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13 Jan 2003 : Column 485W—continued

Coronary Care

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients have been waiting more than 12 months for (a) revascularisation and (b) heart surgery. [88755]

Ms Blears: At the end of September 2002, two patients had waited more than 12 months for revascularisation. Both patients have now been treated. Equivalent figures for heart surgery are not collected in this way but 2001–02 Hospital Episode Statistics suggest a mean waiting time of 124 days for all cardiothoracic surgery.

Drug Treatment

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to introduce compulsory (a) methadone and (b) diamorphine prescription training for general practitioners. [88964]

Ms Blears: The Clinical Guidelines, Drug Misuse and Dependence—Guidelines on Clinical Management (1999) clearly outline the role of general practitioners (GPs) in prescribing to drug users. These guidelines are supported by training for GPs. The Royal College of

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General Practitioners has, with Department funding, developed a certificate in drug misuse for primary care practitioners, aimed at accrediting GPs.

E Coli

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the Government's policy on the labelling and cooking instructions for products which may be susceptible to infection by E coli-0157. [88989]

Ms Blears: The Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food has advised on the provision of appropriate instructions for products like raw minced beef, raw minced beef products, and beefburgers. This advice is already incorporated in guidance notes to the Food LabellingRegulations and makes clear that such products should be cooked right through so the juices run clear and are not pink inside.

Electronic Patient Records

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which NHS trusts in the south east have introduced electronic patient records. [88517]

Mr. Lammy [holding answer 7 January 2003]: All national health service trusts in the south east are in the process of introducing electronic patient records.

Farmed Salmon

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Health [pursuant to the Answer of 9 December 2002, Official Report, column 23W], if he will publish the advice from independent experts when it is received. [88667]

Ms Blears: The Food Standards Agency will publish the advice when received from independent experts on the paper it is preparing on the consumption of fish.

Food Hygiene

Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what has been spent on the Food Standards Agency's food hygiene campaign; and how much money has been allocated for the campaign over the next five years. [88720]

Ms Blears: As part of the Food Standards Agency's remit to cut food borne disease by 20 per cent. by 2006, #4.1 million was spent in 2001–02 and #4.9 million in 2002–03. There is currently an allocation of #4 million per year for the next three years.

Foundation Hospitals

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the independent regulator for NHS foundation hospitals will be appointed. [87893]

Mr. Hutton: The position is explained in paragraph 3.28 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts". Details will be included in forthcoming legislation.

Mr. Kevin Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how he estimates foundation hospital status will improve acute services for NHS patients. [88288]

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Mr. Hutton: National health service foundation trusts will have the freedom to develop new ways of working that reflect local needs and priorities, within a framework of NHS standards and inspection to guard against two tier health care and protect NHS patients. This new localism is the key to improving the responsiveness of services to local NHS patients.

Mr. Kevin Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if it will be possible for foundation hospitals to withdraw from provision of health services that they deem not to be profitable. [88289]

Mr. Hutton: The position is set out in paragraphs 3.10–3.12 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts". Details will be set out in forthcoming legislation.

Mr. Kevin Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether there will be restrictions on foundation hospitals providing services other than health-related ones. [88290]

Mr. Hutton: National health service foundation trusts will be bound by legislation to have a primary purpose of providing health related services for the benefit of NHS patients and the community (paragraph 1.20 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts"). Activities undertaken by a NHS foundation trust will be limited to those that are conducive to and not detrimental to achievement of the primary purpose (paragraph 3.5 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts").

Mr. Kevin Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the potential change in transaction and legal costs resulting from the legally binding contracts proposed for foundation hospitals. [88291]

Mr. Hutton: The introduction of legally binding agreements for National Health Service foundation trusts takes place alongside a move to payment by results based on a national tariff across the NHS, which is designed to reduce transaction costs. The number of NHS foundation trusts will also affect the costs.

Mr. Kevin Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what protection he will put in place to ensure that legal and professional fees to support the new legal framework for foundation hospitals do not affect the provision of frontline health care. [88292]

Mr. Hutton: The Department of Health will provide support for primary care trusts and other commissioners and national health service foundation trust applicants to develop competency in negotiating and framing legally binding contracts. This will include the production of a template legally binding agreement (paragraph 4.12 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts").

Mr. Kevin Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether foundation hospitals will be permitted to dispose of assets. [88293]

Mr. Hutton: The position is set out in paragraphs 3.18–3.19 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts".

