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To ask the Secretary of State for Health(1) what the average cost of a missed general
19 Dec 2005 : Column 2640W
practitioner appointment was in 200405; and what assessment she has made of the merits of primary care trusts using text message reminder systems for patient appointments; 
Mr. Byrne: Information on the cost of missed general practice appointments is not collected or held centrally. However, there is evidence from the work of the National Primary Care Development Team that better management of patient access arrangements, including the use of telephone technology can reduce the incidence. More than 5,000 practices, some 60 per cent. of the total, have taken part in the team's Advanced Access programme. Information on savings made by hospitals using text messaging reminder systems is similarly not collected or held centrally. However, the Department is currently undertaking a strategic review of assistive technology, including text messaging reminder and remote monitoring systems, which will inform the forthcoming White Paper.
The Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health (CPPIH) provides funding for forums via forum support organisations. There are around 140 of these organisations, each supporting several forums.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the Chief Medical Officer will report on the evidence received from the Royal College of Physicians following the oral submission given by the Health Protection Agency to the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution on its investigation of non-NHS clinics visited in relation to the impact of pesticides. 
The Department of Health is not aware of any evidence received from the Royal College of Physicians to the Royal Commission of Environmental Pollution (RCEP), in the preparation of its report on crop spraying and the health of resident
19 Dec 2005 : Column 2641W
and bystanders. Also, we are not aware that the RCEP in its investigations carried out any visits to non-national health service clinics, and can find no reference to this in the RCEP report.
Mr. Byrne: The latest available figure shows that at September 2004, there were 19,139 physiotherapists employed by the national health service. It is the responsibility of local NHS employers and strategic health authorities to ensure there are sufficient numbers of physiotherapists to meet service needs.
There were 2,157 NHS physiotherapy training places in England in 200203. It is not possible to identify the number of these who successfully graduated in 2005. Data regarding the level of overseas nationals working as physiotherapists is not collected centrally.
We are working closely with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, the NHS workforce review team and NHS organisations to help physiotherapy graduates find opportunities. As a result of this collaborative work, there is an action plan in place to ensure local managers have access to a range of strategies across recruitment, commissioning and skill mix. In addition, NHS employers have extended the NHS jobs service from December, which will enable physiotherapy graduates to register their details and be automatically alerted to NHS vacancies.
|Per 100,000 population|
|Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire SHA area||5.9|
A range of workforce supply initiatives are in place to ensure the NHS workforce continues to meet service needs. These include: improving pay and conditions; encouraging the NHS to become a better, more flexible and diverse employer; increasing training; investing in child care and continuing professional development; attracting back returners and running national and international recruitment campaigns.
It is the responsibility of primary care trusts and SHAs to analyse their local situation and assess the needs of the local population and to secure services to meet those needs including podiatry services.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether primary care trusts will face financial penalties or suffer any form of detriment if they choose to remain direct providers of clinical services. 
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health why Mr. John Bacon's letter of 30 November 2005 to Pearse Butler of the Cumbria and Lancashire strategic health authority does not refer to Pendle in the latest proposals for primary care trust reconfiguration. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 6 December 2005]: The letter from John Bacon to Pearse Butler of Cumbria and Lancashire strategic health authority omitted reference to Pendle in error. The option to consult on six primary care trusts (PCTs) should read as follows:
Option 36 PCTs; Blackpool PCT, Blackburn with Darwen PCT, Cumbria PCT, Lancaster, Fylde and Wyre PCT, Burnley, Rossendale, Pendle, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley PCT and West Lancashire, South Ribble, Chorley and Preston PCT".
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will rank by population the proposed re-configured primary care trusts in England which are now to go out to public consultation. 
[holding answer 6 December 2005]: No decisions will be taken on the population size of reconfigured primary care trusts until after the 14 week local consultation exercise.
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Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether strategic health authorities will have further powers to determine whether primary care trusts can exercise financial autonomy and control their own budgets under the proposals for reconfiguration of strategic health authorities and primary care trusts. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 15 November 2005]: There are no plans to give strategic health authorities (SHAs) further powers to determine whether primary care trusts can exercise financial autonomy and control their own budgets under proposals for reconfiguration of SHAs and primary care trusts. SHAs will continue to undertake performance management functions in relation to local national health service bodies.
Mr. Byrne: The reasons for reconfiguration are set out in Commissioning a Patient Led NHS", published 28 July 2005 and the written ministerial statement by the Secretary of State of 27 October 2005, Official Report, column 15WS.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what allocation of funding was made to each Essex primary care trust at the start of the current financial year; what the projected outturn is in each case; and how deficits will be funded. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 8 December 2005]: The information requested is provided in the tables. Table 1 shows the revenue allocations made to primary care trusts (PCTs) in Essex for 200506 as part of the 200304 to 200506 revenue allocations. Table 2 shows the 200506 Month 6 (unaudited) forecast of PCTs in Essex.
Strategic health authorities (SHAs) are responsible for delivering overall financial balance for their local health economy. If the SHA as a whole overspends, it requires underspending elsewhere to allow the Department to live within its overall spending limit.
|Billericay, Brentwood and Wickford||110,867||120,876||131,581|
|Castle Point and Rochford||130,401||143,260||157,017|
|Maldon and South Chelmsford||58,828||64,507||70,647|
|Southend on Sea||153,413||167,594||182,986|
|Witham, Braintree and Halstead Care|
|Organisation name||200506 Month 6 Forecast Outturn (£000)|
|Billericay, Brentwood and Wickford PCT||2,633|
|Castle Point and Rochford PCT||1,600|
|Epping Forest PCT||600|
|Maldon and South Chelmsford PCT||(3,196)|
|Southend on Sea PCT||2,562|
|Witham, Braintree and Halstead Care PCT||(5,418)|
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