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Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many complaints have been considered by the Healthcare Commission since its inception; and what the (a) average and (b) maximum time taken has been between initial acceptance of a complaint and final outcome; 
Andy Burnham: The Healthcare Commission assumed responsibility for the independent review of national health service complaints at the end of July 2004. I understand from the chairman of the commission that between then and 24 October 2006, it received 18,100 requests for review. The commission has closed 13,400 cases. Of the remaining 4,700 open cases, 3,200 (68 per cent.) have been with the commission for more than three months. 2,400 ofthe open cases (51 per cent.) have been with the commission for more than six months.
I also understand from the chairman of the Healthcare Commission that as at 30 September 2006, the average age of a closed case was six and a half months. The longest time to resolve a case was two years and two monthsthis case raised a number of complex issues which required detailed clinical advice.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will direct the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to assess the (a) cost and (b) clinical effectiveness of occipital nerve stimulation for the treatment of hemicrania continua. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: My right hon. Friend has no plans at this time to refer occipital nerve stimulation for the treatment of hemicrania continua to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many applications for the registration of products under the provisions of the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive have been received by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency; how many of those applications relate to products containing (a) a single herbal ingredient and (b) more than one herbal ingredient; what the planned timescale is for processing those applications; and if she will make a statement. 
Andy Burnham: The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has received 13 applications to register products under the traditional herbal registration scheme. All of these applications are for products containing single active ingredients. In line with European legislative requirements the MHRA aims to complete the assessment within a maximum of 210 days from the submission of a valid application.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what meetings (a) she, (b) her Ministers and (c) her officials have had with (i) the chairman of the Labour party, (ii) Labour party employees and (iii) Downing street officials regarding hospital closures in Gloucestershire; and if she will place in the Library the records of those meetings. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Neither the Secretary of State for Health nor any of her Ministers or officials have met with the chairman of the Labour party, Labour party employees or Downing street officials regarding hospital closures in Gloucestershire.
Nick Herbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will place in the Library a copy of the heat map discussed in her meeting of 3 July with the Labour Party chairman and Minister without portfolio at the Cabinet Office. 
Ms Hewitt [holding answer 16 October 2006]: The Department produced a set of maps following discussions with strategic health authorities (SHAs). These gave an indication of local media coverage of health service issues by SHA. The maps were not produced on a constituency basis. They have not been updated. Copies of the maps have been placed in the Library and can be viewed on the Department's website:
Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether her Department will include the provision of training as a contractual obligation for phase two independent sector treatment centres. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Provision of training is a contractual requirement in phase two contracts. In all schemes capacity will be available to postgraduate deans and higher education institutes for training purposes.
Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which NHS staff will be able to work in phase two independent sector treatment centres under the additionality rules; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Additionality waivers have been agreed in respect of phase two of the independent sector treatment centre (ISTC) programme. The waivers enable national health service employees who are not in the list of shortage professions for the phase two ISTCs to be employed and all NHS professions to apply to work in the ISTCs during their non-contracted hours.
This approach will ensure that opportunities are available in ISTCs while continuing to conserve skills for other providers of NHS services. Newly qualified graduates and anyone made redundant are exempt from the additionality arrangements. Anyone who is declared at risk of redundancy can apply for an additionality waiver.
Mr. Gordon Prentice:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make it her policy to consult
patient groups, NHS unions and the wider public before awarding contracts to independent treatment centres. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Individual phase two independent sector treatment centre schemes are being developed in partnership with the local national health service. The decision about whether to consult locally and, if so, the level, scope and scale of consultation must be for individual strategic health authorities and primary care trusts, taken in the light of local circumstances and the duties set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2001 and the Local Authority (Overview and Scrutiny Committees Health Scrutiny Functions) Regulations 2002 Act.
A MORI poll carried out in 2005 showed that three out of four people would be equally happy to go to either an NHS or an independent sector provider for their treatment. Ultimately, the decision whether or not patients are referred to an NHS or independent sector provider will be dependent on the choice of individual patients.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action her Department has taken in response to recommendations made by the Chief Medical Officer on page 37 of his annual report 2005 for the prevention of Kernicterus. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department has considered the recommendations made by the chief medical officer on page 37 of his annual report 2005. In response, a review of screening for Kernicterus has been commissioned by the UK National Screening Committee (NSC). The review will assess the case for screening against the NSCs internationally recognised screening criteria. The Department will consider whether additional information should be added to its Pregnancy Book when it is next revised.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: In England, the Government have accepted each of the recommendations of the Royal Commission on long term care except the recommendation that personal care should be provided free at the point of delivery to all in all settings. We estimate that the cost of implementing free personal care in England would be around £1.5 billion at 2003-04 prices.
The Personal Social Services Research Unit has recently published Paying for Long-Term Care for Older People in the UK: Modelling the Costs and Distributional Effects of a Range of Options, which models a range of options for funding long-term care, including making personal care free to all in all settings.
The report gives estimated public expenditure costs at 2002 prices of between £1.35 billion and £1.8 billion, depending on the way in which free personal care is
implemented. This covers residential and home care for older people. It covers the whole of the United Kingdom. The England equivalent range would be about £1.2 billion to £1.6 billion. These estimates take account of limited offsetting savings.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what additional funding she plans to allocate to Luton and Dunstable hospital in relation to increased patients arising from Hemel Hempstead hospitals (a) closure and (b) reduction of services. 
Andy Burnham: Revenue allocations are made to primary care trusts (PCTs) not hospitals. It is for PCTs to determine how to use the funding allocated to them to commission services to meet the healthcare needs of their local populations.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) fatal accidents and (b) adverse incident reports to the Medical Devices Agency there were in each year since 1997; what the most common causes were of these incidents; and if she will make a statement. 
|Table 1: Medical device related adverse incident reports|
|Total||Reports involving a fatality|
Manufacturer responsibility; where the failure cause occurs before delivery, for example design, manufacture, quality control and packaging;
Healthcare establishment/user responsibility; where the failure cause occurs after delivery, for example performance and/or maintenance failures and degradation or where the device has not been used in accordance with the manufacturers instructions for use, that is user error;
No established device/use link; where the device was subsequently found to work as intended, the device involved was not available for investigation, or the report was made on a precautionary basis.
|Table 2: Concluded medical device related adverse incident investigations, 2005|
|Cause of incident||Percentage reported incidents involving a fatality (numbe = 164)|
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) compulsory and (b) voluntary redundancies have been made by (i) Barnet primary care trust, (ii) Barnet and Chase Farm NHS trust, (iii) Barnet hospital, (iv) Royal Free NHS trust and (v) Northwick Park hospital since 1 April; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 2 November 2006]: The information collected from strategic health authorities shows that as at 30 September 2006 no redundancies have been made at Barnet primary care trust, Barnet and Chase Farm national health service trust or Royal Free NHS trust. Barnet hospital is part of the Barnet and Chase Farm NHS trust. Northwick Park hospital is part of the North West London NHS hospital trust and as at 30 September 2006, there were 33 redundancies at the trust. Separate information is not available in respect of Northwick Park hospital.
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