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Mr. Ivan Lewis: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State visited the United States of America on official business on 1-3 November 2006. My right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Health Services covers international and European business within her portfolio, and has undertaken several official visits throughout 2006.
Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether she has consulted the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence on the evaluation of non-invasive ventilation treatment for motor neurone disease; 
(2) if she will make a statement on the timetable for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellences investigation into non-invasive ventilation; and when she expects to publish the findings. 
Caroline Flint [holding answer 26 February 2007]: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) considered non-invasive ventilation as part of its interventional procedures programme but concluded that this procedure fell outside the institutes remit on interventional procedures. Decisions on the use of non-invasive ventilation in motor neurone disease are most appropriately taken by individual patients and their clinicians.
www.dh.gov.uk/PublicationsAndStatistics/FreedomOf Information/ClassesOfInformation/Communications Research/fs/en
These reports are released every six months. Publication of the next set of national media evaluation reports covering January to June 2006 is scheduled for May and when this happens we will arrange for hard copies to be placed in the Library.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 16 January 2007, Official Report, columns 1086-7W, on NHS Finance, whether the full budget for commissioning specialised services transferred from her Department to the NHS will be ring-fenced. 
Andy Burnham: The budget for nationally commissioned healthcare services transferring from the Department to the national health service in 2007-08 will not be ring-fenced. NHS London will host the services on the principle that it will bear no financial risk or benefit. The budget will be transferred from the Department to primary care trusts (PCTs) pro rata to weighted capitation targets and then transferred immediately on the same basis to NHS London. Any variation from budget will be managed through in-year transfers between NHS London and PCTs.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 20 February 2007, Official Report, columns 672-73W, on NHS foundation trusts, what proportion of residents in foundation trust catchment areas are members of foundation trusts. 
Andy Burnham: Information relating to the proportion of residents who are members of foundation trusts is not held by Monitor (the statutory name of which is the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts) or the Department.
I am advised by the chairman of Monitor that as part of their annual plan submissions to Monitor, national health service foundation trusts are required to report on their plans for securing representative membership. The plans for the 2006-07 financial year are available on Monitors website at www.monitor-nhsft.gov.uk
As part of their 2007-08 annual plan submissions to Monitor, NHS foundation trusts will be required to include a more in-depth report on their membership, including an analysis of current membership of the public constituency and a comparison with eligible membership by age, ethnicity and socio-economic groupings. The 2007-08 annual plans are due to be considered by Monitors board in July 2007, following which they will be published on Monitors website.
Andy Burnham: The Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003 provides that an national health service trust may make an application to Monitor (the statutory name of which is the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts) for consideration for authorisation as an NHS foundation trust (NHSFT), if the application is supported by the Secretary of State.
I am advised by the chairman of Monitor that it is currently considering 27 applications from NHS trusts for NHSFT status. Of the 27, nine applications have been deferred from earlier waves, either at the request of the trusts themselves, or by Monitor's board. Applications cannot normally be deferred for a period of more than one year. The remaining 18 trusts received Secretary of State support in December 2006 to go forward to Monitor for potential authorisation from spring 2007 onwards.
A further 12 trusts are preparing to submit an application for NHSFT status to Monitor in 2007. Subject to receiving Secretary of State's support, these trusts will apply to Monitor to be considered for authorisation from summer 2007. Further waves are set to follow.
With the benefit of choose and book, general practitioners and other care staff are able to book initial hospital appointments at a time, date and place which is convenient for their patients. By giving patients choice and placing them in control of their booking, choose and book has been shown to halve the number of did not attends, saving millions of pounds in nursing and clinical time.
97 per cent. of general practices are now able to make electronic bookings. Most bookings are made in under a minute. Currently, over 16,000 bookings are being made every day, and in excess of 2.5 million bookings have been made in total to date.
Andy Burnham: The choose and book computer system is a core component of the national programme for information technology being delivered by the Departments NHS Connecting for Health agency. Expenditure on system development, along with ongoing service payments and volume charges, is incurred centrally under a national contract.
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 5 March 2007]: After discussion with the Department and national health service trusts, NHS Employers has decided that given that each trust comprises a work force unique to it, reflecting its local communities, national guidance is inappropriate and the way forward is to share best practice where like trusts can learn from each other.
NHS Trusts have indicated to NHS Employers that they would like access to evidence and best practice from other parts of the NHS so that they can learn from others when developing their own local dress code policies. NHS Employers is currently pulling together a number of good practice examples, which it will make available on its website.
|Number on the NHS Organ Donor Register each year|
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