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(2) which counties in the (a) south west, (b) south east and (c) eastern parts of England benefit from the cost of living allowance for nurses; 
(3) if accommodation and the cost of living for nurses in Essex is being considered as part of his active review of the cost of living for nurses' allowance; and if he will extend the scheme to Essex; 
(4) if he will make a statement on the reason for the exclusion of Essex in the counties to receive the cost of living allowance for nurses; 
(5) when his Department's review of the cost of living allowances for nurses in the south of England will be complete. 
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 20 November 2001]: Cost of living supplements for qualified nurses and some allied health professionals were introduced in April 2001 as part of a wide ranging strategy to address the low national health service participation rates of these particular staff groups and the associated recruitment and retention difficulties in parts of England.
Geographic coverage has been determined by reference to the Market Forces Factor, which is an up to date and objective measure of external labour market pressures on NHS employers. The health authorities in Essex do not meet the current eligibility criteria.
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scheme. It is too early to judge the impact of these payments at present but we hope to be able to reach a more considered assessment during 200203. As part of this ongoing review, we shall take into account any alternative proposals put to us for assessing the geographic coverage of the scheme.
Mr. Havard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what specific blood substitute therapies will be made available for treating cancer patients with anaemia- related fatigue following the adoption of additional screening; 
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 20 November 2001]: There are a number of erthropietin drugs licensed to shorten the period of anaemia in patients receiving platinum-containing chemotherapy. These are available for clinicians to prescribe when it is clinically beneficial.
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) helps clarify, both for patients and professionals, which drugs are clinically effective and cost-effective. NICE helps the national health service to focus its increasing resources on those treatments that will best improve peoples' health. Criteria have been established by the Department, the National Assembly for Wales and NICE to help determine which interventions are referred to NICE. They have been applied consistently for all NICE guidance to date and are available on the NICE website.
Jacqui Smith: No. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence is proceeding with its appraisal of anti-TNF drugs for rheumatoid arthritis and it is anticipated that guidance will be published in March 2002.
Mr. Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what joint working arrangements are in place with other Government Departments regarding the provision of rehabilitation services for people with acquired brain injury. 
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is planning job retention and rehabilitation pilots, together with the Department for Education and Skills and the Department for Work and Pensions. £12 million has been invested in the pilots which aim to test the relative effectiveness of different employment and health strategies in helping people with prolonged illness or disability, including head injury, remain in their jobs.
Mr. Bailey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures he is taking to improve the five year survival rates for (a) lung, (b) breast and (c) prostate and (d) colon cancer sufferers in the Sandwell health authority. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 22 November 2001]: The NHS Cancer Plan published in September 2000 identifies two important areas where cancer prevention activity should be focused. Changes in lifestyle related to smoking and diet can significantly reduce chances of getting cancer. With this in mind the NHS Cancer Plan sets out a clear agenda for improving cancer prevention:
Those plans include how they are going to improve overall survival rates including smoking cessation initiatives, extended cancer screening and extension of fruit pilots. The health authority is also currently achieving high standards for urgent referral of patients with suspected cancer. In addition there are a raft of plans in the pan-Birmingham network which are addressing survival rates for all cancers, in which Sandwell health authority is included.
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to review the use of the Years of Life Lost formula for allocating health service resources; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list those local bodies which were set up under legislation which is the responsibility of his Department since May 1997. 
Mr. Hutton: 481 primary care groups were established as sub committees of health authorities in 1999. PCG, both individually or together with other PCGs, can become primary care trusts. The first 17 PCTs began operating on 1 April 2000. There are currently 164 PCTs in operation and more are being established to become operational on 1 April 2002. A full list of these organisations has been placed in the Library.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimates have been made of the number of NHS employed nurses who work as agency staff during their holidays to supplement their income in (a) England and (b) the Isle of Wight; and what steps are taken to ensure that leave is taken. 
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average annual cost of an (a) A, (b) D and (c) F grade NHS employed nurse is; and what the equivalent cost of an agency nurse at each grade is. 
|2001 average cost|
(37) To the nearest £100
Department of Health's August 2000 NHS staff earnings survey, pay Advance Letters and paybill figures.
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