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Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate he has made of the costs of mandatory care staff training required under the National Care Standards Regulations for the Leonard Cheshire Organisation; 
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(3) what estimate he has made of the conversion costs of residential rooms operated by the Leonard Cheshire Organisation to comply with new national care standards. 
Jacqui Smith: I have met with representatives of the Leonard Cheshire Organisation, as have departmental officials, to discuss a range of issues including the costs associated with complying with the new national minimum standards.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list those medicines which are now available via pharmacy sale rather than on a doctor prescription only basis; and what PCT areas (a) offer this service and (b) have plans to. 
Ms Blears: There are nearly 5,000 medicines which can be sold or supplied by a pharmacy without a prescription. We are aware of a small number of primary care trust areas where some medicines which do not require a prescription are supplied on the national health service, through a pharmacy, without patients needing to see their general practitioner. A larger number of PCT areas are using patient group directions to make a limited range of prescription only medicines available through pharmacies. However, as there are local initiatives, no definitive list of such schemes, nor of PCTs which plan to establish such schemes, is held centrally.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has held with operators of simple hyperbaric oxygen therapy facilities in the community offering treatment for MS sufferers regarding the new requirements under the Care Standards Act 2000. 
Jacqui Smith: There have been exchanges of correspondence on the new requirements between the Department and the headquarters of the leading charitable provider of hyperbaric oxygen therapy since November 2000. In July last year the proposed regulations and national minimum standards for independent health care providers were published for consultation. This exercise prompted a good response and the proposed standards were revised in light of the comments made. Consequently, the requirements for hyperbaric facilities for therapeutic use are considerably fewer than for those used to treat patients with acute medical conditions, and proportionate to their simpler operation.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his assessment is of the likely compliance cost of the Care Standards to operators of simple hyperbaric oxygen therapy facilities in the community providing treatment to MS sufferers. 
Jacqui Smith: The standards for hyperbaric facilities for therapeutic use are considerably fewer than for those used to treat patients with acute medical conditions, and proportionate to their simpler operation. Consequently, we expect the costs of compliance to be minimal.
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Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many operations were cancelled in each region in each of the last three years, broken down into those cancelled (a) once, (b) twice and (c) three times or more before treatment was obtained; and if he will express these figures as a percentage of total operations carried out; 
The National Health Service Modernisation Agency is working with a number of trusts in order to optimise theatre utilisation and reduce cancelled operations. The pilot sites involved in the project are identifying good practice arrangements to avoid cancellation of operations. The lessons learned are being shared with the rest of the NHS.
The nine pilot sites are showing good progress. Six out of nine pilots achieved the NHS Plan cancelled operations guarantee in December 2001, with the other three achieving the guarantee for over 90 per cent. of patients.
Mr. Hutton: The NHS Plan sets out our intentions for improving the national health service. From April 2002, if an operation is cancelled on the day of surgery for non-clinical reasons, the hospital will have to offer another binding date within 28 days or fund the patient's treatment at the time and hospital of the patient's choice.
The nine pilot sites involved in this work are showing good progress. Six out of nine pilots achieved the NHS Plan cancelled operations guarantee in December 2001, with the other three achieving the guarantee for over 90 per cent. of patients.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health in calculating the ratio of GPs to local populations for qualification to the golden hello scheme, at what dates the relevant figures for GPs and patients in Worthing were taken. 
Mr. Hutton: In 200102, all newly appointed general practitioners receive a golden hello payment of up to £5,000. If the GP is appointed in an under-doctored primary care group/trust, the GP will receive a further payment of up to £5,000.
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PCG/T population data are the GP relevant PCG/T populations taken from the GP registrations system in April 2000. These figures have been reconciled to ONS projections of health authority populations to adjust for list inflation.
PCG/Ts have then been ranked by whole time equivalent UPEs per 100,000 weighted population and the bottom 50 per cent. qualify for the additional payment.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list those chief executives of hospital trusts awarded a zero star rating who remain in post; and on what criteria they were judged to have made progress. 
Jan Filochowski: The Medway NHS Trust
Fiona Wise (interim): Stoke Mandeville NHS Trust
John De Braux: Epsom and St. Helier NHS Trust
David Highton: Oxford Radcliffe NHS Trust
Hugh Ross: United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust
David Loughton: University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust.
Jacqui Smith: In the statutory charging system for residential care the value of a property is generally taken into account when assessing a person's ability to contribute to the cost of their care. Each council will need to establish the amount a property is worth. This is done by referring each case to the district valuer or a professional valuer who will give them the current market price. The value of a property can depend on whether it is freehold or leasehold. Other than this, the tenants of leasehold properties and residents of freehold properties are treated identically when they are financially assessed for residential accommodation.
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The national health service is on track to meet the NHS Plan target with 77 per cent. of all A&E attenders currently spending four hours or less in A&E. And in nearly a third of trusts, at least 90 per cent. of people attending A&E are discharged or admitted within four hours.
The Government launched the Reforming Emergency Care Strategy last October, supported by investment of £118 million. This is helping hospitals around the country tackle waiting times in accident and emergency departments and meet the NHS Plan target.
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