no validated diagnostic test that would allow blood donors to be assessed as asymptomatic carriers of variant Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease (vCJD). Therefore, together with the National Blood Service, the Department has introduced a range of measures to minimise the possible risk of secondary vCJD infection through the blood supply. In July 1998 the Department announced that plasma for the manufacture of blood products, such as clotting factors, would be obtained from non-United Kingdom sources. Since October 1999, white blood cells (which may carry the greatest risk of transmitting vCJD) have been removed from all blood used in transfusion. In August 2002 the Department announced that fresh frozen plasma for treating babies and young children born after 1 January 1996 would be obtained from the United States of America, and from summer 2005 this was extended to all children under 16 years of age. In December 2002, the Department completed its purchase of the largest remaining independent USA plasma collector, Life Resources Incorporated to secure long-term supplies of non-UK blood plasma for the benefit of national health service patients. Since April 2004, blood donations have not been accepted from people who have themselves received a blood transfusion in the UK since 1980. This was extended in August 2004 to include apheresis donors and donors who are unsure if they had previously had a blood transfusion. Since late 2005, blood donations have not been accepted from donors whose blood was transfused to patients who later developed vCJD.

The Department will continue to consider further steps to ensure the safety of the blood supply as new evidence or suitable technologies become available.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether a cost/benefit assessment of introducing prion removal blood filters to reduce the transmission of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease via blood transfusion has been undertaken by her Department; and if she will make a statement. (142832)

A cost/benefit analysis of introducing prion removal blood filters can only be completed once the Department has received both results of clinical safety trials and the independent evaluation of the effectiveness of the filters in reducing infectivity requested by the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee and the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Blood and Tissues and Organs. The analysis will also need to be informed by the outcome of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease prevalence studies currently under way.

Written Answers to Questions

Friday 15 June 2007

Communities and Local Government

Arlington House Camden

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many bed spaces Arlington House in Camden had (a) before and (b) after its modernisation under the hostels capital improvement programme; and what alternative arrangements were made for individuals displaced from Arlington House. (136529)

Before its redevelopment Arlington House provided 399 beds. Following the hostels capital improvement programme (HCIP) investment this number has been reduced to 130. This has been agreed with the local authority in order to create more non-accommodation space where training, other support activities can take place, and to move homeless people out of long-term large institutional provision.

Novas who own and run Arlington House worked in close partnership with the Camden council to ensure that every client was resettled appropriately.

Council Tax Benefit

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average time taken by (a) Warrington borough council and (b) councils in (i) the north-west and (ii) England is to determine an application for (A) council tax benefit and (B) planning permission. (142459)

[holding answer 12 June 2007]: The average time taken by Warrington borough council and councils in the north-west and England to determine an application for council tax benefit is set out in the following table:

Council tax benefit claims

Average days taken in 2006-071

Warrington

27

North-west

36

England

34

1 April to December 2006

Source:

Department for Works and Pensions

Information on the average time taken to determine planning permission is not collated centrally. However, the number of applications decided in 2006-071 is set out in the following table:

Planning permission

Percentage

Up to 8 weeks

Up to 13 weeks

More than 13 weeks

Warrington

91

98

2

North West

84

94

6

England

82

93

7

1 April to December 2006

Source:

Communities and Local Government

Departments: Recruitment

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much her Department and its agencies paid to recruitment consultants in each year since 1997. (140030)

The central part of Communities and Local Government and its predecessor Departments paid the following amounts to recruitment agencies in the specified years:

Amount (£)

January-April 2007

34,519.80

January-December 2006

92,444.78

January-December 2005

123,600.08

January-December 2004

155,135.14

January-December 2003

93,604.62

Information prior to January 2003 and in relation to the Department’s agencies is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Departments: Temporary Employment

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) temporary and (b) agency staff were employed by her Department in each of the last five years. (139983)

The Department for Communities and Local Government and its predecessor Departments employed the following numbers of casual staff in each of the last five years:

Number

2002-03

54

2003-04

129

2004-05

131

2005-06

166

2006-07

53

This does not include staff in the Government Offices or the Department’s agencies.

The information requested about agency staff is not held centrally.

