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Incontinence: Medical Equipment

Volume 468: debated on Wednesday 28 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) for what reason his Department proposes to decrease the number of sub-categories within the classification system for Part IX of the drug tariff; what account was taken of the balance of responses to the Department’s recent consultation on the subject; and if he will make a statement; (164554)

(2) what the cost of the two year consultation relating to Part IX of the Drug Tariff was; and what the cost was of Deloitte and Touche’s fees for work on the consultation.

The current listing of stoma and incontinence appliances in part IX of the Drug Tariff is very broad.

The November 2006 consultation set out proposals which classified the 5,000 plus stoma and incontinence items into 288 sub-categories of appliances deemed by healthcare professionals to meet similar medical need.

Responses were reviewed by representatives from the original group of healthcare professionals and a wider group. This allowed two groups of specialists to be set up: one to review urology items and one to review stoma. As part of the review process, the panels again considered whether items met similar medical need—and product features such as size and material.

Based on the recommendations from these healthcare professionals, the Department now proposes that there should be 228 sub-categories of items as opposed to the 288 that were consulted on in November 2006.

The cost of the review is part of the Department’s ongoing operational budget. Deloitte are acting as advisors to the Department on this review. The contract between the Department and its adviser is an ongoing arrangement set up within the parameters of public sector procurement and is commercial in confidence.