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5 Jan 2004 : Column 188Wcontinued
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health by what mechanism he proposes to fund the estimated cost of the planned NHS electronic care record system; and where the money for the upkeep of the system will come from. 
Mr. Hutton: The national health service electronic care record is one element of the national programme for information technology (NPfIT) in the national health service. Central funding for the NPfIT in the NHS is to be made available from the Spending Review 2002 as follows: £370 million in 200304: £730 million in 200405 and £1.2 billion in 200506.
Future maintenance costs will form part of the ongoing financial management processes within future Spending Review envelopes. By 2008, IT funding will be in line with the levels proposed within the Wanless Review; that is, to four per cent. of total NHS expenditure.
Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what right existing publishers will have to republish listings of jobs advertised via the electronic recruitment project; and how listings will be made available to publishers. 
Mr. Hutton: Jobs which appear on the electronic recruitment site are with national health service employers. These employers are independent statutory corporations. They own the copyright to the job vacancies. The Department of Health hosts the vacancies on their behalf. The Department does not own the copyright and is not able to allow existing publishers to copy vacancies from the site for advertising in other media. The electronic recruitment project is intended to reduce the cost to the NHS of advertising job vacancies and to allow the NHS to make better use of its resources.
The project team is committed to working with existing publishers both through the digital content forum and bi-lateral meetings with individual publishers to develop the service. NHS employers will require a combination of advertising media to meet their recruitment requirements.
Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the percentage of NHS trusts required to use the electronic recruitment service to achieve the desired cost savings. 
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Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to charge NHS users for the services provided by the planned electronic recruitment project; and whether NHS trusts' top line recruitment budgets will be altered to fund the electronic recruitment project. 
Mr. Hutton: At the Barcelona European Council, the European Union member states, including the United Kingdom, signed up to a new European health insurance card to replace the existing paper form E111, to be introduced by 1 June 2004. Those countries which do not have an existing infrastructure for health card issue may apply for an extension of the date of introduction to 31 December 2005. The UK has obtained such an extension.
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what further practical assistance will be given to industry by (a) his Department and (b) the Food Standards Agency in relation to the remaining ingredients that will not benefit from the more flexible interpretation of the requirements for dossier production under the provisions of the Food Supplements Directive agreed on 14 October; and if he will make a statement. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: In drafting The Food Supplements Regulations (England) 2003, the Government have already made full use of the flexibilities available in the Food Supplements Directive. The Food Standards Agency secured a valuable meeting between representatives of United Kingdom food supplements manufacturers and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on 14 October to discuss dossier requirements, and has disseminated EFSA's advice to interested parties.
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Mr. Hutton: The Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003 provides for National Health Service trusts to submit their applications for NHS foundation trust to the Independent Regulator. I will arrange for copies of the applications submitted to the Independent Regulator to be placed in the Library.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which applicants for foundation hospital trust status have indicated to him that they are considering pulling out of the application process; and what reasons they have cited. 
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what procedures are used to collect central statistics to monitor progress towards the 48-hour general practitioner access target; and if he will publish the latest statistics available. 
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received from primary care trusts about the effect of high property prices on general practitioners setting up new premises; what his Department's policy is on the issue; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hutton: I am not aware of any general concerns raised by primary care trusts about general practitioners experiencing difficulties setting up new premises because of high property prices. The arrangements to reimburse general practitioner premises costs take account of differing property prices.
Mr. Hutton: At 30 September 2002 (the latest published data), 41,635,243 people aged 16 years and over were recorded as registered with a general practitioner or provider of personal medical services in England.
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typically larger than actual populations. This phenomenon arises where a patient moves his or her registration and for a period may be registered on two lists. Similarly, an individual who dies or moves abroad may remain on a list for a time.
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(b) geriatricians below the level of consultant were employed in England and Wales in each year since 1997. 
|1997||1998||1999||2000||2001||2002||March 2003||June 2003|
|All other grades||1,850||1,848||1,786||1,805||1,777||1,846||(53)||(53)|
(52) Data as at 30 September 1997 to 2002, 31 March 2003 and 30 June 2003.
(53) Denotes not available. This is due to data for March and June 2003 being taken from the mini censuses which collected consultants only.
Source:Department of Health Medical and Dental Workforce Census
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