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24 Nov 2005 : Column 2289W—continued

NHS Finance (Surrey and Sussex)

Laura Moffatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many independent financial investigations have been conducted at Surrey and Sussex NHS Trust in the last five years. [28904]

Caroline Flint: Surrey and Sussex Strategic Health Authority (SHA) has advised that there have been two independent financial investigations at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare National Health Service Trust in the last year.

Surrey and Sussex SHA commissioned a review from Alan Meekings, Management Consultant for Landmark Consulting, which was submitted to the SHA in December 2004 and discussed at the SHA Board meeting in February 2005.

In addition, the Audit Commission published a public interest report into the finances at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust in March 2005.
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NHS Land Sales

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) charges and (b) receipts from NHS land sales have been each year since 1990. [25255]

Mr. Byrne: Details of national health service land sales are not held centrally.

However the table shows, drawn from the annual accounts of the various bodies concerned, receipts from the sale of all fixed assets by family health service authorities, health authorities, strategic health authorities, primary care trusts and national health service trusts in England from 1994–95 (the earliest date what information is available in this format). Details of charges relating to land sales are not held centrally.

Receipts from all fixed assets
1999 2000290,961

NHS Pensions Agency

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action she is taking to ensure the NHS Pensions Agency collects comprehensive evidence on student bursary payments for the purposes of the auditing of its accounts. [27537]

Mr. Byrne: The NHS Pensions Agency is currently undertaking an internal audit to check that all personal files for students in receipt of an national health service bursary contain all the necessary documentation to support payment of the bursary.

NHS Professionals

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS trusts have joined the NHS Professionals scheme to date for the provision of (a) nurses and (b) doctors. [25824]

Mr. Byrne: NHS Professionals is providing services to 136 national health service trusts. Of these 64 trusts have the nurses' service only; 60 doctors service only; and 12 have both.

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) shifts and (b) hours for (i) nurses and (ii)doctors needed cover over the past 12 months; and how many in each category were filled by NHS Professionals. [25826]

Mr. Byrne: Data on number of shifts and hours for doctors and nurses needing cover is not collected centrally.
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NHS Reconfiguration

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will extend the consultation period on the proposed reconfiguration of strategic health authorities and primary care trusts. [19155]

Mr. Byrne: Strategic health authority proposals for reconfiguration will be assessed to see whether they meet the criteria originally stated in the Commissioning a Patient-Led NHS" document, and this process should be complete in time for the three-month public consultation to begin in December. There are no plans to change these arrangements.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many strategic health authorities have gone out to tender for private management of the proposed new primary care trusts; and if she will make a statement. [19208]

Mr. Byrne: As part of the proposals for primary care trust (PCT) reconfiguration, one strategic health authority (SHA) has proposed to procure an external management team to run one of their newly proposed PCTs. However, this proposal will not be considered during the forthcoming public consultation as it is for the new PCTs, not the current SHAs, who should decide how best to manage their responsibilities after reconfiguration.

NHS Staff

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many compulsory redundancies of NHS staff there have been in each year since 1997–98, broken down by staff group. [23107]

Mr. Byrne: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Peter Law: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to mitigate stress suffered by NHS employees. [28883]

Mr. Byrne: NHS Employers are responsible for supporting the National Health Service to mitigate stress suffered by NHS employees in England. They are working closely with the Health and Safety Executive to provide guidance and support. This includes the development of a new campaign, Stress. How are you doing?", which was launched on 2 November 2005.

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many employees aged over 70 years are working in the national health service in West Lancashire. [27702]

Mr. Byrne: As at 30 September 2004, there were no employees aged over 70 years working in the national health service in the West Lancashire constituency area.

NHS Suppliers

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 31 October 2005, Official Report, column 846W, on NHS suppliers, what procedures are in place to ensure her Department is informed of representations to NHS organisations from suppliers to the NHS on the issue of the payment; and if her Department will remind (a) NHS trusts, (b) primary care trusts and (c) NHS professionals of
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their requirement to pay 95 per cent. of undisputed invoices within contract terms or 30 days where no terms have been agreed. [26090]

Mr. Byrne: Current guidance is included in the manual for accounts and is available on the Department's finance manual website at

One of the functions of strategic health authorities is to monitor the performance of individual national health service bodies, report this to the Department and work with poor performing organisations to achieve and maintain a level of payment performance consistent with Government accounting regulations and the better payment practice code.

NHS Trusts

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance has been given to NHS trusts on priority to be attached to (a) balancing the budget and (b) achieving their waiting list targets. [18592]

Mr. Byrne: National Standards, Local Action" was published in July 2004 and is available in the Library and on the Department's website at It sets out what is expected of national health service and social care organisations for the three financial years 2005–06 to 2007–08 in terms of national priorities and health care standards. The guidance covers expectations in relation to waiting times and finance.

Overseas Doctors

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information she has issued to overseas doctors being recruited to the NHS about the effect on the number of training posts of planned changes under modernising medical careers. [28238]

Mr. Byrne: Information on working in the national health service is available at Specifically, information on modernising medical careers is available at This information is updated regularly and currently contains information on foundation programmes available across the United Kingdom in 2006.

There is no intention to reduce the number of posts as a result of the proposed modernising medical careers changes to the structure of training programmes.

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