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12 Dec 2006 : Column 1028Wcontinued
For information on how the Lives Saved figure is calculated, I refer the hon. Member to the response I gave the hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire (Mr. Lansley) on 27 November 2006, Official Report, columns 439-440W.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much her Department spent on cancer care in each of the last five years; and how many new consultant posts in cancer care have been created in this period. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: We do not hold information centrally on levels of funding spent on cancer care for each of the last five years, however we do have information for the three years to 2005-06. £3.4 billion was spent on cancer care in 2003-04 and this increased by 12 per cent. each year to £3.8 billion in 2004-05 and £4.3 billion in 2005-06.
Over the last five years the number of consultant posts in cancer care increased by 30 per cent. from 3,528 to 4,593 (an increase of 1,065).
|Hospital and community health services (HCHS): All consultants within the six main cancer specialties by specialty and year, at 30 September each year, England|
|All six main cancer specialities||Clinical oncology||Clinical radiology||Haematology||Histopathology||Medical oncology||Palliative medicine|
| Source: The Information Centre for health and social care medical and dental workforce census.|
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many champions for health have been recruited under the Choosing Health agenda; and at what cost. 
Caroline Flint: The Department has not recruited any health champions.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects the terms under which funds will be allocated to support the community hospital programme to be determined; and if she will make a statement. 
Andy Burnham [holding answer 11 December 2006]: The terms under which funds will be allocated from the community hospitals fund were set out in Our Health Our care Our say: Investing in Community Hospitals and Services. Our intention is to announce a decision on the first round of proposals in the near future.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff are employed as consultants by (a) her Department and (b) NHS trusts; and what the cost was of employing such consultants in the last year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 7 December 2006]: The Department does not collect information that would identify the numbers of consultants engaged for the years requested. Contracts do not usually specify the precise numbers of consultants and the numbers can vary during a contract.
The Department spent £6 million on external consultancy services, where in-house resources were not available, for the financial year 2005-06.
The Department does not collect information on the number or costs of external consultants employed by national health service trusts. While primary care trusts and NHS trusts operate within the financial framework set by the Department, they are accountable to strategic health authorities for their financial performance, not the Department, and publish their own set of annual financial accounts.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the evidential basis was for the establishment of 29 August 2003 as the earliest point of death which would entitle relatives and dependants of those infected by NHS contaminated blood products to claim from the Skipton Fund. 
Caroline Flint: The announcement to set up a payment scheme for patients infected with hepatitis C though national health service contaminated blood and blood products was made on 29 August 2003. The principle behind the scheme is to target available resources to help alleviate the suffering of people living with the virus, therefore at that time 29 August 2003 became the unavoidable cut off date.
In January this year, Ministers agreed to extend the period when claims can be made to the Skipton Fund on behalf of deceased patients by relatives or dependants. Therefore the relatives or dependants of a person infected with hepatitis C through NHS blood and blood products who died after 5 July 2004, which is when the scheme became operational, will also be eligible to make a claim.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many qualified non-medical psychotherapy and counselling practitioners are employed by the NHS in England. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The last non-medical workforce census showed there were 1,087 qualified psychotherapy staff employed in the national health service in England as at 30 September 2005.
The workforce census does not separately identify the number of counselling practitioners.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many full-time equivalent personnel were employed by her Department in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The full-time equivalent numbers of staff employed by the Department in each year since 1997, which have been taken from the Departments annual reports for the years 2002 to 2006, are as follows:
|As at 31 March each year||Number|
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps her Department is taking to tackle deceptive food labelling. 
Caroline Flint: Food labelling legislation prohibits false or misleading labelling. In the United Kingdom, these requirements are enforced by local authorities.
The Food Standards Agency has an active research programme on new methods to verify the description of food. The agency also carries out surveys, in close cooperation with local authorities, to check the accuracy of certain aspects of labelling, and works with local authorities to follow up any problems encountered.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Food Standards Agency recognises the International GCSE as an acceptable substitute for a GCSE for the purposes of recruitment. 
Caroline Flint: The Food Standards Agency (FSA) would recognise the International GCSE as an acceptable qualification for the purposes of recruitment.
When recruiting employees from outside the civil service the FSA adopts the framework laid down by the Civil Service Order in Council 1995. This sets out the principle of fair and open competition and selection on merit. We make clear in the relevant job description the qualifications, skills, experiences and personal qualities needed. All applications are then considered against the criteria.
Mr. Leigh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which approved fostering and adoption agencies have a religious ethos; and how many placements were made by each such agency in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Dhanda: I have been asked to reply.
The information requested can be provided only at disproportionate cost.
While the Government are aware that some registered independent fostering agencies and adoption societies are faith based, information about religious affiliation is not collected by the registration body, the Commission for Social Care Inspection.
Children are placed for adoption by local authorities. Information about the identity of the adoption agency which approved the prospective adoptive parents of such children is not collected.
Looked after children may be placed with foster carers, whose approval will have been undertaken either by local authorities or independent fostering agencies. We do not collect information about the number of fostering placements made through individual agencies.
The following table sets out the number of looked after children who were placed for adoption or with foster carers at 31 March between 2002 and 2006:
|As at 31 March||Placed for adoption||Placed with foster carers|
| Source: Children Looked After in England (including Adoptions and Care Leavers), 2005-06 Table 1: Statistical First Release (Department for Education and skills).|
Mr. Leigh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions she has had on the possible impact of the Sexual Orientation Regulations on fostering and adoption agencies with a religious ethos which refuse to place children for adoption with homosexual couples. 
Mr. Dhanda: I have been asked to reply.
Departmental officials have attended a number of meetings at which this issue was discussed. In addition, I spoke at the All Party Parliamentary Group on Adoption and Fostering on 1 November 2006, where the issue of the proposed Sexual Orientation Regulations was raised by the group.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her latest estimate is of the cost of a general practitioner consultation. 
Caroline Flint: Information on the latest (2004-05) cost of a general practitioner consultation is available on the University of Kent website at:
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many agencies are registered on the NHS employers list; and which have signed up to the Code of Practice for the International Recruitment of Healthcare Professionals. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: NHS Employers report that there are currently 317 commercial recruitment agencies registered as compliant with the Code of Practice for the International Recruitment of Healthcare Professionals.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what proportion of nurses employed in the NHS (a) trained in and (b) were the nationals of developing countries before coming to the UK in each of the last five years. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is not collected centrally.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment she has made of the effect of the Code of Practice for International Recruitment of Healthcare Professionals on the capacity of health systems of developing countries. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Code of Practice for the International Recruitment of International Healthcare Professionals includes a list of countries from which there should be no active recruitment. An indication of the effectiveness of the Code of Practice can be seen in data published by the Nursing and Midwifery Council which show that in 2004-05 there was a decrease in the number of new registrants who trained in sub-Saharan Africa. This has continued in 2005-06.
Lord Crisp is undertaking a review for the Prime Minister, the Department of Health and the Department for International Development on how the United Kingdoms experience and expertise in delivering health services can be used to support the health systems of developing countries.
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