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The Department funds research to support policy and to provide the evidence needed to underpin quality improvement and service development in the national health service. National research programme expenditure on projects related to Alzheimer's disease and other dementia has been:
The Department has set up and is investing £20 million in a national research network on dementias and neurodegenerative disease. The network will bring together NHS staff and resources to expand the number and range of clinical trials of medical treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, the funders forum for research on ageing and older people will shortly begin the process of mapping the profile of ageing-related research and identify gaps. This work will help the Department, and other funders, to decide on research priorities.
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether her Department collects data on the regional and socio-demographic profile of people with dementia; whether she has made a comparison of the prevalence of dementia in the UK with other EU countries; what plans her Department has for monitoring changes in the number of people with dementia; and if her Department will (a) estimate the costs to the NHS of dementia and (b) assess the economic effect on those affected by dementia and their carers. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Data on the regional and socio-demographic profile of people with dementia is not collected centrally and the Department has not compared prevalence of dementia in the United Kingdom with other European Union countries.
NHS employers have announced changes to the new general medical services contract for 2006-07. New indicators are being introduced to the quality and
outcomes framework for 2006-07 and include the introduction of a disease register of patients diagnosed with dementia.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many visits to NHS hospitals (a) she and (b) each of her Ministers made between 4 April and 13 June; and which hospital was visited in each case. 
4 April 2006Broadgreen Hospital, Liverpool;
4 April 2006Liverpool Royal Infirmary, Liverpool;
4 April 2006North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary, Stoke on Trent;
1 June 2006Lewisham University Hospital, London; and
2 June 2006The Whittington Hospital, London.
31 May 2006The Princess Royal Hospital, Orpington;
1 June 2006Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading;
1 June 2006Salisbury Hospital, Salisbury; and
1 June 2006Yeovil District Hospital, Yeovil.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to publish the Models of Care for Alcohol Misusers framework (MoCAM); what the reasons are for the delay in publication; and when she expects to publish the evidence review of effectiveness of treatment expected to inform the MoCAM framework. 
Caroline Flint: The delay in publication has occurred because of some recent changes made to the document to ensure that it does not contradict other key commissioning guidance, including guidance on Models of Care for Drug Misusers, which has recently been reviewed.
A comprehensive review of the evidence base for the effectiveness of alcohol treatment interventions will be published shortly, alongside guidance on Models of Care for Alcohol Misusers which will lay out how best to combine treatment approaches into an effective local alcohol treatment system.
Andy Burnham: Our Health Our Care Our Say: a future direction for community services signalled our intention to carry out a project in conjunction with the speciality associations and Royal Colleges to look at a range of care pathways and service models that deliver care that is more convenient for patients in settings that are more accessible to them. The care closer to home demonstration project is now under way and it is considering intermediate care, step down facilities and greater use of community-based services as per the suggestions in the national beds inquiry.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many times the National Radiotherapy Advisory Group has met; when the next meeting will be; what the groups terms of reference are; when the group will report; and if she will make a statement. 
to advise on the development and delivery of radiotherapy services, including relevant elements of the NHS Cancer Plan and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance
to advise on radiotherapy policy programmes including:
demand and capacity for radiotherapy;
streamlining service delivery;
equipment requirements; and
training and work force requirements.
Ms Rosie Winterton: NHS Direct began a 12-week consultation period with staff and staff-side representatives on 16 May 2006 on proposals to ensure that its organisational structure, estates and staffing are fit for purpose to meet future developments and demand. The consultation period is due to end on 16 August 2006. The outcomes of the consultation will be made public thereafter.
The NHS Direct consultation document proposes that 12 sites will close over the next 18 months. Implementation of the proposals will be dependent on a number of factors but the current estimate is that a maximum of 573 posts could be at risk of redundancy. However, these proposals are subject to the outcome of the consultation. A more precise estimate of the costs saved will be made on completion of the consultation.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many calls were made to NHS Direct in each year since it was launched; and how many calls NHS Direct is forecast to receive in each of the next two years. 
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many telephone advisers were employed by NHS Direct in each year since it was set up; and how many telephone advisers will be employed in each of the next two years. 
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her Answer of 16 May 2006, Official Report, column 944W, on the NHS IT programme, whether the estimate of the cost of the contract over 10 years remains £6.2 billion. 
Caroline Flint: The National Audit Office have made clear in their report published on 16 June 2006 that the contracted costs of the national programme for information technology over 10 years is £6.2 billion, and that this cost has not increased since the contracts were let in 2003 and 2004. The report also refers to central expenditure of £1.9 billion over 10 years. That will not just be spent on running the national programme, but also covers the functions previously undertaken by the NHS Information Authority, which was closed in 2005, and, in its last year, cost £219 million. It is clear therefore that the £1.9 billion is not additional funding but is in fact a reduction on what the central management of national health service information technology services cost before the national programme.
Andy Burnham: Figures are not available on the number of national health service prescriptions issued. Figures are, however, available on the number of prescriptions dispensed in the community in England, which is shown in the table.
For figures from 1997 to 2004, these are available in the Statistical Bulletin to be found at: www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/prescriptionsdispensed05
For the 2005 figure, this can be found in the prescription cost analysis tables at: www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/prescostanalysis2005
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department itself has awarded no contracts to United States companies for the delivery of national health service services and does not collect information about contracts which are agreed locally between primary care trusts and providers.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps an NHS clinician can take if funding for a treatment they deem to be most clinically appropriate is refused by their primary care trust; 
Andy Burnham: The responsibility for local health services is for primary care trusts (PCTs) who are responsible for the planning and development of services to meet the needs of their local populations. Where no guidance or directions have been issued to PCTs that are relevant to a treatment, PCTs should make their decision on funding based on their own assessment of the relevant factors and circumstances of the case. If a clinician is unhappy with the decision of a PCT they should request a full explanation of the rationale behind the decision in the first instance, and the PCT should seek to engage the clinician in dialogue with regard to treatment options.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Due to diary commitments and parliamentary business, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health is regrettably unable to visit the Nuffield speech and language unit in the foreseeable future.
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