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Jacqui Smith [holding answer 17 December 2002]: We have no plans at present to publish the review of 'Feet First', Since the review was undertaken our policy is now focused on patient-led National Health Service services rather than professionally-led guidance. We want to ensure that primary care trusts (PCTs) make service provision decisions on the basis of their local populations' clinical needs. The national service frameworks for older people and diabetes will help PCTs make these decisions and these have been developed with clinical input from chiropodists.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients on average were awaiting an appointment with an NHS chiropodist in England in 1997; and what the figure was at the last date for which figures are available. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 19 December 2002]: Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (CJD) in humans and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in animals are part of a group of diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases. The precise nature of the agent responsible for CJD is not fully understood, but the most likely theory points to an abnormal form, known as a prion, of a normal cell protein. According to the protein-only hypothesis, infectious prions are composed mainly if not entirely of the abnormal form of the prion protein, which aggregates in infected tissue.
Post mortem examination of the brains of CJD patients and BSE animals shows the accumulation of the abnormal protein and there is a massive destruction of the brain, which shows the characteristic spongy appearance.
Although there is no direct evidence that the BSE prion is infectious to humans, obtaining such evidence could not be justified ethically as this would require humans to be inoculated with BSE agent. A judgment on the link between BSE and vCJD inevitably depends on an assessment of a range of clinical, pathological, epidemiological and laboratory based evidence. There is now convincing evidence that the agent causing BSE is
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Angela Watkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what medical (a) qualifications and (b) background are required in those engaged in clinical governance reviews carried out by the Commission for Health Improvement. 
Mr. Lammy: The Commission for Health Improvement (CHI) is responsible for improvements in quality across the national health service. CHI assess systems and processes through clinical governance reviews and comment on where and when they think the potential to deliver good care is compromised.
Teams carrying out clinical governance reviews are multidisciplinary. Each team normally comprises: a doctor, a nurse, an NHS manager, a lay member and another clinical professional who is not a doctor or a nurse, for example a pharmacist or physiotherapist.
25 from mental health trusts
55 from primary care trusts
four from ambulance trusts
Mr. Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance and assurances have been given to Community Health Council staff relating to the forthcoming abolition of community health councils. 
Mr. Lammy: A human resources framework for community health council (CHC) staff is being prepared by the Department jointly with the employing strategic health authorities and the unions. This will be available early in the year. The Chief Nursing Officer has issued regular newsletters to keep CHC staff updated on developments concerning the abolition of CHCs and support for CHC staff.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether all strategic health authorities and local authorities have agreed eligibility criteria for continuous care in line with current guidance. 
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with the judgment made on national health service responsibilities in the Coughlan judgment. In addition, the new strategic health authorities were asked to agree one set of criteria across their boundaries from October 2002. The Department will be monitoring StHAs' progress on this in the New Year.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Chelmsford of 16 July, Ref PO1012753, concerning NHS Professionals, the National Framework and anti-competitive practices. 
Mr. Lammy [holding answer 19 December 2002]: The Department's Customer Services Centre, correspondence management has no record of receiving this correspondence and has requested a copy of this correspondence.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many departmental Christmas cards he and his Ministers intend to send in 2002; how much these cards will cost (a) to buy, (b) to post and (c) in staff time to sign, address and place in envelopes; and if he will place in the Library a sample copy of the official Christmas card he has sent this year. 
Mr. Lammy [holding answer 19 December 2002]: 1,000 cards have been purchased at a total cost of #1,243.15. More detailed information could be provided only at disproportionate cost. All expenditure incurred in the purchase and despatch of official Christmas cards has been made in accordance with the departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, based on the principles set out in XGovernment Accounting".
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Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he made of alternative systems prior to the decision to contract EDS to supply a hotmail system to the National Health Service; when the project to procure a hotmail system for the NHS was originally costed, and what the initial estimated cost for the system was; for what purpose the NHS is commissioning a hotmail system; and what estimate he has made of the final cost of the system. 
Mr. Lammy: As part of a formal open competitive procurement exercise 30 expressions of interest in the national e-mail service were received; eight of these were invited to submit outline proposals based on the service specification. Five of these responded, from which the final shortlist of three was chosen and their proposals assessed in detail.
The national e-mail service is a strategic business tool for the NHS and an enabler for many of the electronic data flows which the NHS wish to implement. The service will give NHS staff a single e-mail address that can be securely accessed from within the NHS network as well as from the Internet. This will be particularly useful to NHS staff based in more than one organisation or who require mobile working in the community. Staff will also be able to access their e-mails via portable devices such as mobile phones or personal digital assistants as well as from home.
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