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Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether she has met (a) Sir Christopher Evans and (b) representatives of Merlin Biosciences Ltd. on official business in the past 12 months; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department has a lung cancer and mesothelioma advisory group which is chaired by the national cancer director. This group has established a mesothelioma working group to ensure that the needs of mesothelioma patients and the services they require are given due consideration.
The British Thoracic Society has published guidance entitled Statement on malignant mesothelioma in the United Kingdom" (Thorax (2001), 56; 250265). There is insufficient evidence at this time for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to be asked to produce evidence-based clinical guidelines on mesothelioma.
However, the advisory group and its associated mesothelioma working group are developing a framework to provide advice to strategic health authorities, cancer networks, primary care trusts and national health service trusts in England on how best to organise services for mesothelioma patients in order to improve standards of care to a uniformly high level across the country.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 23 January 2006, Official
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Report, column 1853W to the hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Drew), on midwifery vacancies, how the information was gathered; and whether NHS trusts which fail to respond to surveys are recorded as having no vacancies. 
Mr. Byrne: The data are collected by national health service trusts on 31 March each year, on the number of vacancies that trusts are actively trying to fill that have lasted three months or more (full time equivalents).
The 2005 vacancy survey did not receive a valid return from one trust and it has been excluded from all applicable vacancy totals and calculations. This information is highlighted in the release notes of the vacancy survey.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The information available is shown in the following tables. Information on emergency hormonal contraception supplied under a patient group direction (PGD), by school nurses and pharmacists is not held centrally.
Information for St. Albans and Harpenden Primary Care Trust (PCT) is not available separately. Family planning clinic services for that PCT are provided by West Hertfordshire Hospitals national health service trust, which provides services also for Dacorum PCT and Hertsmere PCT.
|200102 (Fourth quarter only)||184|
|200506 (up to third quarter only)||509|
Mr. Vaizey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions her Department has had with the National Physical Laboratory on the funding of radiotherapy calibrations; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department has been discussing the transitional arrangements with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) following the withdrawal of the DTI subsidy for the radiotherapy calibration services. The withdrawal of the subsidy means that health users will pay for the services they require in the same way as other users of the measurement services.
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 28 March 2006]: Following devolution, responsibility for the policy on handling complaints about the National health service in Scotland is the responsibility of the Scottish Executive Health Department.
With regard to the NHS in England, NHS Complaints ReformMaking Things Right", published on 28 March 2003, set out a programme to improve management of the whole complaints system, elements of which were included in the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003. Between 1 January 2003 and 31 March 2004, the Department undertook a public consultation on a set of draft regulations aimed at taking forward the proposals set out in Making Things Right" Following an approach from the solicitor to the Shipman Inquiry, Ministers decided on a phased implementation of the new framework to ensure that the findings of recent public inquiries were included in the longer-term development of a patient centred complaints procedure.
During 2004 and 2005, workshops were held with a range of key NHS stakeholders, patient oriented organisations, and front line NHS staff to consider what a patient centred complaints procedure might look like and how it would operate.
Our health, our care, our say", the White Paper published in January 2006, outlined the Government's commitment to develop by 2009 a comprehensive single complaints system across health and social care",
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that will focus on resolving complaints locally with a more personal and comprehensive approach to handling complaints".
The merger of the Healthcare Commission and Commission for Social Care Inspection, planned for 2008, provides an opportunity to review the current systems to deal with individual's feedback generally as well as complaints about the services they have received.
The individual voices for improvement (IVI) project has been set up to design and implement an approach to capture a holistic view of individual's experience of using services and promote the routine use of that experience to inform service improvement. The IVI project is supported by a policy forum, consisting of senior representatives from major stakeholders across health and social care, including the health service and local government ombudsmen and health and social care regulators.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The end-of-year financial position for national health service trusts, primary care trusts and strategic health authorities for the years 200102 to 200405 is available in the Library.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the financial position is of each (a) primary care trust and (b) NHS hospital trust in Suffolk for 200506; and what financial penalty will be incurred as a result of a deficit. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The 200506 month six forecast outturn position for individual national health service organisations (strategic health authorities (SHA), primary care trusts and NHS trusts) is available on the Department's website at:
Any net overspending by the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire SHA at the end of 200506 will be deducted from the resources available to them in 200607. This is in line with Government resource accounting and budgeting rules on the carry forward of over and under spending. In addition, the net overspend for the SHA will be subject to a penalty of 10 per cent., as part of the scheme developed by the NHS bank to incentivise sound financial management. The SHA has discretion in how the carry forward and penalty are applied to individual organisations.
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