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6 Feb 2007 : Column 794W—continued

Joan Ryan [holding answer 5 February 2007]: The photo standards information leaflet, PLE/04, was introduced in January 2006 in support of changes in the criteria introduced in late November 2005. There have been no subsequent changes to the criteria used
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by the Identity and Passport Service in accepting photographs. The guidance and leaflet are being reviewed and may be updated in response to feedback from customers and staff.

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people in Warrington, North have been issued with a free passport. [117992]

Joan Ryan: The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) does not ask passport holders to keep their address up to date on our database. Therefore, the IPS cannot identify the number of current residents by geographical area who have taken advantage of the scheme to issue free passports to those applicants born on or before 2 September 1929.

However 398,615 people born on or before 2 September 1929 have in total had their entitlement to free British passports fulfilled by the IPS up until 31 December 2006. This includes passports issued on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to British residents overseas.

Rape Victims

Lorely Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many reported rapes were wrongly recorded and dismissed in (a) Solihull and (b) England and Wales in each of the last five years. [118664]

Mr. Coaker: The information requested is not available centrally.

Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria are used by the police for determining whether to bring charges for an offence under section 132 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005. [118210]

Mr. Coaker: Guidance on this is an operational matter for the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

Transport Crime

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes were committed on (a) buses and (b) trains in Chorley in each of the last five years, broken down by type of crime. [118935]

Mr. Coaker: The information requested is not available centrally. The recorded crime series does not include the location of an offence, only the numbers of offences.

Prime Minister

Iraq and Afghanistan

Mr. Harper: To ask the Prime Minister how many letters of condolence he has sent to the next of kin of personnel who have died in action in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Iraq in each year since 2001. [119015]

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The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the then Member for Shrewsbury and Atcham (Mr. Marsden) on 8 November 2004, Official Report, column 450W.

Public Accounts Commission

Recruitment Agencies

Grant Shapps: To ask the Chairman of the Public Accounts Commission how much the National Audit Office paid to recruitment agencies for the hire of temporary staff in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [110507]

Mr. Alan Williams: National Audit Office expenditure on the hire of temporary staff from 1997-98 to 2005-06 is set out in the following table.

Year Expenditure



















National Audit Office resourcing policy is to hire temporary staff to cover short-term resource requirements for which it would be too costly to recruit permanent members of staff. For example, the Office's financial audit workload reaches a peak in May and June each year and this is partly met by buying in additional skilled resources on a temporary basis. This trend has increased in recent years as more Departments try to meet the Treasury's ‘faster closing’ targets and lay their accounts before the parliamentary summer recess and this also explains the increase in costs between 2004-05 and 2005-06. The peak in 2002-03 reflected the increase in the number of value for money reports from 50 to 60 combined with the fact that, because of the state of the recruitment market, it was taking longer than usual to fill posts.


Connecting for Health

14. David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations she has received on the cost of, and progress made in, the Connecting for Health IT project. [118598]

Caroline Flint: My right hon. Friend has received no recent representations on these specific matters. However, the project has made very substantial progress and is being delivered within budget.

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Childhood Obesity

15. Mr. Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action her Department is taking to reduce obesity amongst children. [118599]

Caroline Flint: We are totally committed to tackling obesity, putting in place universal and local action. We have an obesity public service agreement target to halt the year-on-year rise in obesity among children aged under 11 by 2010 in the context of a broader strategy to tackle obesity in the population as a whole.

Acute Services Trusts

16. Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the future organisation of acute services trusts in (a) Northamptonshire and (b) England. [118600]

Andy Burnham: I understand that NHS East Midlands is to commission an externally led initial review of the key organisational model options for acute services in Northamptonshire. This is expected to report on a range of options by the end of March.

In parallel to this, I understand that Northamptonshire primary care trust is leading a separate review of acute clinical services provision between Kettering General NHS Trust and Northampton General NHS Trust.

It is for the local NHS to determine the configuration of local services and organisations.

Broomfield Hospital

18. Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in reaching a decision on the Broomfield Hospital private finance initiative scheme; and if she will make a statement. [118603]

Andy Burnham: Intensive discussions are taking place between the trust, strategic health authority and officials in order to conclude the re-scoping exercise.

Specialist Nurse Training

19. Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has for specialist nursing training in the NHS. [118604]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government have supported the development of a range of specialist roles within nursing. However it is for local trusts to commission training and to deploy specialist nurses in accordance with their local needs.

NHS Finance: East Anglia

20. Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she next expects to meet primary care trust chief executives from East Anglia to discuss deficits. [118605]

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Andy Burnham: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has no immediate plans to meet with the chief executives of the East Anglia primary care trusts. However, officials from the Department of Health meet regularly with chef executives from strategic health authorities to discuss their performance and progress on financial recovery plans where necessary.

Maternity Services: Greater Manchester

21. Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the reorganisation of maternity services in Greater Manchester. [118606]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The joint committee of primary care trusts in Greater Manchester met on 8 December to agree changes to children’s and maternity services following the four-month “Making it Better” consultation.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has now received a formal request to review that decision from Salford city council’s overview and scrutiny committee.

Smoking Ban

22. Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health in what ways she plans to assess the effectiveness of the legislation banning smoking in public places. [118607]

Caroline Flint: The Department is planning to evaluate the smokefree legislation through a range of independent studies. These studies will give an overview of the effectiveness of smokefree legislation after implementation. The proposals are currently going through an academic peer review process.

Bathing Assessments

Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the waiting time was for an initial bathing assessment in each social services department in England in the last period for which figures are available. [112012]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information requested is not held centrally.

Brent Teaching Primary Care Trust

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the financial position of the Brent Teaching Primary Care Trust. [117232]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: At the end of quarter two of 2006-07, Brent Teaching Primary Care Trust is forecasting a financial year-end deficit position of £3.5 million.

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will meet a delegation from Brent council to discuss cuts in Brent Teaching Primary Care Trust services; and if she will make a statement. [117260]

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Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 22 January 2007]: The Secretary of State has asked my noble Friend Lord Hunt, the departmental Minister with regional responsibility for London, to meet the hon. Member and her delegation to discuss Brent primary care trust (PCT). His office will be in touch shortly to arrange a meeting.

Since 2003, Brent PCT has received the following allocations which have increased on a year by year basis:

£ million











Care Homes

Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to announce the national framework criteria for access to NHS continuing care. [118560]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: We received a large response to the continuing care consultation which raised a number of important issues which have needed careful consideration. We intend to publish our response in the near future.

Clinical Trials

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the objective value of medicinal drugs trials undertaken by (a) pharmaceutical companies and (b) independent bodies. [118597]

Caroline Flint: Clinical trials are required by law and are essential in medicines development to evaluate safety and efficacy. Applicants must supply all relevant data generated including those from any unfavourable or incomplete trials. Failure to do so is a criminal offence. The data are rigorously assessed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Clostridium Difficile

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance her Department has issued to hospitals on dealing with clostridium difficile; and if she will make a statement. [110517]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department has issued the following guidance specifically for the management and control of Clostridium difficile:

In addition, we have asked the Health Protection Agency to review the extant guidance issued in 1994. This revised national guidance should be ready in the spring.

All those providing health care services need high standards of hygiene to prevent infections. Specific measures to control Clostridium difficile are restriction, where possible, of broad spectrum antibiotics, isolation of patients and enhanced environmental cleaning, all of these measures are most relevant to those providing in patient services.

Copies of ‘A simple guide to Clostridium difficile and the National Clostridium difficile Standards group: Report to the Department of Health’ have been placed in the Library and are also available on the Department’s website at:

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