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26 Jan 2004 : Column 177Wcontinued
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the individuals and organisations from which his Department, its executive agencies and the non-departmental public bodies for which his Department is responsible received a response to the consultation, Reform of the General Medical Council: a paper for consultation. 
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Mr. Barnes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many complaints the Health Service Ombudsman has received about general practitioners removing patients from their practice lists in each of the past five years; how many of these complaints led to investigations; how many investigations led to criticisms of the general practitioners' decisions; and how many patients have then been reinstated on to the lists of the general practitioners concerned. 
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annual report, copies of which are available in the Library and on the Ombudsman's website at: www. ombudsman.org.uk
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with primary care trusts on night-time cover following the introduction of the new contract for general practitioners. 
Mr. Hutton: The Department is working closely with strategic health authorities to ensure that primary care trusts and local providers of out of hours medical services are ready to accommodate the changes arising from the new general medical services contract.
(3) for what reason there is no integrated comprehensive network care for sickle cell and thalassaemia sufferers in Havering. 
Mr. Hutton: It is Department of Health policy, within the framework set out in the NHS Plan and the "Shifting the Balance of Power" initiative, to devolve funding decisions to the front line. It is now for primary care trusts (PCTs), in partnership with strategic health authorities (SHAs) and their local stakeholders, to determine how best to use their funds to meet national and local priorities for improving health based on the specialised knowledge they have of the local community.
However, I understand from the North East London SHA that Havering is regarded as a priority area for introducing screening for haemoglobinopathies. Neonatal screening started across the North East London SHA from 1 September 2003 and antenatal screening is planned to start from April 2004.
I am informed by North East London SHA that sickle cell and thalassaemia services are at present provided by a specialist unit based at Newham General Hospital. The North East London sector wide network is currently considering proposals for Havering PCT to link into the Newham sickle cell and thalassaemia service, with satellite basis for local access.
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what preparations are being made for the Government's health plan on the Haemoglobinopathy Screening Programme for pregnant women and neonates; 
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Miss Melanie Johnson: Local implementation of the national health service sickle cell and thalassaemia screening programme in England is being supported by a UK National Screening Committee development programme. The programme is being developed in partnership with the key community and voluntary sector stakeholders.
Key elements of the national work include developing laboratory services, standards and quality assurance, an education and training strategy for professionals and identifying and involving communities, professionals, women and their partners.
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the Government plans to address the change in the numbers of sickle cell and thalassaemia sufferers travelling to inner London hospitals to seek medical attention. 
The Department is working with professional organisations to consider proposals for clinical networks of services to be developed allowing patients to be cared for locally. However, it will ultimately be a decision for the primary care trusts, which have discretion over where best to commission health care from national health service hospitals or other public, private or voluntary sector health care providers.
Ms Rosie Winterton: It is not possible to provide this information, as individual NHS trusts and primary care trusts decide how much to invest in patient and public involvement. The Government, however, have made available £35.4 million to the Commission for Patient and Public involvement in Health for 200304.
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Ms Rosie Winterton: The Health and Social Care (Community Standards) Act 2003 requires a patients' forum to be established for national health service foundation trusts. When a NHS trust becomes a NHS foundation trust, it is intended that the membership of the patients' forum will remain the same and the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health will notify members that they are now members of a NHS foundation trust patients' forum.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health renamed the local network providers as forum support organisations; and for what reasons the change was made. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Since 1 December 2003, local network providers have been known as forum support organisations because the new name more accurately reflects their purpose of providing practical support to patients' forums.
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Involvement Forums monitors and assesses the performance of forum support organisations. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The regional centres of the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health are responsible for managing the contracts placed with the forum support organisationsthis includes performance management of those contracts.
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