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Jane Kennedy: The Department has completed a programme of change which has transformed the Department into a smaller more strategically focused organisation. This was reflected in the Department's Spending Review 2004 settlement, and is reflected in planned spending as transitional costs are completed. The following table shows that, in real terms, over the period 199899 to 200405 the Department's administration costs reduced by 9 per cent., the planned spend in 200708 is 29 per cent., below the 199899 level.
|Cash (as published in Department reports) (£ million)||256||268||259||278||296||283|
|Real terms (GDP deflator, 200708 prices) (£ million)||316||324||309||324||334||311|
|Year on year increase (+) or reduction (-) (percentage)||||+3||-5||+5||+3||-7|
|Cumulative increase (+) or reduction (-) (percentage)||||+3||-2||+3||+6||-1|
|Actual outturn||Forecast outturn|| Planned|
|Cash (as published in Department reports) (£ million)||268||246||227||225|
|Real terms (GDP deflator, 200708 prices) (£ million)||289||259||233||225|
|Year on year increase (+) or reduction (-) (percentage)||-7||-10||-10||-3|
|Cumulative increase (+) or reduction (-) (percentage)||-9||-18||-26||-29|
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her oral answer of 17 October 2005, Official Report, column, 632W, on avian influenza, what definition of healthcare worker she plans to use for the purposes of treatment for pandemic influenza; and which categories of worker will be eligible for priority supplies of antivirals. 
Ms Rosie Winterton
[holding answer 15 December 2005]: We have purchased 14.6 million courses of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) to treat the 25 percent. of the
20 Dec 2005 : Column 2691W
population that may fall ill. We are aware of the possibility that a pandemic may strike before theantiviral stockpile is complete. The guidance we have published on antiviral storage and distribution takes this into account. Access to antivirals will need to be prioritised, initially to healthcare workers, and to those who fall into one of the 'clinical at risk' groups, as defined for seasonal flu. We have already received 3.3 million treatment courses, so the issue of prioritisation of healthcare workers should not arise.
Final decisions regarding prioritisation for vaccine and antivirals will be made on the basis of information emerging from the early stages of the pandemic about the virus and those groups most at risk. The UK National Influenza Pandemic Committee, chaired by the chief medical officer, will provide additional advice as required during the pandemic.
We understand that some trusts are already under financial pressures and may have to make difficult decisions in allocating resources. However, we have greatly increased the amount of money going into the NHS and those trusts with deficits have financial recovery plans in place.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the decision in R v. Leonard Cheshire Foundation  H.R.L.R.30 on the enforceability of provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998 by those using services provided by organisations registered under the Care Standards Act 2000; 
Mr. Byrne: Consideration has been given to the application of the Human Rights Act to independent sector bodies carrying out national health service services, and to organisations registered under the Care Standards Act 2000. My noble Friend, Baroness Ashton recently said in parliamentary debate:
On the issue of public authority ... we share the disappointment about the way 'pubic authority' in the Human Rights Act has been interpreted by the courts. The narrow construction of the definition has not fulfilled our hopes and expectations. The Government are following the advice of the Joint Committee and adopting two strategies to approach the problem. First, ... we are actively seeking a suitable case in which to intervene to argue for a wider definition of public
Furthermore, we are issuing guidance on how the contracts between public authorities and private organisations for the provision of services may seek to protect convention rights. This is a very important area; noble Lords have referred to the need to think about it very carefully. It will benefit from careful consideration and will therefore be a matter for the discrimination law review to consider."
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Healthwhat incentives she plans to offer to pharmacists to offer (a) body mass index tests, (b) cholesterol tests, (c) blood pressure tests and (d) other health checks. 
Caroline Flint: The Department has introduced dietary measures such as the 5-A-Day fruit and vegetable scheme that will impact on the general population with high cholesterol levels, but it is not possible to estimate their proportional effect and costs. The most effective way to treat the effects of high cholesterol is with the prescribing of lipid regulating drugs including statins. This is shown in the table.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will estimate the number of pharmacists who are planning to offer health checks including Body Mass
20 Dec 2005 : Column 2693W
Index tests, cholesterol tests and blood pressure tests in response to the Choosing Health through Pharmacy contract; 
Jane Kennedy: New community pharmacy contractual arrangements provide the framework for pharmacy to make a positive contribution to tackling key health priorities such as obesity and coronary heart disease and to improving the health of the public, including where health inequalities persist.
Some pharmacies offer blood pressure testing, cholesterol testing or a range of other screening tests. Such testing should be in accordance with relevant national screening guidelines, where they exist, and in line with local primary care trust (PCT) programmes for prevention and management of risk factors and with robust quality assurance processes.
We published Choosing Health through Pharmacy A programme for pharmaceutical public health" in April 2005, which aims to maximise the contribution of pharmacists, their staff and the premises in which they work to improve health and reduce health inequalities. This strategy will enable pharmacists and their staff to make better use of their skills and it will open up opportunities for pharmacy to make a bigger difference to improving the health of people in England. PCTs can commission local enhanced services to meet identified health needs.
Although we do not hold details centrally on the number of pharmacists planning to offer health checks or the numbers of such checks, we have developed an assurance framework for PCTs to use in monitoring pharmacy's implementation of new contractual requirements, and also strategic tests for strategic health authorities to monitor how PCTs are using the new framework to deliver key health priorities and objectives locally.
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