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Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he plans to take to ensure the representation of (a) Maidstone and (b) Tunbridge Wells areas on the board of the relevant new NHS trust. 
Ann Keen [holding answer 27 November 2007]: The appointment of chairs and non-executive members of national health service trusts has been delegated by the Secretary of State (Alan Johnson) to the Appointments Commission.
Preference will be given to people from the area served by the trust and the Commission will take account of the geographical spread of those recommended for appointment. The overarching principle, however, will be of appointment on merit. It will always be in the best interests of all of the communities served if the best available people are appointed to these important roles.
Ann Keen [holding answer 26 November 2007]: At the end of 2006-07 North East strategic health authority reported an audited £64.5 million surplus. This surplus is not lost and is available to spend in future years.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what surpluses were reported by each trust in the North East Region strategic health authority area at 31 October; and what surpluses are projected to be achieved by 31 October 2008. 
Ann Keen [holding answer 26 November 2007]: The following table shows 2007-08 quarter 1 forecast outturn surplus/(deficit) for national health service trusts in the North East strategic health authority. The Department does not have financial information relating to the 2008-09 financial year.
|NHS Trust name||2007-08 Q1 Forecast outturn surplus/(Deficit) £000|
Department of Health financial returns
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans he has to change the provision of specialist nursing staff in the field of urological cancers; and if he will make a statement; 
Ann Keen [holding answer 27 November 2007]: Data on the number of urological cancer clinical nurse specialists are not collected centrally. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has identified clinical nurse specialists as core members of the urology multidisciplinary team in their Improving Outcomes in Urological Cancers guidance issued in 2002. It is for cancer networks to work in partnership with strategic health authorities, NHS trusts and postgraduate deaneries to put in place a sustainable process to assess, plan and review their workforce needs and the education and training of all staff linked to local and national priorities for cancer including the implementation of NICE improving outcomes guidance.
Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps he is taking to ensure that the secondary paediatrics services are fully transferred to North Manchester General Hospital and fully functioning when Booth Hall Childrens Hospital closes; 
(2) what steps he is taking to ensure that the accident and emergency facility for children at North Manchester General Hospital is fully operational when Booth Hall Childrens Hospital closes. 
Ann Keen [holding answers 22 November 2007]: Changes to local services are a matter for local national health service organisations. The North West strategic health authority reports that NHS organisations have formed a childrens programme board to lead on the important improvements to NHS care in the city of Manchester arising from the Making it Better public consultation process. This includes the transfer of services currently located at Booth Hall childrens hospital.
These changes are subject to a thorough and robust planning process. Secondary care services will remain fully operational throughout the period of change, operating from the North Manchester general hospital site immediately following the closure of Booth Hall.
Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 26 November 2007]: The Department has not quantified the amount of medicines classified as waste in 2006 nor assessed the potential contribution of medicines packaging design to drugs wastage. However, we have recently invited organisations to submit outline proposals on how to investigate the scale, costs and causes of medicines wastage.
The Department has not issued guidance to general practitioners on over-prescribing. However, primary care trusts employ prescribing advisers, often pharmacists, to encourage and secure rational and cost-effective prescribing and provide a source of advice and support for prescribers in their area.
The new contractual framework for community pharmacy supports a range of initiatives to help patients get the most from their medicines and reduce the amount of medicines wasted. Repeat dispensing is an essential service provided by all community pharmacies in England
which allows prescriptions to be dispensed in instalments. Before dispensing the next instalment, the pharmacist must check with the patient that it is still needed. Medicines use reviews, an advanced service provided by accredited pharmacists in accredited premises and locally commissioned pharmacist-led full clinical medication reviews should also help to identify medicines that may no longer be required but they may also identify additional treatments that may be appropriate.
There is no legal limit for how many times a repeat prescription can be issued for a given medication before a patient review must take place. This is a decision for the prescriber to make in conjunction with their patient.
Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what criteria will be used in deciding on the locations of the 150 new walk-in centres and 100 new GP practices announced as part of the pre-Budget report and Comprehensive Spending Review. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 26 November 2007]: As set out in the Our NHS, Our Future next stage review interim report we expect the 150 health centres to be easily accessible to all members of the local population, though the precise locations of the new health centres and practices will be determined by primary care trusts based on their local needs assessment.