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Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of bills of each NHS acute trust in England were paid within 30 days in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost of a (a) cataract operation, (b) hip replacement and (c) gall bladder removal was in (i) 1997, (ii) 2001 and (iii) 2005 in (A) nominal and (B) real terms. 
Mr. Byrne: The information requested is shown in the following tables, which shows the average costs within these areas, sourced from the reference costs collection. The latest available data is for 200304. Cost data for 200506 is not yet available.
|Nominal (£)||200304 prices(45) (£)|
|B02||Phakoemulsification Cataract Extraction with Lens Implant||cataract operation||698||672||803||711|
|B03||Other Cataract Extraction with Lens Implant||cataract operation||711||740||818||783|
|G13||Cholecystectomy >69 or with complications or comorbidities||gall bladder removal||1,812||2,311||2,084||2,447|
|G14||Cholecystectomy <70 without complications or comorbidities||gall bladder removal||1,327||1,574||1,526||1,667|
|H02||Primary Hip Replacement||hip replacement||3,680||4,359||4,233||4,617|
|B13(46)||Phakoemulsification Cataract Extraction and Insertion of Lens||cataract operation||717|
|B14(46)||Non Phakoemulsification Cataract Surgery||cataract operation||793|
|G13||Cholecystectomy >69 or with complications or comorbidities||gall bladder removal||2,449|
|G14||Cholecystectomy <70 without complications or comorbidities||gall bladder removal||1,723|
|H80(46)||Primary Hip Replacement Cemented||hip replacement||4,750|
|H81(46)||Primary Hip Replacement Uncemented||hip replacement||4,603|
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will assess the merits of distributing funding for specialised services through specialist commissioning groups, rather than through primary care trusts. 
Mr. Byrne: On 19 October, we announced a review, chaired by Sir David Carter, into commissioning arrangements for specialised services with a view to building on current good practice and ensuring consistent arrangements across the whole country that fit in with wider national health service reform. As part of the review we will look at how best to organise the funding of specialised services to support the planning of specialist provision and manage the risks of very high cost, unpredictable treatments.
Mr. Byrne: The higher costs of tertiary care is recognised and addressed under payment by results in three ways. Additional payment over and above tariff for a defined list of procedures and diagnoses, the exclusion from tariff of certain high cost drugs, devices and procedures and the use of local flexibilities which allow primary care trusts to provide additional funding to providers in certain circumstances where new technology is being used.
Mr. Byrne: This information is not collected centrally, but any local actions there may have been should be seen in the context that the number of consultants has increased by 9,736, or 45 per cent., since 1997 and the number of general practitioners by 4,148, or 15 per cent., in the same period.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the estimated number of (a) physiotherapists and (b) speech and language therapists is in each primary care trust; and what the target establishment is for each trust. 
The numbers of qualified physiotherapists and speech and language therapists employed in the NHS has increased between September 1997 and 2004 by 4,900, or 34 per cent. and 1,685, or 35 per cent. respectively.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what workforce planning strategies are in place for (a) doctors, (b) nurses, (c) physiotherapists, (d) other allied health professions and (e) midwives. 
[holding answer 25 October 2005]: It is the responsibility of primary care trusts and strategic health authorities (SHAs) to analyse their local situation and develop plans, in liaison with their local national health
31 Oct 2005 : Column 845W
service trusts and primary care providers, to deliver high quality NHS services and take action to recruit the appropriate staff required to deliver these services.
At a national level, the Department asks SHAs to submit local delivery plans covering all the main staff groups, which feed into national supply and demand modelling. The workforce review team closely liaises with the Department, the NHS and stakeholders to determine the future requirements of the NHS workforce, and advises the NHS on future training needs.
In the longer term, the Department has recently commissioned work to analyse the level of need/demand for the medical workforce over the next 20 to 30 years and whether existing supply plans will meet these. This analysis will form the background to discussions on the development and planning of revised specialty training programmes as part of modernising medical careers implementation, and also inform the deliberations of the medical joint implementation group considering how many more medical school places are required.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to ensure that suppliers to NHS organisations are paid promptly; and what representations her Department have received in the last 12 months from suppliers to NHS organisations who have not been paid promptly. 
Mr. Byrne: National Health Service Trusts and primary care trusts are required to comply with the Confederation of British Industry's better payment practice code (BPPC) target of paying 95 per cent. of undisputed invoices within contract terms or 30 days where no terms have been agreed. By 200405, the NHS paid around 83 per cent. of its bills within 30 days, compared with about 77 per cent. in 199697.
Strategic health authorities monitor the performance of individual NHS bodies and work with poor performing organisations to achieve and maintain a level of payment performance consistent with Government accounting regulations and the BPPC.
All out-of-hours services must be delivered to the national quality requirements, ensuring patients have access to consistently high quality and responsive care, regardless of where they live. Providers must deliver services that meet the quality requirements, as a contractual obligation. The requirements stipulate that:
31 Oct 2005 : Column 846W
|South East Essex||Essex Ambulance Trust, Care UK, NHS Direct|
|South West Essex||Essex Ambulance Trust, South Essex Emergency Doctor Services (SEEDS), NHS Direct|
|Mid Essex||Essex Ambulance Trust, NHS Direct|
|Uttlesford||The Emergency Doctor Service|
|Harlow and Epping||Partnership of East London Co-operative (PELC)|
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