Mr. Kevin Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will ensure that primary care trusts are involved in negotiations when foundation hospitals are

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seeking to raise capital independent of the NHS so that PCTs can be aware of the potential revenue implications. [88294]

Mr. Hutton: National Health Service foundation trusts will have freedom to borrow from the public or private sectors primarily on the strength of their cash flows. These will depend on the levels of activity that they agree to provide under longer term binding agreements with primary care trusts. The cost of NHS services provided in facilities funded by private borrowing will be governed by the national tariff for NHS services, not by the cost of associated debt.

Mr. Kevin Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of how foundation hospital trust status will affect the way that primary care trusts deliver the modernisation programme within the NHS. [88295]

Mr. Hutton: National health service foundation trusts will be at the cutting edge of the programme of reform that supports modernisation of the NHS. Freed from detailed performance management and with the opportunity to concentrate on results that matter for local people, NHS foundation trusts will contribute to the delivery of primary care trust modernisation programmes.

Mr. Kevin Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he will take if foundation hospitals fail to work in partnership with primary care trusts and social services to deliver improvements in health and social well-being. [88296]

Mr. Hutton: It will be for the independent regulator to decide whether and how to intervene, using a range of powers to be set out in forthcoming legislation (see paragraphs 3.34–3.38 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts").

Mr. Kevin Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he will take if a foundation hospital fails (a) financially and (b) to meet targets for service provision. [88297]

Mr. Hutton: It will be for the independent regulator to decide whether and how to intervene, using a range of powers to be set out in forthcoming legislation (paragraphs 3.34—3.38 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts").

Foundation Trusts

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what evidence will be required to demonstrate that local people support an application for foundation status. [87747]

Mr. Hutton: The position is set out in paragraph 7.11 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts".

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what requirements there will be for governors of NHS foundation trusts publicly to state their political allegiances. [87748]

Mr. Hutton: This will be a matter for national health service foundation trusts to decide.

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Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what control NHS foundation trusts will have over changes in the level of accident and emergency facilities. [87749]

Mr. Hutton: The position is set out in paragraphs 3.10–3.12 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts". Details will be included in forthcoming legislation.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to paragraph 1.41 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts", what sorts of organisations could become NHS foundation trusts. [87751]

Mr. Hutton: The position is set out in paragraph 7.3 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts".

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what freedom there will be for NHS foundation trusts to vary pay and conditions for clinical staff outside the Agenda for Change Agreement. [87752]

Mr. Hutton: The position is set out in paragraphs 6.1–6.7 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts". Details will be set out in forthcoming legislation.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if boards of governors of a NHS foundation trust will be able to remove members of a management board. [87774]

Mr. Hutton: New legislation will set out the provisions for both appointment and dismissal of members of the management board.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health who will determine whether (a) a chair and (b) a non-executive director of a management board of a NHS foundation trust meets criteria laid down by the independent regulator; and what will happen if a person is elected as (i) a chair and (ii) a non-executive director but does not meet those criteria. [87777]

Mr. Hutton: A national health service foundation trust will set its own criteria for elections of these individuals taking into account guidance from the independent regulator and statutory requirements. A person who does not meet the NHS foundation trust's criteria would not be eligible for election.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether there will be a mechanism for appeal against a decision of the independent regulator on matters relating to NHS foundation trusts. [87780]

Mr. Hutton: Arrangements will be set out in forthcoming legislation.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he will have a power of direction over the independent regulator for NHS foundation trusts. [87781]

Mr. Hutton: No.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his statement of 11 December 2002, Official Report, column 272, if he will make a statement on the meaning of creation of a legal lock on the assets of NHS foundation trusts. [87782]

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Mr. Hutton: National health service foundation trusts will be prevented from selling and distributing assets necessary for the continued provision of essential services.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimates he has made of the costs to a NHS foundation trust of (a) setting up and (b) administering a membership register. [87783]

Mr. Hutton: The Department of Health will work with second stage applicants to prepare for formal establishment, including practical support to develop the new governance arrangements.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether local authorities will be able to appoint members to the board of governors of an NHS foundation trust. [87787]

Mr. Hutton: The constitution of a national health service foundation trust will set out the arrangements for appointing representatives of partner organisations to the board of governors. The minimum requirements are set out in paragraph 2.17 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts". As explained in paragraphs 2.17–2.23 there will be flexibility for each NHS foundation trust to decide whether to include other partner organisations, including local authority social service departments.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his estimate is of the costs of setting up an Independent Regulator for NHS foundation trusts. [87788]

