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Andy Burnham: All national health service organisations are currently in the process of finalising their financial plans for 2007-08. We have made clear in the 2007-08 NHS operating framework that strategic health authorities (SHAs) will not generally require the scale of contribution to SHA reserves seen in 2006-07 because of the return of the NHS to overall financial balance this year.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the (a) advantages and (b) disadvantages of counting NHS staff using (i) headcount and (ii) whole-time equivalent basis; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: National health service workforce statistics are collected on both a headcount and whole time equivalent basis to enable the level of workforce resource to be accurately planned taking into account factors such as work/life balance. This will also feed into paybill and pension modelling, and numbers of training commissions.
Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate her Department has made of the future need for (a) midwives, (b) school nurses and (c) health visitors; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: It is for local planners with support from the workforce review team to determine their future requirement for midwives, school nurses and health visitors to meet local service needs.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 9 March 2007, Official Report, columns 2303-04W, on the North London Breast Screening Service, what the action plan (a) to recommence breast screening and (b) to clear the backlog is; when she expects the full plan for the recommencement of screening services to be (i) completed and (ii) fully implemented; what other screening units are being considered; what the (A) longest and (B) average time is for which an individual has been waiting for a screening appointment; what the new procedures are which are to be embedded in the service; when she expects to be able to estimate the cost of the reorganisation and consequent additional cost; from which budget the costs will be met; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton
[holding answer 15 March 2007]: This is a local matter. However, the trust is currently working towards the completion of detailed plans to reopen the service during April. The service has been subject to an external review by the national breast screening service quality assurance team. The implementation of all the recommendations arising
from the review continues to form a key part of the planning process. The trust will be able to confirm the precise arrangements for resuming the service after the review team has completed its work and is expected to have happened by the end of March.
Plans for clearing the backlog are currently being developed as part of the overall planning process to reopen the service. Preliminary contacts have been made with other breast screening units in London to assess the potential for contracting additional capacity from other providers to assist with clearing the backlog.
A full action plan is currently being drawn up for the recommencement of screening services. This will be completed and implemented once the outcome of the external review is known. The full plan is expected to be in place by the end of March.
Patients currently wait an average of three years to be screened in line with national standards. All women currently due for an appointment will have to wait an additional three months due to the temporary closure of the unit.
implementation of a comprehensive framework for the management of quality in the breast screening service.
right results guidelinesthis deals with the initial suspension issue of ensuring women who have had a normal mammogram are re-invited for an appointment when they mention other possible symptoms during their appointment.
It is important to note that the temporary suspension of the service was not due to financial considerations. However, the additional financial costs for resuming the service will depend on the outcome and recommendations of the quality assurance review. It is therefore not possible to make an estimate of the costs at this time.
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 15 March 2007]: The national health service provides a contribution to the cost of continuing education and training for professions whose income derives in part from providing NHS services. Under deregulatory changes approved by Parliament in 1986, the NHS provides optical vouchers to certain eligible groups to assist in buying glasses or contact lenses, but the dispensing of glasses is carried out on a private basis. The Department considers that these arrangements work well in promoting choice and access to services and that it would be anomalous to use public funds to make continuing education and training payments to health care professionals who do not provide services under contract to the NHS.
|SHA||Number of operational bedside television and telephone units( 1)|
|(1 )Data as at June 2006 note: this information is no longer collected centrally.|
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department has not provided national health service trusts with advice on the treatment of Peyronies disease. Treatment options will depend on the severity of the disease, and can include the insertion of an implant for the most severe cases.
Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the performance of primary care trusts in implementing the compact with voluntary organisations in their area. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: In 2002, the Department wrote to all national health service organisations in England asking them to sign up to, or be working towards, a geographically relevant local compact by 31 March 2004. Data to confirm the extent to which this was achieved are not available centrally (although anecdotal evidence would suggest that progress has not been uniform).
I made a fresh commitment to the principles of the compact on 1 December 2006 in a joint statement with Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). In addition, following the report of the Third Sector Commissioning Task Force last July, the Commissioning Framework for Health and Wellbeing, published for consultation on 6 March, reflects the principles of the compact in positioning the third sector as an important contributor to the commissioning and provision of high quality, responsive services, and promoting a fair playing field for all providers.
Caroline Flint: The Department has made no payments to the Priory Hospitals Group in the period April 2002 and February 2007. Information relating to earlier years is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many pieces of correspondence were received by her Department on the subject of the future of the Royal Surrey hospital during (a) November 2006, (b) December 2006 and (c) January 2007. 
|Month||Pieces of correspondence received|
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) monitors and regulates local authorities() regulated social care services and local authorities performance in delivering their adult social services functions. Councils performance in delivering social services for children are monitored through joint area reviews and annual performance assessments, led by Ofsted and in conjunction with CSCI.
CSCI publishes comprehensive performance assessments and reports on local authorities on its website at www.csci.org.uk.
Caroline Flint: The Department has no plans at present to commission such research. SunSmart, the national skin cancer prevention and sun protection campaign, run by Cancer Research United Kingdom on behalf of the UK Health Departments recommends:
spend time in the shade between 11 and 3;
make sure you never burn;
aim to cover up with a hat, t-shirt and sunglasses;
remember to take extra care with children; and
then use factor 15+ sunscreen or higher.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many visiting surgeons operated in the NHS in each of the past five years for which figures are available, broken down by (a) surgeons' country of origin, (b) type of operations conducted and (c) employing hospital. 
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