Departments: Travel Agents

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much her Department and its agencies paid in travel agencies’ fees in each year since 1997. (139903)

The Department for Communities and Local Government and its predecessor, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, were created following Machinery of Government changes on 5 May 2006 and 29 May 2002 respectively.

The Department (and its main predecessor the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) uses one fee-based travel agency contract administered by the Department for Transport at a combined annual fixed rate (since July 2005) of £50,000. Individual Departments’ elements of this annual fixed rate are not separately identifiable. From May 2002 to July 2005, travel agent’s fees were paid at 1.5 per cent. of contract turnover, an average figure of £12,500 per quarter.

It is not possible to identify separately fees for other travel contracts used by the Department, as any such fees are built in to the individual ticket prices.

The Department’s Executive agencies have separate procedures for making travel arrangements, but have advised that they have not paid any travel agent fees during the period in question.

Fire Services: Cornwall

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions she has had with Cornwall Fire Authority to try to resolve the dispute there. (141099)

I have had no discussions with Cornwall Fire and Rescue Authority seeking to resolve any disputes in that county. Industrial relations are a matter for the Fire and Rescue Authority. There is not currently an official dispute.

Fire Services: Information and Communications Technology

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the provision of new mobile control rooms which can interface with the new regional fire control rooms is within the scope of (a) the FireControl project and (b) the FireLink project. (142953)

New mobile control rooms are not being provided as part of the FiReControl or Firelink Projects.

Fire and Rescue Services currently provide mobile incident command units which enable effective management of large incidents. The Firelink contract provides for those existing mobile command units and all other Fire and Rescue Service emergency response vehicles, as identified by the respective FRS, to have Firelink equipment installed. The utilisation of the data capability will only be realised once the FiReControl capability is rolled out.

Green Belt

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what powers the regional spatial strategy process has to change the status of green belt land; and if she will make a statement. (141584)

[holding answer 11 June 2007]: The regional spatial strategy (RSS) is the statutory strategic development plan. Any proposed changes to the general extent of green belt will therefore need to be set out and taken forward through that process.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what powers local authorities have to re-designate green belt land; and if she will make a statement. (141282)

[holding answer 11 June 2007]: Current policy, set out in Planning Policy Guidance note 2 (PPG2): Green Belts, makes it clear that is the responsibility of regional planning bodies and local planning authorities to designate land as Green Belt through the development plan process. Any proposed changes to Green Belt boundaries should also be made through the development plan process as set out in PPG2.

Green Belt: Gloucestershire

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proposals are contained in the South West Regional Spatial Strategy to change the status of green belt land in Gloucestershire; how much land is involved; which sites are specifically mentioned; and if she will make a statement. (141585)

[holding answer 11 June 2007]: The draft regional spatial strategy does not contain site specific proposals. It will be for the local planning authorities to identify specific site allocations sites in their local development documents to accommodate the housing provision in the final RSS. However, the draft RSS identifies two broad ‘Areas of Search’ for sustainable urban extensions, to the north of Gloucester and to the north west of Cheltenham. Both ‘Areas of Search’ extend into the neighbouring Tewkesbury district and both would require changes to be made to the general extent of the green belt. The draft RSS also indicates possible additions, as well as deletions, to the general extent of the green belt.

The draft RSS is currently at Examination in Public before an independent Panel. The Panel is expected to submit its report, with recommendations, to Government later this year. The Government will then consider that report and their response to it. It would not, therefore, be appropriate to make a statement at this time.

Green Belt: East Sussex

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what Government policy is on building on the green belt in (a) Eastbourne and (b) East Sussex. (142288)

Home Information Packs

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government at what time on 16 May Mr. Justice Collins gave his interim oral ruling with regard to the application by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors for a judicial review of the decision previously made by her with regard to the inclusion of energy performance certificates in home information packs; and whether lawyers or others representing her were present when that ruling was made. (139783)

The Treasury Solicitor’s Office, who were acting for the Department, received a facsimile copy of the order, dated 17 may, at 12.27 pm on 17 May. Neither lawyers nor others representing the Department were present when the ruling was given.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether an estate agent will be able to sell a property with a home information pack produced by another estate agent. (140864)

