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National Health Service University

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Mr. John Hutton): I am today publishing for consultation a development plan for a new corporate university for the National Health Service—which will initially be known as the XNHSU", and which we intend will be called the XNational Health Service University" when it meets the relevant criteria to be granted full university status.

The NHSU will offer training and development for everyone at every level of the NHS. This includes those staff who may not have experienced learning since leaving school. It will make learning a right for all staff in the NHS. By unlocking the potential of staff, NHSU will make a key contribution to the development and modernisation of the NHS and support the effective delivery and implementation of the NHS Plan.

The focus of the learning opportunities, training and development offered will be improving services for patients.

Copies of the consultation document, 'Learning for Everyone', have been placed in the Library. Copies can also be obtained through the NHSU's own website at:

The consultation process will end on 21 February 2003.

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Victims and Witnesses

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. David Blunkett): My right hon. Friends the Lord Chancellor, the Attorney General and I have today jointly issued a short summary document about the measures we have already taken, and are planning, to improve services and support to victims and witnesses of

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crime. The paper, entitled XA Better Deal for Victims and Witnesses", also highlights those parts of the Criminal Justice Bill, introduced today, which will benefit directly victims of crime. Our programme of reform is guided by a single clear priority—to rebalance the criminal justice system in favour of the victim and the community so as to reduce crime and bring more offenders to justice.

Copies of the summary document have been placed in the Vote Office and the Library.