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Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what mechanisms exist to promote consistency in the decisions of Healthcare Commission inspectors in different areas; and if she will make a statement. 
Andy Burnham [holding answer 16 April 2007]: The Healthcare Commission has confirmed that national consistency in its assessments is a priority and that there are quality assurance and control systems in place to ensure that consistency is maximised.
The Commission has said that all its assessment managers, who carry out inspections, receive national training covering the overall principles of assessment, guidance on acquiring, analysing, and evaluating evidence, making judgments, and summarising assessments in a standardised report. Assessment managers carry out their inspections using a national assessment framework which provides a clear basis for assessing each of the core standards set out in Standards for Better Health (Department of Health 2004) and the National Minimum Standards for Independent Health Care issued under the Care Standards Act 2000.
The Commission has added that, in the case of the national health service, a national panel considers the assessments made against each standard across the
country: assessment managers and their line managers may be required to review assessments in the light of local or national comparisons.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how her Department plans to meet cardiac rehabilitation standards as set out in the National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease; 
(3) what assessment she has made of the likely effects for (a) coronary heart disease patients, (b) health inequalities and (c) primary care trust spending on coronary heart disease of achieving the standards set out in the National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease relating to cardiac rehabilitation services. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 16 April 2007]: The provision of cardiac rehabilitation services is a matter for the local national health service, working in partnership with stakeholders and the local community. It is for NHS organisations to plan and develop services based on their specific local knowledge and expertise. Data are not collected centrally regarding primary care trust spending on cardiac rehabilitation.
A new National Cardiac Rehabilitation Audit is being developed across England, jointly sponsored by the British Heart Foundation and the Healthcare Commission. This will provide stronger evidence on effectiveness and encourage local areas to appraise and improve their provision of cardiac rehabilitation.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made towards targets set out in the National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 16 April 2007]: The National Service Framework (NSF) for Coronary Heart Disease published in March 2000 sets a 10-year framework for action to prevent disease, tackle inequalities, save more lives, and improve the quality of life for people with heart disease.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions (a) she, (b) Ministers in her Department and (c) officials have had with Mencap on the quality of treatment of people with learning disabilities in NHS hospitals; and if she will make a statement. 
Officials have had numerous discussions with Mencap. The Secretary of State will be holding an independent inquiry to look into the cases highlighted by Mencap and to review the quality of treatment of people with learning disabilities in national health service hospitals.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the Department will place in the Library a copy of its formal response to the letter of 19 January 2006 from the Office of Communications on patient power systems. 
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the answer of 21 February 2007, Official Report, column 832W, on uniforms, what the expected publication date is for (a) the commissioned literature review on the microbiological and social importance of uniforms in relation to hospital acquired infections, (b) the scientific study of the effect of water temperature on the removal of micro-organisms during laundering and (c) draft information on professional appearance, patient confidence and healthcare associated infections. 
Summary information on professional appearance, patient confidence and healthcare associated infections will appear on the Departments website, as part of a package of evidence and good practice that will help trusts establish their own procedures. We expect this to be within the next two months.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she plans to publish the first sets of data showing referral-to-treatment waiting times for (a) admitted and (b) non-admitted patients. 
Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether she has any plans to provide more careers guidance for junior doctors who may have to change specialties as a result of the recent training reform. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Yes. We have established a review group led by Professor Neil Douglas, Vice-Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, to address the issues and concerns raised as a result of the modernising medical careers recruitment process this year. The review group has asked us to undertake work to develop a support package for doctors who may be displaced because they have not obtained a training post in the specialty they wanted.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The breakdown by strategic health authority on the number of maternity units and the number of maternity beds is shown in the following tables. Maternity units referred to are either consultant led or midwife led units. This information has been derived from a number of sources and covers 2004-05 and 2005-06. Beds are shown by the average daily number available averaged over the course of the year. This is for 2005-06.
|SHA||Consultant unit||Maternity led unit||Total|
|Organisation ID||Name||Maternity beds (available)|
Mr. McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will consider allowing all non-European economic area medical students who started their studies when the previous immigration rules were in place to complete their studies. 
Mr. McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what support is being provided to non-European economic area medical students to assist them to make alternative arrangements for their postgraduate study following changes to the immigration rules; 
(2) what estimate she has made of the number of non-European economic area medical students who started studying before the new immigration rules for postgraduate training were introduced and who, under the new rules, will be unable to complete their training in the UK. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: A concession has been granted to non-European economic area (EEA) undergraduate medical students who will have the opportunity to complete a two year postgraduate foundation programme without a work permit. Once the foundation course has been completed doctors will need to meet the normal requirements of the immigration rules.
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 16 April 2007]: In England the strategic health authorities through their postgraduate deaneries are responsible for managing and organising postgraduate training. The postgraduate curricula are developed by the medical Royal Colleges and their faculties. The Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board is responsible for approving the curricula submitted by the medical Royal Colleges and also for the approval and quality assurance of the programmes organised by the postgraduate deaneries.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to reply to the letter of 14 February 2007 from the hon. Member for Billericay on the big lottery fund and the Living With Cancer programme. 
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the Minister with responsibility for Health Services, the hon. Member for Doncaster, Central (Ms Winterton) will respond to the hon. Member for East Worthing and Shorehams letter of 8 March on the Mental Health Bill and implications for its Second Reading due on 16 April. 
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