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From 1 January 2009 onwards the definitions and methodology used to calculate these statistics are no longer directly comparable to those used previously. This change means that the national health service no longer adjusts these data to separate referrals after 24 hours or account for patient choice, where individuals elect to delay their appointment. Statistics for the period January 2009 to June 2009 are included in the following table.
|Period||Total seen||Number of patients seen within 14 days||Percentage performance|
Ann Keen: The national health service, Department of Health and key stakeholders have been working together over the last three years to develop a comprehensive strategy for improving services for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in England, and intend to publish it shortly for public consultation.
The strategy will demonstrate how we have reviewed the case for change and identified good practice based on published evidence, whenever available, in slowing the progression of this long-term condition. The strategy will describe how the Department and NHS can work together to ensure that the public understand the risks of having poor lung health, and that health care practitioners understand how to secure improvements to the diagnosis and care of people with COPD. We also want to support people with COPD and their carers by offering practical advice and education on managing their disease.
Phil Hope: The Department does not collect information on the numbers of management consultants employed. When commissioning management consultancy services, it is the Department's preference to contract for whole pieces of work rather than on a day rate basis. Consequently, it is left to the respective consultancy organisations to manage the number and level of individual consultants employed at any one time in order to deliver the required outcomes to the best value.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which (a) individuals other than ministerial colleagues and officials of his Department and (b) organisations he met in an official capacity in the week commencing 9 November 2009. 
Phil Hope: In its response to a report by the Public Administration Select Committee "Lobbying: Access and influence in Whitehall", the Government agreed to publish on-line, on a quarterly basis, information about ministerial meetings with outside interest groups. Information for the period 1 October to 31 December 2009 will be published by Departments as soon as the information is ready.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost to his Department was of provision of office facilities to (a) special advisers and (b) press officers in the 2008-09 financial year. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many miles (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department travelled by taxi in the course of their official duties in each year since 1997; and at what cost to the public purse in each such year. 
Phil Hope: The Department holds information on its taxi contract expenditure from 2004-05. We are unable to separate out mileage information between Ministers and officials, as this distinction is not collected. The total expenditure against each contract along with the associated mileage, where kept, is as follows:
|Addison Lee (£)||GDCA Green Cars (£)||Mileage|
|(1 )Not kept.|
Phil Hope: No estimate has yet been made by the Department of the cost of implementation of the EU Agency Workers Directive. It is expected that an estimate of these costs will be completed within the next six months.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been spent on (a) management and (b) other consultants by (i) Suffolk Primary Care Trust and (ii) the East of England Strategic Health Authority in each of the last five years. 
Phil Hope: This information is not collected centrally. Strategic health authorities and primary care trusts are responsible for using their resources to plan, commission and develop services to meet the health needs of their local community. The hon. Member may therefore wish to raise this issue locally.
Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research projects funded by (a) his Department and (b) the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council in the last 10 years on which he relies to fulfil his responsibility to ensure that genetically modified food is safe to eat have been designed specifically to show whether there are risks of adverse health effects for people from the consumption of genetically modified food. 
Ann Keen: The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has commissioned work under three research programmes relevant to the safety of genetically modified (GM) foods. Prior to April 2000 food safety research was the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food (MAFF). The research funded by the FSA and MAFF has included a series of projects aimed at either better understanding the consequences of genetic modification, or exploring new/improved methods for use in the safety assessment of GM organisms such as metabolomics and genomics. Details of the individual projects commissioned by MAFF and the FSA are available on the research pages of the FSA's website at:
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council has not funded any research during the last 10 years specifically to show whether there are risks of adverse health effects for people from the consumption of GM food, but it has funded one project to analyse gene transfer from food plants to human intestinal microflora and intestinal epithelium, which is relevant to the safety assessment of foods obtained from GM crops.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Over the last few years, the Department has been carrying out a review of the arrangements under Part IX of the Drug Tariff for the provision of appliances-and related services-in primary care. Throughout the review the Department's key aims were to:
maintain and, where applicable, improve patient care;
ensure equitable payment to dispensing appliance contractors and pharmacy contractors for the provision of equivalent services; and
achieve transparency between what is paid for services and what is reimbursed for items.
The new arrangements for the provision of stoma and urology appliances-and related services-in primary care were announced by my hon. Friend the Minister of State (Phil Hope) in a written ministerial statement on 1 April 2009, Official Report, column 67WS and an overview of the new arrangements was placed in the Library. We are looking to implement the changes next year.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the written ministerial statement of 24 November 2009, Official Report, columns 57-58WS, on the Departmental Expenditure Account (2008-09), which pandemic flu items required the transfer of funds from his Department's capital expenditure limit to its revenue expenditure limit. 
Ann Keen: The Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership manages the contract for the National Lung Cancer Audit which is currently out to tender, and it is for the organisations tendering for the audit to submit their own proposals. The tender process is designed to ensure that the audit continues to be effective, offers value for money and has the opportunity to develop new indicators of quality care.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when his Department will publish the report on the summary of responses to the consultation on the additional uses of patient data; and what the reasons are for the time taken to publish the report. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The report was published on 30 November 2009. Deferment of publication from the originally-planned date has been due to the need for extended and detailed analysis of both quantifiable data and free text responses to ensure the report fairly reflects all respondents' views, and to avoid bias which could have arisen because of disproportionate response rates from different constituencies. The analysis was then further reviewed for consistency.
Gillian Merron: Government funding for medical research is provided principally through the Department's national health service research and development budget and the Medical Research Council. The amounts allocated in each year since 1996-97 are shown in the following table.
|Government health research funding|
|Medical Research Council||NHS Research and Development|
|(1) n/a = Not available|
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