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25 Nov 2002 : Column 134Wcontinued
Mrs. Browning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much of the amount received by the Exeter Hospice this year was an allocation from the NHS Cancer Plan for Specialist Palliative Care. 
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Ms Blears: I refer the hon. Member to the response I gave her on 23 October 2002, Official Report, column 396W. Information is not held centrally on the sources of the funding provided to Exeter Hospiscare.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many elderly people have been given flu vaccinations in West Sussex; and what percentage of the elderly population of the county this represents. 
Ms Blears: I am advised by Surrey and Sussex Strategic Health Authority that by 31 October the number of older people over 65 immunised against flu in West Sussex was 79,747. Although this is the most recent count available locally of individual patients, the strategic health authority estimates that by 18 November, 55 per cent, of over 65s in West Sussex had been immunised.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many agencies have been brought to the attention of his Department by work force development confederations for failure to adhere to the ethical foreign nurse recruitment policy. 
Mr. Hutton: In 1999, the Department published a document, XGuidance in International Nursing Recruitment". The document clearly outlines the responsibilities of trusts in the payment of reimbursement and relocation expenses.
It is the responsibility of national health service employers to pay for recruits' airfares to ensure they are met on arrival in the United Kingdom. The document stipulates that NHS employers must make sure that appropriate accommodation is available for the recruit before they arrive in the country.
There is a General Whitley Council (GWC) agreement on removal expenses: section 26 of the GWC Handbook, which is essentially an enabling agreement insofar as it gives the employer discretion about how much removal expenses are payable and to whom.
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Jacqui Smith: There was a national recruitment drive in 2000. The campaign succeeded in its aim to raise the public profile of foster care, help establish a positive image of foster care as vocational and professional, and challenge the stigma of children being in public care. It resulted in a large number of people requesting the information packs. The choice protects review is considering recruitment of foster carers and there is a clear message that the best recruitment campaigns are those delivered locally, so that the methods of recruitment can be responsive to local populations. The Department is supporting work on this through a Section 64 grant to fostering network, who are working with local authorities to develop advice on how best to go about recruitment.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what constraints there will be on foundation hospital trusts' autonomy over the level of local pay settlements for clinical and non-clinical staff; 
(3) who will be eligible to sit on boards of foundation hospital trusts; and how they will be appointed. 
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what arrangements his Department is making to avoid confusion in the new payment system for free nursing care where PCT and social services boundaries are not coterminous; 
Jacqui Smith . Circular HSC 2001/17: LAC(2001)26 contains guidance on the respective responsibilities of the national health service and local authorities on NHS funded nursing care. Further supplementary guidance on the arrangements from April 2003 will be published shortly. This will emphasise the need to ensure that transactional costs are kept to a minimum.
The level of funding that will be available to primary care trusts in England for 200304, including the amounts needed for administration, are currently under consideration and will be announced in due course.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what percentage of vacancies for GP posts there are; what the average number of applicants per GP vacancy post was in the last 12 months; and what the average time to recruit for a GP vacancy post in the Adur, Arun and Worthing Primary Care Trust was in the last 12 months. 
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Jacqui Smith [holding answer 19 November 2002]: Blackpool Victoria Hospital Trust issues patients with digital hearing aids based on the patient's individual clinical need. However, the trust is currently negotiating with the local primary care trust for additional funding, which will extend this provision further.
Brian White: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he has taken to review the security of the Department's IT system; and how many digital attacks there were on the Department's system in (a) October and (b) 2002. 
Mr. Lammy: Protection of the Department's information technology (IT) systems is of primary importance, and the risk of digital attack is continually re-assessed in the light of changes in technology and the perceived danger. Technical and procedural measures are regularly adjusted to take account of changing circumstances.
The Department recently achieved compliance with the British Standard (BS7799) for Information Security, which covers IT security procedures. To ensure IT security processes and procedures remain effective, regular independent security audits and tests are conducted.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many looked-after children obtain (a) no GCSEs, (b) one A-G GCSE, (c) five A-G GCSEs, (d) one A*-C GCSE and (e) five A*-C GCSEs in 2002; and what targets have been abandoned for the educational achievement for looked-after children in the last year. 
Jacqui Smith: Data on the educational qualifications of children who ceased to be looked after in England during year ending 31 March 2002 are not yet available. The Department plans to publish these data on 28 November 2002.
Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library the Memorandum of Understanding agreed in December 2001 between his Department and the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions, setting out the arrangement for co-operation between the Fire Service and the Ambulance Service to respond to mass contamination of the public. 
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Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish the Memorandum of Understanding agreed in December 2001 between his Department and the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions, setting out the arrangement between the Fire Service and the Ambulance Service to respond to mass contamination of the public. 
Mr. Lammy [holding answer 21 November 2002]: The Memorandum of Understanding is between two Government Departments, and as such, did not constitute agreement between Fire and Ambulance Services, but is intended to provide a national framework against which those services can produce locally agreed plans and procedures for mass decontamination. A copy of the Memorandum of Understanding will be placed in the Library.
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 21 November 2002]: The planning for the response to a mass casualty incident involves the scaling up of the normal response to a major incident. Following the September 11 2001 terrorist attack on the United States, specific guidance was issued to the national health service on the public health response to the deliberate release of chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear incidents, mass decontamination and mass casualties.
The Department has made available, through the emergency planning section of its website, www.doh.gov.uk/epcu, a comprehensive package of guidance for clinicians on dealing with the consequences of deliberate release. This information is regularly updated. The website contains a link to the public health laboratory service website, which provides additional clinical and other information.
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