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Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff in (a) his Department and (b) its agencies (i) are classified as Government communicators and (ii) have access to the Government Communication Network. 
Mr. Bradshaw: 118 staff work in the Communications Directorate. Another 21 staff are employed in the Department in an embedded communications role. All of these staff are eligible to register with the Government Communications Network (GCN).
Dawn Primarolo: A wide range of tests for toxins is available on the national health service. These include tests for chemical compounds or other agents which cause illness or death when ingested, breathed in or injected; and testing for the presence in the body of toxins produced by microbes, in order to diagnose an infection or disease.
The Health Protection Agency runs the National Poisons Information Service, which provides information and advice to health professionals on the diagnosis, treatment and management of patients who may have been accidentally or deliberately poisoned, and supports NHS Direct and NHS 24 in providing advice to members of the public.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) GP practices and (b) primary care centres were (i) opened and (ii) refurbished in the last 12 months; and how many of each are planned to be opened in the next three years. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The NHS Plan, published in July 2000, set national targets to replace or significantly refurbish up to 3,000 general practitioner (GP) premises and create 500 one-stop primary care centres by 2004. Both targets were met. The target for one-stop centres was extended to create an additional 250 by December 2008.
In the 12 months to 31 March 2008 the number of one-stop primary care centres has increased by 27 to 719 in total. Information on the number of GP practises opened or refurbished and primary care centres refurbished is not collected centrally.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of primary care trusts that will not open a new GP-led health centre because to do so would be inappropriate given the health needs of their population. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Department expects each primary care trust (PCT) to secure a general practitioner (GP) led health centre during 2008-09. As the recent national GP Patient Survey demonstrates, patients across all parts of the country wish to have greater and more convenient access to GP services. It is for primary care trusts to develop models of primary care and community services that focus more strongly on promoting health, preventing illness and managing long-term conditions. PCTs may therefore chose to commission a wider range of responsive services that reflect local health need and maximise integration with other services such as diagnostics, dentistry, pharmacy and social care.
Mr. Bradshaw: The Department has worked with strategic health authorities (SHAs) and the general practitioners (GP) postgraduate deans to expand GP training to ensure that there are sufficient training places to meet expected future demand. Since 1997 there has been an 85.4 per cent. increase in the number of GP registrars, qualified doctors in training for general practice, with 2,337 GP registrar posts being recruited to this year. The total number of doctors in training in the NHS has grown annually over the last 10 years at an average of 4.4 per cent. a year.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when a patient in treated in a GP-led health centre without being registered there, whether funding will be transferred from the GP where the patient is registered to the health centre to cover the cost of treatment. 
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether primary care trusts that do not open a new GP-led health centre will receive the money they would have otherwise received within their allocations to fund the centre. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The NHS Operating Framework 2008-09 set out the Department's expectation that all primary care trusts (PCTs) will secure a new general practitioner led health centre using their share of the new and additional £250 million access fund and all PCTs are currently planning to deliver these extra services.
Mr. Bradshaw: This is a local contractual matter for each primary care trust (PCT). However, we have advised PCTs to set a local equitable price per patient per year of care (i.e. a fair and equitable weighted capitation payment per patient); or to obtain a cost per registered patient through the procurement process. Where PCTs choose to set a local price, the payment mechanism should be calculated on a weighted capitation basis i.e. based on the expected age/sex/deprivation and demographics of the population to be covered. Where PCTs decide to ask bidders to bid on a price per registered patient, per year basis, a comparison should be made with the price per patient for existing practices with similar patient demographic characteristics.
In considering pricing, PCTs will also need to take into consideration the additional opening hours new health centre providers will need to deliver, any locally enhanced services being contracted for, or additional clinical or qualitative requirements being sought against which providers contracts will be performance management against.
Mr. Bradshaw: A £250 million access revenue fund was secured for the NHS through the Comprehensive Spending Review process to support the delivery of GP-led health centres in every primary care trust (PCT) and 100 new GP practices in the most poorly served PCTs. Collectively, £120 million of this is for health centres and will be included in PCT allocations using a weighted capitation formula to determine each PCTs target share of available resources. All revenue funding allocated to PCTs will be on the basis of continuing to meet recurrent expenditure.
No capital funding has been allocated specifically for the GP led health centres. Where capital investment is required to support the development of new GP facilities, they can use the funds available to them for local capital investment priorities. The Operating Framework for the NHS in England in 2008-09 stated that £400 million, £480 million and £565 million of would be available to fund the local investment priorities of the PCT sector, respectively, in this and the next two years. After careful consideration of local investment plans, to ensure the maximum possible investment in this sector, the budget for 2008-09 was increased to £500 million.
Mr. Bradshaw: There are currently no plans to establish polyclinics in the North East Hertfordshire constituency. East and North Hertfordshire Primary Care Trust is in the process of procuring a general practitioner-led health centre.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to page 10 of the NHS Next Stage Review Final Report, how much money his Department has allocated to the Reduce your Risk campaign; and when this campaign will be launched. 
Dawn Primarolo: Implementing the proposals in the final report of the NHS Next Stage Review, High Quality Care for All, is core business for the national health service. The NHS budget for England for 2008-09 is £96 billion and will rise to £110 billion by 2010-11. The proposals will be funded from within that settlement. Some proposals require central funding to ensure effective implementation. Central funding of £150 million in 2009-10 and £400 million in 2010-11 has been made available for this purpose.
