|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
The US Government has expressed significant additional security concerns in regard to the cases of the other two men covered by the original requestMr. Shaker Aamer and Mr. Binyam Mohammed. They
have so far declined the request for the release and return of Mr. Aamer and we are no longer in active discussions regarding his transfer to the UK. We are still discussing with the US the case of Mr. Mohammed although again the US Government is not inclined to agree to his release and return.
Moving ahead, we will continue to discuss with the US Government how best we can work with them to see the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. We will continue to encourage our allies to consider taking steps similar to our own to reduce the numbers of those detained at Guantanamo Bay, such as accepting the transfer of eligible detainees, thereby hastening the closure of the detention facility.
The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (David Miliband): The Government regret the unilateral decision by the Russian Federation to cease compliance with its obligations under the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CPE) from 12 December. Russia has sought to explain this decision principally on the grounds that members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) have not ratified the adapted version of the CFE treaty. Together with our NATO allies, the United Kingdom has made a public statement (http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2007/p07-139e.html).
This Russian decision is unjustified. The United Kingdom, along with NATO allies, has made clear our commitment to ratify as quickly as possible the adaptation of the CFE treaty, which would provide the basis for addressing most of Russias concerns about the current CFE regime. But it remains right that Russia should in parallel honour its own commitments, made at the 1999 Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe summit in Istanbul, to regularise the status of its forces and equipment in Georgia and Moldova. The principle that host nation consent is required for the stationing of foreign forces is central to effective security and stability in Europe. NATO has engaged intensively with the Russian Federation to seek ways of overcoming differences over how to ensure both these sets of commitments are delivered.
The Government also consider that the Russian Federations suspension of their obligations cannot be justified either under the provisions of the CFE Treaty or on the grounds set out in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Accordingly, on 11 December, we sent a Note Verbale, via the Treaty Depository, to all CFE States Parties, making this clear.
We judge, however, that European security is not fundamentally or immediately threatened by this Russian action. In the short term, we understand Russia will stop exchanging data or sending notifications on the whereabouts and composition of its conventional forces, and will refuse to allow verification inspections. However, if Russia were to persist in this course of action, in the longer-term that would erode the transparency and predictability which the CFE regime contributes to overall stability in Europe.
To help maintain that stability, the United Kingdom will until further notice, along with its NATO allies, continue to honour all our obligations under the CFE
Treaty, including towards the Russian Federation. We will assess the impact of any non-compliance by the Russian Federation, and consult with NATO allies on a further joint response. With NATO allies, we will also continue to promote engagement with the Russian Federation with a view to reaching an agreed way forward.
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Dawn Primarolo): The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council was held on 5 and 6 December 2007. The health part was held on the 6 December. I represented the UK.
The Council adopted conclusions on the Portuguese presidency theme of health and migration in the European Union. In a policy debate, Ministers discussed the challenges and opportunities in health presented by migration.
Ministers welcomed the Commissions EU health strategy, on which council conclusions were adopted. There was agreement that the EU strategy needed to complement national strategies, and that sudsidiarity must be respected. I highlighted the importance of tackling health inequalities.
Conclusions were also adopted on organ donation and transplantation and on nutrition and obesity responding to Commission communications on these subjects, and the presidency presented a progress report highlighting recent activities on the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Over lunch there was an informal discussion on health services, on which Commission proposals are expected shortly. Ministers urged caution: it was important to avoid creating inequalities through a system that allowed a few to shop around for care. The proposals should not go further than the ECJ jurisprudence, and member states should be able to use prior authorisation systems for hospital care.
Slovenia outlined their priorities in health for the forthcoming Slovene presidency. Cancer would be their main priority. They would also be taking forward work on anti-microbial resistance, and highlighting the implementation of policies to tackle alcohol-related harm and co-operation in the area of pricing and reimbursement of pharmaceuticals.
All primary care trusts will receive a cash increase of 5.5 per cent., a total cash increase of £3.8 billion, bringing the total revenue allocations to £74 billion. In addition, £1.7 billion of non-recurrent budgets are also
being issued, meaning that 82 per cent. of the total NHS revenue budget will be issued direct to primary care trusts compared to 72 per cent. in 1996-97. Overall, we have trebled investment in the NHS from £35 billion to £110 billion by 2010-11.
I am keen to continue to raise the transparency and accountability of the NHS and, consequently, I have written individually to all hon. Members in England detailing their relevant PCTs allocations for 2008-09 and have noted how their current allocations compare to those for 2007-08. I have also included with this written statement a table detailing 2008-09 PCT allocations.
As I announced on 22 November, the revenue allocations will be for 2008-09 only, as the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (ACRA) has asked for additional time to finish their review of the current resource allocation formula. ACRA will complete their work shortly and we intend to announce allocations for 2009-10 and 2010-11 by summer 2008.
As the House will recognise, the NHS has made substantial progress over the past 10 years on investment and reform. Patients wait no more than four hours in accident and emergency, the health service has more doctors and nurses than ever before; and we have witnessed the largest hospital building programme since the NHS was founded.
first, improving standards of cleanliness and tackling healthcare associated infections;
secondly, improving access to care through the achievement of the 18-week referral to treatment pledge and improving access to GP services, including at evenings and weekends;
thirdly, keeping adults and children well, improving their health and reducing inequalities, by focusing on improving care for cancer and stroke, and paying particular attention to childrens health, particularly in the most deprived areas of the country;
fourthly, improving patient experience, staff satisfaction and engagement; and
fifthly, preparing to respond in a state of emergency, such as an outbreak of pandemic influenza.
In addition to the national priorities, PCTs need to continue to improve at understanding the particular needs of their local populations and take concrete steps to address them. In order to meet their own local needs, PCTs will need to work in step with local government through local area agreements that focus on improving health and well-being.
Local priorities will build on evidence about current PCT performance and regional variation, and also plan for the future by incorporating work being done in local service reviews. Whether it is reducing mixed sex accommodation, personalising services for patients with learning disabilities or responding to the Healthcare Commissions recommendations, local services need to respond to local needs.
bringing the NHS to financial balance and going on to deliver a surplus; and
embedding patient choice, practice based commissioning, payment by results and foundation trusts, which all lead to better patient care.
The NHS must meet the needs of its patients and their families, the expectations of the public and the aspirations of its staff. At all times, the NHS must be safe, effective, personalised and fair. The more responsive and personalised the NHS gets, the better the care it will provide and the more confidence the health service will inspire.
|2008-09 PCT Recurrent Revenue Allocations|
|2007-08 Recurrent Allocation||2008-09 Recurrent Increase||2008-09 Recurrent Allocation|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|