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Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was allocated by her Department in each primary care trust in England for out-of-hours general practitioner services in (a) 200304, (b) 200405 and (c) 200506; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne: Information showing the amount of money allocated by the Department to each primary care trust in England for out-of-hours general practitioner services in 200304, 200405 and 200506 has been placed in the Library.
Jane Kennedy: I will be publishing tomorrow a consultation document that sets out detailed proposals for tackling health care associated infections, as outlined in the Gracious Speech. Copies will be available in the Library, and on the Department's website at: www.dh.gov.uk/Consultations/LiveConsultations/fs/en.
|Financial year||Number of persons, all ages, England|
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans the Government has for emergency assistance to the national infrastructure in the event of an influenza pandemic; 
7 Jul 2005 : Column 580W
(2) whether the Health Protection Agency has carried out an assessment of the economic impact of an influenza pandemic; 
Caroline Flint: The Department, as lead Department, is working with the Civil Contingencies Secretariat (CCS) and with other Departments on cross-Government preparations for an influenza pandemic. One of the issues being covered in this work is the possible economic impact of a influenza pandemic on the United Kingdom as a whole, taking into account the uncertainty about the nature and scale of a pandemic and its impact. This work is being informed by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) which supports the Department through the provision of expert advice and some operational capacity.
Good business continuity planning will reduce the impact of an influenza pandemic and Government Departments are working closely with key national industries to ensure they are as prepared as possible. The Home Office is assessing whether existing public and national health service mortuaries can cope with excess deaths during an influenza pandemicin order to identify what extraordinary arrangements might be required to enhance current arrangements, including the provision of additional temporary facilities for the storage of bodies ahead of funerals taking place.
Caroline Flint: The provision of hospital beds in the event of an influenza pandemic is the responsibility of local national health service trusts, and is not a matter for the Health Protection Agency. The NHS is experienced in managing demand for hospitals beds, and local trusts will have plans in place to deal with increased demand.
In order to assist the NHS in planning for an influenza pandemic, the Department has published the United Kingdom influenza pandemic contingency plan and also the operational guidance for NHS planners. Both these documents make clear that NHS organisations will need to prepare for significant demand for services, and the UK plan gives guidance on the level of demand that the NHS might expect.
|North Central||North East||North West||South East||South West|
|Medical and dental staff||8||11||5||6||4|
|All non-medical staff||153||180||126||142||102|
|Qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting||5||11||0||2||0|
|Managers and senior managers||104||44||81||83||93|
These conditions are all very closely related and represent one of the most important conditions in the United Kingdom and one of the commonest reasons for admission to hospital. The principle cause is smoking. The national service framework (NSF) for coronary heart disease already has a reduction in cigarette smoking as one of its major targets. We have also banned tobacco advertising and made smoking reduction aids available on national health service prescription. Less important contributory factors are atmospheric pollution and recurrent chest infections.
Strategic health authorities and primary care trusts have all received the NSF for long-term conditions. While the NSF is principally concerned with improving health and social care services for people with a long-term neurological condition, it will address some of the generic issues that are important to people living with a disability that is not necessarily neurological in origin. The principles in the NSF apply equally to improving quality of life and promoting independent living for anyone living with a long-term condition.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will take steps to enable the drugs (a) Lutein and (b) Zeaxanthin to be made available on prescription; and if she will make a statement. 
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many complaints have been made by members of the public regarding the service they received from NHS Direct; and how many were upheld. 
Mr. Byrne: I understand from the chair of NHS Direct that during the year April 2004 to March 2005 NHS Direct answered 6,584,000 calls. From these calls, NHS Direct received 1,469 complaints. Of these complaints, 1,128 were able to be resolved locally and 341 required further escalation.
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 4 July 2005]: The proposed change in the status of NHS Direct is a natural progression of its development to provide and develop responsive health information and advice to the public. It is part of the wider review of arm's length bodies (ALBs) by the Department, which was published in July 2004 by the then Secretary of State for Health. The review set out an overall strategy to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the ALB sector, resulting in a reduction in their number. In the ALB review, a commitment was made to work with NHS Direct to change its governance arrangements.
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