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Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many women over 24 weeks pregnant have received abortions in Spanish clinics paid for in whole or part from public funds in each of the last three years. 
Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 13 December 2004]: This information is not collected centrally. However, the Chief Medical Officer will provide contextual information when he reports, as requested by Secretary of State for Health, on the alleged links between the British Pregnancy Advisory Service and a Spanish clinic.
Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of findings of research in (a) the US and (b) the UK into the early use of methylprednisolone in acute spinal cord injury; and if he will make a statement; 
Dr. Ladyman [holding answer 14 December 2004]: We are committed to keeping all interventions and treatment regimes under review and will consider commissioning guidance from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) if a treatment will have a significant impact on patient care, national health service resources, Government health-related policies or the ability to add value by, for example, resolving uncertainty over appropriate use. We have no plans at this time to refer to NICE the use of methylprednisolone in the treatment of spinal cord injury.
A systematic review of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of hospital-based spinal cord injuries, commissioned by NHS health technology assessment programme, was completed in 2003. The review included an assessment of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of steroids for people with such injuries. A full report of the review can be found at www.ncchta.org/project.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Information is not centrally available. Publicly funded health and social care services for people wishing to withdraw from antidepressant medication can be accessed through general practitioners.
The Department also provides funding to Mind under Section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968. Mind has been granted £50,000 in 200304 and £50,000 in 200405 for the "Coping with Coming Off (Information and Support for Drug Withdrawal)" project, which will systematically explore people's experiences of coming off or trying to come off psychiatric drugs with the aim of improving the understanding of what makes withdrawal more or less likely to be successful. A stakeholder conference will discuss the findings and make recommendations for information provision, service development and training. Mind will then develop information for service users and practitioners to help facilitate withdrawal and will promote the project's conclusions to the professions and their training bodies.
The funding will not end in April 2005. From 200506, it is proposed that the funding will be allocated to primary care trusts and strategic health authorities. They will be responsible for continuing the service.
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 16 December 2004]: Within our policy of "Shifting the Balance of Power", supported by other national policy documents, primary care trusts (PCTs), in conjunction with their strategic health authorities (SHAs) and other stakeholders are responsible for planning and developing services for local people based on their assessment of health needs.
I am advised by Thames Valley SHA that the Benjamin Road Day Centre in Wycombe continues to offer a wide range of group work, and one-to-one sessions for people with severe and enduring mental health issues.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) who will meet the £11 million projected deficit of the Bradford Foundation Hospital Trust; and whether
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Monitor has approved any borrowing by the Bradford Foundation Hospital Trust against the assets of the trust; 
Mr. Hutton: Monitor (the statutory name of which is the independent regulator of national health service foundation trusts) is an independent corporate body established under the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003. The role of Monitor is to authorise, monitor and regulate national health service foundation trusts (NHSFTs), so that they deliver NHS services to NHS patients effectively, efficiently and economically in accordance with their statutory obligations.
I am informed by the Chairman of Monitor that the appointment of Peter Garland as interim Chairman of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHSFT in place of John Ryan will strengthen the trust's leadership and ensure that it takes effective action to address its financial position, improve relations with the local health economy and properly adjust to the cultural and organisational challenges of being a NHSFT.
The trust is required to meet its deficit by working towards a recovery plan. As interim Chairman, it will be Mr. Garland's responsibility to lead the trust through this process while at the same time ensuring that the trust continues to provide high quality clinical care and meets national standards.
NHSFTs are able to borrow, including from the private sector, within aggregate limits set by Monitor, through the prudential borrowing code, and specified in their terms of authorisation. They are not able to borrow against their assets. I am informed by the Chairman of Monitor that the code was issued for public consultation earlier this year and is now being finalised prior to it being laid before Parliament.
As my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State said on 8 December 2004 to the Health Select Committee, although this is a matter for Monitor and not one in which either he or his colleagues can formally intervene, Ministers will maintain a dialogue with the West Yorkshire Strategic Health Authority and Monitor over the provision of healthcare in Bradford.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will review the role of clinical nurse specialists in breast care, with particular reference to (a) new roles being undertaken by breast care nurses and (b) the support, resources and training needed to undertake these roles; 
Miss Melanie Johnson:
The Government are implementing a range of measures to recruit more nurses into the national health service. These including improving pay through "Agenda for Change", encouraging the NHS to become a more flexible and
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diverse employer, increasing training, investing in childcare and continuing professional development, attracting back returners and running national and international recruitment campaigns. As at March 2004, there were 396,359 NHS nurses, an increase of 77,500 since 1997. This overall increase in nurses working in the NHS will enable the recruitment of additional nurse specialists, chemotherapy nurses, district nurses, palliative care nurse specialists and additional nurses on wards caring for cancer patients.
It is for cancer networks to work in partnership with strategic health authorities and work force development directorates to assess, plan and review their work force needs and the education and training of all staff linked to local and national priorities for cancer, including implementation of NICE guidance on improving outcomes in breast cancer.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy (a) to recommend to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence that it introduce guidance on the maximum caseloads for breast care nurses in its forthcoming review of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment and (b) to direct NHS trusts to implement guidance on maximum caseloads for breast care nurses. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) is an independent body. The processes by which it determines the recommendations of its guidance and how guidance may be influenced by stakeholders is published on the NICE'S website at: www.nice.org.uk.
Cancer networks work in partnership with strategic health authorities and workforce development directorates to assess, plan and review their workforce needs, taking into account recommendations made by NICE.
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