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Mr. Hutton: An initial regulatory impact assessment of the proposed directive on agency workers prepared by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has been placed in the Library.
The Commission's proposal would, as it stands, require that agency workers in the national health service did not receive less favourable basic working and employment conditions than comparable workers employed by the NHS. The proposal contains limited derogations from this requirement, which may be applicable in some cases. The proposal is subject to the co-decision procedure, and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry remains in dialogue with other member countries and the Commission.
The NHS policy is to employ personnel on permanent contracts where possible, and to ensure that temporary staff are treated fairly through NHS Professionals (the NHS-led approach to temporary staffing). We are also preparing a code of practice for the supply of temporary staff which is currently being drafted.
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Mr. Hutton: Regulations (EEC) 140871 and 57472 (copies available in the Library) co-ordinate the social security and health care schemes of the EU member states. They contain provisions allowing access to health care throughout the EU on the same terms as provided to the host country's insured population. The following are the most important health care provisions of the regulations:
referral specifically for treatment of a pre-existing condition (the E112 scheme);
health care for workers posted to another EU country (forms E101 and E128);
health care in the new state of residence for state pensioners going to live in another EU state (E121); and
health care for members of the family of workers or pensioners where they reside in a different EU state from the worker or pensioner (E109).
Mr. Hutton: The pilot scheme for the overseas treatment of national health service patients is now at an end. Any NHS body can legally commission treatment overseas for its patients. However, the Department has advised any trust wishing to refer patients overseas to contact one of the lead commissioners who have been set up to organise treatment for NHS patients overseas. These lead commissioners are based in Guy's and St. Thomas' Trust and Kent and Medway health authority.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff were employed in the Modernisation Agency at 1 April; and what proportion of those staff have clinical contact with NHS patients. 
Mr. Lammy: At the 1 April 2002 there were 440 staff employed by the Modernisation Agency, of which 182 have professional clinical qualifications. 207 of the agency's staff are working directly with clinical teams and eight retain a responsibility for delivery of clinical care as part of their role with the agency.
To improve the management and cost-effectiveness of NHS 'bank' arrangements through the NHS Professionals initiative.
NHS Professionals is being implemented against a target to operate nationally for all staff groups by April 2003, around 50 trusts are already using the service.
To improve the cost-effectiveness and quality of temporary staff supplied by commercial agencies through co-ordinated contracts negotiated with a range of agencies that have been vetted using quality, risk and value for money criteria.
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a 4 per cent. increase in number of qualified allied health professionals
5.7 per cent. more NHS consultantsthe second largest increase on record and overall the NHS workforce increased by 4.3 per cent. to 1,1666,000.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what diagnostic and treatment centres are planned under the NHS plan; when (a) construction is due to commence and (b) schemes will be completed; and what the cost is of each scheme. 
We announced a "first wave" of eight DTCs in February 2002. A list of the schemes is shown in the table. Development is being supported by £6.8 million central capital, supplemented by funds from local capital allocations. The schemes are on course to be operational by the end of 2002.
North Hampshire Hospitals NHS Trust (Basingstoke Hospital)
North Hampshire PCT (Chase Community Hospital, Bordon)
Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Trust
Redwood (subject to negotiation)
Royal Hospital at Haslar, Portsmouth
Royal Berkshire and Battle Hospitals NHS Trust (Reading)
University College London Hospitals NHS Trust.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what role NHS Direct will have in providing advice on the threat of chemical and radiological attacks; what training has been provided to those staffing NHS Direct in providing this advice; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hutton: NHS Direct plans to develop relationships within the national health service and with the other agencies involved in emergency planning, such that full use could be made of the capabilities of NHS Direct in the event of an emergency, such as chemical or radiological attack. NHS Direct already has considerable experience in provision of information to the public whenever health scares arise. This experience is likely to be useful and can be built upon should there be a health emergency.
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Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on how many occasions between 31 March 2001 and 31 March 2002 (a) departmental and (b) non-departmental special advisers have travelled abroad in an official capacity; what places were visited; and how much each visit cost. 
|911 October 2001||67 November 2001|
|Departmental special advisers||1||1|
|Non-departmental special advisers||0||0|
|Cost of visit||£4,125.76||£580.56|
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to make an announcement as to the appointment of a new head of the NHS Leadership Centre; and who has been in charge of the organisation since the departure of the previous head. 
Following Barbara Harris' decision to step-down as Director of the NHS Leadership Centre in December 2001, Penny Humphris was seconded to the role from the 31 January 2002 on an acting basis. In the period between December 2001 and end-January 2002, David Fillingham, the NHS Modernisation Agency Director, took direct management responsibilities for the NHS Leadership Centre.
The substantive post of Director of the NHS Leadership Centre is planned to be advertised the week commencing 10 June 2002. An announcement will be made once the recruitment process has been completed.
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