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All domiciliary care agencies will be required to register, if they provide personal care services, and be inspected annually by the National Care Standards Commission. This will not apply to those supplying solely domestic services, which do not involve personal care, nor to those who provide personal care single-handed.
A core steering group and a wider reference group have developed draft national minimum standards and a user forum was held in January 2000. A consultation version of the proposed regulations and standards should be published later this year.
Mr. Denham: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence announced its work programme in November 1999. NICE has an agreed work programme of appraisals, clinical guidelines, clinical audits, and GP referral protocols. So far NICE has completed one fast-track appraisal, on the flu drug Relenza, and full appraisals on wisdom teeth and hip prostheses. We are expecting shortly the results of its appraisals on coronary artery stents and taxanes.
Mr. Denham: The Department has never collected data on the total number of people waiting for a first appointment with a consultant. The number of people waiting more than 13 weeks after referral by their general practitioner for a first outpatient appointment fell by 16,000 (3.2 per cent.) between September 1999 and December 1999 to 496,000.
Ms Stuart: We recognise and will tackle unacceptable variations in access to care and treatment. That is why we have set up the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). NICE will reduce post-code variations by issuing authoritative national guidance based on evidence of the clinical and cost-effectiveness of treatments.
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Mr. Denham: We are setting standards through the National Institute for Clinical Excellence and the National Service Framework programme; ensuring local delivery through clinical governance; and monitoring delivery via performance assessment framework, the Commission for Health Improvement and a national patient surveys programme. I will be working with relevant parties, utilising the record increases in National Health Service funding announced in the Budget, to improve NHS performance.
Mr. Denham: We have no plans to develop comprehensive data on a constituency basis. For many sets of health data an analysis by constituency is not possible; sub-national analysis reflects either local or health authority responsibilities as appropriate. An extensive range of local health statistics is available and following consultation on the Social Exclusion Unit's report on 'Better Information' this may be further extended.
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The Director of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many people have died of dystonia or dystonia-related complications in each of the last five years. I am replying in the Director's absence.
Information on the numbers of death certificates on which dystonia was mentioned and the number for which it was the underlying cause is given in the Table below.
|Year of death||Total mentions||Dystonia as underlying cause|
(5) International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, codes 333.6, 333.7 and 333.8
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the compatibility of his Department's data matching in respect of fraud in the NHS with (a) Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 and (b) medical confidentiality; what representations he has received on this subject; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money he has given (a) Bromley Health Authority and (b) Oxleas Dental Health Trust from the modernisation fund for use in mental health services in Bromley in (a) 1999-00, (b) 2000-01 and (c) 2001-02. 
£35,000 for adult mental health (£15,000 for new atypical anti-psychotic medication and £20,000 for improved 24 hour access to services)
£56,000 for child and adolescent mental health
£25,000 for child and adolescent mental health
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Ms Stuart: Dysport ("Clostridium botulinum" toxin, marketing authorisation holder Ipsen Limited) has been investigated over a number of years for use as an injection into spastic muscles of children with cerebral palsy, to relieve the muscle spasticity. Cerebral palsy can result in calf muscle spasticity, causing the foot to turn outwards and so interfering with gait and sometimes with the ability to walk. When used in the appropriate dose, injection of botulinum toxin into the calf muscles can improve gait and enable walking.
The Medicines Control Agency undertook a full assessment of reports of these studies, to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Dysport used in this way, in November 1999. On the basis of this assessment the licence for Dysport was varied to allow marketing for the indication
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