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Mr. Hutton: The Department's, "Commercial Sponsorship(Ethical Standards for the NHS", a copy of which is available in the Library, clearly defines the steps to be taken by all national health service bodies and staff involved in any collaborative partnership with outside industry. NHS employers have to satisfy themselves that sponsorship arrangements are properly conducted and are in the best interests of the NHS. They must ensure that monitoring arrangements are established so that all sponsorship deals are documented and audited. Where collaborative partnerships involve a pharmaceutical company then the proposed arrangements must comply fully with the Medicines (Advertising) Regulations 1994 (regulation 21 'inducements and hospitality').
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of NHS (a) nurses, (b) doctors and (c) other staff are from (i) other EU countries, (ii) Commonwealth countries and (iii) other countries. 
Miss Melanie Johnson:
The expert patients programme, funded by the Department, provides group based training on self management and self care to
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people with long term conditions. A randomised controlled trial is under way to evaluate its effectiveness. This is due to report in a year's time.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the connection between the level of deprivation in an area and the quality of its primary care facilities; and if he will place in the Library the research and evidence on which this assessment is based. 
Mr. Hutton: The Department is not aware of any formal research on levels of deprivation and the quality of primary care facilities. Decisions on the allocation of resources to support improvements to the primary care built environment are taken by primary care trusts (PCTs) on the basis of local knowledge of service need and other factors including levels of deprivation within their communities. Locally focused research may have been undertaken by some PCTs to support this function.
Miss Melanie Johnson: The main agency through which the Government support medical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council (MRC). The MRC is an independent body, funded by the Department of Trade and Industry via the Office of Science and Technology. The MRC always welcomes high quality applications for support into any aspect of human health and these are judged in open competition with other demands on funding.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the estimated public expenditure on the (a) regional public health observatories and (b) regional public health groups was in England in the latest year for which figures are available. 
Miss Melanie Johnson:
In 200304, expenditure on the regional public health observatories was £3,334 million and expenditure on the regional public health groups was £11,929 million.
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Mr. Hutton: Information is not available on the number of school nurses employed in the national health service in each of the last 10 years. The Government collected information on the school nursing workforce in the September 2003 non-medical workforce census but this information was incomplete. Reliable information will be available from the September 2004 workforce census and we intend to publish the data in February 2005.
Mr. Hutton: This is a matter for Skills for Health, as it is an independent United Kingdom-wide organisation, which receives funding from all four UK health departments, as well as other bodies. The hon. Member may wish to contact Ms Chris Hannah, Chair of the Skills for Health board.
Dr. Ladyman: The Tooting national health service walk-in centre, based in the grounds of St. George's hospital, is the responsibility of the Wandsworth primary care trust. The centre officially opened in April 2000 and data on attendance are available from May 2000. These are shown in the following table.
|May 2000 to December 2000||10,221|
|January 2001 to December 2001||26,220|
|January 2002 to December 2002||31,447|
|January 2003 to December 2003||39,970|
|January 2004 to October 2004||35,333|
|Total activity since opening||143,191|
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his estimate is of the cost of (a) the mobile
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screening service for tuberculosis and (b) all screening services for tuberculosis in the latest year for which figures are available. 
Mr. John Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients in (a) Solihull parliamentary constituency and (b) the Borough of Solihull have waited for more than six months for foot and ankle surgery in 2004. 
The table shows the time waited for foot and ankle surgery for patients within Solihull Primary Care Trust, which includes residents from the Solihull constituency and the Borough of Solihull, during 200304.
|Foot and ankle surgery|
|Under 3 months||72|
|3 to 6 months||77|
|6 months and over||23|