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5 Jan 2004 : Column 212W—continued

West Sussex Social Care NHS Trust

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been spent by the West Sussex Social Care NHS trust on funding nurses to travel to Australia; and what the purpose of their visits was. [145006]

Ms Rosie Winterton: In line with our policy on "Shifting the Balance of Power", responsibility for local services now rests with local national health service trusts. In the same way continuing professional development and post-registration training needs for all NHS health care staff are determined locally through skills auditing of teams against priority local needs and through the appraisal process.

I am informed by the Surrey and Sussex Strategic Health Authority that two senior nurses attended the 14th International Symposium for the Psychological Treatment of Schizophrenia in Melbourne to present a paper on early intervention into psychosis, and to acquire and share knowledge and good practice.

In addition to the conference itself there were also visits to assertive outreach and early intervention services.

The hotel bills and airfare came to £3,000 and were purchased through Hourds who are on the national contract. There were also subsistence expenses of around £200 each.

Working Time Directive

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment has been made of the overtime needed in each NHS trust arising from the implementation of the Working Time Directive. [141404]

Mr. Hutton: The organisation and delivery of services is a matter for individual trusts. The national health service has been aware of the implications of implementing the Working Time Directive for doctors in training since 1998, and planning for it forms part of overall NHS planning.

Strategic health authorities are currently ensuring that plans will achieve compliance by 2004.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost of implementing the EU working time directive for each (a) NHS hospital trust and (b) primary care trust in England. [142394]

Mr. Hutton: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Ribble Valley (Mr. Evans) on 15 December 2003, Official Report, column 790W.


Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to end payments for wigs for chemotherapy patients in England. [145149]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: Our policy is to give priority to helping people who may have difficulty in paying charges, rather than extending the exemption arrangements. We have no plans to change the current

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charging arrangements. However, people receiving certain benefits or tax credits do not have to pay. Those who would otherwise have to pay may seek help through the National Health Service Low Income Scheme.