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Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many officials working in ministerial private offices in the Department have worked more than a 48 hour week at any time in the last 12 months for which figures are available; how many of those had signed a waiver under working time regulations; and what percentage these figures represented of the total in each case. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
The Working Time Regulations provide workers with the protection of a limit of an average of 48 hours a week working time. This is not an absolute cap of 48 hours in any one week. This average is normally calculated over a 17-week reference period, although this can be longer in certain situations (26 weeks) and can be extended by agreement (up to 52 weeks). Workers may choose to work more than
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48 hours per week over this reference period by signing an opt-out agreement, but employers cannot force a worker to sign an opt-out and workers cannot be subjected to detriment for refusing to sign an opt-out.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps have been taken to implement the recommendations of the Kennedy Report, with particular reference to the professional development of paediatric cardiac nurses; 
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Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answers 29 November 2004]: "Learning from Bristol: the Department of Health's Response to the Report of the Public Inquiry into children's heart surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary 19841995",Cm 5363was published on 17 January 2002. In it, we accepted the broad principles on which the Kennedy Report was based and agreed with most of the 198 recommendations.
Since then, much progress has been made on the key themes of the response: patient empowerment; strengthening professional regulation and inspection; improving children's services; ensuring safety of care; improving management and leadership; and improving information, decision making and performance monitoring.
Examples of the actions taken to date include major reforms to the healthcare regulatory bodies and the creation of the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence to oversee them; a review of the national health service complaints procedure and publication of guidance on whistle-blowing; the launch of the "Informed Patient" project, designed to make quality information available to patients; the establishment of the Commission for Health Improvementnow the Healthcare Commissionand National Patient Safety Agency; the launch of the National Institute of Clinical Excellence interventional procedures programme; and
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the publication of the national service framework (NSF) for children, young people and maternity services in September 2004. The standards for children's hospital services were published in April 2003, ahead of the rest of the NSF.
In regard to continuing development, all healthcare professionals have a duty to maintain their knowledge and keep their skills up to date. Since April 2002, over £80 million has been invested in the development of an infrastructure for continuing professional development in the NHS.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many courses of hospital-based treatment for psoriasis there were in each strategic health authority area (a) in total and (b) per head of population from 1998 to 2003; and if he will estimate the cost of each course of hospital-based treatment. 
The national average costs of treating all major skin conditions in 200203, the latest year for which information is available, is shown in the table. It is not possible to provide data broken down by specific condition.
|Patient type||HRG code||HRG label||Number of FCEs||National average unit cost (£)|
|Elective in-patient||J39||Major dermatological conditions >69 years old or with complications and comorbidities||1,226||3,162|
|Elective inpatient||J40||Major dermatological conditions <70 years old or without complications and comorbidities||2,129||2,832|
|Elective inpatient||J41||Major skin infections >69 years old or with complications and comorbidities||361||1,975|
|Elective inpatient||J42||Major skin infections <70 years old or without complications and comorbidities||174||1,246|
|Non-elective inpatient||J39||Major dermatological conditions >69 years old or with complications and comorbidities||2,845||1,852|
|Non-elective inpatient||J40||Major dermatological conditions <70 years old or without complications and comorbidities||4,680||1,404|
|Non-elective inpatient||J41||Major skin infections >69 years old or with complications and comorbidities||27,439||1,468|
|Non-elective inpatient||J42||Major skin infections <70 years old or without complications and comorbidities||17,428||919|
|Day case||J39||Major dermatological conditions >69 years old or with complications and comorbidities||683||254|
|Day case||J40||Major dermatological conditions <70 years old or without complications and comorbidities||6,984||208|
|Day case||J41||Major skin infections >69 years old or with complications and comorbidities||151||410|
|Day case||J42||Major skin infections <70 years old or without complications and comorbidities||156||337|
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of NHS organisations certified to BS 77992:2002 security standard; and what proportion of products supplied under the National Programme for IT comply with this standard. 
Mr. Hutton: In common with other public service bodies, national health service organisations are not currently required to formally register under BS77992:2002 but are required to undertake local assessments of their BS7799 compliance. No estimates are therefore available. Contractors to the national programme for information technology in the NHS are required to maintain a BS77992:2002 compliant Information Security Management System for all services provided to the NHS. A review of contractor BS7799 compliance is currently under way.
Jonathan Shaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will review the inspection process of the South East Region Social Care Commission for the registration requirements of (a) Shalder House and (b) Platters Farm in the Medway towns; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Ladyman: The process for registration of care homes is set down in the Care Standards Act (CSA) 2000 and the Registration Regulations 2001. The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) must have regard to the legislation in determining whether or not an establishment should be registered as a care home.
I understand from the Chair of the CSCI that Shalder House meets the definition of a care home as set down in Section 3 of the CSA 2000. Platters Farm has applied for a variation to its current registration to include intermediate care beds.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether departmental special advisers have attended meetings with external (a) bodies and (b) individuals, in their official capacity and without Ministers, since May 1997. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Special advisers hold meetings with a wide range of external representatives in their official capacity. All such meetings are conducted in accordance with the requirements of the "Code of Conduct for Special Advisers".
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether departmental special advisers have made appearances before parliamentary select committees in their official capacity since May 1997. 
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