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Mr. Denham: Employers have to satisfy themselves that sponsorship arrangements are properly conducted and are in the best interests of the National Health Service. Guidance entitled "Commercial Sponsorship: Ethical Standards for the NHS" was issued by the Department in November 2000. This guidance supplemented and updated "Health Service Guidance 1993(5) Standards of Business Conduct for NHS Staff" which was issued in January 1993.
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Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will extend the state registration period for NHS staff beyond one year to allow NHS staff from overseas to obtain work permits valid for over a year. 
Mr. Denham: Registration periods for health professionals are a matter for the relevant regulatory bodies. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Employment informs me that work permits are issued for the length of the contract of employment, up to a maximum of five years.
Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to (a) increase the number of supervisory allowances for NHS clinical educators and (b) invest in additional post-graduate training for educators and locum cover for their existing caseload. 
Mr. Denham: National Health Service staff participate in education and training as clinical educators as part of their overall duties. Separate fees are not therefore payable but some staff are employed for additional sessions to enable them to cover duties associated with training. General practitioners receive a trainers grant where they undertake training responsibilities. This will increase to £6,100 per year from 1 April.
Mr. Denham: Ward Environment Budgets were introduced on 1 October last year. Each budget will be worth a minimum of £5,000 in 2001-02. The budgets can be spent on whatever the ward sisters and charge nurses who manage the ward consider will best enhance and humanise patient care or improve the working lives of staff.
All wards can have a budget. No types of ward are excluded. In the vast majority of cases it will be clear which units within a hospital are a ward. At the margins there may however be some doubt whether a particular unit constitutes a ward for the purposes of these budgets. Where there is doubt, the hospital managers will decide how a ward is defined within their hospital with a view to delivering the spirit of this initiative.
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Mr. Denham: We shall continue to ensure that new staff/students have appropriate, high quality support and are taught by those with practical and recent experience of their professions. National Health Service trusts have been asked to establish "keep in touch" schemes whereby a register is kept of retiring staff willing to do casual work or assist with the mentoring of students.
Mr. David Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress his Department is making in its investigation of the General Osteopathic Council; and if he will make a statement on the implementation of the Osteopaths Act 1993. 
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the dates of the meetings between the Department of Health and the National Assembly for Wales where the knock-on effects of providing additional funding to each general practitioner practice in England for (a) doctors' pay and (b) extra doctors in Wales were discussed. 
Mr. Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) private and (b) public sector residential nursing homes there were in the St. Ives constituency in (a) 1992, (b) 1997 and (c) 2001. 
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Mr. Hutton: The table shows the number of private nursing homes for the health authority of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Health Authority at 31 March in each of the years 1992, 1997 and 2000. Information is not available at constituency level and is not yet available for 2001. There are no public sector nursing homes.
RH(N) Form A 2000, KO36 form 1992 and 1997
|UPEs||Patients||Average list size|
(29) UPEs include Unrestricted Principals, Personal Medical Services (PMS), contracted General Practitioners (GPs) and PMS salaried GPs.
(30) Data relate to Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Family Practitioner Committee for 1987, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Family Health Services Authority for 1992 and Cornwall and Isles of Scilly HA for 1997 and 2000. The HA boundaries between 1987 and 1992 may not be coterminous.
(31) Latest available data. Data for 2000 relate to 30 September; earlier years relate to 1 October.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many appointees to the boards of primary care trusts have declared political activity for (a) the Labour Party, (b) the Conservative Party, (c) the Liberal Democrats and (d) other parties; and in each case what percentage this represents of the total number of appointments made. 
Ms Stuart [holding answer 27 March 2001]: The number of people who have accepted appointment as a chair or non-officer member of the 164 primary care trusts that will be operational from April 2001 and who have declared political activity is given in the table.
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|Political Party||Number of appointees||Percentage of total number of appointees|
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