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David Heyes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps he plans to take in response to the report of the Education and Skills Select Committee on special educational needs, with particular reference to steps to address the recommendation regarding the facilitation and encouragement of collaborative arrangements between communities of schools. 
Mr. Dhanda: The Government will be giving their formal response to the Select Committees report in due course. They will address the points the Committee has made about encouraging collaborative working across communities of schools. The Governments special educational needs strategy Removing Barriers to Achievement (2004) encouraged greater collaboration between special and mainstream schools through involving special schools in mainstream programmes, such as the Specialist Schools and Building Schools for the Future programmes.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many graduates have been contacted by the Student Loans Company in circumstances where the Student Loans Company believes the individual should be making repayments on an income-contingent student loan but they are not; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: The Student Loans Company does not contact individual borrowers on this basis as it does not know what an individual's income is and consequently whether they should be making repayments or not. Income contingent loans are collected through the tax system. The SLC ensures that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has the right information needed to match borrowers with taxpayer records so that employers can make deductions, and HMRC can collect repayments through the self assessment process, when a borrower is earning over £15,000.
David Heyes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the effect of the Sure Start scheme on children in the Hollinwood ward of Oldham, with particular reference to educational attainment. 
Beverley Hughes: Sure Start Hollinwood was set up in 1999 and became a childrens centre in 2004. Sure Start Local Programmes (SSLPs) carried out their own evaluations assessing progress against a range of outcomes for children, including educational attainment, as part of their local level monitoring and evaluation. Sure Start Hollinwoods evaluation of its first three years of operation and its other reports can be obtained directly from the programme or from the National Evaluation of Sure Start website www.ness.bbk.ac.uk. The Three-Year Evaluation showed how the programme had developed regular 10 week family literacy courses for children and their carers; supported four independent community based pre-schools allowing them to improve their curriculum and ran a six week group for children aged between 12 and 18 months providing parents with ideas on how they could help their childrens early communication and allowing them to borrow chat bags containing a book, nursery rhyme tape and musical instrument.
The impact of Sure Start Local Programmes nationally on children is being assessed through a comprehensive National Evaluation of Sure Start (NESS). It is too early yet to see an impact on educational attainment as the children being tracked through the evaluation are only just three years old. However, this is being assessed and results on this will be available in due course.
NESS is also looking at if and how the characteristics of SSLP communities change over time and early analysis shows that achievement at Key Stage 2 in Maths and English and proportion of children achieving five GCSEs A*-C has improved for children in Round 1-4 SSLP areas faster than in England though this cannot be attributed to Sure Start.
Ann Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment she has made of the quality of the service provided by Air Products in Greater Manchester to patients dependent on home oxygen. 
Andy Burnham [holding answer 19 July 2006]: A six-month transitional programme to transfer patients to new suppliers began on 1 February 2006. Action is continuing with Air Products to address the quality of service provision including issues of particular concern to patients. There is room for further improvement and we are closely monitoring progress in conjunction with the national health service. At this time, there is continuous assessment of all suppliers, including Air Products, with regular meetings to discuss suppliers reports on progress and action to tackle emerging issues.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what proportion of ambulances responding to a 999 call in Lancashire in the last 12 months had a paramedic on board; and if she will make a statement. 
Each ambulance service should plan to provide appropriate resources to meet local demand. This may include resources in addition to traditional ambulance provision, for example rapid response vehicles and motorbikes, as well as utilising staff such as community paramedics or emergency care practitioners. Patients who need a traditional ambulance response will continue to receive one. The fleet mix will vary across the country depending on operational and geographical requirements.
Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received in relation to the decision to exclude audiology from the 18-week waiting time target for treatment. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
European Union and United Kingdom (UK) controls are in place aimed at preventing the spread of bird flu. Nonetheless, it remains a remote possibility that bird flu could be introduced to poultry through the migration of wild birds, the illegal importation of dead chickens for consumption, the illegal importation
of live birds or the entry into the UK of a person who has acquired the illness in an infected area. The Department, in close collaboration with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), maintains an on-going assessment of these risks.
DEFRA publishes and regularly updates risk assessments on the threat to the UK of the introduction of H5N1 from birds which is available in its latest publication, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 situation in Europe and potential risk factors for the introduction of the virus to the United Kingdom. It can be found at:
The Department recently commissioned a report from the Health Protection Agency, Addressing a Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment (QMRA) of the Risks Posed to UK Public Health by Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1
The risk of the H5N1 avian influenza virus acquiring the ability to spread more easily from person to person or to spread more readily from birds to people is constantly monitored by the World Health Organisation and its assessments are published on its website at:
The Government have well-developed plans in place to act early in the event of any outbreak of avian influenza in poultry, to put in place measures to contain it, and to protect those workers involved in controlling it. DEFRA has published its contingency plan on its website at:
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent on breast cancer screening in (a) Guildford and Waverley primary care trust, (b) Surrey and (c) England in each year since 1997. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Figures on the funding of local breast screening services are not held centrally. Funding for breast screening is in primary health care trust baselines and the Department estimates that the national health service breast screening programme costs around £172 million per year.
Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the Government will lobby the World Health Organisation to change the International Classification of Diseases to reflect inflammatory breast cancer as a discrete type of disease. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: We are not aware of a need for inflammatory breast cancer to be classified as a discrete type of disease and therefore will not be lobbying the World Health Organisation on this matter.
Andy Burnham: The 2005-06 provisional outturn is the most recently published data on the national health services financial position. The data show that the provisional capital underspend in 2005-06 was £1,162 million. Of the 566 NHS organisations in 2005-06, 494 underspent against their capital budget. A table containing this information is available in the Library.
Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many deaths have been caused by the bacterium Clostridium difficile in (a) Chase Farm Hospital and (b) North Middlesex Hospital in each of the last three years. 
As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many deaths have been caused by the bacterium Clostridium difficile in (a) Chase Farm Hospital and (b) North Middlesex Hospital in each of the last three years. (85889)
Special analyses of deaths involving Clostridium difficile are undertaken annually by ONS for England and Wales. These are published in Health Statistics Quarterly. The latest year for which such figures are available is 2004. Information on the numbers of deaths between 1999 and 2004 involving Clostridium difficile was published in Health Statistics Quarterly 30 in May 2006.(1) The number of deaths in NHS Hospitals where Clostridium difficile was a contributory factor in the years 2001 to 2004 was 6,168 out of a total of 1,178,776 deaths in NHS Hospitals. A breakdown of the figures by individual hospital could only be provided at disproportionate cost.
(1 )Office for National Statistics (2005) Report: Deaths involving Clostridium difficile. England and Wales, 1999-2004. Health Statistics Quarterly 30, 56-60.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to ensure that community hospitals meeting the criteria laid down in Our Health, Our Care, Our Say are not adversely affected by financial deficits faced by primary care trusts. 
Andy Burnham: The White Paper Our Health, Our Care, Our Say: a new direction for community services makes clear that community hospitals should not be lost in response to short-term budgetary pressures that are not related to the viability of the community facility itself.
The Department wrote to strategic health authorities (SHAs) on 16 February 2006 about the need for SHAs to assure themselves that all primary care trust (PCT) proposals for changes relating to community hospitals are consistent with the long-term strategy of the White Paper to move care closer to patients homes and that local people are properly consulted. In addition, the Department held meetings with SHAs during March 2006 to discuss local plans for reconfiguration of community services.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) pursuant to her oral statement of 5 July 2006, Official Report, column 819, on community hospitals, how many community hospitals in the Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire strategic health authority area are based in Victorian workhouse facilities; 
(2) pursuant to her oral statement of 5 July 2006, Official Report, column 826, how many community hospitals have (a) opened and (b) closed in the Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire strategic health authority area since 1997; and how many are being considered for closure. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her oral statement of 5 July 2006, Official Report, columns 816-7, on community hospitals, if she will ask the South West strategic health authority to assure itself that the proposals from (a) West Gloucestershire primary care trust to the close the Dilke Memorial hospital and the Lydney and District Community hospital and (b) the Gloucestershire Partnership Trust to close Colliers Court are not being made in response to short-term budgetary pressures. 
Andy Burnham: The Department wrote to strategic health authorities (SHAs) on 16 February 2006 about the need for SHAs to assure themselves that all primary care trust (PCT) proposals for changes relating to community hospitals are consistent with the long-term strategy of the Our health, Our Care, Our Say White Paper. Copies of that letter area available in the Library. In addition, the Department held meetings with SHAs during March 2006 to ensure that any plans locally to reconfigure community services support the White Paper principles of providing modern health and social care in more local and community settings. These sentiments were repeated in paragraphs 3.7 and 3.8 of the Government's recently published document Our health, our care, our community: investing in the future of community hospitals and services.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans her Department has to consult on the details of the (a) screening tool and (b) decision support tool for determining eligibility for continuing NHS care. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: We are consulting on the national decision support tool as part of the current national consultation on continuing care. A draft of this tool has been published, alongside the consultation documents. Comments and contributions are welcomed as is the case with all the consultation documents.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Information relating to specialist services in Herefordshire for children with deaf-blindness is not held centrally. Information on such services can be obtained from either Herefordshire county council or Herefordshire primary care trust.
Ms Rosie Winterton: As part of our major investment programme for the expansion of dental education, the university of Portsmouth opened a school of professionals complementary to dentistry in 2004 and, in January 2006, we announced that the university of Exeter and the university of Plymouth would be establishing a new Peninsula dental school. These universities are considering whether provision for the training of dental technicians could be incorporated into the expansion programme.
John Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dentists there are in the Easington primary care trust area; and how many dentists have opted out of the NHS in the Easington primary care trust area. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: As at 31 March 2006, there were 19 national health service dentists with a general dental services (GDS) or personal dental services (PDS) contract within Easington primary care trust (PCT).
Information on the number of dentists who have not signed the new contract is not available centrally. However, some provisional information that covers contracts is available. A contract may be for more than one dentist and cannot be broken down further to individual dentist level. Provisional management estimates show that in Easington PCT.
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