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Mr. Byrne: The National Audit Office's report, "Patient Choice at the Point of Referral", published in January 2005, accepted our estimate of £122 million for the likely additional annual infrastructure costs and transaction costs for patient choice. The total spend on elective care in 200304 was £8.7 billion.
Choice will lead to increased efficiencies in both primary and secondary as described in the National Audit Office's report. In hospitals, these efficiencies should include reductions in missed appointments and cancellations, meaning clinics can be run more efficiently. The cost of these in 200304 was approximately £100 million for the 1.5 million missed first out-patient appointments that are most likely to be addressed by choice.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what level of overcapacity in health services she expects to fund consequent on the patients' choice agenda; and if she will make a statement. 
The Commission will continue to carry out appointments to forums and arrange staff support. The plans to give the national health service appointments commission additional responsibilities to appoint members and chairs of patient forums will not go ahead.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what arrangements will be put in place to ensure effective patient involvement in service planning within Essex Ambulance Trust when the existing patient forum is abolished; 
(2) what arrangements will be put in place after the abolition of the Essex Ambulance Service Patient and Public Involvement Forum to assist patients' representatives (a) to share information and (b) effectively to monitor ambulance services. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 18 July 2005]: With the recent announcement of plans to reconfigure primary care trusts (PCTs), the planned reconfiguration of forums around PCTs has been put on hold.
The "Your Health, Your Care, Your Say" consultation presents us with the opportunity to take a strategic look at patient and public involvement. This will ensure that future systems for patient, user and carer involvement will best fit the nature of modern health and social care delivery.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the level of personal social services expenditure by each local authority in England has been in each year since 1997; and what the percentage variation against standard spending assessment is in each case. 
Jessica Morden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will take steps to ensure that the increase in the number of training places for physiotherapists is matched by funding for physiotherapy posts in the NHS. 
Mr. Byrne: It is the responsibility of local national health service employers and strategic health authorities (SHAs) to ensure there are sufficient suitable staff in place to deliver services for patients.
The Department, in collaboration with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, SHAs and NHS physiotherapy managers, has developed an action plan to address current concerns over the number of junior posts available for newly qualified physiotherapists.
5 Oct 2005 : Column 2869W
Frank Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list each of the private sector providers providing services to NHS patients, giving in each case (a) the name of the organisation, (b) the location of its clinical premises, (c) the number of operations contracted for and (d) the number of operations so far carried out. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 11 July 2005]: Information on independent sector providers with which the Department has contracts has been placed in the Library. Information on contracts with the independent sector agreed by local national health service commissioners is not collected centrally.
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will give the basis for the target published in her article in The Guardian newspaper on Saturday 2 July of 10 per cent. of routine elective surgery being carried out by independent sector treatment centres by 2008. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 7 July 2005]: There is no target for independent sector provision or use. The figure of 10 per cent. referred to by the Secretary of State is based on the value of the announced national procurements of independent sector treatment for patients requiring elective surgery, and the forecast levels of national health service elective activity in 2008.
Mr. Byrne: On 21July 2005, I announced a review of the social care work force. The review will be jointly undertaken with the Department for Education and Skills and is expected to include a review of social work as a key professional group in both the adult social care and children's services work forces.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list (a) the special advisers in her Department, (b) their specific areas of expertise and (c) the total cost of employing them in the latest year for which figures are available. 
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidance is provided by her Department to (a) patients and (b) general practitioners on the early signs of stroke, with particular reference to transient ischaemic attacks; 
The national service framework (NSF) for older people states that risk factors for each patient who is at risk of a stroke or who is recovering from a stroke should be identified and advice, support and treatment provided as appropriate. Both primary and secondary prevention measures should be in line with appropriate clinical guidelines. The NSF makes it clear that patients with a suspected transient ischaemic attacks should be referred urgently to a rapid response neurovascular clinic, managed by a clinician with expertise in stroke for investigation and treatment.
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