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Nutrition: Screening

Volume 488: debated on Monday 23 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will include the conduct of nutritional screening in the next version of the Quality and Outcomes Framework; and if he will make a statement. (257182)

The Department has asked the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to oversee a new independent and transparent process for developing and reviewing Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) clinical and health improvement indicators for England from 1 April 2009 as part of their role in providing guidance for the NHS based on evidence of clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness. We launched a public consultation on the proposed new process on 30 October 2008. The consultation ended on 2 February. Subject to the outcome of that consultation, any proposal for further changes to QOF indicators would need to be considered under that new process. The Department has no current plans to ask NICE to consider the conduct of nutritional screening by general practice within the QOF.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when his Department last issued guidance to health and social care organisations on the details of weight and height measuring equipment used for nutritional screening. (257183)

On 4 August 2008, the Department of Health and Department for Children, Schools and Families published “The National Child Measurement Programme Guidance for PCTs: 2008/09 school year”. This guidance included information on measuring the height and weight of children in reception (aged four to five years) and year 6 (aged 10 to 11 years). Guidance was also issued in July 2008 on “Weighing Scales for the National Child Measurement Programme”.

Both documents are available at:

http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publichealth/Healthimprovement/Healthyliving/DH_073787

Copies have been placed in the Library.

The National Child Measurement Programme is one element of the Government’s work programme on childhood obesity. The data collected are used to inform local planning and delivery of services for children; and gather population-level surveillance data to allow analysis of trends in growth patterns and obesity.