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Mr. Ivan Lewis: A table showing the number of cochlear implant operations performed in each national health service trust has been placed in the Library. The data available are for 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2004-05.
It is for primary care trusts to determine the allocation of resources for their local population based on local need. NHS spend will increase on average by 7.1 per cent. a year over and above inflationa total increase over the period of 23 per cent. in real terms. Over three years this will take the total spent on the NHS in England from £70 billion in 2004-05 to almost £93 billion in 2007-08.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the risks to (a) babies born through IVF and (b) other babies of developing (i) autism and (ii) childhood cancers. 
Caroline Flint: The Department has made no assessment of the likelihood of a child developing autism or cancer or whether that likelihood is increased if the child is conceived using in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the regulatory body responsible for licensing the provision of IVF in the United Kingdom, considers that IVF is a fundamentally safe technique. Although there have been a number of studies looking at the links between IVF and a range of medical or genetic conditions, there is no current body of evidence to indicate that IVF is unsafe.
It is the responsibility of strategic health authorities to analyse their local situation and develop plans, in liaison with their local national health service trusts, to deliver high quality NHS services and take action as required to deliver these services.
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 30 October 2006, Official Report, column 158W, on birth statistics, how many women with a Hartlepool address gave birth at (a) the University Hospital of Hartlepool, (b) the University Hospital of North Tees, (c) the James Cook University Hospital, (d) Darlington Memorial Hospital, (e) Bishop Auckland Hospital, (f) City Hospitals Sunderland, (g) another hospital and (h) home in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether her Department has assessed the reasons for the change in the number of people registered as (a) blind and (b) partially sighted in England between 2002-03 and 2005-06; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Registration of blindness is voluntary so the register does not necessarily include all people who are blind. This, together with some uncertainty about how regularly councils update their registers, means the information is not precise. Some councils have recently introduced new computer systems for registration and the data cleansing process has a decrease in the number of new registrations.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the waiting time target is for a routine bone scan; and what the average waiting time was for a routine bone scan in each year since 2001. 
Andy Burnham: Historically the Department has not kept diagnostic waiting time data. A new national data collection commenced in January 2006 and the median waiting time for a DEXA scan from the August 2006, monthly collection (published on 18 October 2006) is 5.4 weeks.
Ms Rosie Winterton: There is some evidence of the benefit of ultrasound in the primary screening of younger women at increased risk of breast cancer. However, ultrasound does produce high false positive rates and while ultrasound is accepted as a very effective technique for further assessment of abnormalities detected by mammogram there are no plans to extend the use of ultrasound scans to detect breast cancer.
In their Improving outcomes in breast cancer guidance, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has recommended that a combination of clinical examination, mammography/ultrasound and image-guided core biopsy or fine needle aspiration, known together as the triple assessment, should be available for women with suspected breast cancer at a single visit. Both mammography and ultrasound imaging should be available.
Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress her Department has made in reducing waiting times for genetic tests for breast cancer in Newark constituency over the last 12 months. 
The genetics White Paper Our Inheritance, Our Futurerealising the potential of genetics in the NHS, published in June 2003, committed up to £18 million for NHS genetics laboratories in England. This major investment is boosting capacity and supporting modernisation in genetics laboratories, thus helping them meet the rising demand for genetic tests.
within three days where the result is needed urgently, for example, for prenatal diagnosis;
within two weeks where the potential genetic mutation is already known, for example, because another family member has already been tested; and
within eight weeks for unknown mutations in a large gene.
The Department is monitoring molecular genetics laboratories' progress through the commissioners of genetic services. On current plans the laboratories serving the population in the Newark area expect to be delivering these standards for genetic tests for breast cancer by the end of 2006.
|National health service hospital and community health services (HCHS): Medical and dental staff and qualified nursing staff by specified organisationas at 30 September each specified year|
|n/a = not applicable|
Relevant Mergers History:
1. Mental Health services from Blackburn Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Health Care NHS Trust (RMB) and Burnley Healthcare, NHS Trust (REU), along with staff from Blackpool, Wyre and Fyde Community Health NHS trust (mental health services), Chorley and South Ribble NHS Trust (mental health services), Communicare NHS Trust (psychology and drugs services), Guild Community Healthcare NHS Trust, and North Sefton and West Lancashire Community NHS Trust, merged to form Lancashire Care NHS Trust (RW5) in 2002.
2. In 2003-04 the remainder of Blackburn Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Health Care NHS Trust (RMB) and Burnley Healthcare NHS Trust (REU) merged to for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (RXR).
1. The Information Centre for health and social care, medical and dental workforce census
2. The Information Centre for health and social care, non-medical workforce census
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been spent per capita in each primary care trust on (a) cancer services and (b) mental health services in each of the last five years. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Estimates of primary care trust expenditure on cancer and tumours and mental health are provided by the programme budgeting returns. At present, data are only available for the financial years 2003-04 and 2004-05, as per the old primary care trust boundaries.
Details of the net spend for each primary care trust in 2003-04 and 2004-05 on cancer and tumours and mental health, in terms of expenditure per 100,000 unified weighted population have been placed in the Library.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the number of unreadable cervical smear tests since the implementation of liquid based cytology for cervical cancer screening. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Following the evaluation of a Government funded pilot study of Liquid Based Cytology (LBC), the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) concluded in October 2003 that this new technology should be rolled out across the national health service (NHS). NICE concluded LBC will reduce the number of inadequate tests, meaning around 300,000 women a year will not have to go through the anxiety of being re-tested every year just because their slide could not be read.
It will take five years to implement LBC across England as all staff who read the tests or take the samples from women will have to be retrained. As at September 2006, of the 142 laboratories that process cervical screening samples 67 have fully implemented LBC and 35 are intending to implement LBC by March 2007.
The latest year for which statistics on the programme are available is 2004-05, which was at the start of the roll-out of LBC implementation. We have therefore yet to see a major reduction in the number of inadequate tests across the whole programme. However, we have seen a significant reduction in the pilot sites, which is shown in the following table:
|Pilot site||Inadequate test results 2000-01||Inadequate test results 2004-05|
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the compatibility of the actions being taken by Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust in relation to chaplaincy services with the guidelines in NHS Chaplaincy: meeting the religious and spiritual needs of patients, published in November 2003; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department remains committed to the guidance NHS Chaplaincy: Meeting the Religious and Spiritual Needs of Patients and Staff issued to national health service trusts in November 2003 about patients access to spiritual care, irrespective of their faith or beliefs.
NHS trusts are responsible for delivering religious and spiritual care in a way that meets the diverse needs of their patients. How they do so is a matter for local determination, particularly as these arrangements vary considerably now. It is not for Ministers to intervene in these matters.
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