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Jane Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what targets he has set for waiting times between referral by general practitioner and appointment with consultant rheumatologist for (a) adults and (b) children. 
Mr. Hutton: By the end of 2005, no patient should have to wait more than 13 weeks from general practitioner (GP) referral for a first out-patient appointment with any consultant. This includes consultant rheumatologists. By the end of 2008, the maximum wait will be just 18 weeks from GP referral to the start of treatment. These targets apply regardless of age.
Jane Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate his Department has made of the number of general practitioner consultations for (a) inflammatory arthritis, (b) osteoarthritis and (c) psoriatic arthritis in the last year for which figures are available. 
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs are approved by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence for use by children; 
Based on the work of its expert working group on the safety of SSRIs, the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM) issued advice on the use of SSRIs in the paediatric population in June, September and December 2003. That advice was that the balance of risks and benefits for the treatment of depressive illness in under 18s is judged to be unfavourable for paroxetine (Seroxat), venlafaxine (Efexor), sertraline (Lustral), citalopram (Cipramil), escitalopram (Cipralex) and mirtazapine (Zispin). It is not possible to assess the balance of risks and benefits for fluvoxamine (Faverin,) due to the absence of paediatric clinical trial data. Only fluoxetine (Prozac) has been shown in clinical trials to be effective in treating depressive illness in children and adolescents, although it is possible that, in common with the other SSRIs, it is associated with a small increased risk of self-harm and suicidal thoughts. Overall, the balance of risks and benefits for fluoxetine in the treatment of depressive illness in under 18s is judged to be favourable.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding he allocated to the South West London and St. George's NHS Trust for (a) Agenda for Change and (b) the new consultant contract; and what the trust's estimate is of the actual cost. 
Dr. Ladyman: A total of £7.077 million of central funding was allocated to South West London and St. George's Mental Health National Health Service Trust in relation to the period up to 1 October 2004 when they were an Agenda for Change early implementer site.
Across England we have allocated £426 million in 200405 and £937 million in 200506 to primary care trusts (PCTs) as part of main allocations to meet the costs of implementing Agenda for Change. This is in
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addition to the costs of the general pay uplift of around 10 per cent. over three years agreed as part of the Agenda for Change package.
Funding for the consultant contract, agreed with the British Medical Association during negotiations, was allocated to PCTs in December 2002 as part of main allocations. The amount that went in main allocations was 0.3 per cent. (£129 million) in 200304, 0.4 per cent. (£178 million) in 200405 and 0.5 per cent. (£224 million) in 200506.
The principles behind this work are to match local and national provision to levels of income from commissioners, to provide locally accessible services in the least restrictive environment for clients, and to investigate possible partnerships with other providers such as from the voluntary sector. The changes under consideration are aimed at further improving mental health services in South West London.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the managerial posts advertised for the South West London and St. George's NHS Trust in the last 12 months, broken down by salary range offered. 
Mr. Hutton: I refer the hon. Member to Creating a Patient-led NHS, Delivering the NHS Improvement Plan", a copy of which is available from the Library. Chapters three and five of this document include information on the future role of strategic health authorities.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of whether the public service agreement target to reduce inequalities in
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health outcomes by 10 per cent., as measured by infant mortality and life expectancy at birth will be met by 2010. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: Our most recent assessment shows that despite overall improvements in the health of the population, there is a continuing, if slight, widening of health gap on infant mortality and life expectancy. This assessment is based on data up to 2003, the date the national health inequalities strategy, the Programme for Action", was published. The first challenge set out in the strategy was to stop the health gap from widening further.
We will be publishing by the summer a first report of progress against the national strategy and 2010 public service agreement target, in line with the commitment in the Programme for Action". This report summarises developments against the target and the main headline indicators and provides a baseline against which to measure future action.
Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer by the Minister of State for Health, 1 March 2005, Official Report, column 1090W, on telephone numbers, if he will make a further statement on the use of national or premium rate numbers by national health service organisations. 
Mr. Hutton: Regulations have been made which will ban the use of national and premium rate telephone numbers for general practitioner practices. Directions will also be made which cover primary care trusts and national health service trusts.
Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the impact of the proposed traditional herb medicines products directive on the registration of treatments for head lice. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: There are 25 products licensed under medicines legislation for the treatment of head lice in the United Kingdom. All of these are either restricted to pharmacy sale or supply by a prescription from a doctor. These products will remain unaffected by the implementation of the directive on traditional herbal medicinal products (2004/24/EC).
There may be other products used in the treatment of head lice, which currently reach the market as unlicensed herbal remedies. These will potentially qualify to be registered under Directive 2004/24/EC when it is implemented on 30 October this year. To qualify for registration, products will have to demonstrate that they comply with the required evidence of traditional usage and that they meet the required standards of safety and quality.
Products registered under Directive 2004/24/EC will have indications exclusively appropriate to traditional herbal medicinal products, which due to their
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composition and purpose are intended and designed for use without the supervision of a medical practitioner for diagnostic purposes or for the prescription or monitoring of treatment. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) anticipates that the majority of products registered under this directive will be suitable for general sale list status.
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