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27 Feb 2006 : Column 448W—continued

Genetically Modified Organisms

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will take steps to enable consumers to exercise choice on whether to consume genetically modified ingredients and products derived from genetically modified organisms. [50534]

Caroline Flint: The Food Standards Agency supports informed consumer choice and labelling is a key part of providing information.

The Genetically Modified (GM) Food and Feed Regulation (1829/2003/EC) provides rules for the labelling of genetically modified (GM) ingredients, and products derived from genetically modified organisms. These labelling provisions allow consumers to choose whether to eat foods containing GM ingredients.

Genito-urinary Medicine

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for health what percentage of patients in each primary care trust in England are currently being seen in genito-urinary medicine clinics within the 48 hour target in the last period for which figures are available; what steps she is taking to increase the number being seen within the target; and if she will make a statement. [47522]

Caroline Flint: The report from the most recent survey of genitor-urinary medicine (GUM) clinic waiting times for August 2005 published by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) showed that 48 per cent. of patients were seen within 48 hours. This compares with 38 per cent. of
27 Feb 2006 : Column 449W
attendees who were seen within 48 hours of first contacting the clinic, in May 2004. This report is freely available on the HPA's website at: www.hpa.

In addition, sexual health and access to genitor-urinary clinics is one of the six top priorities for the NHS in 2006–07. By 2008 everyone should be offered an appointment within 48 hours of contacting a GUM clinic. Strategic health authorities have all submitted plans to meet this target.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much was spent on genitor-urinary medicine clinics by each primary care trust (PCT) in England in each of the last three years; and what the projected budget of each PCT is for these clinics for the next two years; [47523]

(2) what steps she (a) is taking and (b) plans to take to ensure that the money allocated for genito-urinary medicine modernisation is spent for that purpose by each primary care trust. [47537]

Caroline Flint: Primary care trusts (PCTs) and strategic health authorities (SHAs) will receive funding for implementing the targets in the White Paper Choosing Health: making healthy choices easier" in their mainstream allocations and we will be monitoring the outcomes from this investment. A copy of the White Paper is available in the Library. Sexual health is one of the top six priorities for the national health service in 2006–07. In particular, by 2008 everyone should be offered an appointment within 48 hours of contacting a genitor-urinary medicine (GUM) clinic. This increased priority for sexual health should significantly strengthen the incentive for local investment and service modernisation.

In addition, a letter has been sent to SHA chief executives highlighting that when considering any savings from implementing Commissioning a patient led NHS' savings should not be identified from those posts working on implementation of Choosing Health. This includes posts in front-line services.

Data on spend by GUM clinics by individual PCTs are not collected centrally.

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to increase the funding to the genito-urinary medicine clinics in London. [52279]

Jane Kennedy: In February 2005, individual primary care trusts (PCTs), including all those that cover London, were notified of their Choosing Health" revenue allocation. A separate breakdown for genito-urinary medicine was not given. In 2006–07, £91.5 million will be allocated to PCTs for sexual health modernisation which includes funding for Chlamydia screening and contraception and abortion services and a further £111.5 million will be allocated in 2007–08. In addition, a further £15 million for capital was allocated this financial year for sexual health services and a further £25 million capital in 2006–07 for sexual health will be allocated.
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Health and Social Care Services

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her oral statement of 30 January 2006, Official Report, column 21, on health and social care services, which programmes have been financed by the 2 per cent. of the health care budget devoted to health prevention; and what the total cost of each programme is. [48458]

Caroline Flint: The 2 per cent. figure is based on data compiled using the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Developments (OECD) framework for health accounts as set out in A System of Health Accounts, OECD, 2002", available on-line from the OECD's website at,2340,en_2649_201185_2742536_l_l_l_l,00.html, which also shows how expenditure for prevention and public health services has been classified.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the members of the citizens' panel who worked with her Department throughout the development of the White Paper on Health and Social Care Services were selected. [51332]

Mr. Byrne: The citizens' panel was recruited using standard market research methods. The panel is broadly representative of the adult population in terms of age, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic groups, and made up of people who are high users of health and/or social care services.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the introduction of the single assessment of health and social care needs proposed in the Health and Social Care White Paper will differ from the single assessment process that is already in place. [51337]

Mr. Byrne: Work to develop a common assessment framework is at an early stage. However, we envisage building on the existing single assessment process for older people to develop an assessment framework that would be applicable to adults more generally.

Health Budget

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer to the Health Committee by Mr. Richard Douglas of 6 December 2005, HC (2005–06) 736-i, on public expenditure on health and personal social services, question 292, what the costing is for the 18-week waiting time target. [39399]

Mr. Byrne: The estimated cost of delivering the 18-week waiting target made at the 2004 Spending Review is shown in the following table. Costs beyond 2007–08 will form part of the Comprehensive Spending Review 2007.
£ million

Policy initiative2006–072007–08
Reducing waiting times and new models of care1,0001,900
Access diagnostics400800

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Health Issues (Wales)

Mr. Paul Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements she has for regular meetings with the Health Minister in the National Assembly for Wales to discuss health issues and share best practice. [44488]

Mr. Byrne: The Secretary of State and the Department are in regular correspondence with the Welsh Assembly. There is no established arrangement for regular meetings between the Secretary of State and the Welsh Health Minister.

Health Reorganisation

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate has been made of the potential savings arising from merging (a) ambulance trusts, (b) strategic health authorities and (c) primary care trusts in East Anglia. [50696]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Strategic health authorities (SHAs) have confirmed that they will each make reconfiguration savings in SHAs and primary care trusts (PCTs) to total £250 million nationally to be re-invested in front line services locally.

Consultations on boundary changes to SHAs and PCTs started on 14 December 2005 and will continue for a period of 14 weeks, until 22 March. No decisions on reconfiguration will be taken until these local consultations have been completed and their outcomes considered by Secretary of State. Until any boundary changes are agreed, it is not possible to calculate the savings for any specific area.

Savings from the reconfiguration of ambulance services will be re-invested in the ambulance services locally and are additional to the national £250 million target.

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will take steps to ensure that no jobs are lost at the headquarters of the Morecambe Bay primary care trust as a result of the proposed reorganisation. [50814]

Mr. Byrne: The implications for staff will become clearer once the current consultation has closed on 22 March. Only then will final decisions on configuration be taken.

Once the consultations have been concluded local organisations will have a clearer idea of the implications for staff, and will begin consultations with trade unions.

A human resource framework has been developed to support staff through these changes.

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