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Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make it her policy to set up a series of recognised regional sickle cell and thalassaemia screening and care centres based on the model developed for cancer care. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The implementation of the screening programmes for sickle cell and thalassaemia has raised the profile of the conditions and increased the demand for services with increased numbers of cases being identified. A range of work is in hand to support clinicians responsible for patients with thalassaemia and sickle cell and help to ensure that patients have access to the same quality of care, including neonates identified by the screening programme.
A professional group led by the British Society for Haematology (on behalf of the British Committee for Standards in Haematology), and the United Kingdom Forum on Haemoglobin Disorders and supported by the Department and the voluntary sector has developed national standards for the clinical care of children with sickle cell disease. These guidelines were published in October 2006. Standards for the clinical care of children and adults with thalassaemia in the UK were published in June 2005. The guidelines were sponsored by the UK Thalassaemia Society and endorsed by the Department.
The Department is working with a range of key stakeholders to develop a model of a managed clinical network, to ensure that the potential benefits of the screening programme are achieved and that the complications that require specialist care are managed in the right place with appropriate resources. Ten such networks covering the country are proposed, building on existing expertise, to allow access to comprehensive care to be available across the country.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what account has been taken by her Department of the views of older people living in care homes who are in receipt of the personal expenses allowance in the annual consultation on residential care charges; 
(2) what assessment her Department has made of the impact on the quality of life of older people in care homes of an increase of the personal allowance to £40 per week, as part of its annual consultation on residential care charges. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis:
A number of meetings have been held with key stakeholders representing care home residents, to discuss a range of issues relating to the assessment of resources regulations, including the personal expenses allowance (PEA). Stakeholders involved have included voluntary organisations such as
Age Concern, Help the Aged, the Nursing Home Fees Agency, the Relatives and Residents Association and MENCAP. The views of stakeholders will be considered and there will be a further meeting with them before recommendations are put to Ministers.
I have made no assessment of the impact on the quality of life of older people in care homes of an increase of the personal allowance to £40 per week. The PEA was set many years ago at a level that was felt to be appropriate. Since then PEA has been increased annually in line with average earnings. The PEA is provided for care home residents to have money to spend, as they wish, on small items such as on stationery or personal toiletries. It takes into account the fact that people in care homes generally have fewer personal expenses than those living in their own homes. The PEA was increased to £20.45 per week on 9 April 2007.
Caroline Flint: The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has set up a human papilloma virus (HPV) subgroup to examine all safety, efficacy and cost issues relating to HPV vaccines. The subgroup is in the process of examining the evidence concerning the available HPV vaccines, including all the licence indications. The sub group's advice will be reported to the main JCVI committee for further discussion. No decisions will be taken on introducing these vaccines into the immunisation programme until the JCVI has presented its advice to Ministers for their consideration.
|Coventry Teaching PCT|
|Coventry Teaching PCT|
Comparisons between allocations rounds cannot be made for the following reasons:
Revenue allocations were made to health authorities for the period 2000-01 to 2002-03;
Changes are made to the weighted capitation formula for each allocations round, therefore, comparisons would not be on a like for like basis;
2003-06 revenue allocations were made direct to PCTs, for the first time, and were on a three yearly basis;
2006-08 is the first year that Primary Medical Services (PMedS) were incorporated onto revenue allocations.
The Information Centre general and personal medical services statistics.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will review the appropriateness of the entitlement of general practitioners to charge patients for a letter certifying that they may safely attend a gym. 
Andy Burnham: General practitioners (GPs) are required to issue specified medical certificates, free of charge. However, GPs also provide a variety of other services which successive Governments have regarded as private matters between the patient and the doctor providing the service. The doctor is free to make a charge for these non-national health service services if he or she wishes. There are no plans to review this.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 19 February 2007, Official Report, column 39W, when she plans to publish audited financial outturn data on the amount primary care trusts have spent on component 2 of the directed enhanced service for practice-based commissioning. 
Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 24 January 2007, Official Report, column 1883W, on health appointments, when the Chair of the Appointments Commission will write to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Attercliffe. 
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) postnatal care guideline, published in July 2006, recommends a fully personalised plan for each woman, which takes into account her and her babys individual needs. The guideline also places great importance on healthcare professionals, taking into account the particular needs of individual families and on having the competencies required for each routine postnatal visit or appointment with the mother or baby, so that they can recognise any signs and symptoms of potentially life-threatening conditions. It recommends that all maternity care providers (whether working in hospital or in primary care) should implement an externally evaluated structured programme that encourages breastfeeding. NICE also made recommendations in its recent guidance to improve services for women who experience mental health problems during or after pregnancy. We expect mental health services available for such women to improve as local services implement the Departments and the Institutes guidance in light of their assessment of local need.
One of the key commissioning mechanisms of the framework for Commissioning health and wellbeing, which went out for consultation in March 2007, includes placing emphasis on the importance of primary care trusts and local authorities working
together to develop practical and deliverable proposals for improving maternity services including the development of maternity, neonatal and perinatal mental health networks and Childrens Trusts.
Our framework document Maternity Matters: Choice, access and continuity of care in a safe service outlines our strategy to deliver and achieve our commitment to give women clinically appropriate choice over the maternity services they will receive. This was published on 3 April and it includes outlining the roles that service providers and commissioners will have in the provision of woman-focused, family-centred maternity services, incorporating the need to commission high-quality, equitable, integrated maternity services as part of maternity, neonatal and perinatal mental health networks according to local need.
Mrs. Maria Miller:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) head count and (b) full-time
equivalent (i) health visitors and (ii) district nurses (A) were working in North Hampshire primary care trusts (PCTs) in each year between 1999-2000 and 2005-06 and (B) are expected to be working in the new Hampshire PCTs in 2007-08; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 24 April 2007]: The following table gives headcount and full-time equivalent numbers of health visitors and district nurses who were working in the predecessor organisations which now form Hampshire primary care trust (PCT). Data is only available for the years 2002 to 2005 and is provided in the following table. Figures for 2006 will be published in the 2006 NHS Workforce Census on 26 April 2007.
|National health service hospital and community health services: Health visitors and district nurses in each specified primary care trust as at 30 September each specified year|
The drop in figures between 2003 and 2004 has been explained by the trusts as data cleansing across the Hampshire area.
Full-time equivalent figures are rounded to the nearest whole number.
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