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25 Jul 2000 : Column: 499W
Mr. Denham [holding answer 3 July 2000]: The Back Book was published by The Stationery Office in 1996. I understand that, to date, 115,157 packs of 10 copies have been sold. We do not have information on how that figure breaks down year by year.
Mr. Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the inquiries his Department has established in each of last two years, indicating for each the form the inquiry was to take, and an estimate of the number of patients it covered. 
Ms Stuart: The inquiries commissioned by the Department in the last two years are as follows. It is not possible to provide a meaningful estimate of the number of patients affected by the matters under inquiry. In most cases that is for the inquiry to establish.
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Mr. Alan Keen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what financial assistance he gives to NHS trusts that are undertaking reconfiguration of patient services, approved by him, towards the cost of (a) redundancy and retirement and (b) capital building costs. 
Mr. Denham: A central special assistance fund has existed since 1996-97. It provides financial assistance to some health authorities to facilitate strategic change, such as reconfiguring patient services at NHS trusts. Special assistance helps fund some of the short-term non-recurrent costs of change, for example double running or redundancy costs. Within London, the London Fund also provides non-recurrent transitional funding to support strategic changes.
Capital funding is approved on the basis of information contained in a business case which is considered by regional offices. Access to funding is dependent on competing investment priorities in the region.
Mr. Denham: All National Health Service trusts are subject to a formal annual assessment of their progress and future plans by the relevant regional office of the NHS Executive, and this assessment process was carried out with St. George's Healthcare NHS Trust earlier this year by London Regional Office.
Ms Stuart: The Department is currently considering the preparation of new guidance on conflict of interest issues for National Health Service boards and other public bodies for which we are responsible. The issue of appointing the spouses of hon. Members to National Health Service boards will be re-considered as part of this process.
Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list, for each health authority, the number of patients on a waiting list for infertility treatment; and if he will make a statement. 
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Ms Stuart: Royal Shrewsbury Hospital was allocated £600,000 from the accident and emergency modernisation fund to develop a scheme to improve facilities in the casualty department. Work is due for completion by 31 March 2001 with specific aims to improve security for staff, access for the disabled, facilities for paediatric assessment and environmental conditions.
Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proposals he has received from the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital for a new medical assessment unit to be funded from the A&E Modernisation Fund; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Stuart: Royal Shrewsbury Hospitals National Health Service Trust was allocated £600,000 in the first tranche of accident and emergency modernisation moneys in June 1999. The approved proposals included the development of an assessment unit, decontamination facilities and improved security. Further bids have been invited in June of this year to be funded from an additional £35 million made available nationally, and the trust have applied for funding totalling £2.2 million for an emergency assessment unit, which incorporates a medical assessment unit
NHS Executive regional offices are in the process of assessing the applications received. As yet, no decisions have been made nationally on the allocation of this latest tranche of accident and emergency modernisation moneys.
Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 7 July 2000, Official Report, columns 334-35W, regarding fluoridation, what bodies other than the National Health Service Centre for Reviews and Dissemination at the University of York were invited to apply for the commission to report into the safety and efficacy of fluoride in drinking water. 
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Reviews and Dissemination was itself established by competitive tender to provide the Department with an expert facility for systematic research reviews.
Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 7 July 2000, Official Report, column 335W, regarding fluoridation, what conditions apply to the moneys given by his Department to the British Fluoridation Society. 
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 20 July 2000]: Since 1975 successive Governments have funded the British Fluoridation Society to help promote and implement their policies on oral health by providing evidence based advice to all interested parties. The Society is required to maintain accounts which show the use to which funds have been put for inspection by the Department's auditors.
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