There is nothing in the regulations to prevent an estate agent from selling a property with a home information pack produced by another estate agent, provided that the pack complies with the terms of the regulations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in which journals advertisements in relation to home information packs have been placed on behalf of her Department. (142690)

Advertising for the home information packs have been placed in the following journals:

The Negotiator

Mortgage Solutions

Estate Agency News

Mortgage Strategy

Lending Strategy

Money Marketing

Financial Adviser

Law Society Gazette

RICS Business

Period Living

House Beautiful

Good Housekeeping

House and Garden

25 Beautiful Homes

Country Living

World of Interiors

BBC Good Homes

Country Homes

Homes and Gardens

BBC Home and Antiques

Ideal Home

Living Etc

Real Homes

Daily Telegraph

Times

Guardian

Independent

Daily Mail

Express

Evening Standard

Londonpaper

Metro

London Lite

City AM

Sunday Telegraph

Sunday Times

Observer

Independent on Sunday

Mail on Sunday

Sunday Express

Newcastle Evening Chronicle

Exclusive Magazine

Southern Property Adviser

Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Huddersfield Daily Examiner

Cambridge Evening News

Cambridge Property News

South Shields Gazette

Teesside Evening Gazette

Sunderland Echo

Northern Echo

Hartlepool Mail

Shields Gazette

South Tyne Star

Yorkshire Evening Post

Hull Daily Mail

Sheffield Star

Bradford Telegraph and Argus

Yorkshire Evening Press

Grimsby Evening Telegraph

Halifax Evening Courier

Brighton Evening Argus

Portsmouth News

Reading Evening Post

Basildon Evening Echo

Colchester Evening Gazette

Kent Messenger

Bournemouth Daily Echo

Gloucester Citizen

Swindon Evening Advertiser

Bath Chronicle

Gloucestershire Echo

Liverpool Echo

Lancashire Evening Telegraph

Blackpool Gazette

Oldham Evening Chronicle

Amra and Clacksons Evening package

Birmingham Evening Mail

West Midland Express and Star

Stoke on Trent Evening Sentinel

Oxford Mail

Derby Evening Telegraph

Worcester Evening News

Peterborough Evening Telegraph

Ipswich Evening Star

Norwich Evening News

Southern Daily Echo

Exeter Express and Echo

Lincolnshire Echo

Bolton Evening News

Chester Chronicle

Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph

Western Mail

Wrexham Evening Leader

South Wales Evening Post

South Wales Argus

Bangor Mail

Cambrian News

Carmarthen Journal

Pontypridd Observer

Manchester Evening News

Plymouth Evening Herald

Torquay Herald

Coventry Evening Telegraph

Nottingham Evening Post

Southwark News

Leicester Mercury

Norwich Evening News

Bristol Evening Post

Bath Chronicle

Chelmsford Weekly News

Hereford Times

Basingstoke Gazette

Daily Post—Welsh Edition

Caernarvon Herald

Holyhead and Bangor Mail

South Wales Echo

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many advertisements placed on behalf of her Department in relation to home improvement packs have been cancelled; (142691)

(2) how many advertisements have been placed on behalf of her Department in relation to home improvement packs.

Between April 2006 and May 2007 the Department placed a total of 852 advertisements in the press and relevant magazines—of these, a total of 538 were in magazines or newspapers published before the announcement on 22 May.

299 advertisements have now been re-scheduled and will be used to promote the phased introduction of home information packs on 1 August.

15 adverts went to print before the announcement was made but are in publications appearing after 22 May. It would be irresponsible for the Government not to inform people about this important change to the way homes are bought and sold. It is vital consumer information.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much has been spent on the marketing and advertising campaign to promote home information packs and energy performance certificates in the south-east Government office region. (143048)

The Department has spent £82,335 on the promotion of home information packs and energy performance certificates in the south-east Government office region.

Homelessness

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number of homeless people, broken down by constituency. (142325)

Information about local authorities’ actions under homelessness legislation is collected quarterly at local authority level, in respect of households rather than people.

Information reported each quarter by local authorities about their activities under homelessness legislation includes the number of households accepted by local authorities as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need, and therefore owed a main homelessness duty. The duty owed to an accepted household is to secure suitable accommodation. If a settled home is not immediately available, the authority may secure temporary accommodation until a settled home becomes available.

