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Phil Hope: The Pharmacy White Paper consultation, Pharmacy in England: Building on strengths - delivering the future, Options for legislative change, was launched on 27 August 2008 and closed on 20 November 2008.
Option 1: No change to existing criteria.
Option 2: Retain controlled localities and allow primary care trusts to determine dispensing rights based on local pharmaceutical needs assessments.
Option 3: Retain controlled localities and replace existing patient-to-pharmacy distance criterion with practice-to-pharmacy distance criterion, allowing dispensing practices to dispense to all patients on their list.
Option 4: As option 3 but also include a criterion that there is a second pharmacy in close proximity.
The Department received 62,733 responses relating to the options for dispensing by doctors. Of these, 62,675 were in favour of option 1; 21 were in favour of option 2; nine were in favour of option 3; 14 were in favour of option 3 and 4; and 14 were in favour of option 4. In addition, we received 18 miscellaneous letters and 13 petitions.
As a result of the responses to the consultation, and the views expressed at listening events, I announced on 16 December 2008 that there would be no change to the arrangements by which general practitioners may dispense to their patients.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the evidence of his Departments chief scientific adviser to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee on 21 January 2009, what assessment has been made of the merits of withholding DNA information held on a care record from (a) the police and (b) the security services. 
Mr. Bradshaw: All confidential personal patient information held by national health service organisations is subject to access rights set out in statute, most particularly the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Access to Health Records Act 1990.
Disclosure of any information to the police or other agencies is only considered in cases of serious crime or where there are significant risks to other people. The NHS will remain liable to comply with statutory obligations to disclose, but these are always for specific purposes agreed by Parliament, for example to protect public health. Disclosure in these cases is subject to long standing guidelines on the circumstances where the public interest outweighs obligations of confidentiality or to comply with a court order.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the evidence of his Departments chief scientific adviser to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee on 21 January 2009, what assessment has been made of arrangements for the use of DNA information held on care records in (a) anonymised and (b) pseudonymised research. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Government are developing plans for a health research support service that will provide an appropriate environment for greater use of anonymised and linked anonymised (or pseudonymised) data sets for research. They will also strengthen the arrangements to avoid any breach of confidentiality in types of research requiring the use of information that could identify individuals.
A programme of work in NHS Connecting for Health (the research capability programme) has been under way since 2007 to facilitate medical research using data derived from patient information, strictly within the bounds of confidentiality. The aim is to realise the research potential of electronic patient records, as described in the Governments health research strategy Best Research for Best Health. Details of the programme are available on line at:
Research using patient information and DNA information is subject to several types of ethical and regulatory review. The health research support service must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. The Human Tissue Authority regulates the use of human tissue for research, including analysis of DNA, under the Human Tissue Act 2004. The National Information Governance Board monitors uses of patient information under the NHS Act 2006.
The Departments evidence to the Select Committee drew attention to important opportunities for research that will open up if the ethical and regulatory framework can provide for appropriate research access to data sets derived from both patient information and genetic information. No decisions will be taken without proper debate about consent and confidentiality. The plans for a health research support service are being developed with close attention to protecting the confidentiality of sensitive personal information. Improving access to anonymised data sets suitable for research is an important part of these plans.
Mr. Bradshaw: Clinicians are required by their professional bodies to keep clear, accurate, legible and contemporaneous patient records in recognition that review and audit of care is vital to patient safety and to maintaining and improving the quality of care. Decisions about the necessity and relevance of recording particular information, including data relating to the patients DNA, is a matter for individual clinicians. The information requested is therefore not available.
Mr. Barron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what rules his Department has established to govern the advertising of allied health professional services following his announcement that patients may self-refer to those services; and if he will make a statement; 
Ann Keen: No rules or guidance on advertising are planned or have been made centrally. It is for primary care trusts in partnership with local stakeholders, including practice based commissioners, local government and the public to determine where self-referral is clinically appropriate and value to the system and local community, and to promote this route of access accordingly.
Yorkshire and the Humber;
East of England (staff come into post in March).
East Midlands are employing two part time consultants.
South East has a regional public health group lead official on alcohol who retains this role.
