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Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what timescale she has set for extending the pilots for junior doctors training in independent sector treatment centres to all parts of the country; 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 18 July 2005]: All independent sector treatment centres (ISTCs), which are involved in transferred national health service activity, will be required to provide training. Each of these ISTCs will form pilot sites. The locations of the current sites contracted to deliver training are Burton, Nottingham, Maidstone, London, and Brighton. Burton will be the first site to deliver training. Full service commencement is scheduled for May 2006, with an interim solution planned for November 2005.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which five management consultancies received the highest value of contracts awarded by her Department in each of the last three years; and what the total value was of the contracts awarded to each. 
It should also be noted that not all consultancy contracts are awarded for financial gains; many are awarded for investigating problems, providing analysis or advice, or assisting with the development of new systems, new structures or new capabilities within the organisation.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the total expenditure saved in each of the last three years as a result of implementing recommendations by management consultancies within her Department. 
It should also be noted that not all consultancy contracts are awarded for the purpose of saving expenditure, many are awarded for investigating problems, providing analysis or advice, or assisting with the development of new systems, new structures or new capabilities within the organisation.
Jane Kennedy: Information about the work currently being undertaken by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is available on its website at www.nice.org.uk/pdf/comp9_gynaepregnancy birth.pdf.
|Intrapartum care: management and delivery to women in labour||February 2007|
|Post natal care: routine post natal care of recently delivered women and their babies||July 2006|
|Diabetes in pregnancy||February 2008|
|Antenatal and postnatal mental health: clinical management and service guidance||February 2007|
|Guidance for midwives, health visitors, pharmacists and other primary care services to improve the nutrition of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and children in low income households.||Spring 2007|
Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the implications of Delivering Race Equality for the training of (a) psychiatrists and (b) other mental health professionals. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps her Department is taking to improve mesothelioma (a) treatment and (b) prevention; and how much funding has been allocated to each in 200506. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
In 2003, the Department set up the lung cancer and mesothelioma advisory group (LCMAG) to work closely with the voluntary sector and patient and professional groups in order to support the development and delivery of high quality services for lung cancer patients.
5 Oct 2005 : Column 2859W
In 2004, a mesothelioma subgroup was set up to advise LCMAG specifically on the requirements for a good clinical service for mesothelioma, and on priorities for research. The work of this subgroup is still progressing.
Information on the costs of preventing and treating individual tumours is not collected centrally. Latest information indicates that nearly £3.4 billion was spent by primary care trusts in the financial year 200304 on treating all cancers.
Caroline Flint: There have been no formal assessments made on the level of abuse of methadone. However, the Department recognises the key role that effective substitute prescribing has to play in meeting our overall aim of offering high quality treatment to drug misusers. It is because of this commitment that the Department published Drug Misuse and DependenceGuidelines on Clinical Management (1999), which is widely regarded as being extremely successful in assisting prescribers in offering appropriate treatment to their patients. Part of this also tackles the issue of diversion of methadone through advice on supervised consumption.
Building on this, the National Treatment Agency (NTA), which has a remit to improve the availability and quality of drug treatment, has just completed an audit of prescribing services in England which will be available shortly. The NTA will also be undertaking series of reviews of community prescribing services with the Healthcare Commission, later in 2005. The NTA has performance management structures in place to effectively tackle those drug action teams assessed as underperforming, as far as provision of drug treatment is concerned.
One of the key measures used to assess the quality of substitute prescribing, including levels of diversion, is the number of drug related deaths associated with its use. In 2003, the latest year for which figures are available, 167 deaths associated with the use of methadone were reported. This compares with 286 in 1999, a reduction of 42 per cent.
As part of our ongoing commitment to continue to develop improved practise in substitute prescribing, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence will, within a comprehensive package of work that it will be undertaking on drug treatment, do a specific appraisal on the clinical effectiveness of methadone in the treatment of drug misuse.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether her Department was consulted by the World Health Organisation on putting (a) mifepristone and (b) misoprostol on its list of essential medicines; and if she will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: It is not standard practice for the World Health Organisation (WHO) to consult member states about the compilation of the list of essential medicines. The WHO has an expert scientific advisory committee, which provides advice on maintaining and developing its list of essential medicines. It was through this process that mifepristone and misoprostol for use in medical abortion were included on the list It is for individual countries as to whether these medicines are authorised for supply. In the United Kingdom, these products have been authorised for use (on the basis of efficacy, safety and quality) by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many meetings she has had with groups representing (a) patients and consumers and (b) health professionals since 5 May; and how many are planned for the next three months. 
Jane Kennedy: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, and the Department's Ministers meet many individuals and organisations and attend many functions relating to Government business and as part of the process of policy development.
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