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Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many experienced nurses there were in the neonatal intensive care units in East Kent Hospitals Trust (a) on the latest date for which figures are available and (b) 12 months prior to that date. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
The information requested is not collected centrally. It is for local hospitals and health economies to decide how to deploy staff in ways that will best meet the needs of the population.
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Dr. Ladyman: The Medical Research Council is not currently funding any research specifically on nut allergy, although they are undertaking some more general research on allergy, which may be of some relevance.
Determining and meeting local health care needs is the responsibility of primary care trusts. However, we are committed to ensuring the national health service develops allergy services that offer high quality and personalised care to patients and will be drawing to their attention the Health Select Committee's report on the provision of allergy services and the Government's response.
Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the ratio of trained paediatric nursing staff to patients is in hospitals in the East Kent Hospitals Trust (a) during the day and (b) during the night. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
The Department collects information on the number of qualified paediatric nurses by individual trusts. The latest figures available for the number of qualified paediatric nurses at the East Kent Hospitals National Health Service Trust is shown in the table. It is not possible to determine the ratio of
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trained paediatric nursing staff to patients as the Department does not collect statistics on the number of patients seen.
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Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) on behalf of how many patients legal action has been taken against (a) individuals and (b) institutions under the remit of his Department in (i) Romford, (ii) the London borough of Havering, (iii) Greater London, (iv) Essex and (v) England in each of the last seven years; 
(2) how many patients have suffered from medical negligence by NHS staff in (a) Romford, (b) the London borough of Havering, (c) Greater London, (d) Essex and (e) England in each of the last seven years. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The National Health Service Litigation Authority (NHSLA) records the number of clinical negligence claims made against NHS institutions and bodies, which are vicariously liable for the negligent acts and omissions of their employees.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The capital assets limits for exemption from prescription charges and other health costs under the national health service low income scheme are based on the Department of Work and Pensions income support arrangements for people of all ages, except that limit which applies to people who live permanently in a care home. This limit is based on local authority care home charging arrangements.
The income support capital limits are kept under continual review. The capital limit amounts for those people under 60 have been unchanged since April 1988 and for those for people over aged 60 since April 2001.
Ms Rosie Winterton: In the financial year 200304, 659.4 million prescription items were dispensed in the community in England. Of these, 58.5 million, were for patients who paid a charge at the point of dispensing.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate the cost of requiring patients to pay a single prescription charge when their medical condition requires two or more medicines or treatments; and if he will estimate the cost in terms of (a) revenue foregone and (b) administrative costs incurred. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: It is not possible to estimate the cost of requiring patients to pay a single prescription charge when their medical condition requires two or more medicines or treatments, as information about the relevant medical conditions is not available.
It is possible to estimate the cost if patients were to only pay one prescription charge per prescription form (regardless of how many items are on the form). In 200304, it is estimated that the potential prescription charge income, if only one prescription charge per prescription form was incurred, would be around £290 million. This would mean a loss in prescription
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charge revenue of around £76 million, based on the current practice of a prescription charge being incurred for each prescription item on a form.
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