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Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to reduce the disparity between the regions in the figures for the percentage of stroke victims who receive brain scans within 24 hours of their admission to hospital. 
Ann Keen: The new National Stroke Strategy, announced in December, will modernise services and deliver the newest treatments for stroke across England. The strategy emphasises the need to improve access to scans and stipulates that brain imaging should be performed in the next scan slot, or within 60 minutes of request out of hours. We are asking all local stroke networks to ensure that any patient who could benefit from urgent care should be transferred to an acute stroke centre that provides 24-hour access to scans and other specialist stroke care.
The national health service is funded to implement the strategy. We have fully costed the proposals in the strategy, and this will be reflected in the allocation which goes to primary care trusts for next year. In addition, we have committed new central funds totalling £105 million over the next three years. Some of that new funding will be used to develop demonstration sites for acute services which will enable us to not only show a step change in service provision in those areas, but to provide lessons that can be shared. The £105 million is central fundingon top of money going into the NHS to support this change.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to publish guidance on local involvement networks for local authorities; and by when he plans to require that guidance to be implemented. 
Ann Keen: The NHS Centre for Involvement (NCI) has been contracted by the Department to promote more effective patient and public involvement and consultation and to provide support, advice and guidance to stakeholders in this respect. The NCI will be producing a detailed compendium of guidance from 1 April, when local involvement networks (LINks) will come into force.
Since the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 was enacted in October last year, a great deal of support work has been done to ensure that a LINk is established in each local authority (LA) area. This has included £10,000 being allocated to each LA and the monthly issuing of newsletters designed to help local authorities plan for LINks.
In addition, in August 2007, the Department published its Getting Ready for LINks guidance, which set out the activities that local authorities should be undertaking in order to successfully contract with a host organisation to run its local LINk.
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which strategic health authorities have trusts with Cerner Millennium systems (a) installed and (b) proposed for installation; who in NHS headquarters has the responsibility for collating the experience of trusts with Cerner; what assessment he has made of levels of satisfaction with Cerner in the NHS; and if he will make a statement. 
Other trusts in these SHA areas, and one further trust in the North West SHA, will in due course go live with the Cerner Millennium system on dates to be determined by local agreement with the national health service bodies concerned.
While many users who have become familiar with the Cerner Millennium software over time have expressed satisfaction with the system, we are aware that initial concerns have been expressed by some users about the level and quality of functionality provided following some recent deployments of the system. These concerns are being investigated.
Since April 2007, deployment of systems is the responsibility of the SHAs. However, at a national level, NHS Connecting for Health collates information about the performance of suppliers and handles commercial issues. NHS Connecting for Health and SHAs are working closely with the relevant local service providers, and their sub-contractor Cerner to address the user's concerns about the product and its ease of use. The continuous process of applying lessons learned from each deployment aims to ensure the system achieves its potential to serve the needs of the NHS.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what forecasts he has made of the future requirements for additional (a) radiographers, (b) radiologists and (c) bowel screening colonoscopists over the next five years (i) in England and (ii) in Gloucestershire; and if he will make a statement. 
Ann Keen: Work force planning is a matter for local determination, as local work force planners are best placed to assess the health care needs of their local population. The Department continues to ensure the frameworks are in place to support this.
|NHS hospital and community health service (HCHS): scientific, therapeutic and technical staff by type, England as at 30 September each year|
|Qualified allied health profession||1997||1998||1999||2000||2001||2002||2003||2004||2005||2006( 1)|
|(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 1 per cent. of total records, it should be taken into consideration when making historical comparisons.|
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.
(2) New occupation codes for health care scientists were introduced in 2003. As a result, a small number of staff previously included under diagnostic radiography are now classified within medical physics.
The impact of duplicates on full-time equivalent has been minimal with the removal of 507.
The Information Centre for health and social care non-medical work force census
|HCHS medical and dental consultants (including directors of public health) by specialty group, England at 30 September|
The Information Centre for health and social care.
The annual NHS work force census does not separately identify the number of bowel screening colonoscopists as they are not a registered specialty or profession and consist of people from a number of different work force groups.
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many specialist clinical nurses there are for (a) each cancer specialism and (b) each cancer network; and what assessment he has made of the efficacy of clinical nurse specialist provision; 
Ann Keen: Data on the number of 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 multidisciplinary cancer team in their " Improving Outcomes' series of guidance.
Since 1997 there are over 79,000 (25 per cent.) more nurses in the national health service. It is for cancer networks to work in partnership with strategic health authorities, primary care trusts, NHS trusts and postgraduate deaneries to make the best use of these staff and 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.
The Government have reviewed the governance of all the health care regulatory bodies and published their proposals in the White Paper, Trust, Assurance and Safety The Regulation of Health Professionals in the 21st Century. These include a number of reforms to the governance of the regulatory bodies, such as the introduction of appointment only councils that are smaller and more board-like.
The Government established the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE) in April 2003 with functions that include promoting best practice and consistency in the regulation of health care professionals and reporting on the performance of regulators' various functions. As part of its responsibilities, CHRE undertakes an annual performance review, of which governance is a key factor, of all of the health care regulators.
Ann Keen: Under the Human Tissue Act 2004 (Ethical Approval, Exceptions from Licensing and Supply of Information about Transplants) Regulations 2006, practitioners must be able to account for every organ procured, transplanted or in any case where the organ is not transplanted, the manner of disposal. There is no evidence to show that any organs for transplant have been either lost or stolen from national health service premises.
Ann Keen: As part of its work to examine how donation rates might be improved, the organ donation taskforce looked at successful models of organ donation from across the world. As part of that process, Dr. Rafael Matesanz, of the Organizacion Nacional de Trasplantes in Spain, and architect of the successful Spanish model, gave a presentation to Taskforce on the system in operation in Spain. The former Minister of State (Ms Winterton) attended this Taskforce meeting.
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