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Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland

NHS Trust

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he approved the creation of a Mental Health Trust for Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland; when the Trust is due to commence its responsibilities; who was appointed (a) Chair and (b) Chief Executive of the Trust and when their appointments began. [150895]

Mr. Denham: The decision to create the Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland Mental Health National Health Service Trust was taken on 27 October 2000 and the trust will become operational on 1 April 2001. The recruitment process for the chair and non-executive directors is now complete and a decision on the chairmanship will be announced soon. The post of chief executive has been advertised nationally but the short-listing and interview process will need to involve the chair of the trust once he or she has been appointed.

Organ Donations

Mr. Pickthall: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures his Department is taking to reassure potential organ donors and encourage the maximum number of organ donations to be made. [150358]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 15 February 2001]: We announced a comprehensive strategy for the development and reorganisation of transplant services in this country last February. In order to explore further ways of increasing organ transplantation, a National Summit on organ donation will take place shortly.

Organ Retention

Sir Brian Mawhinney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 13 February 2001, Official Report, column 75W, on organ retention, when he expects the Commission to permit NHS trusts to (a) provide specific information and (b) begin the process of returning organs and tissues to members of the public. [151215]

Mr. Denham: Further guidance is being prepared which will enable information to be provided once the Retained Organs Commission is satisfied that trusts can provide accurate responses to relatives who have made inquiries. The guidance will be issued as soon as possible.

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NHS Trust Boards

Mr. Burnett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will issue guidance on the circumstances under which NHS trust boards should decide (a) disciplinary cases and (b) cases involving amendments of performance. [150685]

Mr. Denham: The existing guidance, "Code of Conduct, Code of Accountability", sets out the role and responsibilities of trust boards. These include the need to ensure that high standards of corporate governance and personal behaviour are maintained in the conduct of business of the whole organisation. Chairs and non- executive directors are responsible for taking disciplinary action against executive directors who breach the Code of Conduct.

Resuscitation Policies

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how and when compliance with Health Service Circular 2000/028-Resuscitation policy will be monitored and audited by his Department; what sanctions will be administered on the NHS trusts which have not complied; and how and when the outcomes of these monitoring activities will be made available to the general public. [151446]

Yvette Cooper: We have asked the Commission for Health Improvement (CHI) to pay particular attention to resuscitation decision-making processes as part of its rolling programme of clinical governance arrangements put in place by National Health Service organisations. Where CHI finds notable practice or areas for action relating to resuscitation practices, these will be outlined in the review report.

CHI will work with the NHS organisation, and the appropriate NHS Executive regional office (and local health authority where relevant), to set objectives for improvement. The organisation will then develop an action plan, the implementation of which will be monitored by the regional office to ensure any necessary action is taken.

Home/Domiciliary Care (Charges)

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received relating to inaccurate statements or examples in his Department's draft statutory guidance on charging for home or domiciliary care. [150821]

Mr. Hutton: We have received one representation. However, we believe the draft guidance is in fact correct on the points which have been questioned.

Newcastle Health Services

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what deficit he estimates for Newcastle City Health Trust; what bridging loan have been granted to Newcastle City Health Trust; and how these deficits and loans are to be apportioned in respect of its successor authorities. [150954]

Mr. Denham: The Newcastle City Health National Health Service Trust is forecasting a revenue breakeven position for 2000-01. The NHS Executive has not

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provided any direct assistance in the form of brokerage in 2000-01. The trust has received £1 million assistance in respect of the Newcastle Strategic Review (NSR) bridging arrangements, which is partially funded from national special assistance funding. As the trust is forecasting breakeven, no brokerage has been provided; and as the NSR bridging funding is non-repayable, there is no impact on the successor organisations.

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many PMS services have been approved in Newcastle City; if these are located in the area of greatest health need; if approval been given for a PMS for asylum seekers in Newcastle; and how this will be funded. [150953]

Mr. Denham: A total of 12 personal medical services (PMS) pilots have been approved in the City of Newcastle since April 1998.

PMS pilots under the National Health Service (Primary Care) Act 1997 are an opportunity for general practitioners, nurses and community trusts to test different ideas for delivering primary care services, focusing on local service problems and bringing about health improvements. Health Service Circular 2000/018 outlined our priorities for future PMS Pilots. Pilot schemes are not necessarily restricted to areas of greatest health need, however that may be defined.

Approval has been given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Newcastle Asylum Seeker Unit as a PMS pilot to become operational on 1 April 2001. For all PMS pilots a transfer of funds is undertaken at a national level from the General Medical Services (GMS) non-discretionary budget to the unified budget. The transfer of existing resources is based on the appropriate GMS and other funding paid to GPs or practices moving to pilot status.

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been allocated for bridging support for the Newcastle City Strategic Review in each financial year from 1996-97 to 2001-02; and if he has decided to terminate support from 2002 onwards. [150955]

Mr. Denham: Newcastle and North Tyneside Health Authority has received special assistance funding in support of strategic change as follows:

£ million

YearSpecial assistance

Decisions on special assistance funding are taken annually and an announcement will be made shortly with regard to 2001-02. No decisions have been taken in respect of 2002-03 onwards.

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the PFI for Newcastle City Hospitals Trust will go to open advertisement for bidders; if he has received a request to prioritise work on the new cancer treatment centre; and if he intends to put the new cancer treatment centre on a faster track for completion. [150956]

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Mr. Denham: The private finance initiative (PFI) schemes to complete the implementation of the Newcastle Strategic Review will be able to go to advert for bidders once the outline business cases for the various capital investments have been assessed and approved by the National Health Service Executive. The business cases were received on 14 February 2001 and work on their assessment will be completed by the end of March 2001.

We are aware of local aspirations that the cancer treatment centre element of the Newcastle Strategic Review be publicly funded in advance of the remainder of the PFI developments. However, the business cases advocate that the new cancer treatment centre should be procured as one part of the overall PFI developments proposed at both the Freeman Hospital and Royal Victoria Infirmary, and not separately. The PFI has been the major element of our modernisation of the NHS's capital stock and has enabled a much faster pace of development than if there had been a reliance on public capital funds alone.

Subject to satisfactory progress being made in progressing the scheme, the new facilities at Freeman Hospital should be operational in 2005.

Electronic Booking System

(Hospital Appointments)

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the estimated value is of the computer contract to provide an electronic booking system for hospital appointments. [151483]

Ms Stuart: A Strategic Outline Case (SOC) is being developed for Electronic Booking, in line with guidance from the Central Communications and Telecommunications Agency. The SOC will establish a number of options to be pursued in later stages of business case development.

It is not possible to provide a meaningful estimate of the value of possible future contracts until the scope of any possible future contracts has been further defined through the development of a business case.

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