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Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many psychiatrist nurses were employed by each London mental health trust in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
|National health service hospital and community health services: Qualified psychiatric nurses in the London strategic health authority (SHA) area showing mental health trusts: As at September each year|
1. Psychiatric nurses includes community psychiatric nurses.
2. More accurate validation processes in 2006 have resulted in the identification and removal of 9,858 duplicate non-medical staff records out of the total workforce figure of 1.3 million in 2006. Earlier years' figures could not be accurately validated in this way and so will be slightly inflated. The level of inflation in earlier years' figures is estimated to be less than 1 per cent. of total across all non-medical staff groups for headcount figures (and negligible for full-time equivalents). This should be taken into consideration when analysing trends over time.
The Information Centre for health and social care Non-Medical Workforce census.
|The three month vacancy number for all qualified nurses and doctors (excluding doctors in training) working within the psychiatry group of specialties in London strategic health authority area, showing mental health trusts as 31 March 2007|
|Three month vacancy numbers|
|Qualified nurses||Doctors (excluding doctors in training)|
| Notes: 1. Three month vacancies are vacancies which trusts are actively trying to fill, which had lasted for three months or more (whole time equivalents). 2. Vacancy numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number. 3. Psychiatric nurses are Community Psychiatric nurses and Other Psychiatric nurses. 4. Vacancy numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number. 5. Strategic health authority figures are based on trusts, and do not necessarily reflect the geographical provision of health care. Source: The Information Centre Medical and Dental and Non-Medical Workforce Census, Vacancies Survey.|
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what effect the resignation of Mr. Richard Granger had on the renegotiation of the Department's Connecting for Health contract with BT. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The decision of the Director General of NHS Connecting for Health to step down from his role in the Department was unrelated to, and had no impact on, the recent resetting of contracts let under the national programme for information technology, including that with BT.
Mr. Goodwill: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he last reviewed scientific advice on the removal of specified risk material from sheep over 12 months old or with permanent incisors erupted; and what plans he has to change his policy on this matter. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Food Standards Agency keeps the possible human health risks from Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) in sheep and the specified risk material (SRM) controls under continual review. The Agency has advised that on the basis of the current scientific evidence they have no immediate plans to put forward to the European Commission any proposals to change the policy on the removal of SRM from sheep over 12 months of age. Controls on the removal of SRM are set out in Community regulations which are applicable in all member states. The European Commission published its TSE Road Map on the future of TSE controls in July 2005. This indicated that SRM controls, including in sheep, would be reviewed in the short-medium term (2005-09) in the light of scientific opinion.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will ensure that electrically powered indoor and outdoor wheelchairs are made available to children with spinal muscular atrophy on the basis of clinical need. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: All national health service wheelchair services are funded out of general allocation funding to primary care trusts (PCTs). It is up to individual PCTs to set their own eligibility criteria for their service. Decisions about the type of wheelchair provided to an individual will be based on an individual assessment of their needs and the PCTs eligibility criteria. This includes wheelchairs for children with spinal muscular atrophy.
Mr. Bradshaw: There is a requirement under the new General Medical Services contract and the Primary Medical Services (Directed Enhanced Services) (England) Directions 2006, that the general practitioner:
develops and maintains a register (its Childhood Immunisation Scheme Register, which may comprise electronically tagged entries in a wider computer database) of all the children for whom the contractor has a contractual duty to provide childhood immunisation and pre-school booster services (who may already have been immunised, by the contractor or otherwise, or to whom the contractor has offered or needs to offer immunisations).
Mr. Bradshaw: There is a requirement under the new General Medical Services and Personal Medical Services contract and Primary Medical Services (Directed Enhanced Services) (England) Directions 2006 that the general practitioner:
(i) develops a strategy for liaising with and informing parents or guardians of children on its Childhood Immunisation Scheme Register about its immunisation programme with the aim of improving uptake; and
(ii) provides information on request to those parents or guardians about immunisation.
Mr. Horam: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what targets he has set for reducing waiting times between a patient being placed on a consultants list and the operation taking place; and what his policy is on these matters. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 18 December 2007]: The operational standard in place for the national health service is a maximum wait of 26 weeks for an operation from the time the decision to admit was made.
By December 2008, patients can expect to wait a maximum of 18 weeks from the time they are referred to a consultant to the start of their treatment, unless it is clinically appropriate for them to wait longer or they choose to do so. This includes time spent waiting for out-patient appointments and diagnostic tests as well as for any operation or other treatment if appropriate.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information requested is not held centrally. This is a matter for the national health service locally. However, hospital wards are regularly opened and closed to meet fluctuating demands.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many heart failure nurses are (a) employed and (b) on maternity leave in West Hertfordshire Primary Care Trust; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will place in the Library a copy of the minutes of the recent meeting between his Departments officials and the Association of Electoral Administrators at which holding a general election in the autumn was discussed. 
Bridget Prentice: My officials hold regular meetings on an ongoing basis with the Association of Electoral Administrators at which a range of electoral issues are discussed. Such a meeting, which was pre-planned, took place in September. Issues surrounding the administration of elections were discussed at the meeting along with a variety of other issues. These meetings are informal in nature and minutes are not taken.
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