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To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether she has accepted the recommendations in the Report of the Shipman Inquiry on amending the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, with particular reference to the recommendations that the Government
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should (a) promote awareness of the role of whistleblowing and (b) ensure that people in whistleblowing dilemmas have access to confidential advice; 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 21 November 2005]: The Department has been discussing the Shipman Inquiry's recommendations with the Department for Trade and Industry, which is the lead Department for the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA), and with relevant stakeholders, and we will continue to do so.
We agree that it is important that national health service staff who have genuine concerns are able to get informed advice on their options and next steps and, where appropriate, support when raising those concerns. However, we are not yet persuaded that amendment to PIDA is necessary to achieve this.
Mr. Byrne: It is for primary care trusts to commission appropriate local services, according to local need, in order to provide adequate health and social care for people with long-term conditions, as set out in the NHS Improvement Plan.
The provision of support and services for people with an assessed need is the responsibility of the local national health service and social care services. It is for those services to determine what to provide to meet the needs of individuals.
The Department does not record information about email responses from the NHS Student Grants Unit. The NHS Pensions Agency, who are responsible for the NHS Student Grants Unit, does record automated responses as replies to questions put to them by email.
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Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average cost was per patient per bed of treatment in (a) the Royal Shrewsbury hospital, (b) the Princess Royal hospital in Telford and (c) the community hospital in (i) Bridgnorth, (ii) Ludlow and (iii) Bishop's Castle in (A) 2003, (B) 2004 and (C)2005. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 20 December 2005]: There are no data collected centrally at individual patient per bed level. Data are collected on a finished consultant episode basis and at national health service trust level, within which one or more hospitals will operate.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the number of suppliers of urosotomy prescriptions is due to be reviewed under the current consultation; and if she will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 23 January 2006]: The Department is currently seeking views on the arrangements for the provision of dressings, incontinence appliances, stoma appliances, chemical reagents and other appliances to primary and secondary care.
Once the consultation closes, on 23 January 2006, we will review all the responses andwhere necessaryseek clarification from responders. Only then will the Department be in a position to make any decisions about the way forward.
Mr. Kemp: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how long a patient had to wait on average for a (a) heart bypass, (b) breast cancer, (c) hip replacement, (d) cataract and (e) kidney transplant operation in each year since 1997 in Sunderland Royal hospital. 
Mr. Byrne: There were no kidney transplant operations undertaken at the Sunderland Royal hospital during this period. The remaining information requested is shown in the table. Latest figures show that all breast cancer patients at the trust meet the national target of receiving treatment within one month of diagnosis.
|Breast cancer||Cataract||Heart bypass||Hip replacement|
Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made towards ensuring a maximum wait of three months for an out-patient appointment; and what assessment she has made of the impact on other NHS patients as a result. 
Mr. Byrne: Latest data shows that the number of patients waiting over 13 weeks for a first out-patient appointment has fallen from around 340,000 in June 1997 to under 40,000 at the end of September 2005. We remain confident that out year-end targets for national health service waiting for admission times will have been met.
The Department has issued very clear guidance that clinical priority must be the main determinant of when patients should be seen and we are not aware of any evidence to suggest that delivering shorter out-patient waits has had any adverse impact on other NHS patients.
Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients had been waiting for hospital operations for more than six months on 1 December 2005 (a) in total and (b) in each NHS hospital trust. 
Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients will have to wait more than six months for their NHS operation as of 1 January 2006 (a) broken down by NHS hospital trust and (b) in total. 
The national health service now operates a maximum waiting for admission time of six months for an inpatient operation. The NHS has rigorous monitoring and performance management systems in place to enable it to deliver this. We remain confident that our year-end target of a maximum NHS waiting for admission time of six months will have been met.
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