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Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what access other (a) local and (b) central Government agencies and Departments will have to electronic patient records under the Connecting for Health programme in England. 
Caroline Flint: The devolved Administration in Wales has adopted different approaches to the development of information technology support in the health service in Wales from those being delivered through the national programme for information technology to the national health service in England, based on its own functional requirements, administrative arrangements, and assessment of priorities.
However, through the United Kingdom (UK) information management and technology forum, and the NHS information standards board, national programme officials work closely with officials in the National Assembly for Wales to ensure common standards and interoperability of clinical information systems; and where appropriate, information can be exchanged between the health services quickly, safely and securely. There are a number of working groups involving officials and experts from the four UK health administrations with the specific objective of ensuring compatibility between systems and, where appropriate, the adoption of common solutions.
Caroline Flint: NHS Connecting for Health is providing local national health service organisations with the tools to ensure that the use of local electronic patient records will be fully auditable. All users will have to have a smartcarda secure token that, together with a password, confirms the identity of a user. They are issued only when satisfactory evidence of identity and residence is provided in accordance with the e-Government interoperability framework (eGif) level 3 standards for the registration and authentication of staff. NHS Connecting for Health smartcards provide a unique digital identity that enables systems to know precisely who each user is and what access to patient records they are permitted. They also enable systems to create an audit trail of user activity. Responsibility for ensuring that staff comply with required information governance practice, investigating incidents and conducting audits of activity will continue to rest, as now, with local NHS organisations.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: I am informed by the Chair of the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) that Excelcare is a corporate provider which has 37 care homes, two domiciliary care agencies and one nursing agency registered with CSCI.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what provisions there will be to assess the particular requirements of deaf and hard of hearing patients in accessing NHS services as part of the GP patient survey Your Doctor, Your Experience, Your Say; 
(2) pursuant to the questions designed to assess whether patients can easily contact their general practitioners practice in the forthcoming GP patient survey Your Doctor, Your Experience, Your Say, what alternatives to the telephone have been considered by her Department; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: The general practitioner patient survey Your Doctor, Your Experience, Your Say has been developed by the Department to provide a nationally consistent tool for asking all patients for their views on primary care services at practice level. The initial survey will focus on patients experience of access. Patients responses will be used by primary care trusts to reward general practices against standards set out in the improved access scheme, which is part of the contract for general practices in 2006-07.
This scheme is intended to incentivise improved access for all patients including those who are deaf and hard of hearing but includes no specific provisions relating to any particular group or category of patients. Accordingly, the questions have been designed to allow patients to report their experience of making contact with GPs using the most common methods such as by telephone or by visiting their practice.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the Answer of 21 November 2006, Official Report, columns 29W-30W, on Healthy Living, whether she has assessed the merits of using fiscal incentives to promote responsible drinking. 
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what response her Department has made to the March 2006 paper by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, Appraising Orphan Drugs; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The report from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) specifically addressed the appraisal of ultra-orphan drugs for conditions with a prevalence of less than one in 50,000. We currently have no plans to ask NICE to establish a new appraisal system for such drugs. NICE already appraises orphan drugs for conditions with a prevalence of less than five per 10,000, through its existing technology appraisal programme.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Community health services are currently outside the scope of payment by results and therefore funding for these services is agreed locally with commissioners. The scope of services within payment by results will not be enlarged in 2007-08.
However, there are flexibilities within payment by results aimed at supporting the delivery of services in new ways and in new settings for the benefit of patients. For instance, the tariff can be split, or unbundled, so that funding can be shared locally between those providing different elements of a patients care, which would benefit services providing rehabilitation or diagnostics in the community.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to consult (a) the Doctors Dispensing Association and (b) pharmacy trading bodies on changes to the distribution of pharmaceutical products. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: A number of bodies, including the Dispensing Doctors Association, have expressed concerns about forthcoming changes to the distribution of pharmaceutical products. These are commercial matters, which the Department has no plans to consult on.
