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Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received from the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridge strategic health authority on the effect of the formula governing revenue allocations on primary care trusts in Suffolk. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
According to the Department's records, there have been no representations from Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridge strategic health
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authority on the weighted-capitation formula used to determine each primary care trust's target share of available resources.
Mr. Bacon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether (a) her Department, (b) Connecting for Health and (c) other NHS bodies have unfulfilled contractual minimum volume order obligations to local service providers. 
Mr. Byrne: The contracted minimum commitments to local service providers under the national programme for information technology in the national health service are expressed in terms of revenues rather than volumes. The minimum revenue commitments are spread across the 10-year term of the contracts, and, in the third year of a 10-year programme, have inevitably not yet been met.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she plans to initiate the review of the funding arrangements for NHS walk-in centres described in paragraph 3.34, of the White Paper, Our Health, Our Care, Our Say". 
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with what frequency she expects directors of public health and directors of adult social services to undertake joint reviews of the health and well-being status and needs of their populations as described in paragraph 2.60 of the White Paper, Our Health, Our Care, Our Say". 
Mr. Byrne: Issues relating to joint reviews of the health and well-being status and needs of the population which will be undertaken by directors of public health and directors of adult social services, are being considered and will be addressed in further guidance to be issued during 2006.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how she plans to redefine and strengthen the role of directors of public health as proposed in paragraph 2.58 of the White Paper, Our Health, Our Care, Our Say, how she expects the total number of directors of public health to change following the current process of reorganising primary care trusts; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: The redefinition of the director of public health role refers to the greater emphasis on close working with local authorities (LAs) and to the expectation of an increase in joint appointments of directors of public health, between primary care trusts (PCTs) and LAs.
The role of the director of public health will be strengthened by a responsibility to bring public health resources to bear across the public sector to promote health and wellbeing for the whole community, ensuring a clear and strong focus on tackling health in-equalities. Directors of public health will be required to provide reports directly to local authority overview and scrutiny
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committees on wellbeing, which will strengthen the director of public health role with the LA. In addition, the director of public health will work closely with the new director of adult social services and they will, working with directors of children's services, undertake regular joint reviews of the health and wellbeing status and needs of their populations.
Guidance on Commissioning a Patient-led NHS" issued by the Department of Health on 28 July 2005, clarifies that the changes in PCT functions may or may not involve mergers and reconfiguration. Where they involve mergers, with a consequent reduction in the numbers of PCTs, this will also result in a reduction in the numbers of directors of public health.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she plans to introduce a social marketing strategy as described in paragraph 2.39, of the White Paper, Our Health, Our Care, Our Say, what she plans to include in the strategy; what discussions she has had with relevant parties regarding its introduction; when these discussions took place; what resources she plans to commit from central budgets to support the strategy; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: The Choosing Health" White Paper included a commitment to undertake an independent national social marketing review. This review, which began in April 2005, has been undertaken by the National Consumer Council on the Department's behalf and is on track to deliver its recommendations for spring 2006. The review has included contributions arising from discussions with other government departments and other key stakeholders such as non-Governmental organisations and business. The report will make recommendations on how to deliver effective interventions and what level of resource will be required to achieve key Departmental and Government targets.
A social marketing development unit within health improvement directorate was set up in October 2005 to lead the systematic application of marketing concepts and techniques to achieve behavioural health goals across the Department. A review of current work practice has been completed which recommends the need for an explicit prioritisation of effort and budgets across the key public health priority areas and the first meeting of a cross Departmental group is planned for early in 2006.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she plans to launch a national campaign to increase awareness and understanding of direct payments as described in paragraph 4.28 of the White Paper, Our Health, Our Care, Our Say, what resources she plans to commit in support of the campaign; and if she will make a statement. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases over six months old are awaiting determination by the Healthcare Commission; what percentage this represents of the
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total number of cases received by the Healthcare Commission; whether the Healthcare Commission has a target timescale for resolving cases; and if she will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: The Healthcare Commission took on responsibility for the independent review stage of complaints about the national health service at the end of July 2004. The chairman of the Healthcare Commission has confirmed that between then and the end of January 2006, the Healthcare Commission received 11,935 requests for independent review. This compares with around 3,000 cases a year under the previous NHS system. By the end of January, the Healthcare Commission had closed 6,940 of the cases it had received. Of the remaining 4,995 cases, 2,058 were over six months old. This represented approximately 17 per cent., of the total number of cases received.
The Healthcare Commission originally intended to resolve cases within six months. From 1 April 2006, it will aim to resolve 65 per cent., of its cases within eight weeks of receipt and 95 per cent. within a year. The chairman of the Healthcare Commission has said that the new targets better reflect the complexity of the cases for independent review.
Mrs. Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the extent to which the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance on the use of Herceptin to treat metastatic breast cancer has been implemented across the NHS in England. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: In June 2004, the National Cancer Director published a report on variations in usage of cancer drugs approved by the then National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
This report showed considerable variation in usage of drugs, including Herceptin, between cancer networks and sets out a number of recommendations to address this. One of the recommendations was to ensure that action plans were developed to respond to the report findings.
The action plans were encouraging, confirming that the profile of implementing NICE appraisals has increased and that where problems have been identified they have been, or are in the process of being, addressed.
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