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Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether her Department set up a (a) working group, (b) steering group and (c) any other regular series of meetings on the new contract for the delivery of general medical services prior to June 2003. 
Andy Burnham: The NHS Confederation had responsibility for leading negotiations on developing the contract for general medical services and in discussion with the British Medical Associations General Practitioners Committee agreed a process for managing discussions and negotiations for establishment of a new contract. As part of those arrangements, it was agreed that the Department would act as an observer to that process. However, regular update meetings were held between the NHS Confederation and the Department as part of that process. In addition, the Department also established internal mechanisms for considering and informing progress on the contract negotiations.
Andy Burnham: The general medical services (and other primary medical care) contract is kept under constant review and is subject to ongoing discussions between NHS Employers and the British Medical Associations General Practitioners Committee.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what date she met the Chancellor of the Exchequer to discuss the renegotiation of the contract for the delivery of general medical services agreed in June 2003. 
Andy Burnham: The general medical services (and other primary medical care) contract is kept under constant review and is subject to ongoing discussions between NHS Employers and the British Medical Associations General Practitioners Committee. As part of that process, discussions between Her Majestys Treasury and the Department take place on a regular basis.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to consult on her proposals to amend legislation to ensure that all practising health care professionals have compulsory indemnity cover. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department's review The regulation of non-medical healthcare professions made reference to the fact that professional indemnity cover is becoming a condition of registration for all health care professions. The introduction of compulsory professional indemnity cover for a specific profession will require secondary legislation. A three-month public consultation will form part of any such legislative process. No timetable for this has yet been set.
Mr. MacDougall: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to tackle age discrimination in the provision of health services; what targets she has set for this work; and what progress has been made towards such targets. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 4 June 2007]: Action to tackle age discrimination in access to health and social care has been a central aspect of the national service framework (NSF) for older people. The NSF for older people recognised that age discrimination in access to health and social care exists. It made the clear statement that age discrimination would not be tolerated and set out the developing actions to address this.
The Healthcare Commission report, Living Well in Later Life, published in March 2006, found that explicit age discrimination had declined since the NSF was published, as a result of national health service trusts auditing policies on access to services and social services departments reviewing their eligibility criteria for social care services. In the first phase of the NSF for older people, there was a significant improvement in access to services, including a more than 100 per cent. rise in breast screening of the over-65s, increased hip replacements and cataract operations.
In April 2006 the National Director for Older People, Professor Ian Philp, published the second phase of the NSF, A New Ambition for Old Age, encouraging the involvement of older people in service planning and also focusing on improving the integration of services and the promotion of healthy ageing. The report recognised that huge strides have been made in improving the health of older people. Death rates for heart disease, stroke and cancer among older people are down. Discrimination in treatment is now less likely. For example, heart surgery in the over 75s has risen from 2 per cent. to 10 per cent.
On 27 January 2007, Ian Philp launched A Recipe for CareNot a Single Ingredient. This report sets out the challenge ahead in looking after older people and why services need to change to ensure older people get the best possible care.
Departmental policy and guidance requires the assessment and provision of services to be undertaken based on need. We expect services to promote independence, choice and control as well as safety. We make it clear that all staff should treat older people with dignity and respect, whether it is in a hospital, care home or their own home.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what monitoring her Department has undertaken of the sale to Clinical Excellence of the five year licence granted to Nations Ltd. to build an independent sector treatment centre; and if she will make a statement. 
The level of Departmental involvement depends on the specific contract. In general, for wave one contracts, any change of control requires Departmental consent only when there is a change in performance or termination security guarantee.
In addition, the Department provides guidance to providers setting out what information we require and the standards we expect from providers including clinical governance, management and staffing and service continuity.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether a national service framework is in place to guide the management and treatment of young, violent or sex offenders; and how many secure accommodation
places for the management and treatment of young, violent or sex offenders there were in each year from 2000 to 2006. 
The Department issued Promoting Mental Health for Children held in Secure SettingsA Framework for Commissioning Services in March. The document is a strategic framework, targeted at commissioners and service providers, in order to ensure that children in secure settings have access to comprehensive child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).
Other relevant national policies and frameworks in place include the NSF for children, the NSF for mental health, and elements of the Every child matters: change for children programme. These should all be applied to children held in secure settings as they are for children in the wider community.
The Department and the Ministry of Justice are jointly developing a national policy framework for the development of services for young people who have sexually abused. The framework will aim to use existing resources in a more coherent and consistent manner, as well as bring together the information on best practice and effective treatment interventions.
Children and young people held in secure settings are treated according to their individual health needs, which can be complex and consist of more than one diagnosis. Placements are not broken down by offence. Information on the numbers of places for the management and treatment of young violent and/or young sex offenders across all types of secure settings is therefore not available. Referrals to mental health in-reach services or for other specialist services should be made on the basis of individual need, and the arrangements for providing these services will vary from establishment to establishment.
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made on the Cooksey reviews recommendation for a review of (a) the impact of diseases and illnesses in the UK on the population and economy and (b) the health priorities of the Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research. 
Caroline Flint: The Department has initiated a scoping study of the burden of disease that will inform any future work on United Kingdom health priorities. The Cooksey Review has recommended that when the UKs health priorities have been determined, the Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research should use this information to establish health research priorities for the UK.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Ten strategic health authorities across London and the south east conducted a stock-take of capacity for that area in 2005-06. This work was supported by the Departments vascular programme. The same methods employed for the stock-take have been used to review capacity in some other parts of the country in relation to specific business cases. No formal national stock-take of capacity is planned at this stage, because the planning of capacity is a responsibility of local national health service organisations.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) patients were treated and (b) fatalities occurred in the (i) coronary care units and (ii) stroke units at (A) the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, (B) Furness General Hospital and (C) Westmorland General Hospital in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) total number of beds and (b) number of beds per 100,000 population (i) for England and (ii) for each strategic health authority was in each year since 2002-03. 
|Average daily number of available beds by 100,000 head of population, strategic health authorities (SHA) in England, 2002-03 to 2005-06|
|Total beds||Beds per 100,000 population||Total beds||Beds per 100,000 population||Total beds||Beds per 100,000 population||Total beds||Beds per 100,000 population|
Population data are mid-year population estimates based on the 2001 census. Beds totals include beds in wards open overnight, day only beds and residential care beds.
Department of Health form KH03 and ONS Population Estimates Unit
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