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Mr. Watson [holding answer 20 March 2006]: The institution of a Veterans Day was announced by my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on 13 February 2006 in a speech he made at the Royal United Services Institute. The then Minister for Veterans wrote to hon. Members on 23 February to advise them that Veterans Day would be on 27 June each year.
Last years Veterans Awareness Week, which culminated in the memorable celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, gave us all a chance to pay tribute to those veterans who fought in the service of their country and to remember their immense sacrifice and the debt that we continue to owe to them.
This year the day will focus on veterans of all ages and provide the opportunity to celebrate and raise public awareness of their diversity, achievements and the contribution they have made, and continue to make, to the nation. It will also be an opportunity to recognise the service given by our current armed forces who will become tomorrows veterans.
We are encouraging organisations throughout the UK to support Veterans Day through their own events, and we are targeting school children, in particular those in the 9-11 age bracket who are currently learning about World War II, through an art competition.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much her Department has given to Allergy UK in each of the last three years; for what purposes; what plans she has to give further assistance; what recent discussions (a) Ministers and (b) officials have had with Allergy UK; when (i) Ministers and (ii) officials have attended a meeting of Allergy UK in each of the last three years; when her Department has (A) distributed copies of the Allergy UK Annual Report and (B) made reference to Allergy UK in Department of Health materials; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Allergy UK, in common with other national voluntary organisations working in the health and social care fields, is eligible to apply for funding under the Department's Section 64 general scheme of grants.
In 2002, Allergy UK was awarded a grant of £112,800 over a three-year period to support their network allergy project. The aim of this project was to support the increased involvement of patients, including those from minority ethnic and other hard to reach groups, in the development of local allergy services.
A further project, Support Contacts, has been awarded funding of £117,000 over a three-year period from 2004-05. The grant is supporting a national network of people with allergies who can offer support and advice to others affected by their own particular condition.
Funding for Section 64 grants is limited though the Department continues to welcome innovative proposals that are of national significance, complement statutory services, and help secure and promote high-quality health and social care in England.
No invitations have been received by Ministers or officials to attend meetings of Allergy UK. As part of the ongoing review into allergy services, officials met with Allergy UK in November 2005. The final report of the review to Ministers will include evidence provided by Allergy UK.
All departmental publications, leaflets and other sources of information are published on the internet, either on the Department's website itself (www.dh.gov.uk), other departmental sites, or partner websites. Contributions by external organisations to these publications are acknowledged within their content.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) pursuant to the document Tackling hospital waiting: the 18 week patient pathway, when she expects the action plan to cut waiting times for audiology to be published; 
(3) pursuant to the document Tackling hospital waiting: the 18 week patient pathway, what measures her Department will put in place to ensure that direct access referrals for audiology are not re-routed to ear, nose and throat consultants. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department does not collect waiting time data for hearing aid services. However, since January 2006 we have been collecting waiting time and activity data for 15 diagnostic tests/procedures, including pure tone audiometry.
As stated in the publication Tackling hospital waiting: the 18 week patient pathway-an implementation framework directly accessed audiology including adult hearing services are outside the scope of the 18 week patient pathway. However, a separate action plan is currently under consideration to improve access to those services outside the 18 week programme. The intention is to develop and take the work forward in partnership with stakeholders.
The Department estimates that 80 per cent. of referrals to adult hearing services from general practitioners are direct to audiology departments. We acknowledge the risk that there may be pressure to redirect these existing direct referrals to ear, nose and throat consultants in secondary care, as this way patients would be covered by the 18 weeks target. The measures that are being taken to address this risk are detailed on page 31 of the publication 18 Week Patient Pathway: Delivery Resource Pack, which is available in the Library and on the Departments website at:
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what treatments are (a) subject and (b) not subject to the 18 week Patient Pathway Target; and for what reasons those in the latter group are not included in each case. 
Andy Burnham: The principles and definitions underpinning the delivery of the 18 week Patient Pathway were published on 10 May 2006 in annex A of the publication Tackling hospital waiting: the 18 week patient pathway-an implementation framework, which is available in the Library and on the Departments website at:
the start of the first treatment that is intended to manage a persons disease, condition or injury.
Not all treatments available would be appropriate as a first intervention and it will vary from patient to patient, so it is not possible to provide a list of treatments that are either included or excluded from the target.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what meetings (a) she and (b) Ministers in her Department have held with directors and senior executives of (i) Capita Group plc and (ii) its subsidiaries since 1 January 2004; and whether (A) Capita Group plc and (B) its subsidiaries have provided input (1) in writing and (2) in person to policy discussions in her Department since 1 January 2004. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The former Minister, Liam Byrne, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Care Services, met with John Tizard of Capita plc on 16 January 2006. Neither the Secretary of State nor the rest of her ministerial team have met with directors and senior executives of Capita plc or its subsidiaries since 1 January 2004.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what proportion of (a) GPs and (b) GP practices have (i) registered to use and (ii) indicated an interest in using the newchoose and book system for hospital appointments from (A) within and (B) outside the pilot areas. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 24 April 2006]: As at 15 May 2006, 35,577 (97 per cent.) of general practitioners (GPs) had registered to use the choose and book service and been issued with chip and pin style smartcards to enable them to do so.
As at 17 May 2006, over 344,000 referrals had been made through the choose and book service. These bookings come from 300 of the 303 primary care trusts (PCTs) in England, which demonstrates a significantly larger usage of the system than the six PCTs that were early adopters or pilots of choose and book.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people received cognitive behavioural therapy through the national health service in the last period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what proportion of (a) staff and (b) new staff employed in (i) her Department and (ii) each of the agencies for which she has responsibility were registered as disabled in each of the last three years for which data are available. 
|Staff recorded as disabled, 2004 to 2006|
|1 April 2004||1 April 2005||1 April 2006|
|Disabled||Percent of disabled ( 1)||Disabled||Percent of disabled ( 1)||Disabled||Percent of disabled ( 1)|
|New staff employed; registered as disabled, 2003-04 to 2005-06|
|Disabled||Percent of disabled||Disabled||Percent of disabled||Disabled||Percent of disabled|
| Notes: (1). Proportions are based on staff whose disability status is known; unknown values are excluded.|
|Number of individuals|
The National Treatment Agency introduced a revised and more accurate methodology for counting the numbers in treatment in October 2004. Figures are not available for the years 1999-2000, 2000-01, 2001-02 and 2002-03 although the potential for providing estimates based on data collected using the earlier methodology is being explored.
Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) hospital doctors, (b) nurses, (c) general practitioners and (d) other health service staff were employed in Northamptonshire in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2005. 
|National health service hospital and community health services: NHS staff employed in the Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland strategic health authority (SHA) area by specified staff groups as at 30 September each specified year|
|(1) Excludes hospital medical practitioners and hospital medical clinical assistants, most of whom are general practitioners (GPs) working part time in hospitals|
(2) General medical practitioners, excluding retainers and registrars, includes contracted GPs, GMS others and PMS others. Prior to September 2004 this group included GMS unrestricted Principals, PMS contracted GPs, PMS salaried GPs, restricted principals, assistants, salaried doctors (Para 52 SFA), PMS others, flexible career scheme GPs and GP returners.
Data as at 30 September each year except GP and practice nurse data as at 1 October 1997
The Information Centre for health and social care general and personal medical services statistics
The Information Centre for health and social care medical and dental workforce statistics
The Information Centre for health and social care non-medical workforce census
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