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Bursaries (Nurses)

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the estimated saving is from the proposal to withdraw bursaries from nursing students from non- European countries. [4334]

Mr. Hutton: No cost saving is anticipated.

The change to the student support arrangements was not introduced as a cost-saving measure but to bring conditions for access to the National Health Service bursary for applicants to diploma nursing and midwifery courses into line with those for degree nurses, and students in higher education as a whole.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the impact on the recruitment of nurses in the United Kingdom of the proposal to withdraw bursaries from student nurses from non-European countries. [4332]

Mr. Hutton: We do not expect any impact on student nurse recruitment.

The change to the National Health Service bursary regulations requiring applicants to diploma level pre- registration courses in England to meet a prior residence requirement, will be phased in over a 15 month period. The staging of the changes will minimise the impact on higher education institutions. This change will bring diploma level courses into line with degree courses.

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In areas which traditionally have recruited significant numbers of students from beyond the European Union, NHS workforce confederations will work closely with Higher Education Institutions to ensure that places on nursing/midwifery courses continue to be filled.

A 10.4 per cent. increase in the basic rate of bursary, effective from September 2001, will also assist in the recruitment and retention of nursing and midwifery students.

This year we are on course to deliver just under 21,000 nursing and midwifery training places, in English higher education institutions, nearly 6,000 more than four years ago.

By 2004, on current plans, we expect more than 45,000 new nurses and midwives to come out of training.

Student nurse recruitment in other parts of the United Kingdom is a matter for the devolved assemblies.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the provision of bursaries to nursing students from non-European countries. [4335]

Mr. Hutton: With effect from 1 November 2001 applicants to diploma level pre-registration courses in nursing and midwifery in England who wish to access the National Health Service bursary will be expected to meet a prior residence requirement. This brings the NHS bursary regulations for these courses into line with those for degree level nursing and midwifery courses, and for higher education as a whole.

The changes are staged over a 15 month period in order to minimise the impact. In areas which traditionally have recruited significant numbers of students from beyond the European Union, NHS workforce confederations will work closely with higher education institutes to ensure that places on nursing/midwifery courses continue to be filled.

Officials consulted fully with the representative bodies for higher education before Ministers decided to change the residence requirement.

Ministers will continue to take a close interest in the effective operation of these new arrangements.

Strategic Health Authorities

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will announce the borders of the new strategic health authorities. [4132]

Mr. Hutton: The boundaries of the new strategic health authorities, of which we expect there to be around 30, will be announced after a formal public consultation that will take place in the autumn.

Hospital Readmissions

Linda Perham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were readmitted to hospital within two months of being discharged for each of the past 10 years. [4061]

Mr. Hutton: Information for 1998–99 on emergency re-admissions to hospital within 28 days of discharge was published in graphical form in July 2000 in "Quality and

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performance in the National Health Service: NHS Performance Indicators", copies of which are available in the Library. Standardised rates for England for 1998–99 and for the years 1997–98 and 1996–97 are available from the Department's website: http:/www.doh.gov.uk/ nhsperformanceindicators/hlpi2000/h1137.html.

Bed Blocking

Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many operations have been cancelled in east Sussex, in each quarter of 2000 and 2001, as a result of hospital beds being occupied by (a) delayed discharge patients who were awaiting social services funding or assessment and (b) delayed discharge patients who had fully funded social services packages arranged. [4022]

Ms Blears [holding answer sent 16 July 2001]: Information is not collected centrally in the format requested.

Information on the number of operations cancelled at the last minute for non-medical reasons, and breaches to the standard to re-admit patients within one month following such cancellations, are collected on a quarterly basis at health authority level and placed in the Library. The latest figures cover the five quarters up to quarter 4 (January to March 2001) of the 2000–01 financial year.

Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many acute hospital beds were unavailable in east Sussex to incoming patients as a result of their occupation by (a) delayed discharge patients who were awaiting social services funding and (b) delayed discharge patients who had fully funded social services packages arranged, in each quarter of 2000 and 2001. [4023]

Ms Blears [holding answer 16 July 2001]: Bed statistics are not collected centrally in the format requested. Figures on the average daily number of beds

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for each national health service trust are published annually in "Bed Availability and Occupancy, England", copies of which are in the Library.

Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act

John Cryer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will publish an annual report under section 22 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970. [4626]

Jacqui Smith: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health is publishing today the annual report for 1999–2000, and copies are being placed in the Library. The report covers research and development work carried out by (or on behalf of) Government Departments in relation to equipment that might increase the range of activities and independence or well-being of disabled people, and in particular such equipment that might improve their indoor and outdoor mobility.

The current report places such research in the context of the NHS Plan, and outlines the role of assistive technology in making independent living easier for older people and people with disabilities. The report describes the wide range of Government-funded projects supporting the development, introduction and evaluation of assistive technology. Relevant projects funded by the European Union are also listed.

Hospital Waiting Times (Essex)

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in the Mid Essex Hospital Services Trust area were waiting for in-patient treatment for (a) more than 18 months, (b) up to 18 months, (c) up to 15 months and (d) up to 12 months on (i) 31 March 1997 and (ii) 31 May 2001. [3756]

Mr. Hutton: The information requested is shown in the table.

The number of patients waiting more than 18 months, up to 18 months, up to 15 months, and up to 12 months for in-patient treatment at Mid Essex Hospital Services National Health Service Trust on 31 March 1997 and 31 May 2001

End of March 1997End of May 2001
Number waiting over 18 months for in-patient treatment00
Number waiting less than 18 months for in-patient treatment8,3918,868
Number waiting less than 15 months for in-patient treatment8,3818,676
Number waiting less than 12 months for in-patient treatment8,2878,159

Source:

KH07 quarterly return/monthly returns


Nursing Care

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health by what deadline strategic health authorities will have to align continuing NHS health care criteria, described in HSC 2001/015: LAC (2001)18. [4093]

Jacqui Smith: It is intended that strategic health authorities will be established from April 2002. Any alignment of continuing care criteria that may be required should be an early priority of the new SHAs. This should build on the request in Health Service Circular 2001/015: Local Authority Circular (2001)18 that existing health authorities ensure that continuing health care policies comply with the new guidance. Any action arising from this review should be commenced from October 2001.

Carers

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the answer of 9 July 2001, Official Report, column 343W, concerning carers, for what reasons his Department is revising the Hospital Discharge Workbook; what status the workbook has; and how compliance with its guidance is monitored. [4181]

Jacqui Smith: The Hospital Discharge Workbook issued in 1994, needs to be updated to take into account the new policy changes introduced by the NHS Plan, including the use of intermediate care services.

The workbook is a framework for good practice. Health authorities, in consultation with local authorities, general practitioners and other agencies, should ensure that

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hospitals and community health services keep discharge procedures under review and should regularly audit performance.


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