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21 Jan 2004 : Column 1361Wcontinued
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the change in the number of health professionals from South Africa working in the UK as a result of the award of contracts to run fast-track surgery centres to Netcare; and what assessment he has made of the effect of this change on the South African health service. 
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Mr. Hutton [holding answer 19 January 2004]: Clinical teams working in the independent sector treatment centres from abroad will work on a rotational basis. The exact amount of time spent in the United Kingdom will depend on the contractual agreements made between the provider and its staff. This programme will not recruit clinical staff from existing hospital facilities.
The new memorandum of understanding between South Africa and this Government recognises the benefit for the South African health care system by offering South African and English healthcare professionals the chance to go on time-limited placements to the other country.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the maximum number of local government overview scrutiny committees is that a national service within the NHS could have to report to under the terms of the Health and Social Care Act 2001. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: If a National Health Service body is proposing a variation in or development to its services it must consult all the overview and scrutiny committees of those local authorities for which the proposal represents a substantial one.
A NHS organisation which provides services to the whole country must first establish which of the 150 overview and scrutiny committees (those committees with the powers to scrutinise health services) believe the proposal is substantial for their populations. The NHS body involved need only consult those committees that specify that the proposal is substantial for their own populations. Those committees must form a joint committee to respond to that consultation; and that only joint committee may respond.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of student nurses who enrolled for courses in (a) general nursing, (b) paediatric nursing, (c) midwifery and (d) psychiatric nursing successfully completed their course in each year since 1973. 
Mr. Hutton: Information for England on the percentage of pre-registration student nurses who have completed their course is shown in the following table. Data is not held before the 199495 financial year and has not been collected since October 2001. It is therefore only accurate for cohorts up to 199798, most students on subsequent cohorts had not completed courses by October 2001.
|Year ofcohort||Midwifery||Adult||Mental health||Learning disability||Child|
This data is based on a snapshot in time of a particular cohort(s) and therefore each year there will still be students who have yet to complete their course.
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Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the drop-out rate was in England for student nurses studying (a) general nursing, (b) paediatric nursing, (c) midwifery and (d) psychiatric nursing in each year since 1973. 
Mr. Hutton: Most recent information for England on the percentage of pre-registration student nurses who have left their course is shown in the table. Data is not held before the199495 financial year.
|Midwifery||Adult||Mental health||Learning disability||Child|
This data is based on a snapshot in time of a particular cohort(s) and therefore each year there will still be students who have yet to complete their course. The last data collection was October 2001 so the attrition rate for the later cohorts is incomplete.
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Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health by how much the unitary fee for the Worcestershire Royal Infirmary increases each year; and whether this annual increase was specified in the contract. 
The unitary fee is uplifted by the General Index of Retail Prices (RPI) each year, unless the Whitley council pay increase for ancillary staff exceeds this level. In this case, the uplift for pay on the soft service element of the contract (eg., catering and domestic services, etc.) is as per the Whitley council agreement and the non staff costs associated with these soft services is uplifted at RPI less 1 per cent.