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25 Apr 2006 : Column 1075W—continued

Health Trainers

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. Burstow), 13 February 2006, Official Report, column 1767W, on health trainers, for what reasons this information is not collected centrally; whether health trainers form part of a staff group for the purposes of compiling the NHS workforce census; and what assessment she has made of the average pay of a health trainer in the 2005–06 financial year. [61317]

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Mr. Byrne: Health trainers will be collected in the September 2006 workforce census but not as a separately identifiable staff group.

Health trainer posts have been created very recently at a local level and their pay will have been evaluated or matched locally using the national health service job evaluation scheme. As such it is not possible to estimate the national average pay for health trainers in the current financial year.

Health Treatment Centres

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS staff are employed at each independent sector treatment centre; and what roles they perform. [61714]

Mr. Byrne: As of March 2006, 21.1 whole-time equivalent (WTE) staff are on secondment to independent sector treatment centre (ISTC) projects. This includes 13.1 WTE doctors and 8.0 WTE nurses. Staff working in ISTCs are shown in the following table:
National health service:
Locationdoctors seconded (WTE)nurses seconded (WTE)
North Bradford5.20

Home Treatment

Mr. Havard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the Health and Social Care White Paper, whether she plans to give further support to new technologies that treat patients at home and prevent hospitalisation. [50519]

Mr. Byrne: As a part of its prime role to deliver the national programme for information technology and to link this with the necessary improvements in clinical processes and services, the Department's NHS Connecting for Health agency is working with suppliers to encourage the development of relevant innovative information technology. It is also supporting the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's digital challenge for English local authorities by helping the national health service to work locally with the public and other agencies to develop joined-up approaches to supporting citizens to lead healthier lives in their local communities.

In addition, the Department is providing £80 million over the next 2 years for a preventative technology grant to support 160,000 older people stay in their own homes. The purpose of the grant is to initiate a change in the design and delivery of health, social care and housing services and prevention strategies to enhance and maintain the well-being and independence of individuals.

The white paper our health our care our say" commits us to undertake a large-scale pilot exploring the potentials of technology, over a number of sites covering a total of at least 1 million people. We anticipate the pilot sites will commence by the end of 2006.
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Hospitals (Brokerage)

Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which hospitals in England are in receipt of brokerage. [64329]

Jane Kennedy: Cash brokerage is managed by strategic health authorities across the national health service organisations for which they have responsibility. This information is not held centrally by the Department.

Identity Fraud

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what training the Department has provided for (a) front desk and (b) administrative staff in relation to identity fraud. [41412]

Mr. Byrne: Staff in the Department do not routinely deal with members of the public on a face-to-face basis and written and other communications from the public are only answered if they relate to health and social care policy or services.

Where specific inquiries are received relating to an individual's personal circumstances they are referred to the appropriate part of the national health service for answer.

Since personal information is not released to members of the public it has not been necessary to provide specific training in relation to identity fraud in this area.

Influenza Pandemic

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps her Department has taken to ensure that (a) primary care trusts, (b) local authorities and (c) NHS trusts in West Lancashire are prepared for an influenza pandemic. [64296]

Mr. Byrne: We expect all national health service organisations to have appropriate plans in place for a possible human influenza pandemic. Those plans should be developed in conjunction with partner agencies and regularly tested and updated. Operational guidance on planning for a pandemic was originally published in May 2005 and provides planning checklists for NHS organisations to inform and develop their plans. The Department continues to work with strategic health authorities to ensure that robust and resilient human influenza pandemic plans are in place across England and is currently reviewing operational approaches to the delivery of health care to ascertain whether further operational guidance may be helpful in support of local planning.

Information Sharing

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of information sharing on numbers of medical professionals being trained in European Union member states. [29502]

Mr. Byrne: The Department is a member of the European Union Commission high level group on the health services and medical care, which is discussing the available data and mobility of health professionals being trained in EU member states.
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Lancashire Ambulance NHS Trust

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients died in ambulances operated by the Lancashire Ambulance NHS Trust on its way to a hospital accident and emergency department in each year since 2000. [62818]

Mr. Byrne: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Local Improvement Finance Trusts

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what requirement there is on the part of a local improvement finance trust company to sign all leases before building commences. [61699]

Mr. Byrne: The duties of a local improvement finance trust (LIFT) are laid down in the contractual framework that is signed on the establishment of the company. This requires that all head leases between LIFT company and tenants are confirmed before financial close. Sub leases, are a matter for the head lease to determine.

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many Local Improvement Finance Trust projects have been built; and how many of them are being leased at capacity. [61728]

Mr. Byrne: There are 68 new Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) facilities open to patients, with one a week opening to the end of 2006. Information is not held centrally on the capacity of buildings leased as that is a commercial issue for each LIFT company.

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which strategic health authorities make it a policy that GPs are required to sign up to the terms of the lease to occupy local improvement finance trust premises before the full business case is approved. [61729]

Mr. Byrne: The business case approval process of the Department requires, prior to financial close, that primary care trusts demonstrate:

Strategic health authorities usually have a role as approvers of local improvement finance trust business cases. In undertaking this approval they will implement the approval policy listed.

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