South West and London have not yet appointed someone into the permanent role.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the provisions of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 apply to staff contracted under the national retail model for equipment services to provide (a) complex and (b) simple aids for daily living. 
Part of the decision-making process will involve a staff impact assessment to determine the impact of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) regulations on staff contracted under the national retail model.
Local authorities and their health partners will also need to take their own legal advice in relation to TUPE and other employment legislation that relates to their employees or to the terms of outsourced contracts.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent discussions officials in his Department have had with the Irish Government on payments in respect of medical treatment delivered to UK pensioners in the Republic of Ireland; what estimate he has made of the annual sums overpaid to the Irish Government in respect of such treatment to date; and what assessment he has made of the reasons for such overpayments; 
(2) what steps he has taken to recover overpayments to the Irish Government in respect of medical treatment delivered to UK pensioners in the Republic of Ireland; and what steps he plans to take to prevent future overpayments. 
Dawn Primarolo: Departmental officials have been involved in discussions with Irish counterparts around the size of payments the United Kingdom makes to Ireland under a bilateral health agreement, in line with European Union regulations. As a result of new evidence around how much the UK and Ireland should pay each other under this agreement, it has been agreed that the payments the UK makes, will reduce in future years. Due to the nature of the claims process and the fact that bilateral discussions are ongoing, it is not possible to establish whether any previous payments the UK has made to Ireland represent overpayments.
Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many breaches of the 18-week maximum waiting time from GP referral to treatment there have been in each primary care trust since its introduction. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The 18-week maximum referral to treatment standard comes into effect from 1 January 2009. Every primary care trust and trust must strive to achieve this standard across all services and specialties, and monitor waits so that patients do not wait more than 18 weeks for reasons other than choice or clinical exception.
Mr. Bradshaw: The 18 week commitment covers consultant-led elective services. From 1 January 2009, the minimum expectation of consultant-led elective services will be that no one should wait more than 18 weeks from the time they are referred to the start of their hospital treatment, unless it is clinically appropriate to do so or they choose to wait longer. It includes all appointments including those for diagnostic tests between referral and first definitive treatment.
On completion of an 18 week referral to treatment period; a new 18 week clock starts when a clinical decision is made to start a substantively new or different treatment that does not already form part of that patients agreed care plan.
Mr. Bradshaw: Latest published figures for the end of December 2008 show the median waiting time for an in-patient admission stands at 32.4 days, compared to 92.4 days in March 1997. The median waiting time for a first out-patient appointment stands at 22 days, compared to 36.5 days in April 2004 when out-patient data were first published.
Mr. Bradshaw: Guidance on the recording of performance sharing for 18 weeks is set out in a letter to strategic health authority chief executives sent on 21 August 2008. The letter (Gateway reference 10417) has been placed in the Library.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to paragraph 57 of the Government Response to the Welsh Affairs Committee's interim Report on the provision of cross-border health services for Wales, what research his Department has
(a) undertaken and (b) plans to undertake into potential disadvantage to cross-border patients in (i) England and (ii) Wales as a result of differences in the two healthcare systems. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The core principles of the national health service apply across the United Kingdom and an inevitable and healthy consequence of devolution has been some divergence in health policy. Such divergence is entirely appropriate and provides an opportunity for each part of the NHS to innovate and experiment with different models for the provision and organisation of health care services within a common framework of NHS principles, and to learn from each other. NHS services in both England and Wales have seen significant improvement in recent years.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to paragraph 62 of the Government Response to the Welsh Affairs Committee's interim Report on the provision of cross-border health services for Wales, what plans he has to consult (a) the public, (b) patients and (c) hon. Members on proposals for a long-term agreement on the treatment of cross-border patients. 
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 9 February 2009, Official Report, columns 1759-60W, on hospitals: admissions, what the five most common reasons for emergency admission to hospital for (a) children and (b) adults were in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The following tables show the five primary diagnosis descriptions having the highest number of emergency hospital admissions recorded for each year 1997-98 until 2006-07, for adults (17+) and children (0-16).
|Count of emergency admission episodes for the top five most common primary diagnoses for adults (17+) and children (0-16): Data for years 1997-98 to 2006-07|
|Primary diagnosis description|
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