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Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he collects on the proportion of pain sufferers who are diagnosed with depression. [194077]

Ms Rosie Winterton: This information is not centrally available.

Prescription Charges

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate the expected total income from prescription charges in real terms in (a) 2005–06, (b) 2006–07, (c) 2007–08, (d) 2008–09 and (e) 2009–10. [192900]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The expected total income from prescription charges for the years specified, are shown in the table.
£ million

The figures are forecasts and as such will be subject to change.

Processed Food (Salt)

Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions his Department has had with the major supermarkets on salt in food since the 18 September deadline for supermarkets to improve their salt reduction action plans. [191131]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Department and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) are currently analysing responses received from the food industry in response to the 18 September deadline. The Department and the FSA will consider what further action needs to be taken when the analysis has been completed.

Public Health Bodies

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 13 September 2004, Official Report, column 1470–1471W, on public health bodies, what the expected timetable is for the budget allocation process. [191699]

Ms Rosie Winterton: An implementation framework, setting out the timetable and process for agreeing arm's length body budgets over the spending review period, will be published shortly.

Queen's Ambulance Medal

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects the first Queen's Ambulance Medal to be announced; and what steps are being taken to ensure that its existence is widely known. [192879]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: We are currently reviewing the process and timetable for introducing the proposed Queen's Ambulance Service Medal while we take into account the conclusions of the current Honours review. We hope to confirm the way forward shortly.


Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the vacancy (a) rate and (b) number of radiographers in the NHS was in (i) England and (ii) each strategic health authority in each year since 1997. [194242]

Mr. Hutton: Information on the number and rate of vacancies lasting three months or more for radiographers in each year since 1999, the first year vacancy information was collected centrally, by health authority until 2001 and by strategic health authority since 2001, has been placed in the Library.

The rate of vacancies lasting three months or more for diagnostic radiographers has fallen from 6.1 per cent., to 4.8 per cent., for diagnostic radiographers and from 10.7 per cent., to 8.8 per cent., in between March 2003 and March 2004.

The fall in vacancy rates for radiographers reverses the trend of increasing vacancies and reflects the Government's successes in increasing both the national health service radiography workforce and also the numbers of students entering training to become radiographers.

Refugee Doctors

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of trained refugee doctors in England who are not working in the NHS; and what estimate he has made of the average cost of retraining a refugee doctor to work in the NHS. [192791]

Mr. Hutton: This information requested is not held centrally.

The British Medical Association (BMA) holds a database to monitor the number of refugee doctors in the United Kingdom. Of the 1,001 doctors registered on the database:

The cost of any retraining a doctor may need may vary on an individual basis. Most of the doctors registered on the BMA database need only to pass the CMC's PLAB exam in order to be eligible to apply for jobs and thereby qualify for limited registration with the GMC.

Rural Proofing

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what work his Department carries out for the rural proofing of NHS targets. [192355]

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Miss Melanie Johnson: National health service targets include minimum guarantees on access to services which everyone, both in rural areas and elsewhere, can expect. Primary care trusts (PCTs) are responsible for ensuring that NHS trusts meet national standards and targets. The reduction in national targets gives PCTs the flexibility to develop local services, including those in rural areas, to meet the particular needs of their communities.

Smart and Biometric Cards

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the likely number of (a) smart card and (b) biometric card readers which will be needed in hospitals and general practitioner surgeries in the next 10 years. [193995]

Mr. Hutton: The number of smart card readers eventually needed for use across the national health service will depend on the nature and number of functions for which smart cards technology is required and the pace at which it is developed and implemented. The costs and benefits of a smart card are currently being assessed. There are no current plans to place biometric data on smart cards, but the use of biometrics is an option which is being studied for use in the longer term.


Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions his Department has had with the Unrelated Live Transplant Regulatory Authority regarding live unrelated (a) altruistic and (b) paired donations for transplantation. [191713]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Unrelated Live Transplant Regulatory Authority (ULTRA) has kept the Department fully informed of all discussions regarding
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the issue of live unrelated altruistic and paired donation. The last ULTRA meeting was held on 5 October 2004.

