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Ms Rosie Winterton:
Free sight tests are available under the national health service to large parts of the population including children, those aged 16 to 18 in full-time education, people on benefits, those people at particular risk of developing eye disease, and people
who are registered blind or partially sighted or who have a complex spectacle prescription. In addition, in April 1999 we extended free sight tests to all people aged 60 and over. Sight tests allow the opportunity to review all aspects of eye health, including investigations for signs of disease. Those at risk of specific eye disease (e.g. diabetic retinopathy) may be asked to attend regular screening.
Information about the extensive arrangements for providing help with NHS optical services and other health costs are publicised in leaflet HC11 Are you entitled to help with health costs? Posters are also available for display in optical practices and hospital out-patient departments.
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions her Department has had with the Surrey and Sussex strategic health authority in relation to its Fit for the Future review; and whether the (a) review and (b) consultation requires departmental approval. 
Caroline Flint: NHS south east coast, the successor body to Surrey and Sussex strategic health authority, keeps Ministers and officials informed about its Creating an NHS fit for the future programme and will continue to do so as the project progresses.
Caroline Flint: The FRANK campaign was launched in May 2003 to provide young people and their families with information and advice about drugs. The total expenditure since its launch is shown in the table.
Caroline Flint: Provision of complementary and alternative therapies on the national health service is a matter for primary care trusts and local NHS service providers. The Government consider that decision making on individual clinical interventions, whether conventional, complementary or alternative, is for local determination. The cost-effectiveness, efficacy and safety of treatments are all considered when these decisions are being made. There are no centrally held records of NHS referrals for homeopathic treatment.
Caroline Flint: In 2000, the Department produced an information pack for both primary care groups and primary care clinicians to provide a basic source of reference on complementary medicine, including homeopathy, and to support individual clinical judgement. The Department has also commissioned His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales' Foundation for Integrated Health to produce an information guide for patients on complementary and alternative medicines and therapies, which includes homoeopathy. This is now available to the NHS and is called Complementary HealthcareA Guide for Patients.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment was made of the previous work carried out in the health sector by Human Assets Ltd prior to the allocation of the contract to select primary care trust members and chairs; 
(2) how many of the people appointed as (a) chairs and (b) members of primary care trust boards live in the 20 per cent. most deprived wards; and what proportion of members so far appointed this represents; 
(4) how many applications were received for places on the board of Warrington primary care trust from each constituency in Warrington; and what percentage of applicants have been appointed in each case; 
(5) how many applications for appointment to the board of Warrington primary care trust were received from people resident in (a) Orford, (b) Poplars and
Hulme, (c) Bewsey, (d) Poulton North and Fairfield and (e) Howley wards; and what steps were taken to encourage applicants from these areas. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The appointment of chairs and non-executive members of primary care trusts is the responsibility of the Appointments Commission. I have asked the commissions chair, Sir William Wells, to respond to the hon. Ladys questions and for a copy of his letter to be placed in the Library.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she plans to take to ensure that the conclusions of the Review of Health Provision in Surrey by Mackinsey are discussed with (a) local authorities and (b) stakeholders in Hampshire where the results will have implications for them; and if she will make a statement. 
Andy Burnham: The reconfiguration of local health services is a matter for the local national health service. It is for local NHS organisations, in conjunction with local stakeholders, to plan and develop services to meet both national and local priorities.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The average annual cost to public funds of training a midwifery student in 2004-05, the latest year for which figures are available, was £15,000. The cost is inclusive of tuition, bursary and salary.
Mr. Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many midwives were trained in the training period which started in September 2003 and ended in September 2006; and how many trained in that period have not subsequently been employed in the NHS. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: There were 1,469 students who began a three year midwifery degree or diploma course in 2003-04. Information on how many of these graduated in 2006 and how many of these have not been employed in the national health service is not collected centrally.
Andy Burnham: The National Patient Safety Agency has responsibility for managing the contracts of the three confidential inquiries: the national confidential inquiry into maternal and child health, the national confidential inquiry into patient outcome and death, and the national confidential inquiry into suicides and homicides by people with a mental illness. This followed the review of arms-lengths bodies in 2005, where responsibility for the three national confidential inquiries moved from National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to the NPSA.
Andy Burnham: The Departments resource accounts have, since 2002-03, included details of expenditure by programme budget categories, among which is neurological system disorders of all kinds. These accounts are published and HC668, covering 2004-05, was ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 14 November 2005. Copies are available in the Library.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many general practitioners with a specialist interest in neurology are currently employed in the NHS, broken down by primary care trust; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: There are now 1,749 general practitioners with a special interests (GPwSIs) in the national health service, meeting the NHS plan commitment to provide 1,000 by 2004, a year early; but information on the number of GPwSI in neurology is not collected centrally.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 6 February 2006, Official Report, column 987W, on obesity, when she expects the launch of the social marketing programme to take place. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Funding for patient and public involvement forums is delivered through grant in aid to the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health. The Commission has received the following funding over the last three years:
Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will bring forward proposals to establish a confidential telephone line for NHS staff to report incidents involving (a) actual and (b) potential harm to patients. 
Andy Burnham: There are no proposals to establish a confidential telephone line for national health service staff to report incidents involving actual and potential harm to patients. However, all NHS staff are able to report patient safety incidents to their local organisation on a confidential basis. These reports are then sent on to the National Patient Safety Agencys national reporting and learning system where they are held on an anonymous basis. In addition, the NPSA has an electronic reporting form or eForm which allows NHS staff to report patient safety incidents, including near misses, to the NRLS anonymously.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department does not collect information on the salaries of individual primary care trust (PCT) chief executives. However, the pay of PCT chief executives is a matter of public record and published in PCTs annual accounts.
On 26 July 2006, the Department published a new national pay framework for very senior managers in the NHS, which includes PCT chief executives. This has been placed in the Library and is available at www.dh.gov.uk/PublicationsAndStatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidanceArticle/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4137432&chk=IRruNI
This new pay framework introduces spot rate salaries for the chief executive role (i.e. a fixed basic rate for the job with no annual increments) which, in the 14 primary care trusts in the south-west, will be:
|PCTS||PCT band||Spot rates (October 2006-07 rates)||Spot rates (November 2006-07 Rates)|
The two sets of rates reflect the staged pay award for 2006-07 announced by Secretary of State on 30 March 2006.
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