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Lord Warner: There are no plans to transfer National Health Service information technology staff to private sector companies as part of the national programme for IT in the NHS. There is no reference to transferring staff in the Official Journal of the European Community contract notice and it is not included in the procurement process.
Lord Warner: Information about local contracts let by National Health Service organisations for electronic patient record systems is not held centrally where there is no need for Departmental approval.
An advertisement was issued on 31 January 2003 in the Official Journal of the European Community calling for expressions of interest from the private sector to supply professional IT applications and services to the National Health Service in England as a key element of the implementation process for ICRS. Longlisted suppliers are currently being invited to submit proposals for ICRS that will include access to records and the functionality needed to support clinical practice.
Lord Warner: Central funding for electronic patient records projects had been in the context of the Electronic Record Development and Implementation Programme (ERDIP) for the National Health Service in England.
Lord Warner: In 1996 and 1997, there were 163 staff and 159 staff respectively within the registrar group in neurology. The funding arrangements at that time required Postgraduate Deans to fund 50 per cent of the cost of a new specialist registrar (SpR) post and trusts would fund the remaining 50 per cent.
SpR posts are now funded in two ways; either through central funding (100 per cent funding) or local funding, in which trusts either convert existing training posts or remap money into the training levy to pay for the post. This process of funding was established in 200102.
In 200304, central funding is being provided to support the implementation of 10 additonal SpR posts in neurology. Trusts will also have the opportunity to create up to 20 locally funded SpR training opportunities.
Lord Warner: It is the responsibility of individual National Health Service organisations to ensure that they comply with legal requirements when dealing with requests for access to health records. The Data Protection Act 1998 provides individuals with a right of access to their health records. However there are certain circumstances in which the record holder may withhold information.
Access may be denied, or limited, where the information might cause serious harm to the physical or mental health or condition of the patient, or any other person, or where giving access would disclose information relating to or provided by a third person who had not consented to the disclosure. The decision over whether to grant or withhold access must be made by individual record holders. However individuals do have recourse to the NHS complaints procedure if they feel that their application for access has not been dealt with appropriately.
Lord Warner: An informal review is being undertaken by the Department of Health to clarify the facts surrounding the drive for United Kingdom self-sufficiency in blood products in the 1970s and 1980s. The review is based on papers available from the time and is not addressing allegations that files from that period went missing.
Lord Warner: There are numerous organisations which regulate, audit and inspect differing aspects of the provision of hospital care at infrequent intervals. The majority of these organisations generally focus on one particular aspect of healthcare provision. Therefore, regulation, audit and inspection is only one area of their work. It is therefore not possible to distinguish whom, in any one organisation, is working on these areas of work.
The only body which undertakes a full inspection of National Health Service hospitals is the Commission for Health Improvement (CHI) which undertakes a rolling programme of clinical governance reviews. On average each trust might be inspected once every four years. CHI currently employs 357 staff, 51 of which are engaged in inspection work. The National Care Standards Commission (NCSC) inspects private sector providers. The NCSC currently employs 2,285 staff, 53 of which are engaged in private and voluntary sector healthcare inspection work.
Lord Warner: The provision of postgraduate medical education is a matter to be taken forward by the individual countries in the United Kingdom. However, it is clearly an area where the four United Kingdom governments and relevant professional and academic bodies need to work in close partnership. Our policy document Modernising Medical Careers
Lord Warner: Sections 55(1) and 56(1) of the Food Safety Act 1990 disapply the provisions in Part II of the Act and subordinate legislation made under it (such as the Food Labelling Regulations 1996) in relation to the supply of water to any premises.
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