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Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether her Department has made an estimate of the total additional expenditure necessitated by the (a) reorganisation of strategic health authorities on 1 July 2006 and (b) reorganisation of primary care trusts on 1 October 2006. 
The reconfiguration of primary care trusts and strategic health authorities provides an opportunity to deliver savings, both by reducing the number of organisations and through the greater sharing of functions. By 2008, this reconfiguration is expected to deliver at least £250 million savings each year for reinvestment in front-line services.
Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what response she has made to the conclusion of the Tenth Report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights, HC 60-1, that the denial of secondary healthcare to refused asylum seekers is inconsistent with the UKs international human rights obligations; 
Ms Rosie Winterton: No one in need of immediately necessary treatment to save life or prevent a condition from becoming life-threatening will ever have that treatment refused or denied, irrespective of their immigration status. However, the principle remains that the national health service is intended primarily for those who are legally resident in this country. Those who are not, including failed asylum seekers who have not left the United Kingdom, should not expect to receive NHS treatment free of charge. Successive Governments have not required NHS trusts to submit statistics on the number of overseas visitors treated, or on the cost of doing so.
The Home Office document Enforcing the rules: a strategy to ensure and enforce compliance with our immigration laws, published in March, announced that a review of access to the NHS by foreign nationals would be carried out jointly by the Home Office and the; Department. The review, to be completed by October, will specifically consider the position of failed asylum seekers.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost was in real terms of the (a) national confidential inquiry into suicide and homicide by people with mental illness, (b) confidential inquiry into maternal and child health and (c) national confidential inquiry into patient outcome and death in each year for which they have been running; and what assessment she has made of the merits of each of these inquiries. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Following the Departments arms length body (ALB) review, responsibility for managing the contracts the work of the three existing national confidential inquiries was transferred from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) with effect from April 2005.
Annual contract value for 2007-08: £840,769.
Annual budget was £809,472 for the years 2006-07, 2005-06 and 2004-05
The contract is with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists as CEMACH is not a separate legal body.
Annual contract value for 2007-08: £1,384,915.
Annual budget has remained same over the years 2006-07, 2005-06 and 2004-05.
The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicides and Homicides is a national research project, established in April 1996, as part of the work of School of Medicine, Division of Psychiatry within the University of Manchester.
Annual contract value for 2007-08: £868,791.
Annual budget was £839,412 in the years 2006-07, 2005-06 and 2004-05.
The confidential inquiries are separate, independent bodies. The NPSA agrees the bulk of their funding and through quarterly meetings, monitors each of them in terms of their performance and compliance with the terms of the contract. The agency has no role in the day to day running of the confidential inquiries.
The agency recently completed a review of the three confidential inquiries. The aim was to evaluate their impact on clinical practice, quality of care and patient safety. The findings for each are summarised as follows.
The review found that that the enquiry had a unique product history and had demonstrated significant achievements. The review panel felt that more focus should be given to assessing impact on clinical practice, where necessary in collaboration with other agencies and devolved Administrations. The review panel made a number of recommendations which are being considered by the enquiry and action is under way to address the review reports recommendations.
The review panel considered that NCISH provided value for money and was fulfilling its remit in terms of the provision of high quality, internationally renowned research thus improving patient care by providing an evidence base for changes to policy and clinical practice. The inquiry is now in the process of evaluating the implementation of key service recommendations.
Recommendations have also been made to improve governance, influence on policy across all four countries of the United Kingdom and dissemination of output. Action is under way to address the review report recommendations and an independent steering group has been set up.
The review panel supported the work of CEMACH. The panel felt that the enquiry was adding value in terms of quality but without any cost-benefit analysis, were less able to assess its value in terms of cost.
A number of recommendations were made which included the need to review the functionality of the present organisational and committee structure. The enquiry is taking action to address the recommendations and an action plan is being actively developed.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the board of the new community interest company planned by the North West strategic health authority
to improve public health will be chosen; and what lines of accountability it will have. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: NHS North West is working with Heart of Mersey to set up a community interest company to develop social marketing methods to improve the health of the population in the North West of England. The project is still in development.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether any consultants have been employed to advise on the setting up of the new public interest company planned by the North West strategic health authority. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The charitable organisation Heart of Mersey is developing a brand for a comprehensive approach to the promotion of better health in the North West of England. The branding work will be used as an umbrella programme for the work of the community interest company.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Patients may receive treatment in other member states of the European Economic Area and in Switzerland through the E112 referral scheme, in accordance with Regulation (EEC) 1408/71. This regulation co-ordinates the social security and healthcare schemes of the member states.
|Number of E112s issued|
The drop in referrals from 2004 is due to the change in EC healthcare rules that took place that year. Since 1 June 2004, patients no longer need an E112 for the ongoing care of pre-existing medical conditions. This is now covered on the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many qualified personnel are available to operate myocardial perfusion scanners in (a) west Lancashire, (b) the north-west and (c) England; 
Work force planning is a matter for local determination. It is for primary care trusts and strategic health authorities to determine their work force needs, as they are best placed to assess the healthcare requirements of their local population.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) accident and emergency, (b) maternity and (c) paediatric hospital wards (i) closed and (ii) opened in (A) rural and (B) non-rural areas in each year since 1997; and if she will make a statement. 
Andy Burnham: Information regarding maternity and paediatric hospital wards is not collected in the format requested. National health service trusts self-report the number of accident and emergency (AandE) services they provide against definitions provided by the Department for the three types of AandE on a quarterly basis. The information available for type 1 (major) AandE departments is provided in the following table.
|Number of type 1 AandE departments|
1. QMAE data used for type 1 AandE departments for years 2002-03 to 2006-07.
2. KH03 data used for type 1 A&E departments for year 2001-02.
3. Position is at end March except for 2006-07 where position is at end December 2006.
QMAE and KH03
Prior to 2000-01, NHS trusts submitted written information on whether or not they provided AandE services. They did not submit a count of the number of services provided. The following table shows information for the number of trusts that said they were providing type 1 (major) AandE services for the period available.
|Number of trusts reporting type 1 (major) AandE services|
Position is at end March.
Department of Health KH03 dataset
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what safeguards are in place to verify the qualifications of overseas applicants in the new procedures being followed for junior hospital doctor appointments. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Applicants are expected to bring with them to interview and assessments for specialty registrar programmes evidence of the qualifications required, as outlined in the person specification. The evidence required and the application process have been designed in accordance with Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board requirements.
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the impact of the provision on internet sites of the shortlisting marking scheme and model answers on the Medical Training Application Service (MTAS); and if she will add appropriate links to the MTAS's website to make such information available to all visitors to the website. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The evidence required and the application process through the Medical Training Application Service has been designed in accordance with Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board requirements. In view of the widespread concern over the shortlisting process we set up an independent review of the Modernising Medical Careers recruitment and selection process. This is being led by Professor Neil Douglas, vice-chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and president of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Members of the review group include representatives of the Royal Colleges, the British Medical Association, the four United Kingdom Health Departments and National Health Service Employers.
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 16 April 2007]: In developing the recruitment process, the Royal Colleges agreed the content and requirements of the person specifications for each specialty and level.
When undertaking shortlisting, at least two selectors scored each answer on the application forms against nationally agreed scoring criteria. Selectors are mostly clinicians in the appropriate specialty, but the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board requires lay input into the selection process.
However, as a result of the review of recruitment for specialty training, as outlined in the review groups statement on 4 April, selection will now honour the aforementioned, but also ensure that all eligible applicants to specialty training in England will be invited for interview in their first affirmed preference.
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