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Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) role and (b) process is of (i) the National Institute for Healthcare and Clinical Excellence and (ii) the Joint Committee for Vaccines and Immunisation in (A) approving and (B) licensing new vaccines; and if she will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) was set up to give advice to the national health service on best clinical practice including clinical and cost effectiveness of drugs and other treatments. Details of NICE'S processes and methodologies are available on NICE'S website at www.nice.org.uk.
The Joint Committee for Vaccines and Immunisation (JCVI) has no role in licensing new vaccines. The Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is responsible for licensing vaccines. In this work MHRA would seek advice from the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM), the Government's independent safety experts.
The JCVI's role is to advise the Secretaries of State for Health, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on matters relating to communicable diseases, preventable and potentially preventable through immunisation. The JCVI does make recommendations to the Secretaries of State on the suitability of new vaccines for the national immunisation programme.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps her Department (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to ensure that national health service doctors suspended by hospital trusts have their cases dealt with (i) justly and (ii) speedily; and if she will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: We took steps in 2001 to improve the performance of the NHS in dealing with suspensions by establishing the National Clinical Assessment Authority, which is now part of the National Patient Safety Agency. New suspensions procedures agreed in 2004 gave the National Clinical Assessment Authority a key role in advising on the management of all suspensions. By April 2005, the total of long-term exclusions of all types, including what was previously called gardening leave, had halved from 56 in June 2003 to a figure of 25.
A new disciplinary framework agreed with the medical and dental professions was implemented in June this year. It is mandatory across NHS trusts and will speed up local procedures for handling disciplinary cases.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people are employed by the (a) Dental Practice Board, (b) NHS Logistics Authority, (c) NHS Pensions Agency, (d) Prescription Pricing Authority and (e) NHS Counter Fraud and Security management service; and where each of their main centres of employment is. 
|Organisation||Centres of employment||Establishment (wte)|
|Dental Practice Board||Eastbourne||273|
|NHS Logistics Authority(55)||Mainly Alfreton, with other distribution centres in:||1,313|
|Bury St. Edmunds|
|NHS Pensions Agency||Fleetwood||367|
|Prescription Pricing Authority||Mainly Newcastle with smaller operations divisions in:||2,123|
|NHS Counter Fraud and Security Management Service||London||251|
Mr. Mike Hall: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much was spent by NHS trusts in 200304 on consumable goods not purchased from NHS Logistics; and how much of that sum is represented by (a) drugs, (b) medical and surgical equipment-maintenance, (c) x-ray equipment purchase, (d) x-ray film and chemicals-purchase, (e) x-ray equipment-maintenance, (f) laboratory equipment maintenance, (g) contract hotel services (including cleaning), (h) postage, (i) telephones, (j) advertising, (k) travel, (l) subsistence and removal expenses, (m) other transport costs, (n) electricity, (o) gas, (p) other fuels, (q) water and sewerage, (r) external general services contracts, (s) furniture, office and computer equipment, (t) computer hardware, maintenance contracts and data processing contracts, (u) business rates, (v) rent, (w) building and engineering equipment, (x) building and engineering contracts, (y) total purchase of healthcare from non-national health service bodies, (z) total external contract staffing and consultancy services and (aa) auditors' remuneration; 
(3) pursuant to the answer of 28 October 2005, Official Report, column 585W, on NHS Logistics, how many of the products and services were purchased direct from the manufacturers and service providers by NHS trusts. 
Jane Kennedy: The following table shows those categories of products and services used by NHS Trusts which are not purchased through the NHS Logistics Authority, or where, as indicated, there is minimal activity.
|Products and services200304||£|
|Drugs (including Gases)(56)||2,307,732,964|
|Medical and Surgical EquipmentMaintenance||114,079,014|
|X-Ray Film and ChemicalsPurchase||58,124,105|
|Contract Hotel Services (Incl. Cleaning)||406,385,852|
|Travel, Subsistence and Removal Expenses(57)||363,547,841|
|Other Transport Costs (Includes Transport and Moveable Plant)||304,926,808|
|Other Fuels (Including Oil And Coal)||36,304,157|
|Water And Sewerage||59,349,315|
|External General Services Contracts||267,412,996|
|Furniture, Office and Computer Equipment(56)||272,320,110|
|Computer Hardware, Maintenance Contracts and Data Processing Contracts||220,932,679|
|Building and Engineering Equipment||125,835,348|
|Building and Engineering Contracts||265,638,567|
|Total Purchase Of Healthcare From Non-NHS Bodies||3,326,347,129|
|Total External Contract Staffing And Consultancy Services||230,988,111|
|Total Non-Pay Revenue Expenditure||9,697,539,332|
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment she has made of the likely impact on staff employed to deliver NHS student grants and bursaries at Hesketh House in Fleetwood when the NHS Pensions Agency based on that site is contracted out of the Department; 
Jane Kennedy: The NHS Pensions Agency is to become part of the Business Services Authority (BSA) on 1 April 2006. This was first announced in the report, Reconfiguring the Department of Health's Arm's Length Bodies" published in July 2004. This report reflected Government policy to reduce costs of administration through modernisation of systems and use of private sector capability where appropriate. The Implementation Framework for Reconfiguring the DH's Arm's Length Bodies:, redistributing resources to the NHS frontline" published in November 2004 built on this approach. In implementing these reports, consideration is being given to market testing a wide range of the BSA's functions, not just those of the NHS Pensions Agency.
Following a review of the NHS Pensions Agency by KPMG, a report recommending full outsourcing of this mostly administrative business was published on 21 May 1998. The decision to outsource elements of the business was announced on 6 March 2000. The KPMG report was placed in the Library of the House on the same day. Expressions of interest were invited through the official Journal of the European Community on 20 June 2000 and 33 organisations responded.
The outcome of the procurement process was to award a contract covering about half of the NHS Pensions Agency's functions to Paymaster (1836) Limited with an option to expand to all its functions at a point in the future. The contractual terms agreed at that time obliged the NHS Pensions Agency to negotiate with Paymaster (1836) Limited first on any proposed expansion of the outsourcing arrangements.
If outsourcing some or all of the NHS Pensions Agency is extended as a result of current negotiations, employees dealing with NHS Pensions and the student bursary scheme will transfer to the private sector partner under the provisions of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations.
14 Dec 2005 : Column 2161W
The resulting contract with the private sector supplier will reflect the principles of the Joint Statement of Good Practice issued on 6 October 2005 by the Department, NHS Employers, the Confederation of British Industry and the Business Services Association, together with a number of trade unions. That statement commits private sector suppliers who contract with the NHS to meet minimum standards on pay, conditions of service and work force issues.
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