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Ann Keen: The commissioning of training of doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals is carried out as a partnership between the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), higher education institutions and the Department. Training for nursing, midwifery and allied health professions is funded on a contract basis by strategic health authorities and is delivered by a range of universities and colleges.
For doctors, following a rapid expansion in medical student intake from 3,749 in 1997-98 to 6,194 in 2006-07, a decision was taken in July 2006 that no further expansion of medical school places was required. Medical student numbers will be kept under review taking account of the changing demographics of the workforce and the workforce requirements of the NHS.
It is the responsibility of employing NHS trusts to ensure that their staff are up to date and fit to practise. They should ensure that continuing professional development needs identified through regular appraisal are supported.
Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what checks his Department and NHS trusts carry out on literature displayed in general practice waiting rooms and hospital out-patient departments to make sure that such literature contains only sound, evidence based information. 
For information on the internet, the Department has developed NHS Choices as the primary health and social care information portal for the NHS. This information service contains evidence-based information on clinical conditions and treatments, drawn from sources such as NHS Direct and the National Electronic Library for Health.
Departmental officials have been working with patient groups to consider options for an Information Accreditation Scheme which would kitemark organisations that produce health and social care information, in order to reassure people that the information they use comes from a reliable source.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what spare capacity, expressed in patient numbers, is available for (a) under 18, (b) over 18 fee-paying and (c) over 18 charge-exempt people to register with each NHS practice in Milton Keynes. 
visited and spoken to 1,500 national health service staff in 17 NHS organisations across the country;
taken part in a nationwide day of detailed discussions on the priorities for the NHS with 1,000 patients, public and health and social care staff in nine different towns and cities;
met with representatives of 250 stakeholder groups representing the full diversity of our population and staff;
read more than 1,400 letters and emails from people up and down the country; and
in preparation for the second stage of the review, brought together over 1,000 clinicians in groups in every part of the country to focus on discussing how best to plan and provide care for patients.
Mr. Bradshaw: NHS employers are responsible for negotiating changes to the General Medical Services contract with the British Medical Association's General Practitioners Committee, and they will be considering potential changes to the contract for 2008-09.
Ann Keen: As part of the annual accounts process, primary care trusts and strategic health authorities (SHA) now show total resource expenditure on both primary and secondary care services in each of 23 clinical areas. The following table shows the programme budget data on one of those categories, eye/vision problems. This should include expenditure on primary care services provided through the general ophthalmic services, which provide sight tests and optical vouchers to those patient groups entitled to these national health service services, as well as the cost of secondary and additional primary care services directly attributable to problems relating to the eye and vision. The cost of any general practitioners consultations involving eye or vision problems is not separately quantified and is therefore not included in this data.
|Programme budget data on expenditure on eye/vision problems in England, 2004-05 to 2006-07|
|SHA code||SHA||2004-05( 1)||2005-06( 1)||2006-07|
|(1 )Data are configured to the 10 new strategic health authority areas; figures for 2004-05 and 2005-06 are obtained by grossing the figures from the former SHA configuration and may include some pro rata estimation.|
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to establish Patient Safety Direct, as announced in his Departments publication, Our NHS, Our Future, NHS Next Stage Review: Interim Report, gateway reference 8857, published 4 October. 
Ann Keen: Patient Safety Direct is an opportunity to make it easier for front-line staff to report patient safety incidents. Currently the main line of reporting incidents is though the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) reporting and learning system. Patient Safety Direct will strengthen this reporting line by adding a new and more accessible portal for national health service staff and ultimately patients to use. The NPSA is scoping the work with all the various organisations which need to be involved. Plans will be developed in phase two of Lord Darzis NHS Next Stage Review and, following piloting, we expect to move to implementation by the end of 2008.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the evidential basis is for the statement on page 15 of his Departments NHS Next Stage Review: Interim Report, published on 4 October 2007, that 56 per cent. of hospital inpatients did not have the opportunity to speak to a doctor. 
Ann Keen: The figure of 56 per cent. was derived from the Healthcare Commissions 2006-07 National Patient Survey of Adult Inpatients. It refers to the proportion of patients who said that their family, or someone who cared for them, did not always have enough opportunity to talk to a doctor.
Mr. Malcolm Lowe-Lauri (Chair)
Dr. Kofi Anie
Professor David Armstrong
Ms Janette Benaddi
Professor Bipin Bhakta
Professor Matthew Cooke
Professor Huw Davies
Dr. Alan Driver
Professor Ewan Ferlie
Dr. Ian Greener
Mr. George Hanna
Professor Mark Hawley
Professor Chris Lowe
Professor Lorna McKee
Mr. Robert Morgan
Dr. Stephen Peckham
Dr. Shum Prakash
Professor Martin Rossor
Professor Jenny Simpson
Dr. Andrew Valance-Owen
there will be no further centrally dictated, top-down restructuring to primary care trusts and strategic health authorities for the foreseeable future.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 19 October 2007, Official Report, column 1400W, on Streptococcus: pregnant women, if he will take steps to bring the assessment of the most recent evidence on testing pregnant women for group B streptococcus forward in the ongoing programme of work of the UK National Screening Committee; and what method the Committee uses to disseminate the results of its work. 
Ann Keen: The UK National Screening Committee is planning to hold a stakeholder workshop in the spring of 2008 to consider the most recent evidence on screening pregnant women for carriage of group B Streptococcus. The outcome of the workshop will be made available through the national health service specialist screening library at www.library.nhs.uk/screening
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent by Suffolk Primary Care Trust on salaries and wages for (a) general and senior managers, (b) nurses and midwives and (c) administrative and clerical staff in each year since its creation. 
Ann Keen: Suffolk Primary Care Trust was established on 1 October 2006, therefore data are not available before then. Staff cost figures have been collected in the financial returns for 2006-07 but are still subject to validation. Figures should be available by the end of November 2007.
Mr. Bradshaw: The information requested is not collected centrally. Decisions to fund treatments are made by primary care trusts in consultation with healthcare professionals who are best placed to decide on the most appropriate treatments for their patients.
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