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Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which NHS organisations did not achieve their cash releasing efficiency savings targets in 2005-06; and by what margin in each case. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what level of planned savings each (a) primary care trust and (b) NHS trust within the Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Strategic Health Authority has to make as part of the operating framework requirements laid down by that strategic health authority; and what percentage that figure represents of the turnover of the trust in each case. 
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health why her Department's Autumn Performance Report 2005 (Cm 6704) states that 70 per cent. of planned procedures now take place as day cases (p. 16), when the data placed in the Library relating to the answer of 17 May 2006, Official Report, column 1117W, on operations, implies that the proportion of procedures performed as day cases has been at 50 per cent. since 2002-03. 
Andy Burnham: The data from the Departments Autumn Performance Report 2005 are for elective activity, which includes waiting list, booked and planned admissions. The data in the answer of 17 May include all elective and non-elective operations including emergency admissions, which reduces the day case rate.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the process for overview and scrutiny committee reports to the Department of Health; what action she takes in the light of such a report; and what powers she has to order an independent inquiry into the proposals that (a) a strategic health authority, (b) a primary care and (c) an NHS trust including foundation trusts produce. 
Andy Burnham: The Local Authority (Overview and Scrutiny of Health Scrutiny Functions) Regulations 2002 provide for an overview and scrutiny committee to refer a case to the Secretary of State where the committee considers that consultation has been inadequate or the proposal is not in the interests of the health service in its area. The Secretary of State will consider the referral alongside information provided by the local national health service and departmental officials. The Secretary of State may ask for independent advice on the referral, which may be from the independent reconfiguration panel or a different source. Where the proposal relates to an NHS foundation trust, the overview and scrutiny committee refers the case to Monitor, who may also seek independent advice.
Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the two new primary care trusts to be introduced to cover Hertfordshire will (a) be run by separate management teams and (b) be headed by separately appointed chairmen and chief executives; and if she will make a statement. 
Andy Burnham [holding answer 16 June 2006]: Currently, the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Strategic Health Authority (SHA), which will form part of the new East of England SHA with effect from 1 July, is in discussions with stakeholders, including all local Members of Parliament, about shared management options for the two new primary care trusts (PCTs) in Hertfordshire.
Caroline Flint: This is a local matter. However, the Thames Valley Strategic Health Authority (SHA) has advised that a final decision on the location of the office for the new SHA for South Central has not yet been made. On 1 July, the South Central SHA will continue to operate from three existing offices in Southampton, Winchester and Oxford.
Andy Burnham: Velcade was granted a European Union-wide marketing authorisation in April 2004. The current licensed indications are mono-therapy for the treatment of progressive multiple myeloma in patients who have received at least one prior therapy and who have already undergone or are unsuitable for bone marrow transplantation.
Preparatory work on the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) appraisal of Velcade has commenced and I understand that NICE will publish a timescale for completion of this work in due course.
In 1999, the Department issued Health Service Circular 1999/176, which asks national health service bodies to continue with local arrangements for the managed introduction of new technologies where guidance from NICE has not yet been issued. These arrangements should include an assessment of the available evidence. There is no bar on clinicians prescribing drugs that have not yet been appraised by NICE.
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions her Department has had with (a) the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and (b) the Department for Communities and Local Government on (i) the planning process for, (ii) the economic impact of and (iii) the social impact of new casinos. 
Mr. Caborn: My Department has worked very closely with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and now the Department for Communities and Local Government in respect of a range of issues concerning the new casinos permitted under the Gambling Act 2005. This includes, for example, the production of the Casinos: National Policy Statement (December 2004) which addresses planning, regeneration and social issues and the amendments to the Use Classes Order to make casinos a sui generic use, which was brought into effect at the beginning of April 2006.
Mr. Lammy: Given the Commonwealth Institute's unique role as an international and inter-governmental organisation whose future is of concern to all 53 Commonwealth countries, Government are considering whether special measures are appropriate in relation to the Commonwealth Institute building. Discussions are continuing across Government and it would be inappropriate for me to comment further at this stage.
Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she will answer the letter of 26 April from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. L. Bosch. 
Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will obtain a reply on behalf of the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton to the letter of 9 May to the Chief Executive of Television Licensing with regard to Mr. P. Hartley. 
Mr. Woodward: TV Licensing operates as agent for the BBC, which as television licensing authority has responsibility for administering and enforcing the licensing system. I have therefore asked the BBCs Head of Revenue Management to look into this matter for my right hon. Friend.
Mr. Woodward: With the availability of audio-description services, digital technology can greatly enhance the enjoyment of television by blind and partially sighted people. But we are aware that some of them might need extra help in selecting, installing and using the digital equipment. This is why the Government have announced assistance schemes for people aged 75 and over, people in receipt of disability living allowance or attendance allowance, and the people registered as blind. I can confirm that people who are registered as partially sighted will also be eligible for the schemes. I refer the hon. Member to the answer of 14 March 2006, Official Report, column 2101W, for more information on the schemes.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps have been taken to ensure inclusion of blind and partially sighted people in progress towards digital switchover. 
[holding answer 13 June 2006]: With the availability of audio-description services, digital technology can greatly enhance the enjoyment of television by blind and partially sighted people. But we are aware that some of them might need extra help in selecting, installing and using the digital equipment. This is why the Government have announced assistance schemes for people aged 75 and over, people in receipt of disability living allowance or attendance allowance, and the people registered as blind. I can confirm that people who are registered as partially sighted will also be eligible for the schemes. I refer the hon. Member to
the answer of 14 March 2006, Official Report, column 2101W, for more information on the schemes.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will increase audio description targets to at least 20 per cent. to ensure greater inclusion of blind and partially sighted people in the digital switchover. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what funding the Government are providing to local authorities to cover the (a) implementation costs and (b) ongoing costs associated with the Gambling Act 2005; and whether the New Burdens principle applies. 
Mr. Caborn: The Spending Review 2002 included provision for a number of new burdens on local authorities during the spending review period, including the set up costs of the licensing scheme to be established under the Gambling Act 2005. The funding was included within general grant. This is unhypothecated provision and local authorities are responsible for decisions on the use of that funding.
The net additional cost to local authorities of the ongoing costs associated with the Gambling Act 2005 will be met from the fee arrangements. The Department will consult fully on the fees that local authorities may charge with a view to these fully meeting their efficient costs.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many libraries have (a) closed, (b) been scheduled for closure and (c) opened in each local authority in each of the last five years for which figures are available. 
Mr. Lammy: The table shows the change in the number of static public libraries in England, grouped into bands by opening hours, over the last five years and, for context, the comparable figures for 1997-98. The same information for each of the 149 library authorities in England can be found in the Public Library Statistics published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. Copies are held in the House of Commons Library.
|Static libraries in England|
|Hours open per week|
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