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NHS Beds

Mr. Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the average number of beds is in NHS hospitals in England; [159448]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 27 April 2001]: Bed data are collected annually at National Health Service trust level, rather than by individual hospital site. NHS trusts provide healthcare but may provide it at more than one hospital site.

The average number of beds in NHS trusts in England in the financial year 1999-2000 was 548 (186,290 beds in 340 NHS trusts), the largest number being at Leeds Training Hospitals NHS trust with 2,709 beds.

Patient Referrals (Non-medical Practitioners)

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department issues to non-medical practitioners when referring patients to hospital; and if he will make a statement. [146773]

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Mr. Denham: The largest groups are general dental practitioners and ophthalmic opticians and the conditions under which they make referrals are specified in their respective terms of service:

In emergencies and also under some locally agreed arrangements opticians refer patients direct to hospital ophthalmologists and notify the patient's general practitioner.


Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the hospitals whose audiology department is equipped to use digital technology for patients with hearing loss; what plans he has to expand the use of this technology; and if he will make a statement. [159284]

Mr. Hutton: Twenty National Health Service trusts are participating in the Department's "modernising NHS hearing aid services" projects over the two years 2000-01 and 2001-02, which is evaluating digital hearing aid provision for NHS patients. The NHS trusts are listed as follows.

The Department will study the results of the project to determine how changes to hearing aid services should be rolled out to the NHS.

Pending the outcome of the project, all NHS trusts, with the appropriate staff, training, equipment and experience have been informed through a newsletter that they are eligible to apply for access to the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency contract for digital hearing aids.

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Enoscopic Sinus Surgery

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the current waiting times for endoscopic sinus surgery in each NHS trust in Greater Manchester. [159286]

Mr. Denham: The waiting times for endoscopic sinus surgery are not collected centrally.

NHS Performance Indicators

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy to require the NHS Executive to collate and publish annually all relevant NHS performance indicators at the level of individual NHS trust, alongside those performance indicators appropriate to health authorities; and if he will make a statement. [159285]

Mr. Denham: The next set of National Health Service performance indicators, due to be published by the Department in the autumn, will include a full set of NHS trust indicators as well as health authority level indicators.

Dermatological Research

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations he has had from Professor Jonathan Hadgraft of the Skin Forum Group on the availability of skin for dermatological research. [158884]

Mr. Denham: The Department has not had any recent representations from Professor Hadgraft on the availability of skin for dermatological research. However, Professor Hadgraft has written to the Department of Trade and Industry suggesting that the legislation for provision of human tissue for research should be examined.

Quarry House

Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans his Department has to dispose of Quarry House in Leeds. [159604]

Mr. Denham: None. Overall responsibility for Quarry House lies with the Department of Social Security. The building remains an essential part of the Department of Health's headquarters.

Senior Posts (Women)

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list, by region, the percentage of senior managerial and clinical posts held by women. [158885]

Mr. Denham: The percentage of senior managerial staff and medical and dental consultants in National Health Service hospital and community health services (HCHS) held by women in each regional office area in England as at September 2000 is shown in the table.

Female (percentage)
Senior managers 48
Senior managers 48
Consultants 29
Senior managers 54
North West
Consultants 20
Senior managers49
Northern and Yorkshire
Consultants 20
Senior managers42
South East
Consultants 23
Senior managers53
South Western
Consultants 20
Senior managers47
Consultants 19
Senior managers48
West Midlands
Consultants 19
Senior managers45
Consultants 43
Senior managers 28


1. Percentages were calculated from numbers of staff expressed as headcount.

2. "Other" includes staff employed by special health authorities, other statutory authorities and other centrally based services.


Department of Health workforce census.

Department of Health medical and dental workforce census.

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Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many chief executives of (a) NHS trusts and (b) health authorities are women; and what proportion of such posts these figures represent. [158886]

Mr. Denham: This information is not yet available. The Department has undertaken a survey of executive directors in the National Health Service and the results of the survey will be available shortly. The NHS is committed to employing a diverse workforce and this diversity should be reflected at all levels. The NHS has a target for representation of women at executive director level of 40 per cent. by 2004.

Health Service Workers

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what basis mileage payments are set for health service workers who travel between hospitals during the working day. [159684]

Mr. Denham: Mileage allowances for National Health Service staff on national terms are determined by an agreement of the General Whitley Council. The current rates, effective from 1 July 2000, are set out in Advance Letter (GC) 2-2000, a copy of which is the Library.

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Cardiothoracic Hospital, Paddington Basin

Mr. Wilkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster Health Authority has made a request for helicopter operating facilities at the site of its proposed new cardiothoracic hospital in Paddington Basin, West London, to (a) the Civil Aviation Authority and (b) The Greater London Authority. [158603]

Mr. Denham: Health authorities have no responsibility for any aspect of the planning application. While outline planning permission for these proposals has been sought by St. Mary's National Health Service Trust, the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust and Imperial College from Westminster city council, the proposals are not sufficiently advanced to include more detailed planning requests.

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