The data are published in our quarterly statistical release on statutory homelessness, which includes a supplementary table showing the breakdown of key data, including acceptances and temporary accommodation, by each local authority. This is published on our website and placed in the Library each quarter. The latest release was published on 11 June 2007 and contains data for the period January to March 2007:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1002882&PressNoticeID=2438

Since 1998, information has also been collected on the number of people who sleep rough—that is, those who are literally roofless on a single night—and these are also published on our website, by local authority.

Summary tables showing the total number of households (a) accepted under homelessness provisions and (b) in temporary accommodation, from 1997-98 to 2006-07, and (c) rough sleeper estimates from 1998 onwards, for each local authority are provided with this answer and have been placed in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what proportion of all lettings in (a) each London local authority and (b) across all local authorities were let to homeless households in each of the last five years; (142425)

(2) what proportion of all registered social landlord lettings, excluding sheltered and supported housing, were let to homeless households in (a) each London local authority and (b) in England in each of the last five years.

The main sources of data on total lettings and lettings to homeless households are:

1. COntinuous REcording (CORE) data on general needs lets by Registered Social Landlords (RSLs)

2. Annual Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA) data collected by local authorities

The proportions of all RSL lettings (excluding sheltered and supported housing) to statutorily homeless households in each London borough for the past five years are provided in the following tables.

A household is found to be statutorily homeless by a local authority if it is eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless (or threatened with homelessness) and in priority need. The main duty owed to households accepted as being statutory homeless is to secure suitable accommodation.

(i) Proportion of all registered social landlords lettings (excluding supported and sheltered housing) let to statutorily homeless households by London borough

Percentage

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Barking and Dagenham

3

4

3

5

2

Barnet

19

21

16

14

12

Bexley

27

25

22

23

17

Brent

24

33

30

29

24

Bromley

34

43

38

44

47

Camden

12

10

16

14

15

City of London

8

11

0

0

0

Croydon

22

28

28

27

36

Ealing

22

27

16

18

17

Enfield

20

31

17

19

22

Greenwich

9

7

7

7

8

Hackney

19

20

17

24

26

Hammersmith and Fulham

22

23

24

25

19

Haringey

35

32

30

17

20

Harrow

39

26

28

12

26

Havering

7

4

5

17

2

Hillingdon

39

34

21

25

34

Hounslow

24

27

26

30

23

Islington

21

23

23

10

13

Kensington and Chelsea

28

26

33

24

18

Kingston upon Thames

25

38

21

31

32

Lambeth

31

23

30

21

20

Lewisham

17

19

14

19

26

Merton

13

15

14

26

31

Newham

14

18

12

10

11

Redbridge

17

14

20

10

8

Richmond upon Thames

32

35

38

47

50

Southwark

25

18

20

15

14

Sutton

16

20

8

13

21

Tower Hamlets

19

17

18

23

23

Waltham Forest

28

25

22

16

15

Wandsworth

14

19

17

21

22

Westminster

26

22

27

18

24

London average

23

24

22

22

23

England

12

13

14

15

17

Source:

RSL CORE data

The proportions of all local authority lettings to statutorily homeless households in each London borough for the past five years are provided in the following table. These figures include sheltered and supported housing.

(i) Proportion of all local authority lettings (not excluding sheltered housing) let to statutorily homeless households: By London borough 2005-06

