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12 Feb 2004 : Column 1692Wcontinued
12 Feb 2004 : Column 1693W
prescriptions under the average dosage recommended by the National Treatment Agency which were issued in the last year for which figures are available. 
Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 9 February 2004]: The Department does not hold any data on the number of methadone prescriptions under the average dosage recommended by the National Treatment Agency.
Methadone is issued for a number of different prescribing regimes including detoxification, reduction, and maintenance regimes. Prescribing data currently available does not differentiate between these regimes.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the (a) cost and (b) work force implications of National Institute for Clinical Excellence clinical guidance for multiple sclerosis specialist services. 
Dr. Ladyman: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) published its clinical guideline on the clinical management of multiple sclerosis (MS) in primary care in November 2003. The guideline contains information on service provision which will be invaluable to clinicians and organisations providing and managing MS services. The guideline will help us to model service provision and workforce needs.
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Information for the full financial year 200304 is not yet available. This will be contained in the NCSC's 200304 Annual Report and Accounts to be published and laid before Parliament later this year.
Information for the full financial year 200304 is not yet available. This will be contained in the NCSC's 20032004 Annual Report and Accounts to be published and laid before Parliament later this year.
Miss Melanie Johnson: Information on the number of general and acute beds is collected annually from each national health service trust and primary care trust. Information is not available for geographical areas.
|Name||General and acute (available)||Acute (available)||Geriatric (available)|
|200001||Chorley and South Ribble NHS Trust||320||304||16|
|200001||Preston Acute Hospitals NHS Trust||709||590||119|
|200102||Chorley and South Ribble NHS Trust/Preston Acute Hospitals NHS Trust||1,066||903||163|
|200203||Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust||1,073||929||144|
Department of Health form KH03. Published 11 September 2003.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on making available to hon. Members documents originating in NHS trusts; and what criteria he uses in deciding which of these documents may be placed in the Library when an hon. Member makes a request for them. 
Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 8 January 2004]: The Department would generally make available information that it collects and retains, and as such would place this information in the Library, subject to any requirement for confidentiality. The Department would not generally seek to obtain copies of documents or information which it did not already hold. This approach is in line with the Open Government Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, and is consistent with the relationship between the Department and National Health Service organisations following the "Shifting the Balance of Power" initiative.
12 Feb 2004 : Column 1695W
Until 1 May, when major combat operations ceased, about 45,000 personnel were deployed to the Gulf region. Since then numbers have reduced to their current level, which fluctuates between 10,000 and 11,000.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will answer the (a) Questions with reference numbers 144997, 144998, 145041, 145043, 145046 and 145055 tabled by the hon. Member for East Worthing and Shoreham on 15 December 2003 and (b) Questions with reference numbers 144139, 144140, 144141, 144145 and 144148 tabled by the hon. Member for East Worthing and Shoreham on 10 December 2003. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The following Parliamentary Questions were transferred to the Home Office, 144997 and 144998. My hon. Friend, the Minister of State at the Home Office (Beverley Hughes) replied to 144998 on 19 January 2004, Official Report, column 1064W.
|145041||3 February 2004, Official Report, column 821W|
|145043||6 February 2004, Official Report, column 1131W|
|145046||2 February 2004, Official Report, column 687W|
|145055||28 January 2004, Official Report, column 400W|
|144139||26 January 2004, Official Report, column 18485W|
|144140||26 January 2004, Official Report, column 18485W|
|144141||26 January 2004, Official Report, column 18485W|
|144145||4 February 2004, Official Report, column 961W|
|144148||27 January 2004, Official Report, column 326W|
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 7 January 2004, Official Report, column 396W, on public health skills audit, what steps (a) his Department and (b) agencies of his Department have taken in response to the findings of the 2001 audit. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The public health skills audit has led to a number of developments, including additional training programmes for a range of public health specialist and practitioners, particularly those from non-medical backgrounds, the establishment of the voluntary register for public health specialists, an on-line audit tool and national standards for public health specialists and practitioners.
12 Feb 2004 : Column 1696W
Miss Melanie Johnson: On 3 February, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, announced that the Department would engage in a wide-ranging consultation process on how best to improve and promote the nation's health.
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