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Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what consultation was undertaken with patient organisations before the decision to introduce new arrangements for the supply of domiciliary oxygen; 
(2) what representations she received during the consultation on the reconfiguration of the domiciliary oxygen service; and how many were in favour of removing the supply from the community pharmacy network. 
Jane Kennedy: For many years, patient organisations have sought improvements in the domiciliary oxygen service, which has seen little change over the past 50 years. The Department asked the Royal College of Physicians to lead a multi-disciplinary working group, which reported in 1999, to review the clinical assessment and prescribing of oxygen therapy in the home. Following a further review, we announced plans for change in June 2003. Patient organisations have contributed to the specification for the new serviceas patients want better access to modern equipment that can help improve their quality of life, including portable systems that enable them to leave the home. These are important features of the new service.
The majority of organisations representing health care professionals and the national health service were also in favour of arrangements in which a single supplier provides all home oxygen needs, replacing the fragmented service in which community pharmacies deliver the cylinder service and other organisations provide other services.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements have been put in place for doctors and patients to obtain domiciliary oxygen supplies in an emergency since the introduction of new arrangements for the supply of domiciliary oxygen on 1 February. 
Plans are in place to manage the change to the new arrangements over a six-month programme from 1 February 2006 in order to support continuity in patient services. These include a phased transfer of patients, over this period, to new suppliers. However, in the first few days, huge volumes of orders
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many for delivery of oxygen supplies at a future datedisrupted this programme. Prompt action has put these plans back on course with close monitoring to ensure patients receive a reliable service. Meanwhile, doctors and patients should continue to use the current arrangements for obtaining cylinder oxygen from community pharmaciesincluding where needed in an emergencyuntil a patient transfers to a new supplier.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate she has made of the number of unplanned admissions to hospital since 1 February resulting from problems with the domiciliary oxygen supply service; 
Mr. Ronnie Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost to the Northumberland Primary Care Trust of the suspension of Dr. Jayanti Ghosh is; and what legal costs were incurred by her Department in proceedings related to Dr. Ghosh. 
Data from the national drug treatment monitoring system show that 141 people in England reported to treatment services with Khat as their main drug of use, and nine persons reported with it as their secondary drug of use, between April 2004 and December 2005.
Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many people were prescribed Ebixa on the NHS in the last three years for which figures are available; and what the cost to the NHS for Ebixa was in each year; 
The Department does not hold data on the number of people prescribed particular drugs but does hold data on the number of national health service prescriptions dispensed. Therefore, there are no data on
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the number of people treated with Ebixa. However, prescription cost analysis (PCA) data show the number of prescriptions dispensed in England for Ebixa were:
|Prescription items dispensed|
The British National Formulary (section 4.11) lists three drugs, Aricept, Exelon and Reminyl as potentially suitable for the management of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Additionally, Ebixa is listed for the management of moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease. The Department does not know what proportion of prescribing for these drugs were for mild, moderate or severe Alzheimer's disease. However, according to the PCA database, the net ingredient cost of drugs for dementia dispensed in the community in England 200405 was £44.7 million, 534.5 thousand items. In addition, Intercontinental Marketing Services estimate that the cost of these drugs dispensed in hospitals in England was £11.9 million in 200405.
As already mentioned, the Department does not hold data on the number of people prescribed particular drugs but does hold data on the number of NHS prescriptions dispensed. Therefore, there is no data on the number of people prescribed anti-cholinesterase drugs. However, PCA data shows the accumulative costs up to the end of September 2005 for England were:
|Prescriptions items dispensed|
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were prescribed Ebixa on the NHS in West Lancashire in each of the last three years for which figures are available; and what the cost to the NHS was in each year. 
This information was obtained from the prescribing analysis and cost tool (PACT) system, which covers prescriptions prescribed by general practitioner (GP) practices in England and dispensed in the community in the United Kingdom. For data at primary care trust (PCT) level, prescriptions written by a GP practice located in a particular PCT but dispensed outside that PCT will be included in the PCT in which the GP practice is based. Prescriptions written in England but dispensed outside England are included. Prescriptions written in hospitals /clinics that are dispensed in the community, prescriptions dispensed in hospitals and private prescriptions are not included in PACT data. It is important to
Mr. Byrne: For training of health and social care professionals, it is the responsibility of the appropriate regulatory bodies to set standards for the pre-registration training of doctors, nurses, social workers and other healthcare professionals and approve the education institutions that provide the training and determine the curricula.
Post-registration training needs for national health service staff are determined against local NHS priorities, through appraisal processes and training needs analyses informed by local delivery plans and the needs of the service. The post-qualification framework for social workers has been reviewed by the General Social Care Council and new arrangements for post qualification awards will come into force in September 2007.
For health and social care workers, national occupational standards set out the skills, knowledge and values required and are used as benchmarks for national vocational qualifications. It is the responsibility of social care service providers and NHS trusts to ensure that their employees are suitably qualified and competent.
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