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Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what proportion of general practitioners use the national programme for IT in the NHS; and what the target is for usage by the end of (a) 2006 and (b) 2007. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 8 February 2006]: Every general practitioner (GP) practice in England already uses one or more of the systems and services being delivered through the national programme for information technology (NPfTT). The rapidly accelerating pace of deployments in recent months means that:
The project to provide IT systems to support the quality and outcomes frameworkthe quality management and analysis system (QMAS)was implemented as early as 2005. 100 percent, of GP practices use QMAS and receive their payments through this system.
Across the national health service, there are now more than 180,000 registered users of the NHS care records servicethe core element of the programmeincluding 30,000 GPs. Around 300,000400,000 users will be registered by the end of 2006.
By the end of January, over 10,000 GP practice sites had been connected to the new fast and reliable broadband network. At the present rate of connections, 100 percent, of GP practices should be connected by the end of 2006.
As at 6 February, over 7,000 practices had the technical capacity to access choose and book and over 3,000 were already live on the system. Roll out will accelerate through 200607 so that 90 percent., of all GP referrals will be through choose and book by March 2007.
The electronic prescription service (EPS) is now in use at over 150 GP practices and a further 500 practices have had their system software upgraded to comply with the requirement of the system. The target is for full implementation of the prescription service by 2007.
Mr. Byrne: Information is not collected in the requested format. Copies of the statistical bulletin, Personal Social Services expenditure and unit costs: England: 200405", which provides a summary has been placed in the Library.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 20 January 2006, Official Report, column 1670W, on intensive care, what information is held by the National Intensive Care Bed Information Service on whether Burnley general hospital has facilities to support general intensive and high dependency care; and whether the hospital can provide specialist critical care to treat (a) serious burn injuries, (b) neurological conditions, (c) serious head injuries, (d) adverse reactions to drugs and poisons, (e) renal failure, (f) liver failure and (g) spinal injuries. 
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the pension rights will be of staff in the Leicestershire Partnership Learning Disability Service if the proposed integration of their service with the local authority occurs and they are transferred from the NHS to the local authority; 
Mr. Byrne: Two complementary formal consultations on the proposed service models for the integrated learning disability service and its human resources implications took place between 26 August 2005 and 1 December 2005. The two consultations concerned the proposals for integrated services in Leicester city council and Leicestershire and Rutland county council. The consultations were jointly planned and carried out by the Leicester city council, Leicestershire and Rutland county councils, Leicestershire Partnership national health service trust and Melton, Rutland and Harborough primary care trust.
The NHS Direct web site contains specific information on lupus. The musculoskeletal framework, a best practice guide to supporting people with
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musculoskeletal conditions, will be published later this year. This will do much to raise awareness among health professionals and the general public for all musculoskeletal conditions, including lupus.
It is for trusts to decide how many nurses including palliative care nurse specialists, are employed in each specialty within hospitals. It is for local cancer networks working in partnership with primary care trusts,
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strategic health authorities and their work force development directorates to assess, plan and review their work force needs for all staff linked to the delivery of local and national priorities for cancer.
Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting times for general practitioner referrals to the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital were (a) at the latest date for which figures are available and (b) in 1997. 
Mr. Byrne: The information is not available in the requested format. However, information relating to out-patient waiting times at the Central Manchester and Manchester Children's University Hospitals National Health Service Trust is shown in the table.
|Effective length of wait from receipt of GP written referral request to first Out-patient attendance (weeks)|
|Quarter ended||Code||Specialty name||0 to4||4 to 13||13 to 17||17 to 21||21 plus||Median wait (weeks)|
|September 2005||999||All specialties||4,232||10,906||1,148||1||0||7.2|
|Effective length of wait from receipt of GP written referral request to first out-patient attendance (weeks)|
|Quarter ended||Code||Specialty name||0 to4||4 to 13||13 to 26||26 plus||Median wait (weeks)|
|March 1997||999||All specialties||6,650||7,209||2,572||515||6.3|
|September 1997||999||All specialties||4,798||7,602||2,932||507||7.7|
Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time was for tertiary referrals at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital in the last period for which figures are available. 
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