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Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 2 July 2002, Official Report, column 306W, on performance targets, how many performance targets he has set for the NHS; and how many that were included last year have been dropped this year. 
Mr. Lammy: It has been the Government's policy to reduce the number of priorities facing national health service organisations in order to shift the balance of power away from the centre. A reduction was achieved in the 200203 planning and priorities framework in comparison to the previous year.
An on-going commitment to this approach has been made, with the Government's "Delivering the NHS Plan" document stating very clearly that our plans to modernise the NHS do not constitute a raft of extra targets.
Mr. Lammy: The national health service in England successfully achieved the 20 per cent. reduction in energy use from a base year of 1990 to 2000. In line with the Government's climate change programme, the NHS in England has now been set a new mandatory target to reduce the level of primary energy consumption by 15 per cent. or 0.15 million tonnes carbon from March 2000 to March 2010.
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NHS Estates (an Executive Agency of the Department) is working with the Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme (now Action Energy) to assist the NHS to meet this challenging target. Progress and activity continues to be monitored using the agency's database. It is too early to determine progress against this new target.
Ms Blears [holding answer 10 July 2002]: Expenditure on AIDS research was £20.2 million in 19992000 and £21.3 million in 200001. Data for 200102 are currently being compiled and are expected to be in line with spend for previous years.
Ms Blears [holding answer 10 July 2002]: The NHS Cancer Plan set out our intention to ensure that people with all types of cancer get the best treatments. Evidence based guidance to improve outcomes in each of the tumour groups is being published by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE). NICE also continue to appraise and issue guidance on the use of new chemotherapy treatments. When developing its guidance, NICE takes into account relevant evidence from all over the world.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 2 July 2002, Official Report, column 303W, on mutual organisations, if he will make a statement defining the modus operandi of a public interest company. 
Mr. Lammy [holding answer 10 July 2002]: The public interest company is one option being considered by the Department for the legal status of national health service foundation trusts. We will publish further details in due course.
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Mr. Lammy [holding answer 10 July 2002]: The number of written directives and communications which where sent to national health service hospitals, primary care trusts in 2000 and 2001 by the Department are shown in the tables.
|To chief executives of:|
|NHS trusts||Primary care trusts||To chief executives of NHS trusts and chief executives of primary care trusts|
(8) Both chief executives of NHS trusts and chief executives of primary care trusts were on the distribution list for all e-communications.
Mr. Lammy [holding answer 10 July 2002]: Almost every general practitioner (GP) has a desktop PC. Software suppliers must meet Requirement for Accreditation standards for GP's to be reimbursed. Therefore they must ensure that systems support the ability to write prescriptions via the desktop. Limited numbers of GPs are able to issue prescriptions electronically via the Electronic Transmission of Prescription pilots, which are currently being run by three private sector consortiums on behalf of the Department.
Jacqui Smith: The Department has received six letters regarding the amounts taken from local authorities through the standards spending assessment (SSA) to fund the National Care Standards Commission.
Before deciding to transfer local authorities net expenditure on registration and inspection from the national SSA we consulted local authorities. This method of transferring funds was supported by most local authorities. However, as a result of the comments we
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Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what meetings he has had with Ministers in other Departments with regard to (a) child protection in sport and (b) inter-agency working on child protection in sport. 
Jacqui Smith: My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State has had no meetings with ministerial colleagues specifically regarding child protection in sport or inter-agency working on child protection in sport. However, officials have attended meetings of the child protection in sport unit steering groupa joint initiative between the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children and Sport England. The child protection in sport unit advises organisations on how to introduce child protection policies, commissions research into abuse within sport and raises the profile of child protection among sports' governing bodies. One of the unit's key aims is that sport will play a full and positive part in inter-agency child protection work.
Jacqui Smith: The ultimate responsibility for deciding what treatment is best for an individual patient rests with health professionals, who in consultation with the patient, are required to exercise their clinical judgment. These decisions can be complex and may need to take account of a range of factors; chief among these must be the ability of the patient to benefit from the treatment proposed. Non-surgical treatments for arthritis include the new drugs, infliximab (Remicade) and etanecerpt (Enbrel) which were recently approved by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.
Procurements undertaken by national health service trusts and authorities in England are formally the responsibility of the relevant chief executive. They are advised and supported by the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency. As an integral part of the Department, the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency is in a key position to advise on policy and the strategic direction of procurement, and its impact on developing healthcare, across the NHS. The agency contracts on a national basis
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for products and services that are strategically critical to the NHS (including ICT). It also acts in cases where aggregated purchasing power will yield greater economic savings than those achieved by contracting on a local or regional basis.
Overall direction of the NHS information management and technology strategy for the NHS in England, including ICT procurement policy, is led by the director of research, analysis and information, Sir John Pattison.
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