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26 Jan 2004 : Column 174Wcontinued
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 19 January 2004]: We are developing a nationally set tariff for most national health services activity, including cataract activity, based on NHS average prices. All NHS trusts will be expected to achieve tariff by 2008.
Through the treatment centre programme and the introduction of a single agreed care pathway for cataract we are aiming to maximise productivity, improve clinical outcomes and reduce variation in cost and quality.
Mr. Hutton: Central waiting list returns are collected by specialty, for example, ophthalmology. Information on the number of patients waiting for cataract operations specifically is therefore not available, as cataract operations are a procedure within ophthalmology.
Mr. Hutton: Published information on the number of hospital admissions for cataract operations is available up to 200203. The number of operations in each of the last five years for which information is available is shown in the table.
|Number of finished episodes|
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will set out for each of the last 10 years for (a) England, (b) each NHS region and (c) each strategic health authority the number and proportion of (i) boys, (ii) girls, and (iii) children aged (A) 45, (B) 67, (C) 89, (D) 1011, (E) 1213, (F) 1415 and (G) 1617 who have nothing to eat before school (1) once a week, (2) twice a week, (3) three days a week, (4) four days a week, (5) every school day and (6) at weekends. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: Information is not collected in the form requested. However, the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, which carried out a survey in 1997 of the food consumption of young people aged four to 18 years, found that the youngest group of children, aged
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four to six years, were significantly more likely than the oldest group, aged 15 to 18 years, to have eaten breakfast cereals (not whole-grain or high fibre types). Boys were more likely than girls to eat non-whole-grain or high fibre cereals74 per cent, to 64 per cent.
|Disability broken down by disability type||Total number of employees|
|Physical co-ordination impairment||26|
|Reduced physical capacity||26|
(48) This figure refers either to an unspecified disability or a disability that is outside of the categories for which data is collected.
Mr. Hutton: All professional staff who undertake colonoscopy procedures have received the appropriate training to do so. A national initiative to improve standards of training for all endoscopic procedures is under way. £9 million has been made available over the next three years.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department has 56 staff who work in the West Midlands, including those who work in North Staffordshire. The number of staff working in North Staffordshire is not recorded separately.
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Ms Rosie Winterton: Leaflets, being short publications primarily intended for a public audience, are printed. However, it is our policy to make the content of these and other publications available on the Department of Health's web-site and other departmental-commissioned web-sites, in line with the Government's e-delivery objectives.
There are occasions when other types of publications are made available only electronically. In this case, consideration of audience access to the internet is important and documents may be published exclusively on the web when the intended audience is a specialist one with ready access to the internet.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 5 January to questions, reference 145050 and 145051, if he will list those audiology departments in England that do not fit digital hearing aids routinely. 
Dr. Ladyman [holding answer 13 January 2004]: The Department of Health does not hold centrally a list of audiology departments in England. However, details of those audiology departments that are or will be involved in the modernising hearing aid services project are available at www.mhas.info. Details have been placed in the Library.
Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Department will retain the intellectual property rights for the services developed by third parties for the NHS electronic recruitment project. 
Mr. Hutton: The electronic recruitment service for the national health service will be provided by Methods Consulting Ltd. under contract to the Department of Health for five years from 11 August 2003. Methods Consulting owns the intellectual property.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether contact lens wearers are at risk, when washing their face with tap water, of developing a serious eye infection caused by the water borne amoeba acanthamoeba keratitis; and what is being done to reduce the incidence of acanthamoeba keratitis in tap water. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: There is always a risk of contracting acanthamoeba keratitis when contact lenses are exposed to water as acanthamoeba can be found in chlorinated swimming pools, baths, showers and bottled water as well as in domestic tap water; with approximately one in 30,000 contact lens wearers
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contracting the disease. It is believed that any increased risk for contact lens wearers by washing their face with tap water is minimal.
Contact lens solutions have been developed in recent years to take account of this. All contact lens wearers are advised to only use recognised cleaning solutions and follow practitioners' directions when cleaning their lenses.
Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 12 January 2004, Official Report, columns 6023W, on foundation hospitals, whether guidance and best practice will be automatically sent to foundation hospital trusts without the need for a specific request. 
Mr. Hutton: National health service foundation trusts will, like NHS trusts, receive the NHS Chief Executive's bulletin. This includes information on all Departmental guidance issued, which can be accessed through the Department's website.
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