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Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what hospital treatment protocols there are for meningitis; what such protocols have been issued in the last five years; who is responsible for issuing guidance to hospitals about the best and latest protocols for the treatment of meningitis; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: There are a number of authorities responsible for the issue of guidance to hospitals on the treatment of meningitis. Like all guidance based advice it should be provided using the most up to date evidence. The Department endorses the guidance produced by the meningitis research foundation (MRF) and has funded the MRF to produce a junior doctor handbook.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the ability of hospitals in England to treat meningitis; and what steps her Department is taking to improve the treatment of meningitis in hospitals. 
Caroline Flint: The Department has funded research to carry out an audit of the hospital management of acute bacterial meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia. This work will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and guidance issued following its publication.
Caroline Flint: In 200506, there were no early day motions or adjournment debates on meningitis. In 200506, 15 parliamentary questions were answered that were in relation to meningitis. From August 2005, 67 cases were recorded on the Department's central correspondence system with a mention of meningitis in the reply.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Secretary of State for Health has accepted an invitation to officially open the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement in Coventry, at a date to be agreed by the Secretary of State's office and the organisation.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether private providers which carry out NHS work will be subject to the patient involvement schemes which operate in NHS organisations. 
Mr. Byrne: Strategic health authorities and primary care trusts are responsible for ensuring that section 11 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001the duty to involve and consult patients and the publics complied with when making arrangements for another organisation, person or people to provide services. This includes independent sector providers.
Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will take steps to revise the rules for appointments within health bodies to ensure (a) the process is transparent and (b) those appointed have (i) suitable skills and background experience and (ii) do not have a record of financial mismanagement. 
Candidates for appointment are measured against detailed appointment and person specifications and are required to declare any potential conflict of interest. These processes are designed to minimise the risk of those without the necessary skills and experience being appointed and to ensure financial probity.
The NHS Appointments Commission processes are required to meet the highest standards of openness, transparency and probity set by the commissioner for public appointments and are also subject to periodic audit by the commissioner.
The corrected national tariff has now been issued for the national health service to refine its planning for 200607. The methodology used for its calculation is set out in 'Implementing Payment By Results: Technical Guidance 200607: Executive Summary' published on 26 January 2006.
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the use of turnaround expertise from the private sector combined with the techniques we have used in the NHS to deliver on other targets such as waiting and accident and emergency. This includes the spread of best practice to all overspending organisations, not just those officially part of the turnaround process; and
changing the incentives, such as: increasing the emphasis in the ratings system on financial management, moving forward with the reform programme of payment by results, and practice based commissioning;
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to make an announcement on the approval of foundation status for the next tranche of NHS Trusts; what effects changes to NHS tariffs have had on the timing of the announcement; and if she will make a statement. 
Monitor has revised the authorisation dates for 24 wave two applicantsif successfulfrom 1 April and 1 July to 1 May (four mental health trusts), 1 June (six acute trusts) and 1 August (13 acute, and one mental health trust). All 24 trusts have previously received the support from the Secretary of State to go forward to Monitor and will be assessed against the criteria laid down in the Health and Social Care (Community Health Standards) Act 2003.
Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether provision exists for patients not able to receive timely treatment under the NHS and who paid the cost of their own treatment, to receive reimbursement of those costs. 
[holding answer 27 March 2006]: No. If a patient receives private treatment without prior authorisation from the appropriate commissioning authority, they will not be a national health service patient for the purposes of that treatment. The patient
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would be a private patient and therefore be responsible for meeting the cost of the treatment themselves. The powers of the Secretary of State underlying the NHS are in sections 1 to 5 of the NHS Act 1977 and are not such as to enable the Secretary of State, or those to whom her powers have been delegated, to reimburse charges a patient has incurred for private treatment they have themselves acquired.
There are powers under European law for NHS commissioners to authorise treatment overseas within the European Union in some circumstances. Prior authorisation before treatment is currently required. There is no right for NHS patients to be treated outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). All patients seeking treatment outside of the EEA must have prior authorisation from their primary care trust before travelling for treatment. The NHS will not reimburse the cost of any treatment outside of the EEA where prior approval was either not sort or granted.
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