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Andy Burnham: This Government introduced the carers grant in 1999 to support councils in providing breaks and other services for carers in England. The grant is worth £185 million in 2006-07 and will be worth £185 million in 2007-08. Councils can use their share of this money to support carers in a range of ways including the provision of short breaks or respite care.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the chief information officer (CIO) in each strategic health authority since 2002; and what the IT experience was of each CIO. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The use of study leave budget allocations is down to local discretion. There is no prescriptive guidance as to the content for which study leave budget allocations should be used. Its main function is to supplement the educational opportunities that are available through training programmes.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what provision her Department makes for tourist visitors in estimating likely numbers of patients served by NHS (a) hospital trusts and (b) strategic health authorities; and what advice her Department provides to strategic health authorities on allocating funding to hospitals with small local resident populations and high tourist visitor numbers. 
Andy Burnham [holding answer 19 June 2006]: The Department makes allocations to primary care trusts (PCTs) based on the needs of their relevant populations. PCTs agree service level agreements with national health service providers to ensure the necessary healthcare is available for their populations. If activity is carried out by a NHS provider outside these agreements, for example when an individual is on holiday, then the NHS provider is expected to invoice the individual's PCT for the cost of that activity. No allocations are made to cover the cost of this activity as the cost is already funded from within PCTs' allocations.
For non-United Kingdom (UK) tourist visitors, entitlement to free NHS hospital treatment is based on whether they are ordinarily resident in this country. NHS providers are required to establish whether a patient is ordinarily resident, or exempt from charges. For charge-exempt non-UK tourist visitors, NHS providers invoice their local PCTs, which are subsequently reimbursed for this activity.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) average and (b) longest waiting time for an (i) initial urology out-patient assessment, (ii) IVU investigation and (iii) in-patient surgery in the urology specialty has been over the last three years. 
|Quarter (March)||21+ weeks||Median (weeks)|
| Source: Department of Health form QM08R (Commissioner-based).|
|Quarter (March)||12+ months||Median (weeks)|
| Source: Department of Health form QF01 (Commissioner-based).|
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of people experienced waits of longer than (a) two and (b) four hours in accident and emergency departments in each of the last five years. 
|Attendances||Percentage > two hours||Percentage > four hours|
| Source: QMAE dataset, Department of Health|
The Department collects data on total time spent in A and E departments from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge. The first full set of data was published in quarter two (July to September) 2002-03 and was for major (type one) departments only. All types of A and E department were included in the collection from April 2003.
Data broken down into hourly time-bands were first collected in quarter one (January to March) 2004-05. Patients waiting more than two hours include patients in the time-bands two to three hours, three to four hours and more than four hours.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) mean and (b) median waiting time for an in-patient procedure for the 50 most common specialties have been in each year since 1997. 
Andy Burnham: The Investing in Your Health strategic outline case (SOC) for a reconfiguration of acute services in Hertfordshire was received by the Department in 2004. This covered developments to be taken forward by both East and North Hertfordshire national health service trust and the West Hertfordshire NHS trust. For West Hertfordshire NHS trust the options included scaling back services onto the Hemel Hempstead site and consolidating services on the redeveloped site at Watford.
Following external advice procured by the trusts and their strategic health authorities (SHAs), the projects are now being taken forward separately with both trusts aiming to submit the next stage of their plans, their outline business cases (OBCs), to the Department later this year or early next.
All major private finance initiative (PFI) schemes in procurement are subject to a revalidation exercise we announced in January 2006. Revalidation will involve comparing the schemes against a number of tests, to ensure that they properly take account of the new financial mechanisms operating in the NHS (such as choice and payment by results), and are properly taking account of activity of the shift away from the acute sector envisaged in the recent White Paper Our health, our care, our say. The trust's OBC will need to take into account the findings of this work.
The announcement of decisions following the PFI revalidation will be in two waves. It is anticipated that the announcement for schemes which are most advanced, generally those that have already appointed their preferred bidder, will be in late July. Decisions on the remainder, including East and North Hertfordshire and West Hertfordshire, will be announced later.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether job advertisements which mention the need for work permits will be required to be cleared with the Race Relations Commission. 
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether any private body providing services under contract to a public authority has been designated as a public
authority by an order under section 5 of the Freedom of Information Act. 
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many police investigations of alleged voting irregularities in local government elections have exceeded 18 months in duration without charges being laid in the last five years; which local authorities are involved in such investigations; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many complaints were lodged in 2005 relating to the ways in which Environment and Heritage Service officials carried out their maintenance of areas of special scientific interest. 
David Cairns: EHS did receive correspondence and representation from a number of sources regarding designation, consenting and protection issues in 2005 although none specifically focused on the practices employed by officials when working towards the maintenance of ASSIs.
Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people (a) were diagnosed with and (b) died from (i) prostate cancer, (ii) breast cancer, (iii) bowel cancer, (iv) lung cancer, (v) ovarian cancer and (vi) all other cancers in Northern Ireland in each of the last 10 years. 
|Table 1: Cancer incidence in Northern Ireland 1994-2003|
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