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Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 7 July 2005, Official Report, column 587W, on social care, what the (a) remit and (b) timescale is for establishment of the joint delivery team working on individual budgets. 
Mr. Byrne: Work on individual budgets is being led by the Department of Health and the Department of Work and Pensions, supported by other Government departments, such as the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Department for Education and Skills.
At a strategic level this work is being led by a cross-government ministerial team, led by my hon. Friend, the Minister for Disability in the Department for Work and Pensions (Mrs. McGuire) and me. This team is
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responsible for steering the work and ensuring that key stakeholders, including the people who may use services, are integral to the design of the individual budget pilots. This team has already met on several occasions.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the number of people with care needs who would wish to take-up (a) a direct payment and (b) individual budgets. 
Mr. Byrne: Individual budgets are one of the central proposals set out in Independence, Well-being and Choice, the Department's Adult Social Care Green Paper, published in March 2005. The Department has conducted an extensive consultation exercise on the ideas in the Green Paper and this will continue until 28 July 2005. Piloting individual budgets was also recommended in the Government's recent report, Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People".
Mr. Byrne: The Health and Social Care Information Centre is currently developing national standard datasets to support the monitoring of cancer, diabetes, child health, mental health, maternity, renal, older people's and coronary heart disease services. Each of the dataset products will support the information requirements of their respective national service frameworks, and are subject to the national approval mechanisms of the national health service.
National cancer dataseta core dataset which contains generic patient and treatment information. Site-specific appendices for lung, colorectal, breast, head and neck, urological, gynaecological, upper gastro-intestinal tract, brain, sarcoma and skin cancers have been approved, in addition to the cancer registration dataset.
Diabetes continuing care datasetwhich brings together into one dataset the combined monitoring data requirements of the national diabetes audit, the diabetes chapter of the new general medical services quality and outcomes framework, the DiabetesE" performance management tool and the diabetes indicators for the better metrics performance indicator project.
Mr. Byrne: The South Tees hospitals national health service trust savings plan for 200506 was made public at a board meeting on 7 June 2005. It is targeted to achieve a reduction in expenditure of £19.8 million.
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many people at high risk of stroke following a transient ischaemic attack or minor stroke had a major stroke while awaiting initial assessment, investigation and treatment for their condition in 200405; 
(2) what the average waiting time was for a patient, from initial presentation with a transient ischaemic attack or minor stroke, to consultation with a stroke specialist and subsequent investigation in the period for which figures are available; 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department recognised the importance of developing better stroke services by including specific milestones, targets and actions in the national service framework (NSF) for older people, launched in March 2001.
The NSF for coronary heart disease (CHD), published in March 2000, sets the agenda for the modernisation of CHD services over a 10 year period.
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The NSF sets 12 standards for improved prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation and goals to secure fair access to high quality services.
Following the Government's decision to devolve most central funding to local primary care trusts (PCTs) and strategic health authorities, the balance of power has further shifted by moving away from a central target-based focus, to allow PCTs to devise local strategies to meet the specific needs and demands in their own area. The Healthcare Commission produces an annual star ratings report of performance for national health service trusts in England to assess progress against existing targets and to promote improvement in the quality of health care. Its recently published 200405 report included an indicator on stroke.
With the considerable improvements that have been made in cardiac care, coupled with an ageing population, stroke is expected to form a greater contribution to the vascular disease burden in the future. In recognition of this, the Department has convened an expert advisory vascular programme board to oversee work on stroke and co-ordinate work across the common elements of vascular diseasesCHD, stroke, diabetes and renal.
Jane Kennedy: The Department funds research into transmissible spongiform encephalopies as part of a wider Government programme of publicly-funded research. Project details can be found on the Medical Research Council's website at http://www.mrc.ac.uk/index/current-research/current-tse_portfolio_search.htm
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