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27 Jun 2006 : Column 332Wcontinued
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average ratio of trained nursing staff to patients is in hospitals in the Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Figures on staff to patient ratios are not collected centrally.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which local health care providers in England have not complied with National Senior Framework for Older People Standard Six in establishing an integrated falls service and risk management procedures. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis:
Data collected by the Department indicated that by April 2005 74 per cent. of integrated falls services were in place. A national audit of falls and
bone health services produced by the Royal College of Physicians in January 2006 found that 74 per cent. of trusts in England are part of a co-ordinated, integrated, multi-professional, multi-agency service for falls. Overall, the audit results suggested that most areas have the infrastructure with the potential to identify need and for provision of specialist falls assessment and treatment.
Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the cost was of setting up (a) Yorkshire Wolds and Coast primary care trust and (b) East Yorkshire primary care trust; how much the recent reorganisation of each trust cost; and if she will make a statement; 
(2) how much she expects the reorganisation of primary care trusts to cost; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The costs of establishing the Yorkshire Wolds and East Yorkshire primary care trusts (PCTs) were met from within the financial allocations to the health authorities and are therefore not identifiable.
Total costs of the reconfiguration of PCTs, announced on 16 May 2006, are dependant on a number of factors, including the number of new organisations, number of people in the new organisations, new pay ranges for very senior managers, as well as changes in estate costs following reconfiguration. For these reasons, it is not possible at present to give definite costs.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what public health screening programmes were introduced in England in each year since 1979. 
Caroline Flint: The following public health screening programmes have been introduced in England since 1979: congenital hypothyroidism (1981), cervical cancer (1988), breast cancer (1988), Down's syndrome (2001), newborn hearing (2001), sickle cell and thalassaemia (2002), Chlamydia (2002), diabetic retinopathy (2003), cystic fibrosis (2004) and bowel cancer (2006).
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will estimate the costs to the NHS resulting annually from sickness absence among health service employees. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information requested is not collected by the Department.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her Departments report Delivering 21st century IT support for the NHS, what progress has been made on taking forward developments in social care IT. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Prime responsibility for implementing information technology support for social services lies with individual local authorities. However, with a view to delivering the aim of achieving appropriate integration of health and social care information systems in England by 2010 the Departments NHS Connecting for Health agency has undertaken a number of national initiatives to support local action. These include the establishment in 2005 of the electronic social care record board (ESCRB). The board has responsibility for overseeing national implementation of the electronic: social care record and ensuring consistency of its implementation by local authorities with social services responsibilities.
The board engages with the work of the national health service national programme for information technology to enable sharing of information across traditional boundaries. The board is providing advice and guidance, and will establish national standards for the electronic exchange of information between health, education and social care agencies in support of implementation of the electronic social care record, whilst recognising the independence of local authorities. It will ensure appropriate links are made with NHS electronic patient records and children's electronic information systems.
Under the auspices of the ESCRB, a study has been commissioned into the options for national implementation of the electronic single assessment process for older people. This is a prime example of shared activity between health and social care. Consultation has been undertaken with health, social care and supplier representatives, and a report is due later this year.
A variety of information systems and tools are now available to support this process. There have been successful local deployments of such systems by national programme suppliers notably in the programme's North East and Eastern clusters. They are subject to the same strict access controls as apply to national programme-delivered patient healthcare records, requiring the use by social workers of a smartcard with identification and a pass code, which can only be obtained upon verification of identity and through a formal user registration process. These systems have demonstrated the value of the technology and its potential to support the rapid development of integrated multi-agency working across all client groups.
In addition, allocations of the £25 million capital expenditure grant recently paid to local authorities by the Department for improving information management made specific reference to the single assessment process in the expectation that the grant will be used to facilitate integration of social care information in the implementation of the NHS care records service.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what discussions she has had with the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) on the future of Stroud Maternity Unit; and what plans she has to consult formally with the RCM as part of the ongoing review of maternity services; 
(2) what research her Department has commissioned into the (a) financial viability, (b) safety and (c) efficacy of independent maternity units since 1997. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Ministers have had no discussions with the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) on the future of Stroud maternity unit. On 12 June 2006, the Gloucestershire health community launched a 12-week public consultation on the future of national health service services in the county, including inpatient maternity services. Should the RCM wish to make a formal response to the consultation, it should do so via the consultation co-ordinator at Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Primary Care Trust. Further details can be found online at: www.healthingloucestershire.nhs.uk.
