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There is a Pay framework for very senior managers in strategic and special health authorities, primary care trusts and ambulance trusts. April 2007 rates of pay are published in the framework, copies of which are available in the Library.
Ann Keen: There is a long history of the national health service supporting the volunteer reserve forces (VRF). This is of benefit to the individual volunteer, the NHS and the armed forces. We are keen for the NHS to support staff who are interested in being members of the VRF and the Ministry of Defence/Health Departments Partnership Board is currently considering how best to promote this.
Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many visits on average a new user of (a) an indwelling catheter and (b) an intermittent catheter will receive from a specialist nurse within the first six months of receiving their prescription. 
Dawn Primarolo: We have asked the Food Standards Agency to review the health impacts of trans fats and potential for action in light of the measures taken in New York and Denmark. As part of the review, the Agency has sought the advice of the United Kingdom's independent Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, which has examined the most recent evidence on the health implications of trans fats. The Agency will report back with their findings and recommendations by the end of the year.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time was for bariatric surgery in England in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Stephen O'Brien:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the evidential basis is for the statement on page 19 of his Department's document, Improving Nutritional Care, that hospital food is now better than
at any time since measurement began; in what ways the quality of hospital food is measured; when measurement began; and if he will list the results of these measurements for each year since measurement began. 
Ann Keen: The statement that hospital food is now better than at any time since measurement began is based on the results of Patient Environment Action Team (PEAT) assessments. These assessments commenced in 2002 and the results are published annually. The areas considered in the PEAT assessment have varied over the years, but have always included a core of questions related to the quality, availability and choice and temperature of food and beverages. The following tables show the PEAT scores for England from 2002-07; the scoring system changed in 2004 from three to five points.
|Green (good)||Percentage||Yellow (acceptable)||Percentage||Red (poor)||Percentage|
| Source: National Patient Safety Agency|
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress the Information Centre for Health and Social Care has made in its project analysing patterns of prescribing and compliance with National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines, as stated on the Our Priorities for 2007-08 section of the Information Centre's website; whether the Information Centre provides a (a) data and (b) analytical service to any bodies other than NICE on prescribing behaviours; whether data on prescribing behaviours are made available at (i) doctor, (ii) practice and (iii) primary care trust level; whether the Information Centre has extended its data and analytical service to information on dispensing; what plans the Information Centre has to increase the (A) scope of and (B) availability of access to data on prescribing; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Information Centre for health and Social Care (IC) provides a data and analytical service that enables National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) systematically to analyse prescribing behaviours in the context of their guidelines. This work has been integrated as a routine business service to NICE.
The IC also provides on request prescribing data from the prescribing cost analysis database and from a national edition of the ePACT system. Information from these sources is also made available to a wide range of bodies via its website.
Dawn Primarolo: The Department has a portfolio of publicity material about prescription charges which is managed by the Prescription Pricing Division of the National Health Service Business Services Authority. This material includes a poster advertising prescription prepayment certificates. Periodically, the Prescription Pricing Division includes the poster in its regular mailing pack sent to all pharmacies, general practitioner (GP) dispensing practices and all other GP practices. The Prescription Pricing Division also carries out further promotional activities when the opportunity arises. In addition, the Department currently has a contract with the waiting room information services which supplies stocks of leaflets to participating GP surgeries.
Ann Keen: The latest published workforce census showed there were 14,564 qualified therapeutic and diagnostic radiographers working in the national health service in England, an increase of 2,793 (24 per cent.) since September 1997.
Ann Keen: With regard to radiotherapy, the cancer reform strategy has committed an investment of £130 million in new equipment and staff. Workforce planning is a matter for local determination, as local planners are best placed to assess the radiography needs of their local populations. The Department continues to ensure effective planning frameworks are in place.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much additional funding has been allocated for each year from 2007-08 to 2010-11 to (a) extend the breast cancer screening age range to women aged between 43 and 73 years, (b) extend the age limit for bowel cancer screening to 75 years, (c) ensure that all patients will be receiving appointments with a specialist within two weeks for breast problems, (d) ensure that all cervical screening results will be available within 14 days and (e) increase the number of matrons to 5,000; 
(2) by what date he expects that (a) all patients will be receiving appointments with a specialist within two weeks for breast problems, (b) all cervical screening results will be available within 14 days, (c) breast cancer screening will be fully extended to all women between the ages of 43 and 73 years and (d) the number of matrons have reached 5,000. 
Ann Keen: In September, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced proposals for cancer services, extending the breast cancer screening age range to women aged between 47 and 73, extending the age limit for bowel cancer screening to 75 years, ensuring that all patients will be receiving appointments with a specialist within two weeks for breast problems and ensuring that all cervical screening results will be available within 14 days, and proposals to increase the number of matrons to 5,000 to help tackle healthcare-associated infections.
The Cancer Reform Strategy was published on 3 December and is available in the Library. It sets out the future direction of cancer services in England over the next five years. The strategy provides further information on the commitments made by the Prime Minister. We anticipate there being 5,000 matrons in post by May 2008.
Allocations to primary care trusts (PCTs) provide them with funding to deliver all local and national priorities, and are not broken down into the cost of delivering individual commitments. The cost of delivering individual commitments will depend on local decisions on implementation.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which slimming clubs the Government are employing to help reduce obesity; how much has been paid to them to date; and what estimate has been made of the number of people who have (a) used their services and (b) lost weight as a result of doing so. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Government do not employ any slimming clubs to help reduce obesity. It is up to local areas to decide the best types of treatments to provide for their own populations, in line with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance on the prevention, identification, assessment and management of overweight and obesity in adults and children.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much was (a) allocated to and (b) spent by primary care trusts for stop smoking services in each of the last five financial years for which figures are available; 
In addition, the 2006-07 and 2007-08 revenue allocations to PCTs separately identify funding to support the implementation of the Choosing Health White Paper. For the two years covered by this allocation, £10 million is separately identified nationally to further support the provision of NHS stop smoking services, with the majority of the funding directed towards Spearhead PCTs.
Revenue allocations to PCTs post 2007-08 are to be determined. As set out in a written statement by the Minister of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Exeter (Mr. Bradshaw) on 22 November 2007, Official Report, column 145WS, there is to be a one-year allocation for 2008-09.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what meetings he had with HM Treasury officials to discuss the settlement for social care in the comprehensive spending review; at which of those meetings the subject of payment for long-term care was discussed; and if he will publish the minutes of those meetings. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: There were a number of meetings between HM Treasury and departmental Ministers, and between HM Treasury and departmental officials over the course of the 2007 comprehensive spending review. These meetings involved discussions on a range of issues, including social care. It is the Government's policy not to publish details of comprehensive spending review meetings.
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