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Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many of her Department's posts (a) have been relocated and (b) are under consideration for relocation from London to the deprived areas of the South East. 
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many digital hearing aids (a) were fitted in 2004 and (b) have been fitted in 2005 in (i) NHS hospitals and (ii) private dispensers who are part of the public-private partnership scheme. 
|National health service hospitals||270,000||(36)60,000|
|Private public partnership scheme||14,000||(37)21,000|
Jane Kennedy: These data are not yet available. Figures for the period April 2004 to March 2005 will be published in the autumn. Data for the period April 2003 to March 2004 can be found on the National Treatment Agency's website at www.nta.nhs.uk/programme/national/docs/Numbers_in_treatment_by_DAT_ 2003.04.pdf.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research she has commissioned on the (a) physical causes and (b) treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy; how much public funding has been spent on such research in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: I refer the hon. Member to the reply the Under-Secretary with responsibility for care services, my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Hodge Hill (Mr. Byrne) gave on 16 June 2005, Official Report, column 637W to the hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire (Mr. Lansley).
Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will take steps to increase the funding for research to find treatments for Duchenne muscular dystrophy; and if she will make a statement. 
[holding answer 21 June 2005]: The main agency through which the Government support medical research is the Medical Research Council (MRC). It is a long-standing and important principle, held to by successive Administrations, that the Government do not prescribe how individual research councils should distribute their resources between
27 Jun 2005 : Column 1356W
competing priorities. In 200304, the MRC spent some £2.4 million on research relevant to Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). In March 2004, the former Secretary of State my right hon. Friend the Member for Hamilton, North and Bellshill (John Reid), announced an award of £1.6 million over three years to fund gene therapy research for DMD. This is pioneering research and it is not possible to know in advance of completion of the preliminary work already funded by the Department whether this approach is likely to be successful. We look forward to receiving progress reports from the DMD research consortium in due course.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she made of the requirement for (a) key worker housing and (b) affordable housing before the agreement was reached to sell surplus land at Edgware hospital. 
Jane Kennedy: The responsibility for disposal of land at Edgware hospital lies with Barnet Primary Care Trust and they have taken into account the necessary factors including the availability of key worker or affordable housing and local planning requirements when doing so.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her answer of 6 June 2005, Official Report, column 421W, on end-of-life care, what estimate she has made of the amount each primary care trust will receive in each of the next three years; and how many more people she estimates will have access to palliative care. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The money has been allocated to strategic health authorities, which are working with primary care trusts to determine how they will meet the end of life care needs of the local population. They will jointly determine how the funding is used.
Jane Kennedy: The number of all eye tests that were conducted in each London health authority is not collected centrally. However, the total number of sight tests paid for by the national health service in the London strategic health authorities since 1997 is collected centrally and is shown in the table.
|Strategic health authority||199798||199899||19992000||200001||200102||200203||200304|
|North West London||235,793||223,970||280,634||280,936||286,719||279,395||282,842|
|North Central London||188,480||180,171||214,174||224,336||215,142||201,480||208,946|
|North East London||254,802||257,947||299,614||293,362||294,412||283,500||282,725|
|South East London||189,295||187,477||237,871||248,497||249,720||242,308||240,961|
|South West London||155,014||153,930||206,217||206,706||197,540||198,239||202,808|
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent consultations have been carried out by her Department with representatives of faith communities; and if she will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: The Department consulted with faith communities when producing the national service frameworks for coronary heart disease, diabetes and mental health. The Department and the national health service continue to engage faith communities in public health campaigns such as smoking cessation and organ donation. The Department also maintains close contact with a multi-faith group, which was independently formed by and comprises of representatives of a wide range of faith communities, as part of our commitment to a multi-faith approach to NHS chaplaincy.
The development of the departmental guidance, NHS Chaplaincy: Meeting the Religious and Spiritual Needs of Patients and Staff", published in November 2003 and the Department's subsequent review of the central funding arrangements in the summer of 2004. The review was conducted with the participation of the multi-faith group, Hospital Chaplaincies Council, College of Health Care Chaplains, Free Churches Council, South Yorkshire Workforce Development Confederation, Jewish Visitation Committee, Muslim Council of Britain and representatives from the other main world faiths. This report was followed by a further consultation period to allow the faith groups to comment on the recommendations made in the report. The Department and its representatives met regularly with the above groups during this time, culminating with the Department's response, which was published on 23 March 2005.
In November 2003, the Department organised a stakeholder event including representatives of faith communities as part of the national consultation on Fair for All Personal to You: Choice, Responsiveness and Equity in the NHS". Stakeholders had the opportunity to contribute ideas to choice, responsiveness and equity in the provision of health and social services that are more patient-centred and fair to all.
In the field of mental health, the National Institute for Mental Health in England is collaborating with the Mental Health Foundation on a project exploring the links between spirituality and mental health. The aim of the project is to collate current thinking on the importance of spirituality in mental health, to evaluate the role of faith communities, and to develop and promote good practice.
Delivering Race Equality in Mental Health Care", the Government's action plan for tackling inequalities in services for black and minority ethnic communities, was published in January 2005 and was based on wide consultation including representatives of faith groups. It states clearly that everyone who experiences mental ill health is entitled to a safe and clinically effective environment that respects their beliefs, culture, faith, spiritual needs, background and values. Local health agencies are expected to form partnerships with diverse faith communities, providing a forum for discussion about mental health services.
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