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Caroline Flint: There are no specific regulations governing the prescription of drug treatments to people in the early and late stages of Alzheimer's disease. However, the Department expects clinicians to follow current recommendations from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether provisions exist in the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance on drug treatments for (a) Alzheimer's disease and (b) dementia for clinicians to prescribe the most effective drug treatments available; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) published a clinical guideline on dementia: Supporting people with dementia and their carers in health and social care on 22 November 2006. This guideline incorporates NICE's appraisal guidance on the use of drugs for people with Alzheimer's disease and contains supplementary advice to support clinicians on how to accurately diagnose which stage of Alzheimers disease an individual has reached.
Each ambulance service should plan to provide appropriate resources to meet local demand. This may include resources in addition to traditional ambulance provision, for example in using rapid response vehicles and motorbikes, as well as utilising staff such as community paramedics or emergency care practitioners. Patients who need a traditional ambulance response will continue to receive one. The fleet mix will vary across the country depending on operational and geographical requirements.
Andy Burnham: The Department does not collect information on the average response times to emergency calls by national health service ambulance trusts. The Department only centrally collects data, from NHS ambulance trusts, which allows response time standards to be monitored. The response time standards are as follows:
Category Apresenting conditions which may be immediately life threatening and which should be responded to within eight minutes irrespective of location in 75 per cent. of cases. A fully equipped ambulance should attend incidents classified as category A within 19 minutes of a request being made for transport, 95 per cent. of the time;
Category Bpresenting conditions which though serious are not immediately life threatening and should be responded to within 19 minutes in 95 per cent. of cases;
Category Cpresenting conditions which are not immediately serious or life threatening. Since 1 October 2004 local NHS organisations have had responsibility for managing and monitoring the ways in which local services respond to these calls; and
GP Urgent Callsas specified by a GPto receive a response at scene within 15 minutes of the time stipulated by the GP, 95 per cent. of the time.
The data that the Department does collect on ambulance response times is published on an annual basis in the statistical bulletin, Ambulance services, England. These documents are available in the Library and on the Department of Health and the Information Centre for Health and Social Care websites:
Caroline Flint: A booklet entitled Understand your medicinesa Patient Guide to Medicines Use Review was developed through the medicines partnership. The booklet was distributed to all community pharmacies, when it was first published. This continues to be available for download from the website at www.npc.co.uk/med_partnership Contractors are encouraged to keep stocks of this leaflet in their pharmacies and actively hand it out to patients to raise their awareness.
We are aware of the need to encourage better engagement with medicines use reviews (MUR) by general practitioners (GPs). The form that is used to notify GPs, following a review, is being re-designed to aid communication. We are also aiming to improve GPs engagement through our wider communications strategy, in particular, when the re-designed forms are launched.
supply of information with national publicitysupply of information with national publicity campaigns to raise awareness of the effects of cold and how to reduce risk. Over two million Keep Well, Keep Warm information booklets have been dispersed this winter, including to primary healthcare settings;
improving good practiceraising awareness and integrating fuel poverty and winter warmth into assessment tools and developing straightforward referral pathways for health and social care workers; and
partnership workinglocal regional and national levels to ensure a strategic and joined up approach is taken to promoting winter warmth, i.e. local area agreement.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Care Services will respond to the letter of 15 November 2006 on care homes from the hon. Member for Eddisbury. 
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what percentage of emergency orders for domiciliary oxygen were delivered within the target time in the last period for which figures are available; 
Caroline Flint: Suppliers provide monthly data relating to a range of performance indicators, including the required delivery time for emergency orders. Emergency orders are a priority, as supply is required within four hours where a patient does not have a supply of oxygen at home. Latest information indicates that all suppliers are meeting this requirement for around 98 per cent. of orders, with reasons given where delivery is outside the target time.
Caroline Flint: We began introduction of the new home oxygen service on 1 February 2006 with a phased transfer of patients, using this service, to new suppliers. Therefore, the new service has yet to complete a full year in operation and part of this time has involved managing the transition to the new arrangements. We are continuing to work with the national health service and all suppliers to monitor service delivery and contract performance.
Caroline Flint: Information on individual primary care trust (PCT) budgets for the new oxygen service in 2006-07 is not held centrally. The Department allocated £26.4 million to the national health service in 2006-07 to support the new oxygen service. These funds supplemented those already held in PCT baseline budgets.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of drugs rehabilitation programmes in each of the last five years, broken down by drug type. 
Caroline Flint: Hospital episode statistics publications contain information on admissions to hospital together with information around the primary and secondary diagnosis of the patient being treated. However, the diagnoses of foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) are rarely recorded in hospital systems as such a diagnosis may not be identified at birth. It requires identification of the facial or other FAS abnormality at this early stage, which can be very difficult and problems that raise the possible diagnosis may only become apparent during schooling. In addition, sensitive information about heavy drinking during pregnancy may not be revealed in that context.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of (a) MRSA and (b) clostridium difficile have been reported in each hospital located within the Greater London area in each year since 2000. 
For methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the annual data relates to the period from April 2001, and for Clostridium difficile, (patients aged 65 and over), for the period from January 2004.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the estimated financial position is of Milton Keynes primary care trust in the 2006-07 financial year; and what she estimates it will be in each of the next three financial years. 
We are working with strategic health authorities to ensure that all national health service organisations in deficit improve their financial positions. Our performance and turnaround teams continue to work with the most challenged organisations to reduce forecast deficits.
Andy Burnham: The allocation and management of national health service central budgets for 2006-07, including the multi-professional education and training budget, was discussed and agreed by departmental officials and the chief executives of the strategic health authorities.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were treated at Edgware Walk-in-Centre in each of the last five years; how many have been treated there in 2006-07; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many Barnet residents (a) received (i) a cataract operation, (ii) a heart operation and (iii) a cancer operation in (A) 1996-97 and (B) 2005-06 and (b) have received each type of operation in 2006-07; what the average waiting time was for each operation in each year; and if she will make a statement. 
Andy Burnham: This information is not available in the format requested. However, the table shows the latest figures available for the count of finished consultant episodes for cataract procedures and heat procedures at Barnet primary care trust (PCT). These figures are not available for cancer operations.
|Count of finished consultant episodes for cataract procedures (OPCS codes C71, C72, C74, C75) and heart procedures (OPCS codes K01-K71) in 2005-06 and 1996-97, at Barnet PCT|
|Procedure group||Finished consultant episodes||Mean waiting time||Median waiting time|
1. Median figures are a better proxy to the average time waited as mean figures can cloud the real picture if some anomalies (longwaiters) may artificially increase the average.
2. Diagnosis (Primary Diagnosis)
The primary diagnosis is the first of up to 14 (seven prior to 2002-03) diagnosis fields in the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data set and provides the main reason why the patient was in hospital.
3. Finished Consultant Episode (FCE)
An FCE is defined as a period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. Please note that the figures do not represent the number of patients, as a person may have more than one episode of care within the year.
4. Ungrossed data
Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in data (ie the data are ungrossed).
5. Time waited (days)
Time waited statistics from Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) are not the same as the published waiting list statistics. HES provides counts and time waited for all patients admitted to hospital within a given period whereas the published waiting list statistics count those waiting for treatment on a specific date and how long they have been on the waiting list. Also, HES calculates the time waited as the difference between the admission and decision to admit dates. Unlike published waiting list statistics, this is not adjusted for self-deferrals or periods of medical/social suspension.
Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), The Information Centre for Health and Social Care
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