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Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 30 April 2007, Official Report, column 1514W, on the NHS: secondment, whether her Department keeps a record of secondees from the NHS to other Government Departments. 
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which clinical specialties are experiencing shortages of practitioners; and how she plans to take this into account in forming policy on training posts in the NHS. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Forecasts of future work force supply at a national level (England) are undertaken by the Workforce Review Team (WRT) on behalf of the strategic health authorities (SHAs). Annual meetings are held by WRT with representatives from the SHAs, specialty, the Department and other key stakeholders to assess the present and future training needs of the work force. Annual recommendations to SHAs regarding future pre and post-registration training are produced following these meetings. Individual SHAs and deaneries are responsible for planning the medical training posts at local level, taking into account the analysis and recommendations of the WRT.
It is the responsibility of primary care trusts and SHAs to analyse their local situation and develop plans, in liaison with their local national health service trusts and primary care providers, to deliver high quality NHS services and take action to recruit and train the appropriate staff required to deliver these services.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department issued a circular in 2000 (HSC 2000/028) asking trusts to make sure that they have appropriate resuscitation policies which respect patients rights and to audit these policies. It has also endorsed guidance on making resuscitation decisions drawn up by the Resuscitation Council, British Medical Association and Royal College of Nursing for health professionals and the public.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to encourage strategic health authorities to reverse the recent reductions in nurse training commissions, further to her Departments third draft of the NHS Pay and Workforce Strategy, dated 27 November 2006. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Strategic health authorities are expected to commission training places based on the work force needed to deliver services work required by patients. This will be reinforced by a service level agreement setting out the key priorities for them to address in 2007-08.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The following table shows average earnings per full-time equivalent nurse for each year since 1997-98. The figures are determined from pay bill data from financial returns and staff numbers from the workforce census. Data for years prior to 1997-98 are not available on a comparable basis.
|Average pay for nurses (£)|
|(1 )Figures are estimated projections and are subject to change.|
Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) nurses and (b) general practitioners are in training in (i) South Tyneside, (ii) the North East and (iii) England; and how many were in each year since 1997. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The number of nursing training commissions for England and the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Strategic Health Authority (SHA) is shown in the following table. Training commissions for Northumberland, Tyne and Wear is not comparable prior to 2003-04 due to SHA mergers.
|Pre-registration nursing training commissions|
|England||Northumberland, Tyne and Wear|
Non-medical education and training quarterly monitoring, Department of Health
|General practitioner s registrars for specified organisations, 1997-2002 , England|
The Information Centre for health and social care general and personal medical services statistics
Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what NHS policy is on the circumstances under which patient information may be provided over the telephone by NHS staff to people other than the patient. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The National Health Service Confidentiality Code of Practice, published in November 2003, provides guidance on required practice for those who work within or under contract to NHS organisations about the safeguarding of confidentiality, and patients consent to the use of their health records.
The guidance includes an explanation of the main relevant legal requirements, and examples of appropriate information disclosure decisions in practice. The guidance applies equally to clinicians, managers, and all other staff in both primary and secondary care settings whose work involves access to personal information and, where appropriate, includes staff in the private and voluntary sectors.
A full version of the code can be downloaded from the Departments website at www.dh.gov.uk/assetRoot/04/06/92/54/04069254.pdf. The code has been endorsed by the Information Commissioner, the General Medical Council, and the British Medical Association. The code is applicable irrespective of the method by which patient information is supplied to a third party.
Strong disincentives exist which protect against abuse of patient confidentiality. NHS organisations are responsible, as employers, for the actions taken on their behalf by their employees, and for disciplining their staff when they behave inappropriately. Accessing personal information without a legitimate reason constitutes a breach of the code. Staff who breach patient confidentiality are subject to professional disciplinary measures. Offending doctors and nurses will be reported to their professional regulatory bodies and may face additional disciplinary action, including losing their licence to practice. Separate legal penalties for individuals and organisations misusing personal health and other information are provided for under section 60 of the Data Protection Act.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health in how many NHS trusts there are facilities to perform robotic prostatectomy, referred to in her Departments report Saws and Scalpels to Lasers and Robots, published on 17 April 2007; and whether the facilities in each trust were purchased (a) entirely with NHS funds and (b) with a contribution from the charitable sector. 
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