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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff in his Department have been seconded to jobs in the (a) private and (b) public sector in each of the last four years. [31776]

Ms Blears: Interchange is a key component of the reform agenda. The Modernising Government White Paper committed us to increasing interchange, in particular by bringing in more people on secondment and sending more of our people out. Secondments and attachments are part of the interchange initiative, which promotes the exchange of people and good practice between the Civil Service and other organisations. All sectors of the economy are involved: voluntary, education, health, public and private.

Central Records are held on the following secondments commenced in the years shown:

Public sectorPrivate sectorTotal

(88) To date

Health and Social Care Act

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what announcement he made on the powers in Section 4 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001 to establish and support private firms to undertake tasks within the National Health Service, prior to the conclusion of the Second Reading of the Bill in the House of Commons. [28678]

Mr. Hutton: On 6 December 2000, in a press notice which accompanied the announcement of the Health and Social Care Bill in the Queen's Speech, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State said:

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Theft and Fraud

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what additional security measures are planned by his Department to deter and detect theft and fraud. [31796]

Ms Blears: The Department takes theft and fraud prevention very seriously. Our existing arrangements for deterring and detecting theft and fraud include internal control systems, auditor scrutiny, asset holder accountability, and investigation of losses. Some examples of our existing security controls are:

Following a recent departmental security review, we have strengthened our arrangements, including:

Nursing Care

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many health authorities since 1 October 2001 have revised their contracts with nursing homes to ensure that the payment for free nursing care is passed on to the self- funding resident in the form of a reduced fee. [31300]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 30 January 2002]: The guidance on implementation of free nursing care makes it clear that nursing home residents should not be charged for services funded by the national health service and that the NHS locally will develop contracting procedures with homes that the financial benefit of the NHS payment should be discounted in any fee payable by the resident to the home. Information is not available centrally on how each health authority or primary care trust has handled this.

Health Clinic (South Woodham Ferrers)

Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans his Department has to establish an X-ray facility in the health clinic at South Woodham Ferrers. [31640]

Ms Blears [holding answer 30 January 2002]: Maldon and South Chelmsford Primary Care Group put forward a bid towards the end of the 2000–01 financial year to the then National Patients' Access Team (now part of the National Health Service Modernisation Agency) for digital imaging facilities to be made available at South Woodham Ferrers clinic. The National Patients' Access Team considered the bid and although there was some

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capital funding available at that time unfortunately there were insufficient funds available to fund the purchase of this equipment.

The overall concept of providing an X-ray facility in the local general practitioner clinic is a good one that would appear to enhance local patient services. However the overall cost of setting up a service with a digital X-ray machine is a lot greater than that of the equipment alone. There would be significant recurring staff and maintenance costs involved in the provision of such a service. The primary care trust would have to be able to meet these recurring costs from within their existing resources. Further more the type of X-rays that could be done out of a main X-ray department is limited to chest and extremity radiography only.

While the modernisation agency does not have funds available to support this, the PCT may wish to prioritise its own funds to purchase such equipment. The Medical Devices Agency would be able to advise on suitable equipment that could provide a simple service at a lower cost than a full digital system.


Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of years of life lost following the potential blocking of the use of irinotecan in first line use for advanced colo-rectal cancer; and if this criteria is a feature of NICE assessments; [32772]

Yvette Cooper: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has not yet issued guidance on the appraisal for colo-rectal cancer drugs and the draft guidance is currently subject to appeal.

Figures on European survival rates from colon and rectal cancers are given in the tables.

Colon cancer—age standardised relative survival (percentage) Europe 1985–89(89)

Males Females
Country1 year2 year1 year2 year
Europe 1985–8966.346.866.446.7

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Rectal cancer—age standardised relative survival (percentage) Europe 1985–89(89)

Males Females
Country1 year2 year1 year2 year
Europe 1985–8971.942.671.842.9

(89) Survival of Cancer Patients in Europe: the Eurocare-2 Study 1999

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