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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish the health data for the fluoride compounds used in artificial fluoridation procedures. [158441]

Mr. Denham: Fluoride compounds used for artificial fluoridation break down to release fluoride and other ions when mixed with water. These ions occur naturally in water supplies. The recently published review by York University found no evidence of any harmful effects on systemic health from drinking fluoridated water and acknowledged benefits in reducing tooth decay. However, as the review was critical of the quality of the research available, we have asked the Medical Research Council how the evidence base might be strengthened.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on dental fluorosis with specific regard to links to systemic toxicity. [158440]

Mr. Denham: Dental fluorosis is considered to be an effect seen in teeth and due to the presence of fluoride in the body while teeth are being formed. Its presence does not necessarily imply any harm to health or that fluoride is having any effect, good or bad, on any other part of the body.

2 May 2001 : Column: 650W

Cord-stem Cell Bank

Mr. Wood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has for establishing a cord-stem cell bank and offering the facility to the mothers of all new-born children. [158783]

Mr. Denham: There are already three cord blood banks run by the National Blood Service in London, Newcastle and Bristol where mothers volunteer to donate their cord blood for the benefit of others. There are no plans to collect cords from mothers of all new-born children.

Bone Marrow

Mr. Wood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) children and (b) other patients requiring a bone marrow match failed to find such a match in the year 2000-01. [158782]

Mr. Denham: This information is not collected centrally. However information from the experts indicates that between 70 per cent. and 80 per cent. of all people requiring bone marrow transplantation find a match. Newer technology is increasing the availability of bone marrow suitable for transplantation, especially in children.

Health Budgets

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what discussions have taken place between his Department and the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust and the East and North Hertfordshire division of the Hertfordshire health authority about the current and underlying deficits in the local NHS in East and North Hertfordshire; and if he will make a statement; [158947]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 26 April 2001]: The Eastern Regional Office of the National Health Service Executive is working closely with the East and North Hertfordshire NHS trust and Hertfordshire health authority to address deep seated and longstanding financial and service challenges going back at least a decade. For 2001-02 the health authority received additional funding of £26.5 million (8.25 per cent.) to enable it to meet waiting time targets, to effect service improvements to deliver the NHS Plan, and to meet cost and service pressures.

At the end of March 2001, as a result of reallocation of funding within the Department, the regional office was able to allocate a further £6.5 million to East and North Hertfordshire. In addition two reviews on financial

2 May 2001 : Column: 651W

management and on the management of waiting lists within that health system have just been concluded. The extra funding and the recommendations from the reviews for the more effective management of services will allow financial balance to be achieved alongside the significant service improvements outlined by the Government in the NHS Plan.

Community Health Councils

Mr. Hurst: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the Government's consultations regarding community health councils. [159367]

Ms Stuart: Chapter 10 of the NHS Plan proposed that community health councils be abolished and new structures set in place to increase patient and public empowerment across all sectors of the health service. Following the launch of the NHS Plan in July 2001 a public undertaking was given to involve national and local stakeholder groups in developing the detail of the new structures. A series of seminars was held in November and December 2001 and focused on the various elements of the new arrangements and involved key representative groups. Since then the proposal for abolition of CHCs and the development of the new structures have been subject to debate through the introduction of the Health and Social Care Bill. Key stakeholder groups have continued to be involved in the development of the new arrangements.

NHS Beds

Mr. Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average number of beds is in NHS hospitals (a) built, (b) commissioned and (c) planned since 1 May 1997. [159438]

Mr. Denham: The physical stock of beds (defined as number of staffed in-patient and day case beds) in the major acute hospitals (capital value over £25 million) in England are as follows:

Number of beds
(a) Built and operational since 1 May 1997
Dartford and Gravesham402
South Buckinghamshire542
Central Sheffield University Hospital (Stonegrove-- maternity only)119
(b) In the process of being constructed since 1 May 1997
Norfolk and Norwich953
North Durham Healthcare524
South Manchester University Hospitals1,031
Bromley Healthcare525
Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals459
Worcester Royal Infirmary474
Hereford Hospitals340
South Durham Healthcare347
South Tees Acute Hospitals1,060
Swindon and Marlborough594
King's Healthcare902
St. George's Hospital1,123
University College London Hospitals664
West Middlesex University Hospitals434
Hull and East Yorkshire Maternity150
(c) Planned since 1 May 1997(18)
Barts and The London(19)1,200
Central Manchester/Manchester Childrens Hospitals1,178
Dudley Group of Hospitals830
West Berkshire Priority Care203
Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals1,890
Walsgrave Hospitals/Coventry Healthcare969
Leeds Teaching Hospitals(20)--
Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals207
Havering Hospitals798
Portsmouth Hospitals908
Blackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley274
Southern Debyshire Acute Hospitals1,127
University Hospital Birmingham/South Birmingham Mental Health1,128
Bradford Hospitals1,791
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health605
North West London Hospitals214
East Kent Hospitals1,720
University Hospitals of Leicester2,545
Lewisham Hospital572
Peterborough Hospitals716
Salford Royal Hospitals1,014
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells/Invicta Community Care852
Pinderfield and Pontefract Hospitals/Wakefield and Pontefract Community/Dewsbury Health Care1,686
Forest Healthcare783
Brighton Healthcare100
United Bristol Healthcare1,261
Sherwood Forest Hospitals921
Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals566
Mid Essex Hospitals973
Essex Rivers Healthcare844
Hull and East Yorkshire1,533
North Middlesex Hospitals482
North Staffordshire Hospital1,442
Plymouth Hospitals1,432
St. Helens and Knowsley Hospitals1,278
Walsall Hospitals/Walsall Community749
Paddington Basin(20)--
Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals1,162
Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals117
Southampton University Hospitals112
South Devon Healthcare939
Tameside and Glossop Acute670
Gloucestershire Royal(20)--
Royal Berkshire and Battle Hospital806
Guy's and St. Thomas'1,150

(18) Numbers at this stage are provisional and may change

(19) Approximate

(20) Under review

2 May 2001 : Column: 652W

Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many beds there are per head of population in (a) the National Health Service and (b) private facilities. [159559]

Mr. Denham: During 1999-2000, in the National Health Service in England, there were 3.74 beds per 1,000 population. Information on bed capacities at private facilities is not centrally collected.

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