Transport (North Yorkshire)

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action is being taken by primary care trusts to improve transport links to healthcare facilities in North Yorkshire. [193892]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The four primary care trusts (PCTs) in North Yorkshire are working to improve transport links to healthcare facilities. They are working in partnership with the Tees, East and North Yorkshire Ambulance National Health Service Trust (TENYAS) to review current patient transport services to ensure that patients' transport needs are met. The PCTs are also working with local authorities, the voluntary sector and transport providers to ensure access to healthcare facilities.


Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what information the Wheelchair Services Collaborative holds on waiting times for assessment and delivery of wheelchairs; [194035]

(2) which wheelchair services participate in the Wheelchair Services Collaborative; [194036]

(3) what waiting times apply to the North Staffordshire Wheelchair Service; and if he will make a statement. [194037]

Dr. Ladyman: Figures on waiting times for people requiring wheelchairs are not collected centrally. The information may be available from the 151 national health service wheelchair services, which actually arrange for the provision of wheelchairs in England. 45 centres participated in the wheelchair services collaborative, which ran until June 2004. The services that participated were:
Wheelchair serviceOrganisation
Bexhill and Rother Wheelchair ServiceBexhill and Rother Primary Care Trust (PCT)
The Wirral Wheelchair Assessment CentreBirkenhead and Wallasey PCT
Wheelchair ServiceBrent PCT
Bromley Wheelchair ServiceBromley PCT
South East Staffordshire Wheelchair ServiceBurntwood, Litchfield and Tamworth PCT, South Staffordshire Healthcare NHS Trust
Chantry Wheelchair ServicesCentral Suffolk PCT
Southern Derbyshire Wheelchair ServiceDerbyshire Dales and South Derbyshire PCT
Wheelchair ServicesDoncaster East PCT
South Durham Wheelchair ServiceDurham and Chester Le-Street PCT
Enfield Wheelchair ServiceEnfield PCT
Haringey Wheelchair ServiceHaringey Teaching PCT
Hillingdon Wheelchair ServiceHillingdon PCT
Occupational Therapy and Wheelchair ServicesIsle of Wight Healthcare NHS Trust
The Wheelchair ServiceKing's Lynn and Wisebech Hospitals NHS Trust
Leeds Wheelchair ServiceLeeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust
North Essex Wheelchair ServicesMaldon and South Chelmsford PCT, Essex Rivers Healthcare NHS Trust
Wheelchair ServicesMilton Keynes PCT
Disablement Services CentreNorth Bristol NHS Trust
North Cumbria Wheelchair ServiceNorth Cumbria Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
Wheelchair CentreNorth Lincolnshire Primary Care NHS Trust
North West Surrey Wheelchair ServiceNorth Surrey PCT
Harrow Wheelchair ServiceNorth West London Hospitals NHS Trust
Occupational Therapy and Wheelchair ServicesNorthamptonshire Heartlands PCT
Oxford Centre for EnablementNuffield Orthopaedic Centre NHS Trust
Wheelchair Assessment Centre, Thameside General HospitalOldham PCT/Thameside and Glossop
Wheelchair Service and Community Equipment ServiceRedditch and Bromsgrove NHS PCT
Exeter Mobility CentreRoyal Devon and Exeter Healthcare NHS Trust
Wheelchair ServiceSedgefield PCT
Birmingham Wheelchair ServiceSouth Birmingham PCT
Sussex Rehabilitation CentreSouth Downs NHS Trust
South Tyneside (Healthcare NHS Trust) Wheelchair ServicesSouth Tyneside PCT
South Warwickshire PCTSouth Warwickshire PCT
Wheelchair ServicesSussex Downs and Weald PCT
Shropshire Wheelchair ServiceTelford and Wrekin NHS PCT
Liverpool Wheelchair ServiceThe Royal Liverpool and NHS Broadgreen University Hospitals
Tower Hamlets Wheelchair ServiceTower Hamlets NHS PCT
Wheelchair Service at the Rehabilitation CentreUnited Lincoln Hospitals NHS Trust
Leicestershire Wheelchair ServiceUniversity Hospital of Leicester NHS Trust
Wheelchair ServicesWalsall PCT
Wheelchair ServiceWandsworth NHS PCT
West Dorset Wheelchair ServiceNorth Dorset PCT
The Wheelchair ServiceWest Kent NHS and Social Care Trust (Medway PCT, Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley PCT)
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