Mr. Hutton: Costs will depend on the roles and responsibilities of the Independent Regulator, which will be set out in forthcoming legislation and on the number of national health service foundation trusts.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether it is his policy that borrowing by an NHS foundation trust from the private sector may be guaranteed by (a) the Secretary of State for Health, (b) strategic health authorities, (c) primary care trusts and (d) other bodies within the NHS. [87789]

Mr. Hutton: The regime for managing financial failure in national health service foundation trusts will safeguard the Secretary of State's overriding priority—that NHS patients continue to have access to the health care they need, free at the point of delivery. The regime will not underwrite institutions that have failed to deliver under the terms of their service agreements and/or licence.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether an NHS foundation trust will be able to carry out work for NHS patients without charge. [87790]

Mr. Hutton: National health service foundation trusts will provide services that are free at the point of use according to clinical need, not the ability to pay.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if boards of governors of NHS foundation trusts will be able to take independent advice on matters, with particular reference to the requirement to advise the management board on the trust's forward plans. [87810]

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Mr. Hutton: It is for the board of governors of each national health service foundation trust to determine what advice it requires in order to carry out its responsibilities. Any provision for allocation of resources to the board of governors will be determined by the NHS foundation trust's constitution.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the policy of primary care trusts will need to be towards a foundation trust application to allow such an application to go forward; and which PCTs will be entitled to have their view considered. [87811]

Mr. Hutton: The position is set out in paragraph 7.11 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts". We will work with short-listed applicants to identify the relevant primary care trusts.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consultation he has had with the Office for National Statistics about the classification of NHS foundation trusts in the national accounts; and what advice he received. [87812]

Mr. Hutton: None.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how he defines suitable comfort in relation to private finance initiative schemes for NHS foundation trusts, as mentioned in paragraph 5.22 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts". [87813]

Mr. Hutton: For national health service trusts with existing private finance initiative (PFI) projects, suitable comfort means that legislation introducing NHS foundation trusts must not affect any new NHS foundation trust's ability to meet its obligations under its PFI contract. Legislation will also ensure that NHS foundation trusts, once created, will be able to sponsor their own PFI projects using the same legislative framework as NHS trusts.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether an NHS foundation trust may appear within the private sector in the national accounts. [87814]

Mr. Hutton: This is a matter for the Office for National Statistics.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Government will act as the lender of last resort for NHS foundation trusts if they are unable to borrow from private sector sources. [87815]

Mr. Hutton: The arrangements for borrowing by national health service foundation trusts are set out in paragraph 5.13–5.16 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts".

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether there will be age criteria for membership of an NHS foundation trust. [87816]

Mr. Hutton: The criteria for membership are set out in paragraph 2.6 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts".

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the amounts due under private finance initiative contracts will be treated as borrowing for the purpose of the borrowing limits to be set for NHS foundation trusts. [87818]

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Mr. Hutton: No. The contract with a private finance initiative project company is for a service, and as such, does not constitute borrowing.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether NHS foundation trusts will be able to transfer their existing assets as part of a private finance initiative transaction. [87819]

Mr. Hutton: National health service foundation trusts will continue to be able to procure capital schemes using the private finance initiative process, subject to the same degree of oversight as applies under current arrangements.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether NHS foundation trusts will be able to carry out work for private patients through the medium of (a) subsidiary companies and (b) public private partnership arrangements. [87820]

Mr. Hutton: Subject to compliance with licence conditions explained in paragraph 3.14–3.15 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts", national health service foundation trusts will be able to carry out work for private patients through a range of corporate arrangements.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether membership of an NHS foundation trust will be available to persons who live in (a) Scotland and (b) Wales. [87821]

Mr. Hutton: Subject to legislation, membership will be open to residents in Scotland and Wales if they meet the eligibility criteria set by a national health service foundation trust.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what freedom the Independent Regulator will have to interpret the terms (a) 'NHS standards' and (b) 'NHS values' when deciding to (i) issue and (ii) monitor NHS foundation trust licences. [87822]

Mr. Hutton: The role and responsibilities of the Independent Regulator will be set out in forthcoming legislation.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what provision there will be for the elections to boards of governors of NHS foundation trusts. [87823]

Mr. Hutton: The position is set out in paragraphs 2.25–2.28 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts". Details will be included in forthcoming legislation.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health who will assume control of a foundation trust which is dissolved; and how services will continue to be provided in that case. [87824]

Mr. Hutton: The position is set out in paragraph 3.38 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts". Details will be included in forthcoming legislation.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health from when care trusts will be eligible for establishment as NHS foundation trusts. [87825]

Mr. Hutton: The position is set out in paragraph 7.3 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts".

