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There is no definitive information on either the total number of people with confirmed diagnoses of pleural plaques, or those people who will ultimately develop pleural plaques. This is largely due to the asymptomatic nature of pleural plaques, as well as its long latency.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department (a) has spent and (b) is expected to spend on legal and associated fees in all ongoing legal cases concerning NHS staff. 
Ann Keen: The Department has to date spent £65,820.92 on legal and associated fees in all ongoing cases involving NHS staff. We are unable to predict with any degree of accuracy the total likely costs, because these cases are ongoing and, therefore, unresolved.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the claims are for which total damages are worth more than £500,000 that have been settled under the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts; and in each case (a) which trust was involved, (b) what damages have been paid to date, (c) what total damages are expected to be, (d) what the speciality was in which the claim occurred and (e) what injury to the patient occurred. 
Total damages indicate the exact amount paid if the case is closed, or the estimated amount to be paid where some damages are outstanding, for example under periodic payments.
|Hospital and Community Health Services (HCHS): medical staff within the psychiatry group by specialtyEngland|
Data as at 1 October 1997-99 and 30 September 2000-07
The Information Centre for health and social care Medical and Dental Workforce Census
Workforce statistics are compiled from data sent by more than 300 NHS trusts and primary care trusts (PCTs) in England. The NHS Information Centre for health and social care liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies and the effect of missing and invalid data. Processing methods and procedures are continually being updated to improve data quality. Where this happens any impact on figures already published will be assessed but unless this is significant at national level they will not be changed. Where there is impact only at detailed or local level this will be footnoted in relevant analyses.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he takes to ensure that LINks pay appropriate attention to social care inquiries; and what mechanisms are in place to ensure that health and overview scrutiny committees take account of social care referrals. 
All materials produced to describe the role of LINks highlight that the LINk role incorporates social services. The Act also contains provision, which ensures that, should a local involvement network (LINk) refers a matter relating to social care services to a Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC), the Committee is required to respond to the LINk and keep the LINk informed of the Committees actions in relation to the matter.
Ann Keen: The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007, contains provision which ensures that, should a local involvement network (LINk) refer a matter relating to social care services to a Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC), the Committee is required to respond to the LINk and keep the LINk informed of the Committees actions in relation to the matter. The Act only provides for social care referrals, because there is an existing regulation making power to require committees to respond to health matters when they are referred. The regulations have been amended to mirror the requirements of the Act but for health matters.
Since the legislation establishing LINks came into force, in April 2008, the Department has put in place a programme of support for local authorities, host organisations and LINks. As part of this programme, the NHS Centre for Involvement has produced guidance materials, which consistently highlight the importance of LINks establishing close working relations with OSCs.
The Department is currently asking people and organisations for their ideas on how we can build on the achievements of health overview and scrutiny and consider ways in which health scrutiny arrangements can be strengthened. Those views will inform a review of current OSC guidance and a consultation on the review will begin in the spring of 2009.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average starting salary of nurses in Crosby constituency was in 1997; and what it was at the latest date for which information is available. 
|Nurse Grade D|
|Pay (£)||Minimum percentage increase|
1. 1 December figure used for years where increase was staged.
2. 1 November figure used for year where increase was staged.
Non-medical pay policy
Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the expansion of patient choice from April 2008 will specifically apply to mental health services; and if he will make a statement. 
Phil Hope: It is the Government's aim to offer choice to all patients, to provide a responsive and patient centred health service. Free Choice means the majority of patients referred to hospital will be able to choose where they wish to be treated. However, there are some services, including mental health, that currently fall outside the scope of Free Choice, as choice of hospital may not be appropriate.
For patients using these services, other choices or other ways to ensure services are more responsive will be required. The key issue for users of mental health services is providing greater choice of the type of treatment they receive, for example by increasing access to psychological therapies.
The Government are committed to giving people with mental health problems choice and a more personalised service, including making more information available about mental illness to help people manage their own care. In the last year, work has been ongoing both locally and nationally to increase the level of choice offered to people with mental health problems.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of judicial reviews of decisions by primary care trusts to refuse funding for (a) non-cancer and (b) cancer treatments in the latest period for which figures are available. 
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