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Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many multiple sclerosis patients have commenced beta interferon and glatiramer treatment in the West Lancashire area in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Byrne: There have been no prescriptions for either of these preparations during the period March 2001 to February 2006 (the most recent data available) by prescribers in West Lancashire Primary Care Trust.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the (a) mental health and (b) NHS establishments she has visited in the last six months; and on what days she visited them. 
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the policy of NHS Direct is on confidentiality in cases where a caller discloses information that may suggest that a crime has been committed. 
Mr. Byrne: NHS Direct considers any such instances on a case-by-case basis, in line with the principles of the Caldicott Committee report on the review of patient identifiable information 1997 and Confidentiality: NHS Code of Practice 2003.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what initial estimate was made of the cost to the NHS of (a) the new contract for consultants, (b) the new contract for GPs and (c) the Agenda for Change reforms in (i) 200506 and (ii) 200607; and what her latest estimate is of the costs in each case. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 30 March 2006]: The consultant contract was a three-year deal. It was costed on a methodology agreed with the British Medical Association. On that basis, the estimated cost of the contract (and the funding provided) was £133 million in 200304 rising to £250 million in 200506. In late 2004, we adjusted the tariff for 200506 by £150 million in response to suggestions from the service that there was a further cost pressure. However, our national survey, published in February 2005 and based on returns from 95 per cent. of trusts on the position as at 29 October 2004, indicated that the actual additional cost to the service was around £90 million.
The new contract for general practitioners was backed by a guaranteed 36 per cent. increase in resources in England, rising from £5 billion in 200203 to £6.8 billion in 200506. The overall increase in resources is now forecast to be more than 40 per cent. for the three-year period, equating to spend on primary medical care services of around £7.6 billion in 200506. For 200607, the equivalent forecast cost is £7.9 billion.
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The agreed funding envelope for agenda for change in 200506 and 200607 was £950 million and £1.4 billion respectively. It is estimated that in the first 12 months direct earnings costs exceeded those originally estimated by 0.5 per cent. of the agenda for change pay bill, or around £120 million in cash terms. In the same period, it is estimated that the indirect earnings costs of replacing additional hours and leave arising from agenda for change exceeded those originally estimated by some £100 million.
John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what account is taken of the variation of fixed capital costs in the formulae for funding NHS hospital trusts through payment by results. 
Mr. Byrne: The national tariff is currently based on average reference costs, which are calculated from individual returns from every national health service trust, NHS foundation trust and primary care trust which provides services. NHS reference costs are based on a full absorption methodology and therefore include cost of capital. In addition, the annual tariff uplift includes an assessment of the increase in statutory capital charges payable and charges payable on new private finance initiative investments.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the fifth report of session 200506 from the Constitutional Affairs Select Committee on Compensation culture: NHS Redress Bill, what the basis is for her Department's view that only genuine cases will be eligible for the redress scheme and that the vast majority of opportunistic claims will be easily rejected. 
The scheme to be established under the powers in the Bill will not create any new legal rights; the scheme only provides a basis for settling claims where existing qualifying liabilities arise. It is a way for individuals who have low monetary value claims to seek redress without having to go to court. Under the scheme, the same tests for negligence will be applied to cases as are applied under current tort law.
If patients do not wish to use the NHS redress scheme or if an offer is not made, or is rejected, their right to pursue a claim through the courts will remain in being, unaffected by the scheme.
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Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the Department of Health Winter Report 200506, page 18, how many critically ill patients have been transferred between hospitals for non-clinical reasons in each year since 2000. 
Mr. Byrne: Statistics on the total number of critically ill patients transferred for non-clinical reasons are not collected centrally. However, self-reported management information received by the Department does indicate that the number of transfers was significantly lower in 2005 than in 2000 and critical care bed capacity has increased significantly since 2000.
John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which hospitals she identified before the introduction of payment by results as being at risk of deficits as a result of its introduction; and what percentage deficit she expected for each one. 
Mr. Byrne: The movement from local prices to a national tariff means that the income of most national health service providers will change. We undertook an exercise to estimate changes in income for organisations to inform the transition from local prices to national tariff. Transitional arrangements channel extra funds into organisations which lose income under payment by results, to give them time to adjust to the new arrangements.
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