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14 Jan 2003 : Column 527Wcontinued
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many maternity units do not reach recommended levels for the number of deliveries per year, as defined by the relevant Royal College. 
National health service maternity services are provided in a variety of settings, and the numbers of deliveries in each unit can vary from about five to 10 births per year in a very small midwife-led unit to large consultant-led units in hospitals with over 5,000 births.
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Jacqui Smith: The Department will be launching a comprehensive framework for black and minority ethnic mental health later this year. The framework will cover accessibility of services and relevant research. The National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) has set up a national black and ethnic minorities mental health innovations and research and development expert group to support the NIMHE research network to support implementation of the framework.
The Government White Paper, XValuing People: A New Strategy for Learning Disability for the 21st Century", is clear that the national service framework for mental health applies to all adults of working age, including people with learning disabilities who have a mental illness. They should be enabled to use generic psychiatric services whenever possible. Each local service should have access to an acute assessment and treatment resource for the small number of individuals with significant learning disabilities and mental health problems who cannot appropriately be admitted to general psychiatric services, even with specialist support.
XA Sign of the Times", a consultation document on modernising mental health services for people who are deaf or deaf and blind, was published in July 2002. It set out proposals aimed at making a significant difference to the lives of deaf people with mental health problems whose needs were previously overlooked.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 7 January 2003, Official Report, column 199W, on mental health services, what assessment he has made of the contribution that a code of conduct for mental health professionals and users can make to improvements in the treatment of users of mental health services. 
Jacqui Smith: The Government have made no assessment of the contribution of professionals' codes of conduct to mental health care and treatment. Although we believe codes of conduct can contribute to the maintenance of high standards, and have a place among the several systems in place to support the highest quality care, responsibility for their development and use lies with the statutory regulatory bodies and professional organisations.
Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if his Department will support the provision of organic fruit to school children as part of the national school fruit scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
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Ms Blears: Contracts to supply fruit under the National School Fruit Scheme are awarded through open, competitive tendering. The tendering process is open to all suppliers, including those who provide organically grown fruit.
Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health to what extent the new national tariff system for NHS hospitals will vary to reflect regional differences in the cost of providing services. 
Mr. Lammy [holding answer 13 January 2003]: The new national tariff takes account of unavoidable geographical differences in the cost of providing health care. The same market forces factor (MFF) used in the weighted capitation formula for resource allocation is used to adjust the tariff for individual providers.
More information on how the MFF is used to determine provider specific tariffs, and the actual MFF factors for 200304, is set out in Annex B of the guidance published on the Department of Health website: http://www.doh.gov.uk/nhsfinancialreforms/
Mr. Lammy: The code of practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments that all candidates for appointment to public bodies are asked to answer the question ion political activity, as opposed to allegiance. This is for monitoring purposes only and the information is not passed on to sifting and interview panels considering candidates for appointment.
Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health who will be responsible for assessing the impact of problems which arise when an NHS management team takes on the franchise for running a further NHS trust. 
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 7 January 2002]: The Boards of National Health Service trusts are responsible for the performance of their own trust. The strategic health authority monitors overall performance and progress in each trust. Assessments of performance are also made in clinical governance inspections by the Commission for Health Improvement.
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 7 January 2003]: The applications for the National Health Service Franchising Register of Expertise were in the names f corporate bodies rather than individuals. An organisation which tenders for a franchise will be
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required to name appropriately qualified individual(s) to carry out senior management roles in a hospital trust as part of their bid.
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 7 January 2002]: As part of the earned autonomy package, all three star National Health Service trusts are given automatic entry to the franchising register of expertise and therefore do not need to apply. These trusts are not under any obligation to apply for franchise opportunities that arise.
Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the (a) private and (b) voluntary sector organisations which applied to be included in the Register of Experts but were rejected. 
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 7 January 2002]: The selection and rejection of applicants for the National Health Service Franchising Register of Expertise is a matter for the independent panel which was set up by the National Health Service Appointments Commission to assess the applications.
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 7 January 2003]: The applications for the National Health Service franchising register of expertise were in the names of corporate bodies rather than individuals. An organisation which tenders for a franchise will be required to name an appropriately qualified individuals(s) to carry out management roles in a hospital trust as part of their bid.
Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hospitals are managed by each of the private sector organisations on the Register of Experts; and how many beds, emergency admissions and intensive care beds there are in each such hospital. 
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 7 January 2003]: The independent panel set up by the National Health Service Appointments Commission assessed the general ability of each private sector organisation to run a hospital trust. The expertise and experience of every organisation which tenders for a National Health Service franchise will be thoroughly and rigorously assessed before any contract is awarded.
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Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the private management of franchised NHS trusts will be able to levy fines on local authorities which fail to provide sufficient help with hospital discharges. 
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 7 January 2003]: Subject to legislation, the ability to levy fines on local authorities that delay hospital discharges will apply to the institution, not the management of the organisation. A private sector organisation awarded the management franchise of a hospital trust would not retain any money received for itself through this arrangement, but it would go into general funds.
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