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Ann Keen: The Department does not set targets for ambulance personnel recruitment. The number of ambulance personnel recruited each year is not collected centrally. Local national health service organisations are best placed to assess the health needs of their local health community and plan the workforce they need. The numbers of qualified ambulance staff and support to ambulance staff working in the NHS in England over the last five years are shown in the following table:
|NHS Hospital and Community Health Service ambulance staff by typeEngland as at 30 September each year|
|(1 )More accurate validation in 2006 has resulted in 9,858 duplicate records being identified and removed from the non-medical census. Although this represents less than one per cent, of total records, it should be taken into consideration when making historical comparisons.|
In 2006 ambulance staff were collected under new, more detailed, occupation codes.
As a result, qualified totals and support to ambulance staff totals are not directly comparable with previous years.
These 9,858 duplicate records, broken down by main staff group, are: 3,370 qualified nurses; 1,818 qualified scientific, therapeutic and technical staff; 2,719 support to doctors and nurses; 368 support to scientific, therapeutic and technical staff; 1,562 NHS infrastructure support; and 21 in other areas.
The impact of duplicates on full time equivalent numbers has been minimal with the removal of 507.
The information on ambulance staff recruited or employed in Wales is not collected by the Department. The information will be available from the devolved administration in Wales.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the national standards for uptake of (a) breast and (b) cervical cancer screening were being achieved in (i) England and (ii) Gloucestershire on the latest dates for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Ann Keen: Uptake of cervical screening is not measured, women make their own appointments following receipt of a reminder letter. Therefore, to provide consistency, the figures given as follows are for coverage.
The national standard for breast screening coverage is 70 per cent., and the national standard for cervical screening coverage is 80 per cent. The following table gives coverage figures for England and Gloucestershire primary care trust (PCT), for 2005-06, for breast and cervical screening.
|Breast screening programme: coverage of women aged 53-64( (1)(2)) , at 31 March 2006|
|Eligible population( 1)||Number of women screened||Coverage (less than 3 years since last test)(percentage)|
|(1 )The coverage of the breast screening programme is the proportion of women resident and eligible that have had a test with a recorded result at least once in the previous three years. Coverage of the screening programme is best assessed using the 53 to 64 age group as women may be first called at any time between their 50th and 53rd birthdays.|
(2) The breast screening programme covers women aged 50 to 64 but it was extended to invite women aged 65 to 70 in April 2001. The last unit began inviting women aged 65 to 70 in April 2006 and full coverage should be achieved by 2008-09.
(3) This is the number of women in the registered population less those recorded as ineligible.
KC63, The Information Centre for health and social care.
|Cervical screening programme: coverage of women aged 25-64( (1),) at 31 March 2007|
|Eligible population( 2)||Coverage (less than 3.5 years since last adequate test) (percentage)||Coverage (less than 5 years since last adequate test) (percentage)|
|(1) National policy for the cervical screening programme is that eligible women aged 25 to 64 should be screened every three or five years (women aged 25 to 49 are screened every three years, those aged 50 to 64 every five years).|
(2) This is the number of women in the resident population less those with recall ceased for clinical reasons.
KC53 Parts A2 and A3, The Information Centre for health and social care.
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) further to the publication of the Cancer Reform Strategy, when the national programme for advanced communication skills training for senior cancer health care professionals will be rolled out; 
(2) further to the publication of the Cancer Reform Strategy, how he will ensure that general and community based clinicians and other health care staff who treat and support cancer patients have access to good communication skills training; 
(3) further to the publication of the Cancer Reform Strategy, when a national course will be developed on specific communication skills for effective face-to-face communication with children and young people with cancer; and if he will make a statement on the pilot schemes. 
The national Advanced Communication Skills Training (ACST) programme has been rolled out, via cancer networks, over the last three years with over 1,500 senior health care professionals within cancer being trained and with 250 facilitators appointed to support delivery of the programme. The course has recently been reviewed and enhanced with the new programme being launched nationally from July 2008.
Educational grants are being made to cancer networks to enable the introduction of the updated model locally.
It is for cancer networks working in partnership with strategic health authorities, national health service 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. A number of networks are already looking to deliver communication skills courses to community based and generalist staff groups and it is anticipated that the End of Life Care Strategy, which is due for publication in summer 2008, will contain further information on communication skills training for the wider workforce.
An adaptation of the ACST programme for children and young people with cancer were piloted and successfully evaluated in April 2007. When the updated model for the ACST programme is introduced in July 2008, training facilitators to deliver programmes for senior staff working in childrens and young peoples cancer services will commence.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to increase the uptake of screening for cancer; what initiatives are being undertaken in Gloucestershire; and if he will make a statement. 
Ann Keen: It is important to remember that no screening method is perfect and anyone invited to be screened for cancer must be aware of both the benefit and harm of being screened and be able to make an informed decision on whether to take part or not.
This includes extending the age ranges for both breast and bowel screening, so that as many people as possible have the opportunity to be screened. We estimate that this will mean that an extra three million men and women will be screened over the next five years.
It is for strategic health authorities working in partnership with their primary care trusts, local screening services and stakeholders to provide appropriate cancer screening services for their local populations, this includes promotion of local screening services.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of patients with chronic conditions supported in the community by telemedicine services in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
Ann Keen: The estimated cost of the Healthcare for London: Consulting the Capital exercise is not held centrally; nor are the estimated costs of consultation undertaken by other strategic health authorities as part of the nationwide Our National Health Service, Our Future review. However, the estimated cost of Our NHS, Our Future activity and materials organised and produced nationally by the Department in 2007-08 is £2.5 million.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many doctors and nurses were employed by the NHS in (a) the Nottingham primary care trust area and (b) England in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2007. 
Ann Keen: The number of doctors and nurses employed by the national health service in the Nottingham primary care trust (PCT) area and England in 1997-2001 and in 2006 is shown in the following table. The figures for 2007 will be published mid March 2008.
|NHS hospital and community health services (HCHS): NHS staff in England and each specified organisation in each specified staff group as at 30 September each specified year|
|n/a = Not applicable.|
(1) All hospital doctors but excludes medical hospital practitioners and medical clinical assistants, most of whom are GPs working part time in hospitals, and consequently they are included in GPs.
(2) General medical practitioners (excluding retainers and registrars) includes GP providers and GP others.
1. In 2005 the Queens Medical Centre NHS Trust and Nottingham City Hospitals NHS Trust merged to form Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. 2001 figures are an aggregate of these two organisations.
2. Nottingham City PCT was formed in 2001 from part of Nottingham Community Health NHS Trust, along with four other PCTs. It is impossible to calculate figures for Nottingham City PCT prior to 2001.
3. 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 work force 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.
1. The Information Centre for health and social care Non-Medical Workforce Census.
2. The Information Centre for health and social care Medical and Dental Workforce Census.
3. The Information Centre for health and social care General and Personal Medical Services Statistics.
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