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Mr. Lammy: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State appointed my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (the Lord Hunt of Kingsheath) as the Ministerial Design Champion for the Department. My noble Friend wrote to all national health service trusts including primary care trusts on 16 May 2002, asking the chair to nominate a design champion accountable to the trust board. The nominated design champion will take the lead in ensuring that capital schemes reflect the principles of good design at every stage of the procurement process.
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Tony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the performance targets that his Department, its agencies and non-departmental public bodies are required to meet, apart from those set out in the public service agreements for 1999 to 2002 and 2001 to 2004; and if he will specify for each target (a) who sets it and (b) who monitors achievement against it. 
Mr. Lammy: The key performance targets for the Department's agencies and non-departmental public bodies are set by Ministers and are published as part of their business plans. Achievement against the targets is reported on by the agencies in their annual report and accounts. Copies of these documents are available from the Library.
For each agency or non-departmental public body, monitoring of performance against the targets during the year is carried out by a senior official of the Department who is responsible for the performance management of the body concerned. For the agencies further scrutiny is carried out by the non-executive ministerial advisory boards.
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|April 1995 to March 1996||289,733|
|April 1996 to March 1997||297,691|
|April 1997 to March 1998||316,572|
|April 1998 to March 1999||317,209|
|April 1999 to March 2000||400,792|
|April 2000 to March 2001||372,090|
|April 2001 to March 2002||358,661|
|January 2002 to date||169,018|
|of which included in 200102 year:||135,989|
|of which 2002 year to date:||33,029|
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 16 May 2002, Official Report, column 857W, on the design champion, what form Lord Hunt of Kings Heath's personal mentoring of four health care design schemes takes. 
Mr. Lammy: My noble Friend, the Lord Hunt of Kings Heath is mentoring four national health service schemes. He has already met with two trusts; visiting the site and meeting with the chief executive, chairman, project director and key members of the team including the trust design champion.
He will support the trust in ensuring that design excellence is considered at all stages of the procurement process, and in addition will support the team, understand the scheme proposal and raise the profile of design excellence.
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Mr. Hutton: The National Clinical Assessment Authority (NCAA) does not validate doctors. The Government expected the NCAA to develop assessment frameworks for doctors in hospital and community and primary care organisations in its first year. During this period, the NCAA also managed nearly 200 referrals from trusts and health authorities for advice and support in local handling of performance issues.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department has a mechanism for monitoring (a) health authorities' and (b) primary care trusts' compliance with their statutory obligations to provide NICE recommended (i) drugs, (ii) treatments and (iii) technologies. 
Mr. Lammy: We expect all health authorities and primary care trusts to meet their statutory obligations to provide appropriate funding for treatments recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. The new strategic health authorities will manage the performance of their constituent national health service bodies in meeting these commitments.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many circular documents have been sent by his Department and by the NHS Executive to the chief executives of NHS trusts since 1 June 2001; how many pages there were in each such document; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Lammy: The Department has issued 43 formal referenced circulars to chief executives of national health service trusts since 1 June 2001. A list of these circulars, showing the number of pages of each one, has been placed in the Library.
Mr. Connarty: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the benefits of access to broadband services for improving patient care; and if he will make a statement; 
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Ms Blears: As set out in the NHS Plan, the national health service in England will have the most up-to-date information technology systems to deliver services faster and more conveniently for patients, including:
access to electronic personal medical records for patients;
electronic patient record systems in hospitals and primary and community trusts;
electronic prescribing of medicines giving patients faster and safer prescribing as well as easier access to repeat prescriptions;
facilities for telemedicine allowing patients to connect with staff electronically for advice.
There are no specific targets for the roll out of broadband services to general practitioner (GP) surgeries and hospitals in England. However, a significant number of NHS organisations are already using broadband links to NHSnet, the NHS managed networking service.
At least 30 per cent. of NHS trust sites currently have broadband connections where broadband is defined as transmission capacity of 256,000 bps or higher. GP practices in England are being encouraged to take up broadband services. Former health authorities were each invited to nominate two practices for centrally funded broadband connections. To date funding has been made available to 40 practices.
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