Percentage

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Barking and Dagenham

0

4

21

32

4

Barnet

42

36

33

26

21

Bexley

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Brent

63

52

46

41

53

Bromley

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Camden

33

46

35

36

36

City of London

2

12

5

9

7

Croydon

16

7

15

16

12

Ealing

45

47

52

36

42

Enfield

46

46

44

38

38

Greenwich

35

33

37

34

30

Hackney

36

44

46

44

40

Hammersmith and Fulham

37

37

35

32

23

Haringey

34

32

37

40

44

Harrow

36

34

35

31

28

Havering

10

0

0

26

8

Hillingdon

24

43

39

29

24

Hounslow

43

33

46

54

41

Islington

49

51

53

45

34

Kensington and Chelsea

25

34

30

37

41

Kingston upon Thames

51

51

47

45

39

Lambeth

38

46

56

58

66

Lewisham

30

35

37

42

21

Merton

19

20

24

29

27

Newham

33

20

13

12

16

Redbridge

29

35

27

17

18

Richmond upon Thames

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Southwark

59

54

49

46

36

Sutton

37

26

8

15

20

Tower Hamlets

27

27

32

25

57

Waltham Forest

58

56

41

33

38

Wandsworth

33

37

35

34

37

Westminster

53

44

53

47

47

London average

35

35

36

35

32

England

16

19

23

24

22

Source:

HSSA

Housing: Camden

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what funding the Government intends to provide to Camden council for the purpose of bringing social housing up to Decent Homes standard. (141302)

[holding answer 11 June 2007]: The Government have increased the basic funding for council housing by 30 per cent. in real terms since 1997. Where local authorities need more than this funding to make all social housing decent, additional funding is available through setting up a high-performance Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO); entering into a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract; or transferring stock to Registered Social Landlords.

Camden has one PFI scheme which covers the refurbishment of the Chalcots Estate, in Swiss Cottage. The scheme was awarded £65 million in PFI credits, and will receive PFI subsidy from 2006-07 onwards.

Housing: Construction

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 21 May 2007, Official Report, columns 1101-02W, on housing: construction, what plans she has to introduce penalties for failure to comply with a completion notice. (143240)

We have no plans to introduce penalties for failure to comply with a completion notice. Completion notices are rare, but effective in most cases. If a completion notice is ignored, the relevant planning permission ceases to be valid, except insofar as it authorises the development already carried out. Any further development carried out after the period specified in the completion notice is over may be liable to enforcement action.

It would be impracticable to give the local planning authority power to compel the completion of a development once started, for example where the developer lacked the finance to complete the work.

However, a local planning authority may compel the removal of any partially erected buildings by making a discontinuance order under section 102 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. If an order, confirmed by the Secretary of State, is not complied with, the authority can enforce it in accordance with sections 189 and 190 of the Act. Where a discontinuance order has not been complied with, section 190 of the 1990 Act enables the local planning authority to take the steps required under the order (such as removal of buildings, works or any plant or machinery, or steps to protect the environment), and to recover any expenses reasonably incurred by them in doing so from the owner of the land.

Housing: Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much from public funds was paid to Catholic housing agencies in each year since 1997. (117948)

[holding answer 1 February 2007]: 44 of the 650 registered social landlords funded by the Housing Corporation in the three years 2003-06 could be considered in some way faith-based on the basis of their constitutions. These received £52.2 million in grant over the three-year period out of a total spend of £4.9 billion, or just over 1 per cent. We do not currently have figures covering the years 1997 to 2003.

‘Faith-based’ here includes several categories:

(i) organisations which are run only or substantially by members of that faith;

(ii) those required to operate in the spirit of a faith or in furtherance of that faith; or

(iii) those that require that homes are let only or substantially to members of that faith, or ethnic groups closely identified with a particular faith.

In 2003-06, £40.8 million was paid to organisations in the second category, i.e. which operate in the spirit of a faith.

The majority of faith-based organisations are Christian, but we do not hold details on how many are Catholic.

Housing: Low Incomes

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the total cost has been to run the Design for Manufacture competition since its inception; and how many of the resulting houses she expects to be sold for £60,000. (128191)

[holding answer 19 March 2007]: English Partnerships are running the Design for Manufacture competition on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government. All English Partnerships' costs are expected to be balanced out by receipts of more than £50 million from the sale of the land. This exceeds the reserve price across this portfolio of sites by more than £3 million.

The competition involved additional costs compared to ordinary site disposals. These costs are for specialist technical advice to ensure the quality of these innovative homes (£470,000), for monitoring and evaluation to learn lessons from the construction phase (£70,000) and for research and information (£136,400). This latter category includes holding a public exhibition attended by over 5,000 people and circulating some 30,000 copies of the document setting out the lessons learnt so far from the competition.

