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Ms Rosie Winterton: Over the last 30 years, cancer survival rates have doubled. Nearly 80 per cent. of women now survive breast cancer for at least five years and for colon cancer, 50 per cent. of patients will survive for at least five years compared to 26 per cent. in the 1970s.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Women in the Lewes constituency have, and will continue to have, personalised maternity care and a choice of high quality, safe and clinically viable settings when deciding where and how to have their baby.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the safety of maternity services in the UK compared with (a) other European and (b) non-European developed countries. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: It is not possible to make a direct comparison of the safety of maternity services in this country compared to other European and non-European countries because in the United Kingdom we use far more inclusive and detailed data collection systems which are not comparable. Many other countries are now starting to adopt the UK methodology so we will be able to make more meaningful comparisons in the future.
Andy Burnham: At quarter 3 of 2006-07, London Strategic Health Authority economy reported a forecast deficit of £125.3 million. The national health services as a whole reported a small surplus, and we expect the final position to show further improvement.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS organisations failed to pay 95 per cent. of bills within contract terms, or 30 days where no contract terms were agreed, in the latest period for which figures are available. 
|Number of organisations that failed to pay 95 per cent. of bills within contract terms or 30 days where no contract terms were agreed in 2005-06|
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the NHS net financial deficit in 2005-06 was financed, broken down by (a) departmental and (b) non-departmental budget source of funds for meeting the deficit. 
Andy Burnham: The 2005-06 NHS financial deficit was largely offset by underspends on centrally managed funds. The NHS Litigation Authority's declared reduction to provisions for clinical negligence was the largest component of the central underspend. A range of other central budgets also produced underspends.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 29 March 2007, Official Report, columns 1790-91W, on NHS: finance, why capital-to-revenue transfers took place in (a) 2004-05 and (b) 2005-06. 
Andy Burnham: The Government have strict fiscal rules that differentiate between current expenditure, which over the economic cycle must be met from current income, and capital expenditure, which may be borrowed within the strict limits set for total public sector debt. Departmental budgets reflect these arrangements.
Transfers from the capital budget to the resource budget were made in 2004-05 and 2005-06 for two reasons. Firstly, capital grants allocated to fund social care programmes in the local authority sector were funded from the capital budget, yet accounted as
revenue expenditure. These capital-to-revenue transfers were possible as the expenditure gave rise to fixed assets. Secondly, transfers took place when funding the Connecting for Health project, as the clarification of technical details led to an increased understanding of the appropriate split of expenditure on the project.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: It is for local health services and social services to assess the clinical and support needs of individuals who are blind or partially sighted. Decisions are made at a local level as to how best to meet the support needs of individuals based on those assessments.
Ms Rosie Winterton: From 1 April 2004 to 31 March 2007, 40,556 NHS staff have been trained to respond to major incidents, including CBRN incidents. This comprises of clinical and managerial NHS staff in hospital and community settings. Approximately, a further 2,500 ambulance personnel have also received CBRN training, including those working in London's hazardous area response team.
Caroline Flint: The mean alcohol consumption of pupils who had drunk in the week prior to interview doubled from 5.3 units in 1990 to 11.4 units in 2000, and has fluctuated around this level since then.
20. Martin Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding she plans to allocate to community hospitals and services in London in each of the next three years; and if she will make a statement. 
Andy Burnham: Strategic health authorities are responsible for submitting prioritised bids for funding from the community hospitals and services programme. We are not yet able to say how much funding London will get from the programme as this will depend both on the nature of the bids that are submitted by London SHA, as well as the bids submitted by other SHAs. To date we have agreed to fund three schemes in the London SHA area totalling £10.64 million and there are no bids from London outstanding from previous waves.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The recent framework, Securing and retaining staff for health and social carea partnership approach, outlines steps to improve retention generally in the NHS. The framework developed by NHS Employers requires close partnership working between employers (across health and social care), staff side and higher education institutions.
Andy Burnham: Any changes to acute services are a matter for the national health service locally. Services are changing for the benefit of patients and receiving more investment. The NHS is changing because medicines and treatments are constantly changing.
Ms Rosie Winterton: This information is not collected centrally. Our guidance calls for single sex accommodation, not single sex wards. Good segregation can be achieved where men and women are cared for in single sex bays or rooms within the same ward.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The most recent change is that the Government have accepted the recommendation of the Nursing and Other Health Professions Pay Review Body for a 2.5 per cent. uplift in pay this year, subject to implementing the increase in two stages in April and November.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the evidential basis is for the conclusion of her Departments National Director for Emergency Access that an acute hospital with a catchment population of between 400,000 and 500,000 people would be better able to deliver consultant-led services, as stated in his e-mail of 27 March to Dr. Mark Signy of Worthing and Southlands Hospital NHS Trust. 
Caroline Flint: There is increasing consensus among professional bodies that a critical size of hospital is required to ensure that specialist facilities are available to treat all patients with emergency needs safely. While the actual populations hospitals will serve in the future will differ slightly across the country, in general they will need to serve larger populations than is currently the case. Different clinical specialties may also have different demands in terms of the number of cases required to maintain clinical expertise.
Ultimately, it is a matter for the local national health service to ensure the provision of urgent and emergency care services, including accident and emergency facilities, that are responsive to peoples needs. We have made it clear to the NHS that it should consider a range of factors in putting together any case for change and produce a clear business case before consultation begins.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hospital admissions for asthma sufferers there were in (a) England, (b) North Yorkshire and (c) York and the Humber in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The number of finished consultant episodes (FCE) for England and Yorkshire and the Humber, where the primary diagnosis was asthma, are given for the year 2005-06 in the following table.
Finished consultant episodes are not headcounts, a patient may have more than one FCE within the year.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to ensure that people with asthma receive (a) a written personal asthma action plan and (b) regular asthma reviews. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis:
The new general medical services contract was launched in February 2003. The contract includes a specific quality indicator for treatment and care of people with asthma; based on:
a register of patients diagnosed with, and prescribed drugs for, asthma,
a record of patients aged eight years and over where diagnosis confirmed by spirometry or peak flow measurement; and
a record of asthma review within past 15 months.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consultations she has received on (a) making local asthma specialists available across England, (b) removing prescription charges for people with asthma and (c) involving asthma sufferers in the design of services so that their needs are met appropriately; and whether she plans to implement these policies. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: I have received representations from Asthma UK, and from individuals, seeking to remove prescription charges for those with asthma, to involve those living with this condition in the design of local services, and to make asthma specialists available locally.
We are currently undertaking a review of prescription charges and will be reporting the outcome before the summer recess. It is the responsibility of local health bodies to organise local services, and ensure the correct skill mix of health professionals, to meet the needs of those living with asthma.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what proportion of eligible women were seen within the 36-month standard for breast cancer screenings (a) in England and (b) in each breast screening unit in the latest period for which figures are available; 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The proportion of eligible women seen within the 36-month standard for breast screening is not collected centrally. However, as a one-off exercise, national health service cancer screening programmes requested data from the NHS breast screening programme on the percentage of local screening units achieving the 36-month national standard between screens for quarter four 2005-06 (January to March 2006).
It found that in England, 68 per cent. of women were re-screened within the 36-month national standard and the average wait between screens was 36 months. The following table shows the average round length and the percentage of women re-screened within 36 months of their previous screening for each breast screening unit in England.
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