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Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 22 May 2006, Official Report, column 1416W, on the British embassy in Zimbabwe, where in Harare the new embassy will be located; what the timetable is for work on the new premises; what the total cost is forecast to be; what the total number of staff in the new premises is forecast to be; how many staff work in the existing embassy; what discussions she has had with the Government of Zimbabwe on the new embassy; and what plans she has for ministerial visits for the opening of the new embassy. 
Mr. Hoon: The new embassy in Zimbabwe will be located on a greenfield site in Mount Pleasant, a suburb six kilometres north of the centre of Harare. Construction should begin this year with a new embassy completed late 2008. We are unable to make public the cost of the project as to do so would prejudice our commercial interests in circumstances where the contracts have still to be tendered.
There are 110 staff, UK based and locally engaged, working in our existing embassy in Harare. This figure includes the staff of the Department of International Development-Zimbabwe who are co-located with the embassy. This number is unlikely to change on transfer to the new building. Our embassy in Harare has been in contact with Government of Zimbabwe about our plans and has obtained the necessary permission to build. There are no plans for Ministers to attend the opening of the new embassy.
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 13 June 2006]: Where there are problems with assimilation of staff onto agenda for change terms and conditions NHS Employers uses implementation teams, working in partnership with national unions represented on the NHS staff council, to provide the necessary support.
Ms Rosie Winterton:
We shall shortly be agreeing the basis for partnership between Staffordshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust and the new West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust. It is of course
paramount that the safety of the public is protected, and this must be the main consideration in going forward.
Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Staffordshire Ambulance Service will be merged into a West Midlands Ambulance Service within 24 months; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: As stated by the Minister of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Leigh (Andy Burnham), in his statement to the House on 16 May 2006, for now Staffordshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust will remain a separate trust, working in partnership with the new West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust, but will merge at a later date.
Andy Burnham: There have been two main investigators of cannabis based medicinal product and these are Dr. Zajicek and GW Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Zajicek published the results of his study in The Lancet in November 2003 (Cannabinoids for treatment of Spasticity and other symptoms related to multiple sclerosis (cannabis in multiple sclerosis (CAMS) study). The 3 year CAMS trial, involving more than 600 patients in the United Kingdom, has yielded no definitive verdict on whether the drug can ease the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. I am not aware of any other ongoing studies by Dr. Zajicek.
On 17 March 2006, GW Pharmaceuticals announced the preliminary results from a Phase III study of Sativex (cannabis based medicinal product) in the relief of spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). This study is a randomized, placebo controlled group study in 335 MS patients with spasticity. According to the GW website, this study is one of a number of Phase III studies which are currently taking place to support approval of Sativex across Europe in a range of targeted indications.
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the remit is of the consultant contract benefit realisation team; how many people are employed in the team; and when it was established. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The consultant contract benefit realisation team was established in March 2005 and ended on 31 May 2006. Their remit was to work with national health service trusts on a more proactive approach to job planning; to gather and share examples of good practice; and to make recommendations to the office of strategic health authorities. There were five people employed in the team for most of this period.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she will reply to the letter of 3 February from the hon. Member for Aylesbury to the former Minister of State the hon. Member for Liverpool, Wavertree (Jane Kennedy), on behalf of Mrs B. G. of Lacey Green, about prescription medicines. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: I refer the hon. Member to the technical note by HM Treasury that was placed in the Library on 2 March 2006, Official Report, columns 388-90W, following an oral statement in Parliament by the then Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
Pension liabilities are not estimated for individual departments, they are estimated for individual pension schemes, as shown in the breakdown of liabilities per pension scheme given in table one of the technical note.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the planned publication date is of each annual statistical publication to be produced by her Department in the next nine months; and if she will make a statement. 
The Department process for pre-announcing statistical publications is carried out in accordance with the National Statistics protocol for release practices. Month of publication is given six months ahead with exact date at least two weeks ahead.
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment her Department has made of the potential effects of the withdrawal of the bulk contract for the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, with particular reference to prescribing; and who will pay for the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin following the withdrawal of funds. 