Part of the competition involved a target construction cost of £60,000 for a high-quality 76.5 sq metre home, with larger and smaller homes being built at a similar cost-efficiency. The competition is creating 10 new mixed communities developments with homes of different sizes and tenures to suit families and single people. Overall, 50 per cent. of the homes being provided will be affordable, including shared ownership/equity, social housing, low cost home ownership and other supported housing such as for the elderly.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for North-East Milton Keynes (Mr. Lancaster) on 6 March 2007, Official Report, column 1890W, which set out precise details of one of the sites in the competition.

The other nine sites are at different stages of construction and are spread around the country. The prices of the units for sale will reflect the land value, the local market at the time they go on sale and the equity share as well as the construction cost. In total only about half the homes will be for sale at full market price.

Based on current sales prices we anticipate that on every site where homes are being sold, there will be homes available at shared ownership or shared equity stakes of between £60,000 and £70,000. The exception is on the Hastings site where all the homes will be for affordable rent.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether tests of affordability for homes to rent or buy are required to take account of local levels of household income. (141748)

The definition of affordable housing for planning purposes established by “Planning Policy Statement 3: Housing” and the accompanying guidance “Delivering Affordable Housing” includes the requirement that affordable housing should:

“meet the needs of eligible households including availability at a cost low enough for them to afford, determined with regard to local incomes.....”

What this means is that, in considering whether a home falls within the definition of ‘affordable housing’ or not, local authorities are required to assess whether or not the home is affordable to those eligible for such housing. One of the factors used in this assessment must be levels of local household incomes.

Housing: Northamptonshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what her estimate is of the likely number of additional dwellings to be located in (a) Northamptonshire, (b) North Northamptonshire and (c) Wellingborough in each of the next 20 years. (141600)

As set out in the Regional Spatial Strategy for the East Midlands (RSS8), the annual average housing provision for the period 2001 to 2021, split into five year periods, is as follows:

Northamptonshire 1

Per annum

2001-06

3,095

2006-11

3,475

2011-16

3,665

2016-21

3,665

1 Excludes the Northampton figure quashed as a result of a high court challenge. This figure is being reviewed as part of the Revision to the Regional Spatial Strategy.

North Northamptonshire

Per annum

2001-06

2,225

2006-11

2,605

2011-16

2,795

2016-21

2,795

Wellingborough

Per annum

2001-06

595

2006-11

595

2011-16

685

2016-21

685

The housing figures beyond 2021 to 2026 are currently being assessed through the Revision to the Regional Spatial Strategy for the East Midlands.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will visit Wellingborough and Kettering to discuss future housing and infrastructure developments with members of local communities. (142220)

[holding answer 12 June 2007]: The Secretary of State has no plans at present to visit Wellingborough and Kettering.

However, my noble Friend, Baroness Andrews, chairs the Milton Keynes South Midlands Inter-Regional Board which gives the opportunity for discussions relating to sustainable housing and infrastructure developments on an on-going basis. The community is represented at these meeting by members from local authorities across the Milton Keynes and south midlands area.

Housing: Surveys

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) of 20 April 2007, Official Report, column 794W, on housing: surveys, what obligations residents in (a) private housing and (b) social housing are under to allow a property inspection to be undertaken as part of the English House Condition Survey. (141759)

Participation in the English House Condition Survey is entirely voluntary for all householders regardless of their tenure. Addresses are selected at random and householders are contacted through a letter from our contractors, the Office for National Statistics, and invited to take part in both an initial household interview and in the follow-up property inspection.

Infrastructure

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to extend consultation on the draft national policy statements for infrastructural planning proposals in England to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland where there is a potential impact on those areas arising from the proposals. (142444)

Chapter 10 of the white paper “Planning for a Sustainable Future” (Cm 7120) sets out our proposals in relation to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Government intends that any national policy statements for air transport and for energy would be developed for the whole of Great Britain or the UK as appropriate. These policies would be developed with the full involvement of the devolved Administrations and the consultation proposed in Chapter 3 of the white paper would encompass the whole of Great Britain or the UK. Welsh, Scottish and Northern Ireland Ministers would be statutory consultees in the development of relevant national policy statements.