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Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if a person will need to be on the electoral register in order to register as a member of an NHS foundation trust. [87826]

Mr. Hutton: The criteria for membership are set out in paragraph 2.6 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts".

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health who will draw up each foundation trust's statement of purpose; what legal status a statement will have; and what powers the Secretary of State will have to alter such statements. [87827]

Mr. Hutton: Details will be set out in each national health service foundation trust's constitution subject to requirements in forthcoming legislation (see paragraph 3.5 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts"). The Secretary of State will have no power to alter a NHS foundation trust's statement of purpose.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what definition he uses of the term protection of the public interest in paragraph 1.16 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts". [87828]

Mr. Hutton: Protecting the public interest in this context refers to safeguards that will ensure the continued provision of essential public services and prevent distribution of the assets necessary for the continued provision of those services.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether an NHS foundation trust will be able to invest surplus financial assets as it wishes. [87877]

Mr. Hutton: The position is explained in paragraph 3.5 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts". Details will be set out in forthcoming legislation.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will publish the prudential code referred to in paragraph 5.17 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts". [87878]

Mr. Hutton: The position is set out in paragraph 3.17 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts".

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the willingness of the private sector to lend money for capital projects to NHS foundation trusts in the absence of security on the related assets. [87879]

Mr. Hutton: There has been widespread consultation with the financial community throughout the development of the national health service foundation trust policy. Lenders are not looking to take security over assets crucial to the provision of essential public services. NHS foundation trusts will borrow primarily on the strength of their projected cash flows.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the strict limits on the provision by NHS foundation hospitals of services to private patients referred to in paragraph 3.4 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts" will be defined; and whether it will be possible for an NHS foundation hospital to apply for a revision to the limits. [87889]

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Mr. Hutton: The position is set out in paragraph 3.15 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts". The limit will not be subject to revision. Details will be included in forthcoming legislation.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what calculations he has made of the potential membership communities for NHS foundation hospitals situated in (a) London and (b) other large urban areas. [87890]

Mr. Hutton: The membership community will vary across national health service foundation trusts and it will be up to each applicant to set out boundaries on the basis of minimum criteria to be set out in forthcoming legislation.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if an NHS foundation trust will be required to charge standard tariffs for each area of its activity. [87894]

Mr. Hutton: The position is set out in paragraphs 5.6–5.12 and 5.25–5.29 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts".

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how it will be determined what portion of debt of an NHS trust is associated with particular assets that are transferred. [87895]

Mr. Hutton: The intention is that on establishment a national health service foundation trust will inherit the balance sheet of its predecessor NHS trust. Assets will be transferred at the value shown in the accounts of NHS trust.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which council is referred to in paragraph 2.22 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts". [87896]

Mr. Hutton: The term Xcouncil" should read Xboard of governors".

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the statutory responsibilities of (a) member of a board of governors, (b) chair of a board of governors, (c) chair of a management board, (d) non-executive director of a management board and (e) executive member of a management board of an NHS foundation trust will be. [87897]

Mr. Hutton: The statutory responsibilities of these individuals will be set out in forthcoming legislation.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what resources will be available to boards of governors of NHS foundation hospitals to enable them to carry out their functions. [87898]

Mr. Hutton: Subject to legislation, this will be a matter for the national health service foundation trust to determine.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the level of (a) financial and (b) other resources available to the independent regulator for NHS foundation hospitals will be determined. [87899]

Mr. Hutton: Provision for the establishment of the independent regulator, including funding, will be set out in forthcoming legislation.

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Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons NHS foundation trusts will not be able to use their regulated assets as security for borrowing. [87900]

Mr. Hutton: National health service foundation trusts will not be allowed to use their regulated assets as security against borrowing to ensure the continuity of essential services in the event of financial failure.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is meant by public interest mandate in paragraph 5.24 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts". [87901]

Mr. Hutton: Public interest mandate in this context refers to the public interest duties that will be enshrined in the licence of each national health service foundation trust that are described in paragraph 3.5 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts".

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health in what ways the independent regulator for NHS foundation trusts will be independent of the Secretary of State for Health. [87903]

Mr. Hutton: The independent regulator will not be subject to direction by the Secretary of State for Health.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if it is his policy to ensure that the board of governors of a NHS foundation trust is not dominated by (a) a particular group of members and (b) a sectional interest. [87904]

Mr. Hutton: Yes, paragraphs 2.17–2.28 of XA Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts" set out clearly that national health service foundation trusts will need to establish a properly representative public and patient membership base and set up a board of governors that is balanced and representative of the whole membership community.


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