Andy Burnham: A number of alternative sources of information and advice remain readily available to prescribers following the Departments decision not to renew its bulk contract for the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin. I understand that individuals and organisations can subscribe direct to the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin if they wish to do so.
Andy Burnham: The decision not to renew the Departments national contract for distribution of the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin was informed by our policy to devolve as much responsibility as possible to the national health service and to look very critically at central spending. It is our policy that central spending should be kept to an absolute minimum in order to maximise the resources available for the NHS to manage at the local level. The decision also took account of the availability of other sources of medicines information.
Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the impact on doctors of the decision by her Department to withdraw funding from the Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin; and if she will make a statement. 
Andy Burnham: A number of alternative sources of information and advice remain readily available to prescribers following the Departments decision not to renew its bulk contract for the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin. I understand that individuals and organisations can subscribe directly to the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin if they wish to do so.
Andy Burnham: The Department has taken the decision not to renew its contract for the central purchase and distribution of the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin. Future distribution arrangements are a matter for the publisher, Which? Limited, although officials have been discussing with them how the Department can best support this transition.
Andy Burnham: The estimated savings made by the national health service from the centralised process for generic medicines in 2005 obtained through the national contracts sourcing programme for generic pharmaceuticals are £51 million.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent estimate she has made of the savings which are to be made to the NHS through the optimal use of generic, rather than branded, medicines. 
Andy Burnham: Data from the prescription pricing division of the Business Services Authority (formerly known as the Prescription Pricing Authority) indicates that from January to March 2006 the estimated savings that could have been achieved through the compulsory generic dispensing of the top 40 (in terms of the amount of potential saving that could be achieved) proprietary drugs for which a generic alternative is available and where the proprietary drug is suitable for substitution, was £11.7 million.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Introduction of the new primary medical care contractual frameworks represents a fundamental change in the way in which contractors are incentivised to deliver patient care. The new arrangements were underpinned by a three-year deal, ending in 2005-06, which guaranteed a 36 per cent. increase in resources in England, rising from £5 billion in 2002-03 to £6.8 billion in 2005-06.
Evidence from primary care trust (PCT) expenditure returns show PCTs have also made available additional resources to secure the wider range of services and improvements in care to meet national and local priorities.
The increased investment is directly benefiting the vast majority of patients who are experiencing improvements not only in the range of services available locally but also improvements in the quality of clinical services they receive.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her answer of 15 May 2006, Official Report, column 756W, on prescription charges, in which languages HC1 forms are available; how much has been spent on advertising the availability of HC1 forms in each of the last five years; and how many people applied for a form in this period. 
Andy Burnham: The HC1 form is available in English in England. For those whose first language is not English a telephone translation service is provided via any of the telephone numbers in the publicity material. The cost of advertising the availability of form HC1 is not identified separately. It is included in the range of Help with Health Cost material produced. There is no record of the number of people who obtain from HC1. Forms may be ordered by individuals from Departments publications order line 08701 555 455. Forms are also ordered in bulk by national health service and other bodies for individuals to obtain from NHS practitioners, NHS hospitals, or Jobcentre Plus offices or citizens advice bureau. The numbers distributed in the past five years are shown in the table.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether (a) GPs and (b) private firms that win alternative provider of medical services contracts are required to disclose (i) how much money per patient they are earning, (ii) their quality framework score and (iii) their profit levels. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Individual general practitioners or providers of alternative provider medical services are not required to disclose to the Department the amount of money they receive per patient, or profit levels. Information about quality and outcomes framework scores for providers who participate in this scheme is published by the information centre for health and social care.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many young people are waiting to access child and adolescent mental health services, broken down by region; what the average waiting time to access child and adolescent mental health services was in the most recent year for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Not all the information requested is collated centrally. The most recent information is derived from provisional figures from the 2005 child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) mapping exercise. In November 2005, there were 26,207 cases waiting to be seen by specialist CAMHS in England, a reduction of 2,674 from the previous year.
In November 2005, 52 per cent. of new cases were seen by specialist CAMHS within four weeks, an additional 33 per cent. within 13 weeks, and a further 10 per cent. within 26 weeks. 5 per cent. of cases waited over 26 weeks to be seen by specialist CAMHS.
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