The Department has not commissioned any research into the financial viability, safety and efficacy of independent (non-NHS) maternity units since 1997. Independent maternity units should meet the standards set out by the Departments Independent health care: national minimum standards, regulations document, which was published in February 2002.
The Department commissioned the national perinatal epidemiology unit (NPEU) to undertake a review of evidence about clinical, psychosocial and economic outcomes for women with straightforward pregnancies who plan to give birth in NHS midwifery-led birth centres, both freestanding and those alongside hospital obstetric units, and the outcomes for their babies. The findings, published as the Report of a structured review of birth centre outcomes, M. Stewart et al, 2004, are available on the NPEUs website at:
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the process is for a young person visiting a country where tuberculosis is prevalent to obtain a vaccination on the NHS. 
Caroline Flint: The Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine is recommended for those under 35 years who are going to live or work with local people for more than one month in a country where the annual incidence of tuberculosis is 40/100,000 or greater.
The BCG vaccine for this purpose is available free of charge on the national health service and can be obtained from the local chest clinic although it can be available from other sources depending on local arrangements.
Alternatively, the BCG vaccination can be given on a private basis from a travel clinic offering this service.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people are on waiting lists for (a) heart, (b) lung, (c) liver and (d) kidney operations in the Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals NHS Trust. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: This information is not available in the format requested. However, the table shows the number of patients waiting for in-patient admission for the Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals NHS Trust on a provider basis for the quarter ending March 2006.
|Quarter ending March 2006 of patients waiting for in-patient admission for the Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals NHS Trust on a provider basis|
Department of Health KH07.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many residents of Romford constituency are waiting for operations in hospitals within the Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The number of patients waiting for an in-patient admission for the month ending April 2006, on a commissioner basis for Barking and Dagenham Primary Care Trust (PCT) and Havering PCT is 2,873 and 4,490 respectively.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her oral statement of 7 June 2006, Official Report, columns 260-61, on NHS Performance, what progress she has made in looking into the possible closure of Worthing hospital's accident and emergency department; and whether she plans to discuss this with the Surrey and Sussex Strategic Health Authority. 
I am informed by officials that Surrey and Sussex Strategic Health Authority (SHA) has instigated a programme, Creating an NHS Fit for the
Future, to ensure it is providing the best and most appropriate care and that it is providing value for money in order to achieve long-term sustainability.
This programme is currently in its discussion phase and events have been arranged to enable as many people as possible to give their views to help shape both the debate and any proposals for change that may arise from it.
Any proposals emerging from the discussion that recommend significant changes to the services provided will be subject to a full public consultation exercise, most likely to take place in the autumn.
No proposals have been made in relation to the future of Worthing hospital's accident and emergency department, so therefore there are no plans to discuss this matter with Surrey and Sussex SHA.
13. Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions she has had with her US counterparts on EU proposals to resolve the dispute over Irans nuclear programme. 
Margaret Beckett: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the oral answer I gave earlier today (UIN 80221), at column 116.
20. Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will make a statement on UK bilateral relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. 
Mr. McCartney: Like the rest of the international community, we have serious concerns about Irans policies in areas such as its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes; attitude towards terrorism; respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; approach to the Middle East Peace Process; and role in the region. Progress in our relations with Iran will depend on action by Iran to address international concerns in these areas.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will make representations to the Iranian authorities on recent suppression of demonstrations (a) in Azerbaijan Province and (b) by women in Tehran. 
Dr. Howells: There were violent demonstrations in the three Azeri populated provinces of Eastern Azerbaijan, Western Azerbaijan and Ardabil at the end of May. Reports indicate that several people died in violent clashes between the Iranian security forces and the demonstrators. Many were arrested, including journalists and students.
On 12 June, the security forces used violence to break up a peaceful women's protest in Tehran. The protest called for an end to legal discrimination against women; for a woman's testimony in court to have equal
value to that of a man; and for a woman to be able to choose her employment and where she travels without the prior permission of her husband. Police officers were deployedsome used batons and pepper sprays liberally. According to the Iranian judiciary, 42 women and 28 men were arrested. We understand all except one have now been released. We support the EU's plans to raise the violent actions against the women's protest with the Iranian authorities.
14. David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will make a statement on reform of the United Nations. 
Mr. Hoon: The Government have consistently supported reform of the United Nations to make it stronger and more effective. As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said in his recent Georgetown speech, we want global institutionswith the UN at the coreto be better able to tackle global challenges. We will continue to work with partners to achieve this important objective.
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