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Mr. Bradshaw: Primary care trusts (PCTs) have a responsibility to ensure they provide, or secure provision of a high quality, sustainable service for their local population. All out-of-hours service providers are contractually bound to deliver to the standards of the national quality requirements. Where a provider is failing to meet the quality requirements, it is the responsibility of the PCT as the commissioner of the service, and the strategic health authority to support the out-of-hours provider to improve their performance.
The independent health regulator, Healthcare Commission, review of urgent and emergency care, Not just a matter of time, (published on 26 September 2008) found that the national health service has made significant progress on performance against the national quality requirements.
We have commissioned the Primary Care Foundation to develop an out of hours benchmarking tool. The benchmarking tool assists PCTs in improving the quality of care and increase the scope of potential savings through effective benchmarking. Over 70 PCTs have now signed up to benchmark the performance of their out-of-hours providers.
We are also developing an indicator to measure patient reported access to out-of-hours care. This indicator will be a tier 1 vital sign which means that it is a national priority for the NHS for 2008-09 to 2010-11.
Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether a primary care trust has full discretion to decide whether a GP-led health centre should be opened in the area for which they are responsible in light of the commitment to local decision-making given in paragraph 5, page 23 of his Departments recent document, High Quality Care For All - NHS Next Stage Review Final Report. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The NHS Operating Framework 2008-09 (which is available in the Library) set out the Department of Healths 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 at advanced stages of the process to deliver these extra services. We have consistently emphasised the need for strong public and clinical engagement in making decisions on the location of these services and the services they will provide.
Mr. Bradshaw: No. What we have asked each primary care trust to establish is a new general practitioner (GP)-led health centre, where any member of the public (regardless of which GP practice they are registered with) can book an appointment or simply walk in and see a GP or nurse, from 8 am to 8 pm, seven days a week, or with which they can choose to register.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the level of take-up by acute trusts of each product on the market designed to combat healthcare-acquired infections. 
Ann Keen: It is for local organisations to decide on the most effective and appropriate products to meet local needs when continuing to tackle infection and improve cleanliness. The Department therefore does not assess the level of take-up by acute trusts of all individual products on the market.
The Department does have a range of programmes to support the national health service by accelerating the development and uptake of new technologies or innovations that help improve infection prevention and control. As part of this initiative, the Rapid Review Panel equips trusts with the information to make purchasing decisions, providing a prompt assessment of new and novel equipment, materials and other products or protocols that may be of value to the NHS in improving infection and control.
Dawn Primarolo: It is intended that the majority of the provisions in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill will be commenced in October 2009. It is planned that the provisions relating to parenthood in part 2 (and related consequential provisions) of the Bill will be commenced in April 2009 and that provisions relating to parental orders will be commenced in April 2010.
Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons the GDP deflator in the revised Part IX proposals has not been structured in the same way as for wound care and reagents; and if he will make a statement. 
Phil Hope: The Part IX review is currently ongoing, and the consultation published in June 2008 was seeking views on a proposed price increase mechanism, which takes into account annual efficiency targets that are set for the national health service itself.
Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what factors his Department considered when proposing that future changes in the price of products on Part IX of the Drug Tariff should be aligned to NHS efficiency targets through the GDP deflator in the revised Part IX proposals; and if he will make a statement. 
Phil Hope: The Part IX review is currently ongoing, and the consultation published in June 2008 was seeking views on a proposed price increase mechanism. One of the aims of this review has been to provide value for money to the national health service.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost to (a) the Healthcare Commission and (b) the health care industry of regulation of class 3B and 4 lasers and intense pulsed light equipment in (i) medical and surgical procedures and (ii) cosmetic procedures. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The cost of regulation of class 3B and 4 lasers and intense pulsed light equipment in cosmetic procedures is set out in the Private and Voluntary Healthcare Consultation document 2008 and is estimated to be £1.2 million per year.
The cost of regulating medical/surgical procedures forms part of the regulatory costs for hospitals. Fees for the independent sector are set at a level which reflects the regulatory effort the Healthcare Commission must
undertake. The cost of regulation to the health care industry relates directly to the Healthcare Commissions costs for regulation.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the Answer of 22 October 2008, Official Report, column 375W, on maternity services, (1) how much of the £330 million allocation for improvements to maternity services each primary care trust will receive; and how these allocations have been decided; 
(2) if he will place in the Library copies of guidance his Department has sent to primary care trusts relating to the additional sums made available to them in the current and future financial years to improve maternity care. 
Revenue allocations are made to PCTs on the basis of a weighted capitation formula. The aim of the formula is to ensure there is sufficient funding to provide equal access for equal need in all parts of the country, and to reduce avoidable health inequalities. The key determinant of need is the size of the population for which PCTs are responsible. This is then adjusted to take into account age related need, additional need (over and above that accounted for by age), and unavoidable geographical variations in the cost of providing services (the market forces factor). Revenue allocations are not broken down into funding for individual policy streams such as maternity.
However, the NHS Operating Framework for 2008-09 (a copy of which has already been placed in the Library), the key planning document for the NHS, identified maternity services as an area where PCTs are expected to take particular action to improve access as part of the wider Maternity Matters Strategy to deliver safe, high-quality care.
|Midwifery training places by Strategic Health Authority in England for 2003-04 to 2007-08|
|North East SHA||North West SHA||Yorkshire and the Humber SHA||East Midlands SHA||West Midlands SHA||East of England SHA||London SHA||South East Coast SHA||South Central SHA||South West SHA||England Total|
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