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Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of whether the creation of the Legal Protection Unit of the Counter Fraud and Security Management Services has increased the rate of detection and prosecution of offences of assault against healthcare workers during their hours of work. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 14 June 2005]: Work is currently being undertaken on the collation and validation of the number of successful prosecutions obtained in 200405 against those who have physically assaulted NHS staff. Once the figures have been fully checked it is planned to release these shortly.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many full-time equivalent NHS general practitioners have been employed in each of the last five years in Hornsey and Wood Green constituency; and if she will make a statement. 
|Q05 North Central London||5C9 Haringey Teaching PCT|
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many out-of-hours general practitioners there are per thousand of the population in (a) the area covered by Burntwood, Lichfield and Tamworth Primary Care Trust, (b) the Shropshire and Staffordshire Strategic Health Authority and (c) England. 
The Department is supporting out-of-hours services through greatly increased funding which have been allocated directly to PCTs which commission out-of-hours services. Some £316 million was allocated in 200405 to help fund PCT provision of out-of-hours services. In addition, PCTs also using their unified budgetsincreased by £12.7 from £45 billion in 200304 to £53.9 billion in 200506to establish integrated networks of urgent care provision.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people are employed by the (a) Healthcare Commission and (b) Mental Health Act Commission expressed as (i) headcount and (ii) full-time equivalent. 
I also understand from the Chairman of the Mental Health Act Commission that as at 31 May the Commission employed 42 staff (42 whole time equivalents) at its headquarters in Nottingham. This includes two executive board appointments, the Chief Executive and the Director of Finance. The Mental Health Act Commission is also responsible for the appointment of Second Opinion Appointed Doctors to carry out functions under Section 58 of the Mental Health Act 1983: currently there are 150 such appointees. Additionally, there are 102 Commissioners
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who are public appointees appointed under Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments rules by the NHS Appointments Commission to carry out the Commission's visiting function on behalf of the Secretary of State.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made on merging the Healthcare Commission with the Commission for Social Care Inspection; whether this merger will require primary legislation; when she expects this merger to be completed; and if she will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: The approach to and time scale for the merger is being determined, in the context of the wider review of regulation in social care and health, as announced in the Chancellor's Budget statement on 16 March.
Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice her Department has given to local authorities to assist them in monitoring tattoo and piercing parlours to prevent infections, with particular reference to hepatitis C. 
Caroline Flint: In February 2004 the Department published Regulation of Cosmetic Piercing and Skin-Colouring Businesses", guidance for local authorities on section 120 of the Local Government Act 2003. The guidance explains the provisions in section 120 and Schedule 6 of the Local Government Act 2003, which amend section 15 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions Act) 1982, and came into force on 1 April 2004.
The new provisions give local authorities in England (outside London) and in Wales, specific powers relating to persons carrying on businesses of cosmetic piercing, that is, piercing of the body including the ear, and semi-permanent skin-colouring, including micropigmentation, semi-permanent make-up and temporary tattooing. Local authorities will be able to require such businesses: to register themselves and their premises; and to observe byelaws relating to the cleanliness and hygiene of premises, practitioners and equipment.
These measures are intended to increase health protection and reduce the risk of transmission of blood-borne virus infections such as HIV and hepatitis B and C and other infections. The publication also contains model byelaws that local authorities may wish to adopt in their area to facilitate consistency of enforcement. It also makes reference to the Health and Safety Executive/Local Authorities Enforcement Liaison Committee, Local Authority Circular 76/2: Enforcement of skin
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piercing activities (October 2001). This contains comprehensive guidance on issues such as infection control, waste disposal and aftercare advice.
Before the new provisions were introduced by the Local Government Act 2003, local authorities had powers under the Local Government (Miscellaneous) Provisions Act 1982 to regulate ear piercing, tattooing, acupuncture and electrolysis by requiring registration and observance of byelaws.
Mr. O'Hara: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the reason was for the decision not to pay the same level of compensation to the widows and dependants of those who have died from hepatitis C contracted from contaminated blood products administered under the NHS the same level of compensation paid to widows and dependants of those who have died from HIV/AIDS contracted similarly. 
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