Mr. McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent meetings she has had with representatives of the pharmaceutical wholesale and pharmacy industries to discuss the new distribution arrangements proposed by Pfizer and UniChem. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Ministers have had no recent meetings with representatives of the pharmaceutical wholesale and pharmacy industries to discuss these new distribution arrangements but officials in the Department have done so.
Mr. McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what powers her Department has to ensure the supply of pharmaceutical products to pharmaciesif the supply is disrupted due to the commercial decisions of either pharmaceutical wholesalers or pharmaceutical manufacturers. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department has no such powers. However, the Department has received assurances from both Pfizer and UniChem that they will make every effort to ensure that their new distribution arrangements for pharmaceutical products will not result in any disruptions in supply. The Department will monitor the new arrangements. If the changes result in shortages or disruptions to supply, it will move to ensure the companies take swift corrective action.
Ms Rosie Winterton: In accordance with Cabinet Office guidelines, the competence and curriculum framework for the medical care practitioner (previous title for physician assistant) consultation document was published on 4 November 2005. Public consultation ended on 10 February 2006. The outcomes from the public consultation are available at:
Caroline Flint: The physicians assistant role has been subject to rigorous pilot programmes in primarycare in North East London and in secondary carein North West London. The pilot programmes have underpinned the development of a competence and curriculum framework.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Mental health services for prisoners have been a key part of the Governments recent reforms of health services for prisoners. This has seen funding and commissioning responsibility for health services in prisons pass from the Prison Service to the national health service, with funding rising from £118 million in 2003 to over £200 million in this financial year.
The Department is now investing nearly £20 million a year in NHS mental health in-reach services for prisoners. These are community mental health teams working within prisons and are now available to all prisons in England and Wales, with some 360 extra staff employed.
Caroline Flint: It is the responsibility of primary care trusts (PCTs) and strategic health authorities to analyse their local situation and develop plans, in liaison with their local national health service (NHS) trusts and primary care providers, to deliver high quality NHS services.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will ensure that there is an independent assessment of the findings of the public consultation process that has taken place for the strategic services plan for the Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin primary care trusts. 
Caroline Flint: The Department understands that the public consultation for stage two of the strategicreview of services in Shropshire County and Telford and Wrekin Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) ended on27 November 2006. It is now for the two PCTs to consider the responses to this consultation and reach a decision as to the way forward. Decisions on service reconfiguration rarely involve Ministers. They will only become involved if the relevant overview and scrutiny committee choose to refer any decisions to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health. Where a referral has been made, the Secretary of State for Health may ask the independent review panel to advise her on the matter.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make it her policy to ensure that Southampton residents who wish to be treated by the Southampton general hospital trusts will not need to travel to other hospitals for treatment. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Current choice policy means that since 1 January 2006, eligible patients should be offered a choice of at least four providers, where clinically appropriate, where they need a referral for elective care. Primary care trusts (PCTs) are responsible for commissioning the choice options for their local communities and these may include national health service trusts, NHS foundation trusts, NHS or independent sector (IS) treatment centres and other IS providers. This would normally include the local district general hospital. PCTs are expected to engage with local communities and patient groups to inform the local menu of providers. This policy is likely to provide my right hon. Friend with the assurance he is seeking.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when the local capacity and impact analysis for the proposed Southampton independent sector treatment centre was completed; and if she will publish the report; 
(2) what estimate she has made of the additional surgical capacity required in the Southampton primary care trust area over the next five years; and what proportion of this she expects to be provided by the proposed Southampton independent sector treatment centre. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information requested is not held centrally. It is the responsibility of NHS South Central, which includes the former Hampshire and Isle of Wight strategic health authority area, to plan surgical capacity and develop the requirement for the independent sector treatment centre in Southampton.
The Department is working on capacity mapping analyses of the proportion of elective care, by specialty, that will flow to all the providers in the health economy over five years, but these are not ready at this stage.
Health Protection Agency enhanced tuberculosis surveillance system.
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government further to the Preventing Extremism Together working plan, what funding each Department provided for The Radical Middle Way campaign; and how much was provided for the campaign's website. 
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