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John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what public consultation meetings will be held by East Midlands Regional Strategic Health Authority in December 2007; what the purpose of those meetings is; and who has been invited to them. 
John Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many practising NHS general practitioners there are in Easington constituency; and what the ratio of GPs to head of population is in the constituency. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The information requested is not available at constituency level. The following table shows the number of general medical practitioners (excluding retainers and registrars) per 100,000 population in the County Durham Primary Care Trust area as at 30 September 2006.
|Number (headcount) and percentage|
|GMPs (excluding retainers and registrars)( 1)||GMPs (excluding retainers and registrars)( 1) per100,000 population|
|(1) General medical practitioners (excluding retainers and registrars) includes GP providers and GP others|
The Information Centre for health and social care General and Personal Medical Services Statistics
Resident Population Estimates, Office for National Statistics
|Health organisation||GPs per population as at September 2006|
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance he has issued to general practitioners on referring children with a speech, language or communication disability to an appropriate service; and if he will make a statement. 
The ability to communicate is fundamental to a child's learning and development. Aiming High for Disabled Children: better support for families (published by HM Treasury and Department for Education and Skills, May 2007) recognised the importance of therapy services, such speech and language therapy, as being key to improving outcomes.
On 11 September my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Health and the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families announced a review of services for children and young people with speech,
language and communications needs. The review will be lead by the hon. Member for Buckingham (John Bercow).
The review will build on the investment and improvements to speech and language therapy and the resources made available in the last 10 years. The review will advise on a number of areas including examples of good practice in commissioning and delivering services which are responsive to the needs of children, young people and families and which can be viewed as benchmarks for the delivery of local services across England.
Dawn Primarolo: Primary care trusts (PCTs) will be responsible for local planning and delivery of the vaccination programme. National guidance will be issued by the Department in order to assist PCTs in their work.
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what mechanisms will be used to (a) audit the take-up of the human papilloma virus vaccine through the national vaccination programme and (b) ensure comprehensive coverage of women over 16 years of age in the programme. 
PCTs will be responsible for commissioning immunisation services to vaccinate girls under the age of 18 as part of a catch-up programme. Mechanisms to achieve this will be decided by individual trusts.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) with reference to the answer of 15 October 2007, Official Report, column 923W, on influenza, what plans he has to stockpile antibiotics for use in the event of an influenza pandemic; 
(2) what estimate he has made of the number of courses of antivirals which would be required in order to offer chemoprophylaxis protection to NHS staff against future occurrence of the disease in the event of an influenza pandemic. 
The Government have secured a stockpile of H5N1 vaccine for use by health care workers and is also
progressing work to ensure that the appropriate face masks are made available to them. The current stockpile of antivirals is intended for the treatment of symptomatic cases, not prophylaxis. There are currently no plans to offer them to NHS staff for prophylaxis in the event of an influenza pandemic.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the Answer of 15 October 2007, Official Report, column 923W, on influenza, if he will estimate the proportion of excess deaths in each year since 1997-98 which occurred in those vaccinated against seasonal influenza. 
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the current thresholds are for (a) baseline and (b) epidemic seasonal influenza activity, expressed in terms of the general practitioner consultation rate per 100,000 population; what the evidential basis underpinning these thresholds was; what representations his Department has received from (i) the Health Protection Agency and (ii) other interested parties on these thresholds; what discussions officials in his Department have had with the Health Protection Agency on the subject of thresholds for influenza activity; what the content of such discussions was; and if he will make a statement. 
GP consultation rates of 0 to 30 per 100,000 population per weekbaseline activity rates of 30 to 200 per 100,000 population per weeknormal seasonal activity rates of >200 per 100,000 population per weekepidemic activity.
The threshold level was changed in 2004-05 following assessment of the indicators of influenza activity by the Health Protection Agency, and in discussion with the Birmingham Research Unit of the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation Respiratory Panel.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations his Department has received from (a) officials in the Health Protection Agency and (b) other interested parties on the effectiveness of vaccination against seasonal influenza; what the content of these representations was; and if he will make a statement. 
