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Caroline Flint: There are no exact published numbers for the number of people successfully completing treatment prior to 200304. In 200304, 90,500 persons successfully completed treatment and in 200405 there were 120,700.
Mr. Byrne: Annual data for the monitoring of the national health service stop smoking services, for the periods April 2002 to March 2003, April 2003 to March 2004 and April 2004 to March 2005, is shown in table 1.
|Number setting a quit date||Number successfully quit at four week follow-up (self report)|
|Number setting a quit date||696|
|Number successfully quit at four week follow-up (self report)||306|
Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will take steps to ensure that elderly patients in (a) hospitals and (b) nursing and residential homes are afforded privacy for personal care. 
Mr. Byrne: Standards for Better Health" already describes the level of care that national health service organisations are expected to meet, including care that is supportive of patient privacy. The standards are a key part of the performance assessment undertaken by the Healthcare Commission of all health care organisations.
Similarly, in social care settings, the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) inspects regulated care services against the national minimum standards described in Care Homes for Older PeopleNational Minimum Standards". Privacy and dignity are covered explicitly by these standards.
The last meeting of the Chief Medical Officer's advisory group on medical regulation took place on 20 December 2005. The Chief Medical Officer is now preparing his report taking account of the deliberations of the advisory group, the responses to his Call for Ideas document, and the report of the Shipman inquiry and other relevant inquiries. The review undertaken by Andrew Foster has also involved extensive meetings and reviews of evidence in the complex field of non-clinical regulation. These major pieces of work will be submitted in reports to Ministers when concluded and a statement on the decisions reached given in due course.
13 Feb 2006 : Column 1766W
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the average period between referral to the General Medical Council and a disciplinary hearing taking place was in each year since 2000; 
Jane Kennedy: The Government do not collect data on the General Medical Council's disciplinary processes. I would therefore suggest that the hon. Gentleman writes to the General Medical Council at Regents Place, 350 Euston Road, London, NW1 3JN.
Dr. Strang: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the cost of general practitioners claiming entitlement for patients who have moved or died and not informed their general practitioner in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Byrne: The Audit Commission are currently carrying out a study, the national duplicate registration initiative, to identify the costs associated with inaccurate patient registrations, including where patients have moved or died, but also to assess how systems may be improved in order to minimise duplications. The report is expected in the spring.
Mr. Byrne: All general practitioners are able to exercise choice between general practice clinical systems, including those systems offered by the national programme's local service providers, which meet the programme's requirements for accreditation. These requirements include defined standards for system function and interoperability. The standards are subject to continuing review and updating to ensure increased patient safety and benefits to general practice users. NHS Connecting for Health continues to work with suppliers and general practice professional bodies to expand the range of systems available to general practitioners which are compliant with the standards.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research has been undertaken (a) by the Medical Research Council and (b) through her Department's research and development budget for the NHS into developing genetic testing. 
The MRC has a genetics portfolio and spends some £80 million per year on this area of research. The portfolio has a focus on the identification of disease susceptibility genes, on involvement and interplay of the environment and genes in disease, on analysis of gene expression in disease, and on uncovering disease biomarkers. Outputs from any of this research may contribute to the development of genetic diagnostic tools.
The genetics White Paper, Our inheritance, our futurerealising the potential of genetics in the NHS", published in June 2003, announced that the Department would invest up to £4 million to fund pharmacogenetic research on existing medicines. Pharmacogenetics involves the tailoring of medication choice or dose to a patient's genetic make-up, usually assessed with the aid of genetic testing. The £4 million was awarded to six research projects selected in 2004.
The five genetics knowledge parks (GKPs), jointly funded by the Department and the Department for Trade and Industry, are undertaking research that includes an examination of the feasibility and ethical and legal implications of testing for sudden cardiac death syndrome, and for the breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility genes BRCA 1 and BRCA 2. The GKPs' work programmes also feature genetic testing for familial hypercholesterolaemia and the clinical and psychological impact of genetic testing on people being helped to give up smoking.
The National Genetics Reference Laboratories (NGRL) are developing new technologies to meet service needs and exploring the service configurations needed for pharmacogenetic testing in the national health service. Developing quality assurance in genetic testing is part of the NGRL remit, and one important aspect of this is the development of appropriate reference and control reagents.
Over 75 per cent. of the Department's total expenditure on health research is devolved to and managed by national health service organisations. The NHS has reported spending from this funding in support of genetics research as follows:
|Spending in support of genetics research|
Details of individual projects, including those to do with the development and use of genetic tests, can be found on the national research register on the Department's website at www.dh.gov.uk/research.
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