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Mr. Bradshaw: It is not possible to directly compare total expenditure by individual PCTs on the new general practitioner contract arrangements across each of the financial years since the introduction of the new contract arrangements. In 2002-03, the year before increased investment to support the new GP contract started, spend on primary medical care services was reported on a strategic health authority basis for the first six months and then on a PCT basis for the last six months.
The first year for which we have comparable data to 2006-07 expenditure is 2004-05; however, this is the second year of increased investment in delivering the new GP contract and therefore does not provide the appropriate baseline year to measure expenditure by each PCT on the delivery of the new contract arrangements.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make an assessment of the likely environmental effect of the change in the frequency of personal travel and car usage in rural areas resulting from the closure of GP surgeries on weekends. 
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 28 February 2008, Official Report, column 1889W, on genetically modified organisms (GMOs): labelling, what mechanisms are in place to ensure that food imported into the UK which is not labelled as having been produced from authorised GMOs is not from animals which may have had genetically modified materials in their feed. 
Dawn Primarolo: The labelling requirements for genetically modified (GM) food are set out in the directly applicable Regulations (EC) Nos. 1829/2003 (GM Food and Feed) and 1830/2003 (Traceability and Labelling of GM Organisms). There is no requirement for food produced from animals fed on GM feed to be labelled as such, whether produced in the European Union or imported from a third country.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average age of (a) general practitioners, (b) consultants, (c) nurses and (d) midwives was in the most recent period for which figures are available; and how many from each group he expects to retire in the next 10 years. 
|(1) General medical practitioners (excluding retainers and registrars) includes GP providers and GP others. Source: The Information Centre for health and social care Medical and Dental Workforce Census. The Information Centre for health and social care General and Personal Medical Services Statistics. The Information Centre for health and social care Non-Medical Workforce census.|
Under age discrimination legislation there is a default retirement age of 65, but many national health service organisations do not set a retirement age. Most NHS staff including GPs and consultants have a normal pension age of 60 but the average age at which this group take their pension on age grounds is nearly 63. Nurses and midwives who were members of the NHS pension scheme before 1995 have a normal pension age of 55 but an average retirement age on age grounds of 59.
Mr. Bradshaw: This information is not available centrally. It is for primary care trusts to commission primary care services that best meet the needs of their local population. Personal medical services plus pilots where developed not only to offer the full range of general practice services but also offer the opportunity of piloting the extended role of the general practitioner and deliver more traditional secondary care services in a community setting bringing services closer to patients. This could cover anything from extended minor surgery provision to extra skills such as endoscopy, ophthalmology and dermatology. Piloting ended in 2004 and these are now permanent arrangements that primary care trusts can enter into.
Dawn Primarolo: A review of access to the national health service by foreign nationals is currently under way and is expected to be completed shortly. It will then be submitted to Home Office and Department of Health Ministers. Recommendations to make any changes to existing arrangements will then be subject to public consultation.
Ann Keen: All trusts were required to submit and agree their deep clean plans with primary care trusts in their area by 14 December 2007 and this process has been monitored and assessed by strategic health authorities (SHAs). As set out in the written ministerial statement given by the Secretary of State on 17 January 2008, Official Report, columns 38-39WS, further information on the implementation of the deep clean of the national health service is available from SHAs. All deep cleans will be complete by the end of March 2008.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the findings are of the most recent National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence assessment of the drug Lucentis in the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration. 
Dawn Primarolo: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) is currently appraising ranibizumab (Lucentis) for wet age-related macular degeneration. NICE issued draft guidance for consultation in December 2007. A copy of this consultation draft is available on the NICE website at:
|Estimated prescription items dispensed by community pharmacists and appliance contractors in England||Net ingredient cost (£000)|
|Prescription items dispensed in the community in England (thousands)||Net ingredient cost (£000)|
Prescription Cost Analysis system
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what factors underlay his decision to announce in his oral statement of 4 July 2007, Official Report, column 962, on NHS next step review, that there will be no further centrally-dictated, top-down restructuring to primary care trusts and strategic health authorities for the foreseeable future; 
Ann Keen: The decision to make this announcement was based squarely on the view that configuration of services are a matter for the local national health service and there need be no such central restructuring for the foreseeable future. This remains the Governments policy.
Ann Keen [holding answer 10 March 2008]: There is no legislative procedure relating to the maintenance, or otherwise, of a violent patient register. Therefore, as there is no mandatory register there can be no specific legal right of appeal.
However, primary medical care contractors can immediately remove patients from their list on the grounds of violence if the patient has committed an act of violence or behaved in such a way that made someone fear for their safety, and the incident has been reported to the police. Where a patient is removed from a primary medical service contractor patient list, on these grounds, the contractor is required to note in the patient's medical records that they have been removed and the circumstances leading to their removal. A patient removed from the list of a primary medical services contractor has no right of appeal. Each primary care trust is required to have a scheme in place to ensure that where patients are removed from a practice's registered list for violent behaviour that such patients can still access a general practitioner so they can receive the care they need.
Mr. Devine: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much has been spent by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) on dealing with internal grievances since 2005; when reporting of such spending to the NMC has occurred; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) how much the Nursing and Midwifery Council has spent on (a) legal fees, (b) investigators' fees and (c) arrangements for meetings relating to complaints about the conduct of members of the council; and what estimate he has made of further such expenditure in relation to investigations which are under way; 
(3) how many times the Nursing and Midwifery Council members have been required to sign confidentiality agreements since 1 December 2006; how many members signed each; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) how many Nursing and Midwifery Council members are the subject of formal complaints; in how many of those cases efforts were made to resolve the complaints informally; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Government do not hold this information centrally. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is an independent regulatory body and as such is responsible for its own internal management practices.
Nursing and Midwifery Council
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