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In addition, the HPAs Lyme Disease Reference Unit advises clinicians directly on treatment and patient referral as appropriate, through its nationwide links to experts in infectious diseases, neurology, rheumatology and other specialities.
Ann Keen: The Department is fully satisfied that the diagnostic tests for Borrelia burgdorferi that are freely available to NHS clinicians are fully validated and offer the required level of specificity and sensitivity to accurately diagnose Lyme disease and that current guidance for clinicians on the detection and diagnosis of Lyme disease, as published by the Health Protection Agency, is entirely appropriate.
Mr. Bradshaw: The Government have no plans to introduce polyclinics in England. Polyclinics is a term that the NHS in London is using to describe ways of bringing existing GP services together with other services in convenient community-based settings.
In other parts of the countryincluding the hon. Members own constituencythe NHS is establishing GP-led health centres, to provide more choice and convenience for patients in how they access NHS services.
Mr. Bradshaw: The Government have no plans to introduce polyclinics. Polyclinics is a term that the NHS in London is using to describe ways of bringing existing GP services together with other services, in convenient, community-based settings. Every PCT in England is procuring a GP-led health centre.
Mr. Bradshaw: The new funding formula announced last week includes a separate health inequalities formula, that directs resources to the places with greatest need. My hon. Friends local NHS benefits from the new formula and will receive an 11.7 per cent. increase in funding over the next two years.
Mr. Bradshaw: The recommendations of the advisory committee on resource allocation informed the new funding formula announced on 8 December that the hon. Members local NHSSouth East Essexbenefits from the new formula and will receive an 11.3 per cent. increase in funding over the next two years.
14. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Justice on services for people in the criminal justice system with mental health conditions; and if he will make a statement. 
Some primary care trusts have agreed schemes that are designed to avoid unnecessary referrals to hospital and promote more clinically appropriate alternatives. It is for primary care trusts to evaluate the
effectiveness of these schemes. The Department has made clear to the national health service that any such schemes must promote the most clinically appropriate care for patients.
16. Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effect of incentives offered by primary care trusts to GPs for reducing numbers of referrals for hospital appointments on referral rates and the welfare of patients. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Some primary care trusts (PCTs) have agreed schemes that are designed to avoid unnecessary referrals to hospital and promote more clinically appropriate alternatives. It is for primary care trusts to evaluate the effectiveness of these schemes. The Department of Health has made clear to the NHS that any such schemes must promote the most clinically appropriate care for patients.
Mr. Bradshaw: We are considering discontinuing the use of telephone numbers such as 084 in the NHS, where the cost to the patient of calling those numbers is greater than the cost of a local rate call. We therefore launched a public consultation today on this issue, which is due to run until 31 March 2009, and which will inform the Governments decision on the future use of such numbers in the NHS.
Phil Hope: Following the publication of the White Paper Pharmacy in England: Building on strengths - delivering the future in April 2008, we have received a large amount of correspondence from dispensing practices, their patients and the public.
We have also received several tens of thousands of responses to the consultation, Pharmacy in England - Building on strengths, delivering the future - Proposals for legislative change which was published on 27 August 2008 and closed on 20 November 2008.
We recognise the concerns that are being expressed by dispensing doctors, their staff and patients. We will make our decision as quickly as possible, following full consideration of the responses received.
21. Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what income was generated in the Mid-Essex Hospital Trust area by charging for hospital car parking in the last year for which figures are available. 
Phil Hope: Income is reported voluntarily through the annual Estates Related Information Collection (ERIC) for car parking for staff and visitors. In 2007-08, the total income was £939,952. These data are provided by the NHS on a voluntary basis and have not been amended following their collection, nor have they been actively checked by the Department. They therefore cannot be confirmed to be accurate or complete.
Phil Hope: The Secretary of State for Health has produced his triennial disability equality report, showing that significant progress has been made towards equality for disabled people in the health and social care sector. The report was published on 1 December 2008 and a copy has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Ann Keen: The latest 2005-07 data show a further slight narrowing of the infant mortality gap, no change in the gap in female life expectancy, and a widening gap in male life expectancy compared to 2004-06. In addition, cancer and circulatory disease mortality show a further narrowing of inequalities in absolute terms.
The importance of improving access to NHS dental services is reiterated in the 2009-10 Operating Framework published this week. And this is being supported by extra resourcesan 11 per cent. uplift in our dental
funding allocations for the current year 2008-09, and a further 8.5 per cent. uplift for 2009-10 announced in this week's framework, which will take the total allocation to £2,257 million (net of patient charge income).
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made towards the new public service agreement target to reduce drug and alcohol harm, with particular reference to the new national indicator to measure change in the rate of hospital admissions for alcohol-related conditions. 
Dawn Primarolo: The aim of the public service agreement indicator relating to the rate of hospital admissions for alcohol-related conditions is to achieve a lower rate of admission than predicted if current trends continue. For the reduction to be statistically significant, the rate needs to be 1.4 per cent. below the projected level. Data are currently available up to 2006-07. We expect data for 2007-08 and the first period of 2008-09 to become available before the end of March 2009.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what change there has been in the number of alcohol-related (a) admissions and (b) visits to accident and emergency facilities since the implementation of changes affecting the sale of alcohol contained in the Licensing Act 2003; and if he will make a statement. 
|Alcohol-related finished admissions|
1. The number of alcohol-related admissions is based on the methodology developed by the North West Public Health Observatory (NWPHO). Following international best practice, the NWPHO methodology includes a wide range of diseases and injuries in which alcohol plays a part and estimates the proportion of cases that are attributable to the consumption of alcohol. Details of the conditions and associated proportions can be found in the report Jones et al. (2008) Alcohol-attributable fractions for England: Alcohol-attributable mortality and hospital admissions.
Includes activity in English NHS Hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector.
2. Finished admission episodes:
A finished admission episode is the first period of inpatient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. Finished admission episodes are counted against the year in which the admission episode finishes. Admissions do not represent the number of inpatients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year.
3. Primary diagnosis:
The primary diagnosis is the first of up to 14 (seven prior to 2002-03) diagnosis fields in the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data set and provides the main reason why the patient was in hospital.
4. Secondary diagnoses:
As well as the primary diagnosis, there are up to 13 (six prior to 2002-03) secondary diagnosis fields in HES that show other diagnoses relevant to the episode of care.
5. Number of episodes in which the patient had an alcohol-related primary or secondary diagnosis:
These figures represent the number of episodes where an alcohol-related diagnosis was recorded in any of the 14 (seven prior to 2002-03) primary and secondary diagnosis fields in a HES record. Each episode is only counted once in each count, even if an alcohol-related diagnosis is recorded in more than one diagnosis field of the record.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the age-standardised mortality rate for bowel cancer was in each parliamentary constituency in each of the last five years for which figures are available. 
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking what the age-standardised mortality rate for bowel cancer was in each UK parliamentary constituency in each of the last five years for which figures are available. (242580)
The table provides the age-standardised mortality rate per 100,000 population, where bowel cancer was the underlying cause of death in (a) parliamentary constituencies in England and Wales, and (b) the UK from 2002 to 2006 (the latest year available). A copy has been placed in the House of Commons Library.
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