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Jacqui Smith: The National Service Framework for Older People, launched in March this year, drew on available evidence, and existing research on the causes and treatment of dementia was comprehensively assessed. A research strategy for older people is being drawn up as a result of the National Service Framework and mental health services for older people will be a high priority in shaping it.
Jacqui Smith: On 9 October, we announced an extra £300 million investment over this year and next year for local councils to spend on community care services. This major cash investment will be used to reduce bed blocking and will help to stabilise the care home sector, giving them greater confidence in the future.
We also launched a new agreement, 'Building Capacity and Partnership in Care', on 9 October. The agreement focuses on councils and the independent sector working together as partners throughout the commissioning process. This should promote a more strategic, inclusive and consistent approach to capacity planning at local level.
Ms Blears: Enormous progress is being made in improving cancer services thanks to the efforts of frontline staff. Details are given in the first annual progress report "The NHS Cancer PlanMaking Progress" which was launched on 3 December. Copies are available in the Library.
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programme of investment and reform is in place to support the rollout of new cancer waiting times targets to 2005.
19. Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on progress towards achieving the Government's target for the percentage of referred cancer patients seen within 14 days. 
Ms Blears: Between July to September this year 91.3 per cent. of all urgent general practitioner referrals for suspected cancer were seen within two weeks. Over the period January to September 2001 over 233,500 people urgently referred with suspected cancer were seen by a specialist within two weeks.
Jacqui Smith: Children's hospices have access to national health service funding, the level of which may increase by agreement with health authorities and primary care trusts following assessment of local options available to support children with life threatening illnesses, and their families. The New Opportunities Fund will also be available from next year and has a budget of £48 million to support projects for children with life threatening illness.
16. Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the timing of the (a) publication and (b) implementation of the National Service Framework for diabetes. 
Jacqui Smith: I announced on 15 October that the Diabetes National Service Framework standards would be published this year and the delivery strategy in summer 2002. This will enable the national health service to prepare to plan for the 10-year implementation programme which will start in April 2003.
18. Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recommendations his Department makes to general practitioners regarding the amount of time that should be made available for consultation per patient; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hutton: Patients' needs vary from one to another and it is best left to the clinical judgment of each general practitioner to decide how long to spend on a consultation. Accordingly, the Department has issued no guidance on this.
20. Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health to what extent NHS spending has been (a) over and (b) under planned levels in the (i) financial year 200001 and (ii) first half of this financial year. 
Mr. Hutton: The resource underspend for the Department of Health (which includes national health service spending) in 200001 was £712 million. The Department plans to spend all resources in the current
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21. Linda Gilroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of progress with respect to the (a) prevention of falls and (b) treatment of older people who suffer injury through falls. 
Jacqui Smith: The National Service Framework for Older People recognises the importance of preventing falls and providing effective treatment and rehabilitation to those who have fallen. It sets a standard and milestones for the introduction of integrated falls services. No formal assessment has yet been undertaken of progress towards the NSF falls milestones which are set annually from April 2003.
Mr. Hutton: For national health service trusts who were awarded no stars, action plans are being drawn up and implemented. These will improve the areas of significant under-performance and bring them up to the standard the public and patients have the right to expect.
Mr. Hutton: The Department is represented on an ad hoc Committee set up by the World Health Organisation to review scientific and technical aspects relating to smallpox. A report of this work is due to be considered by the World Health Assembly in May 2002.
Jacqui Smith: For 200102, Barnsley health authority submitted a balanced financial plan, but with only limited contingency funding set aside to address in year pressures. As at the end of October 2001, against their allocation of £198 million, Barnsley HA is forecasting a deficit of £2 million (or 1 per cent.). This is attributable to higher than expected community prescribing costs. In response to the current position, the health community is collectively working on a recovery plan to ensure delivery of a balanced financial position in 200102 without adversely affecting the delivery of agreed service targets.
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Jacqui Smith: From 1 April 2002, local HIV prevention will be commissioned by Primary Care Trusts. In addition, the Department of Health will continue to fund national HIV prevention work. Both national and local work will be undertaken in accordance with the priorities set out in the National Strategy for Sexual Health and HIV. Implementation of the Strategy will be underpinned by robust performance management, for example using information collected under the AIDS (Control) Act 1987.
Jacqui Smith: Both HIV/AIDS treatment and care and local HIV prevention will be commissioned by Primary Care Trusts. For the year ahead, Primary Care Trusts must honour existing agreementsboth financial and otherwisenegotiated by Regional Specialised Commissioning Groups and current specialised service commissioners.
Both national and local work will be undertaken in accordance with the priorities set out in the National Strategy for Sexual Health and HIV. Implementation of the Strategy will be underpinned by robust performance management, for example using information collected under the AIDS (Control) Act 1987.
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