|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Information about operational management in national health service foundation trusts (NHSFTs) is not held centrally, and can be obtained by contacting the chairmen of the respective trusts.
While provisions in the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003 states that the constitution for each NHSFT is to provide for the meetings of the board of governors to be open to members of the public, there is no specific requirement for meetings of the board of directors to be open to the public. This is a matter for each individual trust to decide.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: NHS foundation trusts (NHSFTs) cannot lose their status, unless they become insolvent. Work is under way to make and publish secondary legislation on an insolvency regime for NHSFTs in 2007. The failure regime for NHSFTs will allow for the protection of assets required for the continuation of essential NHS services.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the extent to which availability of funds is affecting the promotion prospects of health care professionals; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: National health service funding has increased from around £33 billion in 1996-97 to around £84 billion in 2006-07, which is the highest ever level of sustained funding growth for the NHS. These resources have resulted in substantial improvements in patient care, and in a substantial increase in the opportunities available to health care professionals across the NHS as a whole. Since 1997 the NHS is employing around 300,000 more staff including over 32,000 more doctors and over 85,000 more nurses.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance she has issued to strategic health authorities on the consultation that is required with patients and residents before an independent sector treatment centre is established. 
Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the answer of 27 November 2006, Official Report, column 352W, on the information prescription, in which geographical areas she expects trials to take place. 
Chris McCafferty: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance her Department has issued to primary care trusts with regards to implementing (a) the recommendations of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance on epilepsies and (b) the quality requirements of the national service framework for long-term conditions; and if she will make a statement. 
Chris McCafferty: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment she has made of the contribution of specialist nurses to providing treatment and care to patients with (a) long-term conditions and (b) epilepsy; and if she will make a statement; 
Chris McCafferty: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether any primary care trusts have been referred to the Healthcare Commission for a failure to implement (a) the recommendations of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance on the epilepsies and (b) the quality requirements of the national service framework for long-term conditions. 
Andy Burnham: Health care organisations are not referred to the Healthcare Commission for non- compliance with National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance or the quality requirements of national service frameworks.
All organisations providing national health service care are expected to be compliant with the 24 core standards set out by the Department in Standards for Better Health published in July 2004. Core standard 5a states that
they conform to NICE technology appraisals and, where it is available, take into account nationally agreed guidance when planning and delivering treatment and care.
conform to nationally agreed best practice, particularly as defined in national service frameworks, NICE guidance, national plans and agreed national guidance on service delivery.
The Healthcare Commission assesses NHS trusts, including primary care trusts (PCT), against the core standards as part of its annual health check assessment process. Results from the first annual health check assessment, in 2005-06, are available at:
There is a statutory direction requiring the NHS to provide funding within three months from the date of publication of NICE technology appraisal guidance. PCTs were last reminded of these obligations in a statement on the implementation of NICE guidance which the Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner) made in June 2004.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The main agency through which the Government support biomedical research is the Medical Research Council (MRC). The MRC is an independent body funded by the Department of Trade and Industry via the Office of Science and Innovation. The MRC is currently funding only a limited amount of research relating to lung cancer screening, largely due to a lack of high-quality proposals in this area.
A working group of the National Cancer Research Institute(1) has recently published a report on lung cancer research(2). The report can be found at www.ncri.org.uk. Among other things, the report discusses the feasibility of funding research on screening for lung cancer. The institutes follow-up work on the report will identify what further information is needed to help determine whether a screening trial should be conducted.
Building on its recent international symposium on biomarkers, the MRC has made £10 million available to support proposals for world-class, innovative projects to evaluate potential biomarkers in diagnosis of disease (including cancer), disease heterogeneity and underlying mechanisms or response to interventions. A recent call for proposals aims to stimulate translational research proposals that bridge the gap between discovery and application of new biomarkers, with an emphasis on partnerships with industry. The MRC will announce the successful proposals in March 2007.
(1) The institute was established in April 2001. It is a partnership between government, the voluntary sector and the private sector. Its primary purpose is to maximise the patient benefit that accrues from cancer research in the UK through coordination of effort and joint planning.
(2) Lung Cancer Research in the UK 2006, Report of the NCRI Strategic Planning Group on Lung Cancer, October 2006.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department is working in collaboration with charities and others with an interest in raising public awareness of the signs and symptoms of lung cancer to promote key messages about when to seek help throughout Lung Cancer Awareness Month in November, and will be reviewing the impact of the various events early in 2007.
For other cancers, the Department has collaborated with the Prostate Cancer Charter for Action to fund a pilot public awareness programme on the prostate and its function, which took place in October and is now being independently evaluated. The Department also funds a small number of voluntary sector organisations to test out approaches to raising awareness in hard-to- reach groups. Pilot work has been undertaken in 2005-06 to raise awareness of mouth cancer, in a project with Cancer Research UK. Further pilot work is also planned with the Improvement Foundations healthy communities collaborative, raising awareness of breast, bowel and lung cancers in deprived communities.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the timetable is for the national perinatal epidemiology unit investigation into maternity care; whether the terms of reference for the investigation have been set out; who has been appointed to undertake the investigation; and whether it will be taking submissions from the general public and interested hon. Members. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department has commissioned the national perinatal epidemiology unit to undertake a three-year research study to evaluate maternity units in England. This project started on 1 September 2006 and will run until 31 August 2009. It will address the seven topic areas stated in the commissioning brief, a copy of which has been placed in the Library. The lead researcher is Professor Peter Brocklehurst at the University of Oxford. The research design incorporates appropriate processes for engaging and involving stakeholders. It will not take unsolicited submissions.
It is for the local national health service, in partnership with strategic health authorities and other local stakeholders, to plan, develop and improve
services for local people. Local solutions will meet the needs of local patients and communities. It is about providing the best and safest care for patients in the right setting and the right location. However, change will only happen after full public consultation with local people.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many memory clinics there are in England; and what assessment she has made of these services since the issuing of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance on drug treatments for Alzheimers disease. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department collects information on bed days spent by children and young people on adult wards rather than the number of such patients. The latest information covers the three-month period from 1 July to 30 September 2006 and is set out in the following table:
Local delivery plan return data, Department of Health, 2006
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance she has issued on the use of the memory mental state examination by health professionals when prescribing drug treatments to people with Alzheimer's disease. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of cancer research facilities are conducting research into mesothelioma; and what
percentage of funding for research into cancer was spent on research into mesothelioma in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
The report of the National Cancer Research Institutes (NCRI) strategic planning group on Lung cancer research in the UK 2006, published in October, includes an analysis of NCRI partners funding of research that includes research on mesothelioma. The
report is available at www.ncri.org.uk/includes/Publications/reports/LCReport.pdf.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|