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Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of discharge letters which were received by GPs (a) two, (b) three, (c) four, (d) six, (e) 10 and (f) 12 weeks after the patients were discharged from hospital in (i) Westmorland and Lonsdale, (ii) Morecambe Bay Primary Care Trust area and (iii) England. 
The National Commissioning Group considers new bids for additions to the national commissioning portfolio on an annual basis. The following services have been added to the national portfolio effective from 1 April 2009:
Ataxia telangiectasia service for children;
Autoimmune paediatric gut syndromes service;
Gender identity development service for children and adolescents;
Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis service;
Complex Ehlers Danlos syndrome service;
Complex Neurofibromatosis type 1 service;
Encapsulating sclerosing peritonitis surgical service;
Paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria;
Deaf child and adolescent mental health outreach service; and
Ventricular assist devices as bridge to heart transplant for adults and children.
The National Commissioning Group is currently considering bids to be added to the national commissioning portfolio from 2010-11. Advice will be passed to Ministers in the autumn to make decisions about any new services proposed to be nationally commissioned.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions his Department has had with the Thalidomide Trust on health care for people affected by Thalidomide in the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of primary care trusts which fund the use of sacral nerve stimulation as a treatment for interstitial cystitis. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The information requested is not collected centrally. It is for primary care trusts (PCTs) to decide their priorities for investment locally, taking into account both local priorities and the national health service operating framework.
Funding for sacral nerve stimulation would be made from PCT revenue allocations. Revenue allocations for 2009-10 and 2010-11 were announced in December 2008 and over the two years covered by this allocation, PCTs will receive an average increase in funding of 11.3 per cent., a total increase of £8.6 billion. The Department does not break down PCT allocations by policies, at either a national or local level.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what reasons (a) residents of Carlton Colville have received one cold weather payment and (b) residents of Lowestoft, Southwold and Pakefield have received three cold weather payments in 2009 to date. 
Kitty Ussher [holding answer 27 February 2009]: A cold weather payment is made to an eligible customer when the average temperature has been recorded as, or is forecast to be, 0°C or below over seven consecutive days at the weather station linked to the customers postcode.
Lowestoft is in postcode sectors NR32 and NR33; Carlton Colville and Pakefield are both in postcode sector NR33. Postcode sectors NR32 and NR33 are
linked to Norwich airport weather station. Southwold is in postcode sector IP18 which is linked to Wattisham weather station. In 2009 to date (25 February), Norwich Airport weather station has met the temperature criterion once and Wattisham weather station has met it three times.
For postcode information: Royal Mail Address Management Guide or Royal Mail UK Addresses.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department spent on works and refurbishment to offices allocated to Ministers in his Departments buildings in the last 12 months. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Department has an estates private finance initiative (PFI) contract with Trillium for the provision of fully fitted and serviced accommodation and for which the Department pays an all inclusive unitary charge. This unitary charge includes a risk price element for all aspects of building maintenance, repair, routine decoration and refurbishment, known as Life Cycle Works. These separate elements cannot be disaggregated from the unitary charge.
Some works and refurbishments are not covered by the unitary charge and are funded separately as capital expenditure. The capital expenditure on works and refurbishment of offices allocated to Ministers in departmental buildings in the last 12 months was £4,524.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Rochford and Southend East (James Duddridge) of 13 November 2008, Official Report, columns 1303-04W, on departmental databases, what ACORN codes were used to help identify the postcode sectors in the 50 local authorities referred to in the answer. 
Jonathan Shaw: The ACORN codes that were used to help identify the postcode sectors within the 50 local authorities referred to in the answer of 13 November 2008, Official Report, columns 1303-04W, are all within category 5 of ACORN: Group N, Group O, Group P, Group Q.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library a copy of his Departments most recent (a) IT and telephony satisfaction survey and (b) staff survey. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 25 February 2009]: The most recent IT and telephony satisfaction survey has been placed in the House of Commons Library. The most recent staff survey is available on the Departments website through the following link:
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what (a) pilots and (b) pathfinder areas his Department (a) has set up in each of the last two years and (b) plans to set up in each of the next five years; and what the cost of each is. 
