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Mr. Ivan Lewis: People diagnosed with multiple sclerosis have access to the full range of health and social care as detailed in the national service framework for long-term conditions. In addition, all patients living with multiple sclerosis have access to a wide range of medications to help manage the symptoms associated with this disease. These include drugs for the relief of pain, depression, spasticity and bladder problems.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what treatments are currently licensed for multiple myeloma in the UK; what treatments for multiple myeloma are currently provided by the NHS; whether thalidomide is licensed for the treatment of multiple myeloma; and if she will make a statement. 
It will be for clinicians, in discussion with patients, to determine treatments for a patient's condition. Treatments that have been positively appraised by National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
(NICE) must be funded by primary care trusts within three months of publication of guidance, if the patient concerned is eligible.
Where NICE guidance is not available, PCTs should continue with local arrangements for the managed introduction of new technologies. These arrangements should involve an assessment of all the available evidence. Funding for such treatments should not be withheld simply because of an absence of guidance from NICE.
Thalidomide for the treatment of multiple myeloma is not licensed. Thalidomide can be given to particular patients if their clinician thinks they might benefit; this is called a named patient basis, and the PCT concerned agrees to fund it. Thalidomide may also be given to people taking part in research trials.
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money was allocated to the University Hospital North Durham for capital expenditure under the NHS cancer plan; and what capital equipment has been purchased by the hospital under the plan. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 26 October 2006]: The University Hospital North Durham was allocated £0.679 million under the NHS Cancer Plan investment programme for the purchase of an additional CT scanner and associated building works. A delivery date for the scanner will be agreed shortly.
Andy Burnham: The following table shows total capital expenditure by national health service bodies in Coventry from 1998-99 to 2004-05, which are the only years for which figures are available. These figures exclude private finance initiative (PFI) and local improvement finance trust (LIFT) schemes.
|Total capital expenditure by NHS bodies in Coventry|
Audited accounts of Coventry health authority 1998-99 to 2001-02
Audited summarisation schedules of Coventry teaching primary care trust 2002-03 to 2004-05
Audited summarisation schedules of Walsgrave hospital NHS trust 1998-99 and 1999-2000
Audited summarisation schedules of university hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS trust 2000-01 to 2004-05
Audited summarisation schedules of Coventry healthcare NHS trust 1998-99 to 2001-02
Audited summarisation schedules of Coventry and Warwickshire ambulance NHS trust 2003-04 and 2004-05
|Coventry teaching primary care trustcapital expenditure on LIFT/PFI|
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information her Department collects on (a) vacant posts, (b) posts which are frozen and (c) qualified staff who are seeking work in the NHS. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Information Centre for Health and Social Care collects information as at 31 March about posts that have been vacant for three months or more that trusts and primary care trusts are actively trying to recruit to.
The general practitioner practice vacancies survey produces an estimated three-month vacancy figure from a sample of 2,000 randomly selected GP practices in England, stratified by strategic health authority.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what (a) staff reductions, (b) ward closures, (c) asset
sales and (d) assets to be reduced in use are part of the savings planned at (i) Epsom, (ii) Ealing, (iii) St. George's London, (iv) Westminster, (v) Hammersmith, (vi) Hillingdon and (vii) St. Helier London hospitals. 
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many health authorities are planning to reduce their spending on training over the next three years; and what (a) the percentage reduction planned and (b) the cash amount of such a reduction is in each case. 
Caroline Flint: The primary responsibility for implementing the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's guidelines, including the rate of implementation, rests with the national health service at local level. Local policies on the provision of treatment services reflect local health needs and priorities. We are supporting a new project by the voluntary organisation Infertility Network UK on ways in which it can work with primary care trusts (PCTs) to help ensure that fertility patients voices are heard when decisions about the provision of services are made at local level. We have asked PCTs to co-operate with this project.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) administration costs and (b) total number of staff of (i) the Healthcare Commission, (ii) the Commission for Social Care Inspection, (iii) the Office of the Independent Regulator of Foundation Trusts and (iv) the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency were in each of the last three years for which figures are available. 
|(1) The Healthcare Commission was not in existence|
|(1) The Healthcare Commission was not in existence|
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