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As a result of innovation, the majority of audiology and adult hearing services are accessed directly from primary care and are outside the scope of the 18 week pathway. Hearing and balance conditions that need to be referred to a medical consultant however will be subject to 18 weeks.
There is no intention to reconsider this principle. However, reducing the time that patients wait for directly accessed services is important and an action plan is being developed to improve access to audiology services outside the 18 week pathway.
Mr. Borrow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of hearing aid services in the Chorley and South Ribble Primary Care Trust area; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department policy on hearing aid services has focused on ensuring that the national health service provides modern digital hearing aids. Digital hearing aids have been available at Chorley Hospital since March 2004, with the majority of new patients being fitted within 13 weeks of referral to the audiology service.
Ms Hewitt: All primary care trusts (PCTs) have committed to putting in place the arrangements to support practice-based commissioning (PBC) by the end of December this year. The most recent data indicate that 27 per cent. of PCTs have already put these arrangements in place, and that 41 per cent. of practices have taken on PBC.
Caroline Flint: As part of the Governments drive to modernise and transform sexual health services in England we are developing a new campaign. This will focus on young men and women and we plan to launch it later this year.
Caroline Flint: Expenditure on sexual health campaigns including HIV public education, contraception awareness, prevention of sexually transmitted infections plus(1) helplines is shown in the table. Information is not available before 1985-86. This expenditure does not include local health promotion work undertaken at health authority/primary care trust level.
(1) Contract for the sexual health information line, formerly the National AIDS Helpline, is delivered as part of a contract which also includes Drinkline and Frank (substance misuse prevention).
|(1) Before 1996-97, expenditure also includes a contribution towards the overhead costs of the former Health Education Authority.|
Ms Rosie Winterton: The priorities and planning framework includes targets that by 2006, 80 per cent. of people with diabetes should be offered diabetic retinopathy screening rising to 100 per cent. by end of 2007.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department does not hold information on the number of general practitioners by constituency. However, in Bolton primary care trust there were 142 GPs in 2001, which increased by 20 per cent. to 171 in 2005.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The term patient's group can cover a variety of different organisations. These bodies can be funded in a number of ways, including public donations made to charitable organisations as well as grants given by national health service bodies or central Government.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Hospital cleanliness is measured annually as part of the patient environment action team (PEAT) assessment. The first inspections in 2000 found around one third of national health service trusts to have poor or unacceptable standards. Since then there has been a steady improvement and in 2004-05, fewer than 5 per cent. were classified as poor or unacceptable. The latest PEAT inspections have recently been completed, and the results will be published in due course. However the PEAT scores published in 2004 and 2005 show improved rates of cleanliness in the hospital sites across the strategic health authority areas in the West Midlands.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Average waiting times are not collected centrally. In the last quarter 99.7 per cent. of patients were treated for breast cancer within a month of diagnosis and 99 per cent. of patients were treated within two months of urgent referral by their general practitioner.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department does not collect average waiting times for breast cancer treatment. However, the latest data available for the York hospitals NHS trust show that in Quarter 4 2005-06 the trust achieved 100 per cent. of the two week out-patient wait for urgent referrals target and 100 per cent. of the maximum one month wait from diagnosis (decision to treat) to first definitive treatment target. The trust achieved 95.8 per cent. against the 62 day target for urgent general practitioner referral for suspected cancer to treatment for breast cancer in the same period.
Caroline Flint: Making decisions on local healthcare provision, including the closure of community or cottage hospitals, is a matter for primary care trusts and strategic health authorities, as they have responsibility for ensuring that services provided locally meet the needs of the populations that they serve.
Ms Rosie Winterton: In line with the implementation of the national service framework, mental health services in England are being modernised to improve access to effective treatment and care, reduce unfair variation, raise standards, increase patient choice and provide quicker and more convenient services.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department does not collect this information. The Higher Education Statistics Agency conducts a sample survey of graduates. Of those who responded for the year to 31 July 2004, 90 per cent. of nursing and midwifery graduates and 84 per cent. of physiotherapy graduates were employed in their chosen profession. The remainder were employed elsewhere, unemployed or did not answer the question.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much the national health service has given to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service to undertake abortions in each of the last five years for which figures are available, broken down by region; 
(3) how many early medical abortions were performed by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service at the request of the national health service in each of the last five years, broken down by (a) age of the woman, (b) gestation of the pregnancy and (c) region; 
(4) how many women were referred by national health service GPs to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service for an abortion in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and what the (a) age of the woman, (b) gestation of the pregnancy and (c) region of residence was in each case. 
Caroline Flint: I refer the hon. Member to the answer the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for public health gave to the hon. Member for Belfast, North (Mr. Dodds) on 18 March 2005, Official Report, column 522W, about the amount of national health service funding given to British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS).
The Department has received a couple of complaints during the last five years which were investigated. Information on complaints received by the NHS is not held centrally. Under the Care Standards Act 2000, BPAS is required to supply each patient with a written copy of its complaints procedure, fully investigate each complaint and maintain a detailed, written record of each complaint. BPAS is also required to send the Healthcare Commission a statement every year with a summary of the complaints received. In addition, the Healthcare Commission look at these records as part of a clinic inspection.
The information requested on the number of NHS funded early medical abortions performed by BPAS is shown in the table. Information is not held centrally on the number of women referred to BPAS by NHS general practitioners; the abortion notification form collects the names and addresses of the two registered medical practitioners who authorised the abortion under the Abortion Act.
|Total NHS funded medical abortions performed under nine weeks gestation by the BPAS, England, 2000-04|
|(1) Totals less than 10 (0-9 cases) are suppressed. This is in line with the Office for National Statistics guidance on the disclosure of abortion statistics, 2005.|
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