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Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many individuals have been diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders in (a) England and (b) each London borough in each year since 1997. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested on diagnoses of autistic spectrum disorders, for England and London since 1997 is shown in the following table. Information is only available by strategic health authority area and not by London borough.
|Diagnosis of patients for autistic spectrum disorders national health service hospitals, England 1997-98 to 2004-05|
|Codes||Strategic Health Authority of Residence||1997-98||1998-99||1999-2000||2000-01||2000-02||2002-03||2003-04||2004-05|
| Source: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), Health and Social Care Information Centre|
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will (a) provide and (b) authorise funding for the Better Healthcare Closer to Home programme devised by the Sutton and Merton Primary Care Trust, Epsom and St. Helier NHS University Trust and other organisations. 
In August 2006 the Secretary of State wrote to the chief executive of the London SHA asking him to review the proposals for a new critical care hospital and the model of care for the area more generally, including issues of affordability.
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when the results of the 2005 consultation on the reimbursement of branded generic drugs is expected to be published; and if she will make a statement; 
Andy Burnham: Standard branded generics are covered by the provisions of the pharmaceutical price regulation scheme, subject to the outcome of public consultations (issued in January and September 2005) on proposals to transfer them to the new arrangements for the reimbursement for generic medicines.
Officials are currently reviewing the responses to proposals which have raised a number of complex issues. These responses require careful consideration. The Department has not determined its final conclusion on this matter and has not set any deadline that may constrain its deliberations.
Ms Rosie Winterton: In England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland there was a significant increase in the incidence of breastfeeding between 2000 and 2005. However, no estimate of the proportion of newborn babies exclusively breastfed up until six months old has been made up to date.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects the Broomfield Hospital private finance initiative scheme to be approved; what obstacles need to be overcome before the scheme can be approved; and if she will make a statement. 
Andy Burnham: The proposals for the new Broomfield private finance initiative (PFI) hospital have been considered as part of the PFI review by the Department. Further work, currently being undertaken by the trust and the strategic health authority, is needed to address outstanding affordability and capacity issues. An announcement about the scheme will be made in due course.
Since 2001, no one has had to sell their home in order to enter a care home as they can agree a deferred payment with their council, which is claimed back at a later date. Under this scheme, the council meets the cost of the care home place and these costs are recouped from the estate of the resident on death.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total cost (a) has been and (b) is expected to be over the next five years of the introduction of the choice agenda in the NHS. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: In respect of choice at referral for planned care, the national audit offices report, Patient Choice at the Point of Referral, published in January 2005, accepted our estimate of £122 million for the likely additional annual infrastructure costs and transaction costs for patient choice. The total spend on elective care in 2003-04 was £8.7 billion.
Choice will lead to increased efficiencies in both primary and secondary care as described in the national audit offices report. In hospitals, these efficiencies should include reductions in missed appointments and cancellations, meaning clinics can be run more efficiently. The cost of these in 2003-04 was approximately £100 million for the 1.5 million missed first out-patient appointments that are most likely to be addressed by choice.
Health Reform in EnglandUpdate and Commissioning Framework published in July 2006 signalled our intention to extend choice outside routine planned care. This is currently subject to an initial consultation on the overriding approach. Estimated costs are therefore not available for the next five years.
Andy Burnham: 122,186 (83 per cent.) patient bookings were made through choose and book outside of general practitioner surgeries during June 2006. This figure excludes bookings made by local appointment lines, but includes patients booking via NHS Direct (20,271), through the internet (3,067) and into indirectly bookable services (98,848). The precise number of bookings actually made by patients themselves is not separately identifiable.
Mr. Truswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received on the provision of the chronic fatigue service in Leeds and West Yorkshire; and whether the value of her Department's direct funding for the service will be maintained in real terms over the next three years. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: As at 7 September 2006, the Department had received 23 letters from Members of Parliament and 22 letters from members of the public regarding the chronic fatigue service in Leeds and West Yorkshire.
In July 2006, strategic health authorities were given details of their share of almost £5.5 billion that had been earmarked for specific projects, including the funding of centres for chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME). It is the responsibility of local health bodies to ensure that services are provided to meet the needs of those living with CFS/ME.
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what conclusions have been reached as a result of the discussions the Department has had with local NHS trusts in Northamptonshire in the last 12 months on tackling clostridium difficile in hospitals. 
Andy Burnham: The Department has highlighted to the NHS East Midlands Strategic Health Authority the need for NHS trusts and primary care trusts to implement best practice and learn the lessons of the recent Healthcare Commission report on Stoke Mandeville Hospital. The Kettering General Hospital NHS Trust has been working with the Health Protection Agency for some time to reduce the number of cases of clostridium difficile.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what rates of pay (a) consultant surgeons and (b) consultant anaesthetists receive from (i) independent sector treatment centres and (ii) NHS providers; how many (A) male and (B) female consultants are employed in each case; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
A new contract for consultants was agreed in 2003. There are around 90 per cent. of all
consultants employed on those terms. Consultants working in independent treatment centres (ISTCs) on national health service terms and conditions will be paid on the same salary scale as those employed in NHS trusts. The salary scale for consultants employed on NHS terms and conditions starts at £70,822 and rises to £95,831.
|Consultant anaesthetists||Consultant surgeons|
NHS Census 2005
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) full-time equivalent and (b) headcount staff were employed in (i) her Department and (ii) each of her Departments arms length bodies in each year since 1997. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The full-time equivalent numbers of staff employed by the Department of Health in each year since 1997, which have been taken from the Departments Annual Reports for the years 2002 to 2006, are as follows:
|As at 31 March each year|
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