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Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the position of Regional Director of Public Health for each English region was established; what the totalbudget for their activities is; how many staff each office has; what their remit is; and if he will make a statement. 
The remit of RDsPH is to improve the health of the population within their regions, through reducing inequalities in health, protecting the health of the public and improving the standards and quality of services affecting determinants of health.
Their responsibilities include work with other Government Departments, agencies, voluntary and business communities, nationally and regionally, to tackle the wider determinants of health. They ensure that health considerations are reflected in plans and programmes in areas such as housing, crime, education, transport and environmental planning and underpin economic and urban regeneration.
|Regional public health group||Staff in post||Budget|
|East of England||13||1.950|
|Yorks and Humber||17||2.321|
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which (a) non-departmental public bodies and (b) Executive agencies within the remit of his Department have regional offices based on the Government offices for the regions regional structure; and when the regional offices were established in each case. 
The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI), the offices of which were established on 1 April 2004. In addition to the eight regional offices covering the regional Government office areas, the CSCI has an additional office for the south-east region.
Ms Rosie Winterton: It is for primary care trusts commissioning renal services to set priorities for local action based on the standards, quality requirements and markers of good practice set out in the national service framework for renal services. We are supporting local delivery through various programmes and national health service pilots, including redesigning the work force, re-engineering elective vascular access surgery, patient transport, care planning, end-of-life care and redesigning the built environment. We will share the results with the NHS as these programmes and pilots complete.
Mr. Hutton: The national service framework for renal services makes clear we are determined that kidney patients should have timely and appropriate surgery for permanent vascular access. Latest data for 200304 show the average time waited for vascular access surgery was 41 days. However, where, exceptionally, patients wait longer than six months on the waiting list, primary care trusts are responsible for offering choice of an alternative provider in line with the Department's Choice of Hospital" guidance.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements he has made for (a) issuing advice and (b) monitoring practice in joint health social service care teams in connection with a common approach to human resource issues, with particular reference to (i)pay and conditions, (ii) pension entitlements and (iii)and access to training. 
Mr. Hutton: There are no central arrangements. It is the responsibility of the employers concerned to ensure that effective human resource management policies and practices are in place. Pay and conditions are negotiated locally for social services. The national training strategy grant and human resource development grant, paid by the Department to local authorities, is for use, at local discretion, to support human resource and training initiatives, with encouragement given to ensure that partners in the private and voluntary sector benefit.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the occasions between 31 March 2003 and 31 March 2004 when special advisers attended meetings with external representatives at which ministers were not present. 
Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the most recent average waiting time for first referral for a patient to see a speech therapist is; and what changes have occurred to waiting times over the past five years. 
It is estimated that it would cost about £85 million to exempt all part and full-time students in higher education aged 19 or over from charges for prescriptions, dental care and eye tests. This total figure includes the £4.25 million estimated value of exemptions to those students who are currently exempt.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1)what information the Government are providing to owners of smaller corner shops to help them identify the products that should be withdrawn from the shelves as a result of the Sudan 1 dye recall; 
14 Mar 2005 : Column 137W
(2) what the reasons were for the delay between the notification to the Food Standards Agency of a potential problem with the Sudan 1 dye and the agency making a public announcement; 
Miss Melanie Johnson: Full information has been made available on the Food Standards Agency's website of foods known to be contaminated with Sudan 1, and this was provided to a number of stakeholder organisations, including the Association of Convenience Stores, to distribute to their members. In addition, the FSA has asked all local authorities to contact food businesses in their area to ensure the recall has been effective.
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