Mr. McNulty: The activities of the Department for Work and Pensions cover a very wide range of programmes and services. Pilots and pathfinders are a normal part of departmental business. Details of each such pathfinder or pilot and its cost are not collated centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what links the new specialist disability employment programme will have with (a) local health and social care services, (b) further education colleges and (c) Valuing People initiatives. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 26 February 2009]: The procurement specification, due to be published at the end of March, will make it clear that prime providers will need to have close links to local health and social care services, further education colleges and Valuing People initiatives. This will ensure particularly that people with mental health conditions or learning disabilities will have good access to the new specialist disability employment programme. Some specialist local services will be able to refer people directly to the new programme.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 5 February 2009, Official Report, column 422W, on EU grants and loans, when the European Globalisation Fund was established; what payments the Government has made to the fund; which EU member states have made applications for matched funding from the fund; which of these have been approved and for what purposes; how much has been paid out from the fund to date; what criteria govern the sources of matched funds; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: In his answer of 5 February 2009, Official Report, column 1422W, my right hon. Friend the Minister for Employment and Welfare Reform stated that the European globalisation fund draws on the EU budget where there may be underspends or decommitted funds. This means that Governments do not make additional payments into the fund.
Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal and Spain have had EGF applications approved, totalling €67,646,697. Germany, Portugal and Spain have further applications still to be determined, totalling €14,621,200.
All these applications are for active labour market measures, including training, to reintegrate back into the labour market workers who lost their jobs as a result of a large scale redundancy, of at least 1,000 redundancies. This forms the main criterion for use of the fund.
More detailed information is in the EGF Regulation of 20 December 2006 and the Commission Communication on the EGF in 2007Review and Prospectspublished on 2 July 2008. Both were deposited in the Library. The Commission have also placed these on the Europa website, along with advice and guidance on using the EGF.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) written warnings have been issued and (b) sanctions have been applied in the pilot areas for the sanction of reduction of housing benefit related to anti-social behaviour under the provisions of the Welfare Reform Act 2007. 
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many incapacity benefit claimants received the £60 Christmas bonus in 2008-09; what the cost of such bonus payments was; and what the cost of such bonus payments to incapacity benefit payment claimants was in 2007-08. 
|Actual (2007-08) and forecasted volumes (2008-09) Christmas bonus payments to incapacity benefit claimants|
|Volume of payments (to be) made||Total cost (£ million)|
1. Expenditure figures have been rounded to the nearest £ million and volumes have been rounded to the nearest 1,000.
2. The total volume of payments made in 2007-08 is not available so the figure has been estimated from the total sum paid.
3. For incapacity benefit customers Christmas bonus payments are only made to those who qualify for the long term rate. Those in receipt of severe disablement allowance and combined incapacity benefit and severe disablement allowance have been excluded from the estimates. Those in receipt of pension credit and disability living allowance are not included in these estimates as the Christmas bonus hierarchy makes payments to recipients of these benefits first.
The 2007-08 expenditure figure for the Christmas bonus includes the normal payment of £10. The 2008-09 expenditure estimate for the Christmas bonus includes the £10 payment and the pre-Budget report 2008 announcement of an additional one-off payment of £60 to all Christmas bonus recipients.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library a copy of the report by Lesley Strathie, chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, to which he referred in his speech on 25 June 2008 at the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion Conference. 
Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many job vacancies were notified to the Jobcentre Plus branch which serves residents of the London Borough of Bexley in (a) 2006, (b) 2007 and (c) 2008. 
|Number of va cancies notified in the London b orough of Bexley|
1. Data are unrounded.
2. Changes to Jobcentre Plus vacancy handling procedures have led to a major discontinuity in the vacancy statistics pre- and post- May 2006. Consequently, care should be taken in interpreting time-series data.
3. These are not whole economy figures. Coverage relates just to vacancies notified to Jobcentre Plus and as such represent a market share of vacancies throughout the whole economy. This proportion varies over time, according to the occupation of the vacancy and industry of the employer, and by local area. Comprehensive estimates of all job vacancies (not just those notified to Jobcentre Plus) are available from the monthly ONS Vacancy Survey since April 2001, based on a sample of some 6,000 enterprises. However, the ONS survey is currently designed to provide national estimates only.
4. These figures are published at: www.nomisweb.co.uk
Jobcentre Plus Labour Market System
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many times legal action has been taken against (a) Jobcentre Plus and (b) individual jobcentre staff in each Jobcentre Plus district in each month since the creation of Jobcentre Plus in 2002; and what estimate he has made of the cost to his Department of such actions. 
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