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Mr. Hutton [holding answer 23 May 2002]: Detailed confidential discussions were held with five major pharmaceutical companies who were known to have vaccine manufacturing capabilities either in the UK or in Europe. The key criterion for awarding the contract for smallpox vaccine was the ability to supply the quantity of vaccine of the preferred strain within the desired timescale.
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(3) what services to pupils are normally performed by the school nursing service; 
(4) what plans he has to expand the schools nursing service. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 24 May 2002]: Information is not collected centrally on the number of pupil drop-in surgeries run by school nurses, nor are numbers of nurses employed in the school health service collected separately from returns on the overall community nurse work force. Expansion of the school nursing service is a matter for primary care trusts, which are tasked with providing for the health care needs of their local population.
Services to pupils normally provided by the school nursing service include supporting children and young people with medical needs in schools. Services are also designed to reduce health inequalities through programmes to improve and protect health such as sexual health and relationships, accident prevention, nutrition and physical activity, parenting, smoking cessation, and immunisation.
Improving the health of children and young people and reducing inequalities are priorities for this Government. Additional work is being developed within the children's national service framework, national healthy schools standard and the teenage pregnancy unit.
Ms Blears [holding answer 24 May 2002]: We have not yet taken a view on this matter. An open consultation continues until 1 July this year on the provision of information about donors. The consultation document asks, among other things, for views as to whether identifying information about future donors should be made available. Copies of the consultation document are in the Library.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the answer given to the hon. Member for Woodspring (Dr. Fox) on 29 April 2002, Official Report, column 624W, on school fruit, what guidance
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there is to ensure that his Department buys British when purchasing apples for the national school fruit scheme. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 24 May 2002]: The Department contracts with various suppliers and distributors to supply fruit for the national school fruit scheme. In all of its procurements, the Department is obliged to secure value for money through competition and has to consider EC Procurement Directives; therefore, the Department is unable to insist upon only British products being purchased. We would, however, expect UK growers to be well placed to meet the challenge of supplying fruit for the scheme.
Ms Blears [holding answer 24 May 2002]: We have not allocated earmarked funding for National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommended treatments. However, national health service bodies have a statutory obligation to fund such treatments. General allocations to health authorities take account of the pressures on pay, prices and the cost of implementing NICE recommendations which they all face. Allocations have increased by at least 6 per cent. in real terms in 200203.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what methodology was used by his Department to quantify how much money it was costing the NHS from patients missing GP appointments each year. 
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 24 May 2002]: The Department is publishing a code of practice on the supply of temporary staffing shortly, which will support trusts in purchasing temporary staff from commercial and in-house providers of temporary staff.
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 24 May 2002]: The figures in the table show the number of consultants who received a pension award, from the National Health Service Pension Scheme, in each of the financial years
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1997 to 2001. The figures include all types of retirement, including age, ill health, voluntary early, preserved pensions, and premature, which may be subject to retrospective adjustment following validation processes.
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Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the answer on 29 April 2002, Official Report, column 626W, on overseas treatment, what the estimated number of patients for the next six months booked to receive overseas treatment was. 
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 24 May 2002]: No such information is held centrally. It is for local commissioners to decide, in the light of capacity constraints across their local health economies, and taking into account the different commissioning options available to them, whether or not to refer patients overseas for treatment.
Ms Blears [holding answer 24 May 2002]: Since the formation of the National Health Service Counter Fraud Service (NHS CFS) in 1998, every health body is required in Secretary of State Directions to have a dedicated and accredited local counter fraud specialist (LCFS) who can be contacted by NHS staff to report any suspicion of fraud in the NHS. One of the many functions of the LCFS is to contribute to a wider change in public and staff attitudes towards fraud in the national health service, using a variety of measures to develop an anti-fraud culture.
A series of fraud awareness presentations (FAPs) has also been given to every health authority, NHS trust, primary care trust and local professional committee, to not only provide details of the work of the NHS CFS but how to report a suspicion of fraud through their LCFS, regional NHS CFS office or the FCRL.
Over 600 of these presentations have been delivered to date and questionnaires completed by attendees reflect the development of an anti-fraud culture. The questionnaires have shown 99 per cent. of NHS staff are now clear about their role in countering fraud.
The NHS CFS also has a series of counter-fraud charters signed with all of the professional associations, 113 patient groups and the Royal College of Nursing. The number of NHS staff and contractors covered by
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counter-fraud charter agreements to work together to counter fraud is more than 400,000. Work continues to increase this number.
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