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Lord Davies of Oldham: The Welsh Assembly Government provide local health boards with funding to meet the needs of the local population, and the Health Commission Wales (HCW) with funding to meet the needs of those requiring specialised care in Wales. The funding is allocated directly to these organisations to provide services based upon the principle of ensuring that patients receive the most appropriate level of care irrespective of where it is provided. Consequently, there is no specific funding allocated for patients requiring specialised treatment in hospitals in England that is not available in Wales.
Revenue is provided to local health boards (LHBs) and the HCW annually to purchase the necessary care (specialist and non-specialist) for the residents of Wales. LHBs and the HCW have contracts with both Welsh and English providers to service the needs of the population. The way in which the money is spent is no different in either countrythat is, in general, services are provided by block or cost and volume contracts
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For instance, patients from north Wales who require cardiac surgery will have it carried out in the cardiothoracic centre in Liverpool, but it is paid for by the Health Commission Wales as part of the overall contract that the HCW has with the various providers in England.
It is important to reiterate the key principle: there is no difference in the way the money is spent, irrespective of which side of the border, Wales or England, it is delivered. It is based on patient need and the most appropriate place for that to be met.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): All A8 nationals may access generic jobsearch services on exactly the same basis as other groups of employed or unemployed people as soon as they arrive in the country. Generic services include the job points located in Jobcentre Plus offices and the Jobseeker Direct telephone service. All Jobcentre Plus vacancies are also advertised on the internet.
Once they have completed 12 months' continuous employment as a registered worker, A8 nationals who remain in the labour market have the same rights to access further Jobcentre Plus services, including benefit and personal adviser support, as other EEA and UK nationals.
(a) whether any independent research has been undertaken on the evidence base for the Modernising Scientific Careers proposals; and (b) if so, whether they will place in the Library of the House a copy of this research. [HL5629]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Building on recent publications, Modernising Scientific Careers is set in the context of a vision for a National Health Service that empowers patients and the public, works in partnership with staff, and has quality as the organising principle. The case for change was made in the next-stage review documents published in June 2008, High Quality Care for All and A High Quality Workforce, which set out the need to modernise healthcare careers as the NHS addresses the challenges for the future around:the changing nature of demand for healthcare services, including the effects of demography, changing public and patient expectations, more community-based care and technological advance;
These questions were considered and addressed by four working groups made up of key stakeholders and leading thinkers. The output from these groups resulted in the commitments set out in High Quality Care for All and A High Quality Workforce. These documents also provide further reference to background evidence and research and both have already been placed in the Library.
When the seniority top-up fees scheme for NHS dentists began; how much has been subtracted from dentist fees each year to provide funding for it; and what they are proposing to do with the sums received after April 2009 when it is suggested that the scheme be abolished. [HL5726]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Seniority payments were part of the remuneration arrangements introduced in 1990. An interim scheme was included in the 2006 statement of financial entitlements, when remuneration arrangements for general dental practitioners changed from a fee-based system to one based on annual contract values agreed between primary care trusts (PCTs) and dental providers. The interim
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Further to the answer by Lord Rooker on 15 July (Official Report, House of Lords, col. 1095), whether they will request all departments and agencies to produce graphs using a variety of structures rather than colours to differentiate lines, to make them intelligible when faxed or printed using only black ink.[HL5536]
Lord Patel of Bradford: The Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967 was last amended in July 2007, to enable the Parliamentary Ombudsman, the Health Service Ombudsman and the Local Government Ombudsman to undertake joint investigations. The Cabinet Office is in regular dialogue with the Parliamentary Ombudsman, and keeps her powers under review.
Further to the Answer by Lord Davies of Oldham on 13 October (Official Report, House of Lords, col. 489), on how many occasions since 1997 they have not given effect to the recommendations of the parliamentary commissioner for administration; and what were their reasons. [HL5696]
Lord Patel of Bradford: The noble Lord has received information from individual departments for the period from 1997 up to May 2006. Unfortunately, information from May 2006 to date is not held centrally.
Over what period information technology equipment purchased by departments and agencies is written off; whether it normally remains in use until fully depreciated; whether there are controls
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The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): Accounting for information technology equipment is covered by the financial reporting standard (FRS) 15 tangible fixed assets. Central government applies this standard with only minor adaptations and interpretations as detailed in the Government Financial Reporting Manual (FReM).
Under FRS 15, departments as the user of the asset are responsible for assessing fixed asset livesie, the period over which the asset is to be depreciated. FRS 15 also requires that the useful life of an asset should be reviewed at the end of each reporting period.
Whether, in the event that a preferred academy sponsor withdraws during the expression of interest or feasibility stage, government funding for the rebuilding of the school concerned will be withdrawn. [HL5635]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): Academy buildings are now procured by local authorities (LAs) either as part of their Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme or through the Partnerships for Schools national framework. Funding
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Whether they will support at the November Economic and Financial Affairs Council meeting the European Commission's proposal to amend VAT directive 2006/112/EC to allow member states flexibility on VAT rates for labour-intensive services. [HL5513]
The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): The Government are generally supportive of the legislative proposal adopted by the Commission, consistent with its position of supporting the flexibility of member states to apply their own choice of VAT rates to further their domestic priorities and social objectives, provided that this does not materially affect the functioning of the internal market.
Member states are currently discussing the Commission proposal, and whether any amendments should be made before it is considered by Ministers, at official level in Council working groups. The Government will take a view on the final text when it is submitted to Ministers by the presidency.
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