The aim of the Governments influenza immunisation policy is to protect those who are most at risk of serious illness or death should they develop influenza. Although vaccination may not protect all elderly people from flu virus infection experts, including those from the Health Protection Agency (HPA), advise that the majority of those
immunised benefit by suffering a less severe illness. The HPA press release of 24 October endorsed the Governments influenza vaccine campaign.
United Kingdom policy is constantly under review by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to take into consideration all available evidence. A new study from the HPA on the causes of winter hospital admissions adds to the evidence base.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which groups of workers are eligible for (a) antiviral chemoprophylaxis and (b) vaccination against A/H5N1 in the event of an outbreak of avian influenza. 
Dawn Primarolo: Based upon detailed risk assessments during an outbreak, all workers, and others, who are identified as having been at risk of exposure to the H5N1 virus will be offered chemoprophylactic preventative treatment with the antiviral Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) within 24-48 hours of disease confirmation. Additionally, all workers who are identified as being at risk of potential exposure, for example through engagement in culling and disposal of birds, will be offered antiviral chemoprophylaxis prior to commencing these activities.
All those offered antiviral prophylaxis will also be offered seasonal influenza vaccine. Vaccination with H5N1 vaccine is not offered during outbreaks of avian flu. There is a small stock of H5N1 vaccine which is held for possible use in the event of a human flu pandemic.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to strengthen the criteria for prioritisation of vaccination in the event of an influenza pandemic, as recommended by his Departments Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations at its meeting of 20 June 2007. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Department has commissioned a series of studies to predict the impact of vaccinating specific risk groups, including strategies that prevent the spread of disease as well as preventing flu cases and flu-related deaths. This work is being used to develop a detailed strategy for the prioritisation of pandemic flu vaccine.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were admitted to hospital in England as a consequence of (a) alcoholic liver disease and (b) cirrhosis in each of the last 10 years. 
|Data for NHS hospitals England for 1996-97 to 2005-06|
|Alcoholic liver disease||Cirrhosis of the liver|
| Notes: Ungrossed Data Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in data (i.e. the data are ungrossed). Assessing growth through time Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) figures are available from 1989-90 onwards. During the years that these records have been collected the National Health Service there have been ongoing improvements in quality and coverage. These improvements in information submitted by the NHS have been particularly marked in the earlier years and need to be borne in mind when analysing time series. Changes in NHS practice also need to be borne in mind when analysing time series. For example a number of procedures may now be undertaken in outpatient settings and may no longer be accounted in the HES data. This may account for any reductions in activity over time. Data Quality HES are compiled from data sent by over 300 NHS trusts and primary care trusts in England. The Information Centre for health and social care liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies and the effect of missing and invalid data via HES processes. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain. Finished admission episodes (FAE) A FAE is the first period of in-patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. Admissions do not represent the number of in-patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year. All Diagnoses count of episodes These figures represent a count of all FAEs where the diagnosis was mentioned in any of the 14 (7 prior to 2002-03) diagnosis fields in a HES record. ICD10 code used for Alcoholic Liver Disease = K70 ICD10 code used for Cirrhosis of Liver: K70.3 Alcoholic cirrhosis of liver K71.7 Toxic liver disease with fibrosis and cirrhosis of liver K74.3 Primary biliary cirrhosis K74.4 Secondary biliary cirrhosis K74.5 Biliary cirrhosis, unspecified K74.6 Other and unspecified cirrhosis of liver.|
Dawn Primarolo: Entitlement to free national health service hospital treatment is based upon ordinary residence in the United Kingdom, not nationality or payment of taxes. Successive Governments have not required the NHS to submit statistics on the number of foreign nationals living in the UK who have accessed NHS services, nor any costs to the public purse involved. It is therefore not possible to provide this information.
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