Planning Permission

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what consultation will be conducted in communities on planning applications under the Planning Bill. (142463)

[holding answer 14 June 2007]: The planning White Paper, “Planning for a Sustainable Future” proposes a three stage system for nationally significant infrastructure projects, with opportunities for public engagement at each stage.

There would be national consultation on the country’s infrastructure needs. The Government would consult the public on national policy statements, which would be scrutinised by Parliament. Promoters would be required to consult the public before submitting a planning application, allowing local communities to influence a promoter’s proposals early on. At the examination stage, direct questioning and a new open floor stage would help members of the public engage on a more equal footing with the professional advocates who currently dominate the process.

Planning: Use Classes Order

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she expects to publish her review into use Classes Order legislation; and if she will make a statement. (142185)

We have no plans to undergo a full scale review of the Use Classes Order.

We are looking at the operation of the Use Classes Order in some areas where concerns have been raised, such as around houses of multiple occupation. We have not set a timetable for this work.

Prisons: Planning Permission

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what planning guidelines apply to the expansion of prisons; and in what circumstances they have permitted development rights. (141875)

Local planning authorities have been encouraged to make adequate provision for new prison developments through the planning system by means of DETR Circular 03/98 “Planning for Future Prison Development”. For extensions to existing prisons, the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) has access to the permitted development rights in Part 34 (Development by the Crown) of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (SI 1995 No 418 as amended). The main restrictions to the permitted development right are that any extensions may not exceed 25 per cent. of the cubic content or 1,000 square metres of the floor area of the existing building (reducing to 10 per cent. of the cubic content or 500 square metres of the floor area in certain sensitive landscape areas and conservation areas). NOMS may also use other general permitted development rights for minor works.

Regeneration: Mining

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of regeneration schemes in coalfield communities. (141441)

Considerable progress has been made over the past 10 years revitalising the former English coalfields, raising aspirations in these communities through regeneration, education and job creation. People are being given access to the skills and jobs they need, the environmental legacy of the coal industry is being cleaned up and the housing, economic and social needs of the local communities are being addressed. The English Partnership’s Coalfield Programme; the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and the Coalfields Enterprise Fund, are delivering real change with combined budgets of over £0.5 billion. A recent independent evaluation of the Department’s coalfield specific regeneration programmes available at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1508895, gave strong support to the approach we have taken and confirmed the effectiveness of these programmes.

Regional Government: Offices

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which English regional chambers have offices located outside the United Kingdom. (141821)

All eight regional assemblies have use of office facilities in Brussels. These facilities are shared with other regional partners.

Service Charges

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the evidential basis is for her statement that capping leaseholder service charges for ex-council flats would cost £40 million; what timescale that cost was estimated to arise over; and whether there is a distinction between the costs of (a) resident and (b) buy-to-rent leaseholders in the estimates made. (134207)

The statement is based on the results of a survey conducted in March 2007 on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government by London Councils, the representative body of the London boroughs. No distinction was made between resident and buy-to-rent leaseholders.

Culture, Media and Sport

Alcoholic Drinks: Licensing

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many alcohol licences have been revoked in each London borough since November 2005. (142774)

We do not currently hold this information centrally. The Licensing Act 2003 devolved the administration for licensing to individual licensing authorities who should hold information about licensed premises in their area.

DCMS plans a data collection exercise over the summer to gather this, and other licensing information. Results will be published in the form of a new National Statistics bulletin, currently scheduled for release in October 2007.

Broad estimates collated by the department in November 2006, based on a small sample of licensing authorities, suggested that following review, approximately 100 licences had been revoked across England and Wales in the first year under the new Licensing Act.