We are confident all the commitments are affordable within this overall total, though precise funding for individual initiatives is still subject to further detailed planning work on implementation including whether they are taken forward nationally or by the NHS locally. The campaign will run alongside the introduction of vascular checks, which will begin from 2009-10 with full implementation by 2012.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to begin work with (a) professional and (b) patient groups to provide better incentives in the Quality and Outcomes Framework for maintaining good health, as referred to on page 37 of his Departments document, High Quality Care for All, Cm. 7432; with which (i) professional and (ii) patient groups he plans to work; when he expects the agreed changes to the Quality and Outcomes Framework will come into effect; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Our vision for primary and community careHigh Quality Care for All published on 3 July as part of Lord Darzis national health service review proposes a new strategy for developing the Quality and Outcomes Framework, including an independent and transparent process for developing and reviewing indicators.
discuss with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and with stakeholders including patient groups and professional bodies how this new process should work;
discuss how to reduce the number of organisational or process indicators, and refocus resources on new indicators for prevention and clinical effectiveness; and
explore the scope to give greater flexibility to primary care trusts to work with primary healthcare teams to select quality indicators (from a national menu) that reflect local health improvement priorities.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans primary care trusts (PCTs) to begin commissioning comprehensive well-being services, as referred to on page 35 of his Departments document High Quality Care for All, Cm. 7432; what the evidential basis is for focusing these services on (a) obesity, (b) alcohol, (c) drug addiction, (d) smoking, (e) sexual health and (f) mental health; what other areas were considered in assessing where to focus comprehensive well-being services; what national funding will be made available to PCTs to support them in commissioning comprehensive well-being services; what contractual mechanisms PCTs will use to commission comprehensive well-being services; in what settings he anticipates the comprehensive well-being services being provided; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: Implementing the proposals in the final report of the NHS Next Stage Review, High Quality Care for All, is core business for the national health service. The NHS budget for England for 2008-09 is £96 billion and will rise to £110 billion by 2010-11. The proposals will be funded from within that settlement.
To support decisions on how to spend their allocated resource, primary care trusts have developed operational plans on the specific national requirements for all primary care trusts to deliver, alongside locally determined stretch targets which focus on local ambitions. To support this new approach the Vital Signs indicator set was published with the Operational Plans 2008/09-2010/11.
Lord Darzis review, High Quality Care For All foresees that in an NHS with a stronger focus on preventative healthcare, there will be large scale investment in wellbeing services, according to local needs. All of the areas highlighted by High Quality Care For All (obesity, alcohol, drug addiction, smoking, sexual health and mental health) appear in Vital Signs and the National Indicator Set, either as national priorities for local delivery (Tier 2 indicators), or local priorities which can be prioritised by primary care trusts in conjunction with local partners (Tier 3 indicators).
Improving preventative and wellbeing services was a priority in every strategic health authority vision document published as part of Lord Darzis Next Stage Review of the NHS. Each vision document is based on an assessment of the evidence by over 2000 clinicians across England, and each one highlighted some or all of these areas (obesity, alcohol, drug addiction, smoking, sexual health and mental health) as requiring action, hence their inclusion in High Quality Care For All.
The World Class Commissioning programme was launched in July 2007 by the Department in order to provide support and improve commissioning across the NHS. This programme will bring about a step-change in commissioning, with one aspect of this change being a stronger focus on long-term health issues.
Through stronger engagement of stakeholders, and strategic planning with a greater focus on the longer-term, we expect to see increased investment in wellbeing services throughout the NHS as a result of the World Class Commissioning programme and High Quality Care For All.
Primary care trusts commission services from appropriate providers to deliver the services and care required. Services could be commissioned from a range of possible providers who are able to meet the service specifications identified by that primary care trust, in line with NICE guidance, where appropriate. It is up to primary care trusts to decide the appropriate settings for services as part of the commissioning process and the decisions are likely to take account of preferences of the target groups for that service.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health in what ways he plans to work with third sector groups to reach those less able to access services, as referred to on page 35 of his Department's document High Quality Care for All, Cm. 7432. 
Ann Keen: Third sector groups are part of the ongoing stakeholder engagement work that has been undertaken since vascular checks were announced in Putting Prevention First at the beginning of April this year. Regular meetings are held with the Cardio Vascular Coalition third sector group, as well as with individual third sector organisations. They provide vital information about their own work in reaching those less able to access services and we will continue to work closely with them through the development of the programme.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to bring forward legislation introducing a new right to choose, as referred to on page 10 of his Departments document High Quality Care for All, Cm. 7432; whether the legislation will be (a) primary or (b) secondary; whether he plans to consult on the legislation in draft; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The draft NHS Constitution proposes that the new right be underpinned by new statutory directions from the Secretary of State to primary care trusts (PCTs). This is subject to consultation. This could be done through directions under section 8 of the National Health Service Act 2006 by requiring PCTs to ensure choice. These could specify which services are covered and any exceptions. They will also require PCTs to provide information to enable choice, and to make arrangements to enable a patient to exercise choice if not offered by their general practitioner.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to page 9 of the NHS Next Stage Review Final Report, which organisations are participating in his Departments coalition for better health. 
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