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Mr. Lammy: It is not possible to provide a comprehensive breakdown of complaints made about NHS Direct in each region. In the financial year 200001, 148 written complaints were received about NHS Direct
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in England. These figures are collected annually and not monthly. This equates to one complaint in over 20,000 calls made to NHS Direct.
Mr. Lammy: The Department decides on the appropriate tariff for national lines on a case by case basis, taking account of the purpose of the line, its intended audience and the ability of the target audience to pay.
The NHS Cancer Plan sets out the Government's commitment to investment in cancer services, including the nursing work force. We expect to see an increase in specialist cancer nurses in line with needs identified in local cancer service delivery plans.
Mr. Gareth Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what additional funding has been made available to primary care trusts and acute hospitals to help fund the cost of patients using infliximab. 
Mr. Lammy: We have not allocated earmarked funding for National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommended treatments such as infliximab. 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.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether other bidders for the smallpox vaccine awarded to Powderject committed themselves to supply a vaccine that was free of BSE agents. 
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Mr. Hutton: Yes, other bidders for the smallpox vaccine awarded to Powderject committed themselves to supply a vaccine that was free of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) agents. European legislation demands that an application for marketing authorisation of a medicinal product in the European Union must include satisfactory demonstration of compliance with the European note for guidance on minimising the risk of transmitting animal spongiform encephalopathy agents via human and veterinary medicinal products.
Mr. Hutton: Impfstoffwerke Dessau Tornav Gmbh (IDT) were not approached during the negotiations to award the smallpox vaccine contract and were not invited to make a bid. It was known from the outset that IDT were a sub-contracting partner of Bavarian Nordic, with whom Powderject had an exclusive agreement to act as their suppliers. An official from the Department accompanied officials from the Ministry of Defence on a visit to Bavarian Nordic and IDT at the end of January (31) on a fact-finding visit to discuss vaccine developments and manufacturing techniques and capacity for both types of smallpox vaccine being made by the company.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the relevance of the nationality of the supplier to national security was considered during the tendering process for the smallpox vaccine contract. 
Mr. Hutton: The key selection criteria upon which the contract for the supply of smallpox vaccine was awarded were the company's ability to provide vaccine of the chosen strain and its ability to complete supply within the preferred timescale. The security of supply in the event of an emergency was a factor that was considered, but not the nationality of the supplier.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures have been implemented to reduce racial harassment of NHS staff; how many incidents of racial (a) abuse and (b) attacks have been recorded in the last year in each health authority; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hutton: The Government is fully committed to diversity and equality of opportunity for all health service staff and patients and we are taking vigorous action to achieve this. There is no place for discrimination or harassment in the National Health Service on grounds of race or ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or age.
The Improving Working Lives (IWL) Standard establishes targets and measures for promoting real improvements in the working lives of NHS staff. It makes it clear that every member of staff is entitled to work in
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an organisation which can prove that it is investing in, and improving, diversity and tackling discrimination and harassment.
Activity to achieve this aim is occurring on a number of fronts. We have launched an equalities framework ('The Vital Connection') which incorporates clear requirements for the NHS in promoting equality and introduces a package of indicators, standards and monitoring arrangements to support progress and manage performance as part of human resources performance management. It includes specific measures on race and harassment.
In addition, the 'Positively Diverse' programme is developing the knowledge and capacity of NHS organisations to build and manage a diverse workforce. It provides the process for achieving the equalities related aspects of IWL and the targets set by the equalities framework and supports NHS organisations in meeting the workforce challenges set by the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000. In addition, new guidance and publicity posters, aligned with the NHS zero tolerance zone campaign, on dealing with harassment from service users has been developed and will be launched in September.
Information on incidents of racial abuse or attacks is not collected centrally, but may be held at a local level by NHS employers. The findings of the 20002001 survey of reported violent or abusive incidents, accidents involving staff and sickness absence in NHS trusts and health authorities, in England, were published on 13 June. A copy of the report setting out the main findings of the survey has been placed in the Library.
Mr. Hutton: The monitoring of the hours worked by junior doctors is the responsibility of local employers. They and the juniors themselves are accountable for the accuracy of the figures, and the returns are required to be certified by the doctors in post.
Mrs. Browning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health by how much the Devon and Cornwall Strategic Health Authority is overspent; and by how much this will reduce health spending from central Government allocations in the year 200203. 
Ms Blears: The new health authority (HA) for the south-west peninsula is currently within budget. The HA running costs of £4 million were top sliced from the overall allocation to the local health community.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people (a) were waiting for in-patient treatment, (b) had been waiting for over 12 months for in-patient treatment and (c) had been waiting over 15 months for in-patient treatment, in the Mid-Essex hospital trust area in the last two months for which figures are available. 
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|End of April 2002||End of May 2002|
|For inpatient treatment||4,149||4,199|
|Waiting over 12 months||192||162|
|Waiting over 15 months||0||0|
DHSC monthly fast track figures
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