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Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many claims for work-related illness were settled by his Department in the last year for which records are available; and what the cost was in compensation. 
Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many days of sick leave were taken by employees in his Department in the last year for which records are available; what proportion of those were due to work- related illness or injury; and what the cost was to the Department. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 20 May 2002]: The latest annual report published by the Cabinet Office, "Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service2000", shows that, in 2000, the Department's unadjusted average working day absence per staff year was 5.5, down from 6.6 in 1999. Figures for 2001 or later years are not yet published.
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While the Department collects data on sickness absence, which includes work related illness or injury, it is not possible to identify if the cause was work related. It is not possible, therefore, to identify these costs.
Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many employees of his Department retired through work-related ill-health in the last year for which records are available; and what the cost was to the Department. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 20 May 2002]: Records are not maintained by the Department which enable ill health retirements to be separately identified as work related. For the Department the number of staff retired with a medical retirement certificate issued by the civil service pension scheme medical adviser for the period 1 April 2001 30 April 2002 was six.
(3) what he is doing to promote GP exercise referral schemes; 
(4) what research he has commissioned into general practitioner exercise referrals; 
(5) how many general practitioner exercise referral schemes exist; 
(6) how many patients have been the subject of GP exercise referrals. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 21 May 2002]: The national quality assurance framework on exercise referral systems, published last year, aims to improve the quality of existing referral schemes and help the development of new ones. The guidelines were also promoted at two regional seminars for primary care and leisure services. The Department does not keep a national register of practices which offer these schemes, or the number of participants. These details are held locally by primary care trusts (PCTs) or local authorities.
The Department does not organise and centrally fund such schemes. It is up to PCTs, in conjunction with local authorities, to determine whether an exercise referral scheme fits with their broader plans for promoting physical activity.
The Department has funded two reviews by the former health education authority that documented progress and effectiveness of exercise referral schemes. The research showed that better designed referral schemes can lead to small levels of increased participation in activity, but that practice across the country was highly variable. There is on-going research of £1.1 million via the health technology assessment programme, including two projects looking at exercise referral schemes.
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Ongoing monitoring of the progress of the project continues and indicates that progress towards the targets is being maintained. National health service trusts are working hard to ensure that this remains so.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether it is part of the job of the director of finance of the NHS Executive to ensure that up-to-date management information is made available to the Executive routinely and to Ministers on request. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 21 May 2002]: The director of finance for the Department is responsible for ensuring that Ministers and the departmental board are provided with relevant and up-to-date financial management information.
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 21 May 2002]: In order to allow agencies sufficient time to prepare for implementation, the commencement of regulation by the national care standards commission for nurses agencies will be 1 September 2002.
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Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many executive directors of NHS trusts were (a) made redundant and (b) retired early in 200102 as a result of reorganisations and mergers of NHS trusts; and what the total cost of the financial packages was, including redundancy payments and pension arrangements. 
The accounts will include costs incurred as a result of redundancy or early retirement including associated pension costs. However, the accounts will not separately identify the numbers or the total cost of financial packages for executive directors who were made redundant or who retired early as a result of reorganisations and mergers of national health service trusts.
Ms Blears [holding answer 22 May 2002]: The accident and emergency (A&E) modernisation programme was launched in 1998. A total of £150 million has been invested enabling 180 A&E departments to be modernised.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the answer given to the hon. Member for West Chelmsford (Mr. Burns) 24 April, Official Report, column 68W, on sun protection cream, how many hits the website www.doh.gov.uk/sunsafe has had since it was launched; and how much funding his Department has given to the National Radiological Protection Board this year to raise awareness of the general public of the dangers of skin cancer. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 24 May 2002]: The sunsafe pages of the Department's website had 54,790 hits 1 between 14 March and 22 May 2002. The Department provides core funding for the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB), but it is a matter for NRPB to determine what resources are devoted to raising awareness of the dangers of skin cancer.
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