Cultural Heritage: Ownership

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what her Department's policy is on whether cultural objects seized from (a) Germany and (b) other countries after the second world war by the Soviet Union are Russian property following the passing of the 1998 Federal Law on Cultural Valuables Displaced to the USSR by the Russian Parliament. (142782)

The effect of the Federal Law on Cultural Valuables Displaced to the USSR 1998 on the ownership of cultural objects situated in Russia is a question of Russian law, whether the objects in question come from Germany or other countries. It is not a matter of departmental policy. If an issue was raised in relation to the applicable law of a foreign country in legal proceedings in this country, it would be regarded as a question of fact, to be determined by the judge with the assistance of appropriate expert evidence.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which (a) organisations and (b) individuals responded to her Department's consultation on the restitution of cultural objects spoliated in the Nazi era. (142783)

The organisations and individuals who responded to the consultation are as follows:

Art Loss Register

British Library

Charity Commission

Commission for Looted Art in Europe

CyMAL Museums Archives and Libraries Wales

CyMRU National Museums Wales

ICOM UK

Marbles Reunited

Museums Association

National Gallery

National Museums of Science and Industry

Royal Academy of Art

Sotheby's

Tate

The National Archives

Withers LLP

Fiona Fuller

Michael Heaps FRICS

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she intends to publish the (a) summary paper of and (b) responses to her Department’s consultation on the restitution of cultural objects spoliated in the Nazi era. (142784)

I intend to publish the responses to the consultation and a summary paper before the summer recess.

Departments: Advertising

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much revenue her Department received from advertisements on her Department’s (a) public information leaflets and (b) public websites in each of the last 10 years; and if she will make a statement. (142727)

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport does not receive advertising revenue from public information leaflets or public websites.

Departments: Sick Leave

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what average number of days per year was taken by staff in her Department as sick leave in each of the last five years for which records are available. (143057)

Sick absence figures are contained in the annual report “Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service” published by the Cabinet Office. Table 3-4: AWDL for small and micro Departments of the report gives details of both the average working days absence per staff year and the total staff years for each department. The most recent report for the calendar year 2005 is available in the Library of the House. This report and those from 1999 are available on the Cabinet Office website at:

http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/management/occupationalhealth/publications/index.asp

Digital Broadcasting: BBC

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much the BBC has spent on producing and broadcasting televisual content for digital transmission. (142845)

This is a matter for the BBC. I have therefore asked the BBC's Director of Finance to consider the question raised by my hon. Friend and to write to him direct. Copies of the reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when the BBC commenced broadcasting digital television. (142846)

Sky Digital launched on 1 October 1998, followed by ONDigital on 15 November the same year. Both of these offerings included BBC services.

Digital Broadcasting: Copeland

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assistance her Department has provided to residents of rural areas in Copeland in advance of digital switchover in October. (142802)

According to the Digital UK/Ofcom Q1 2007 Tracker, awareness across the UK is higher in rural areas than in urban areas (88 per cent. in rural areas compared to 81 per cent. in urban areas). All households in the Copeland area will receive a doordrop in the next month as part of the ongoing communications campaign to drive up awareness in the final three months before switchover.

Digital UK run drop-in sessions in places throughout Copeland including the rural areas of Moor Row, Seascale, Parton and Eskdale.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assistance her Department has provided to tenants (a) of private landlords and (b) in social housing in preparation for digital switchover in Copeland in October. (142803)

Private tenants cannot be identified by name or address. To communicate with tenants and residents, Digital UK has distributed a specific leaflet to libraries and CAB in the area, and on its website. Digital UK ran an advertising campaign targeting tenants in the Whitehaven News, letting them know where to find the leaflet. Digital UK provided particular information to tenants and residents in the Switchover supplement in the Whitehaven News on March 15, which is also available for download on the Whitehaven News website. In addition, Digital UK has written to the main lettings agents in the area with a letter and a factsheet about switchover, with a request to copy to their lists of tenants and landlords.

For tenants in social housing, all providers in the area have been contacted twice, including close contact with Copeland Homes, and followed up by a phone call or visit, if they had no plans. In addition, all care homes in the area have been identified, written to and contact made.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assistance her Department has provided to (a) schools, (b) hospitals and (c) other public facilities in Copeland in preparation for digital switchover in October. (142804)

Digital UK have prepared a teaching pack for primary schools which 92 per cent. of schools in Copeland have agreed to use.

Digital UK and the relevant central Government Departments have also been proactively contacting local service providers, including West Cumberland hospital, to ensure they are aware of the need to prepare for switchover.

A number of other public facilities are used by Digital UK to convey communication material including local libraries, churches, the local newspaper Whitehaven News, social and community groups, West Cumbria Older People’s Forum, Copeland Disability Forum and the Women’s Institute.