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Hospital Waiting Lists

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting list times are for (a) knee and (b) hip operations. [5746]

Mr. Hutton: The average (median) waiting times for knee and hip operations during 1999–2000 are shown in the table. Data for 2000–01 are not yet available.

Median waiting time (days)
Type of operation
Hip replacement201
Knee replacement253

Source:

HES date 1999–2000


Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list health authorities in England in order of the highest number of patients waiting for (a) an out-patient and (b) an in-patient appointment, indicating numbers of patients awaiting treatment, for (i) general surgery, (ii) urology, (iii) trauma and orthopaedics (iv) ear, nose and throat, (v) ophthalmology, (vi) oral surgery, (vii) cardiothoracic surgery, (viii) general medicine, (ix) cardiology, (x) thoracic medicine, (xi) infectious diseases, (xii) medical oncology, (xiii) geriatric medicine, (xiv) gynaecology and (xv) clinical oncology. [5815]

Mr. Hutton: We do not collect information on total numbers of patients waiting for out-patient appointments. A table showing numbers of patients waiting more than 13 weeks for their appointments following general practitioner referral has been placed in the Library.

Under the NHS Plan, the national health service will reduce the maximum wait for an out-patient appointment from over six months today to three months by the end of 2005. By the same date the maximum wait for in-patient treatment will be reduced from 18 months today to six months.

Smoking

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of those aged over 16 years smoked in (a) 1999, (b) 2000 and (c) 2001. [5225]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 19 July 2001]: The latest available data are shown in the table:

Prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults aged 16 years and over, by gender England 1999

Percentage
GenderPrevalenceBase
Men273,543
Women264,224

Notes:

1. Percentages rounded to the nearest whole figure

2. Comparable data are not yet available for 2000 and 2001

Source:

Health Survey for England: Trend data for adults 1993–99


20 Jul 2001 : Column: 731W

HIV

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many new cases of heterosexually acquired HIV have occurred in each quarter since March 1997. [5379]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 19 July 2001]: The table lists the number of cases of heterosexually acquired HIV diagnosed per quarter in England, reported until the end of June 2001.

Year (quarter)(74)Number of diagnosesAnnual total
1997 (Q1)240
1997 (Q2)227 926
1997 (Q3)211
1997 (Q4)248
1998 (Q1)250
1998 (Q2)261 1,081
1998 (Q3)273
1998 (Q4)297
1999 (Q1)307
1999 (Q2)344 1,304
1999 (Q3)352
1999 (Q4)301
2000 (Q1)429
2000 (Q2)407 1,665
2000 (Q3)423
2000 (Q4)406
2001 (Q1)408
2001 (Q2)217

(74) The numbers, particularly for the most recent quarters, will rise as further cases are reported

Source:

Confidential clinician and laboratory reporting to the Communicable Diseases Surveillance Centre the Public Health Laboratory Service


NHS Direct

Mr. Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will introduce (a) a national textphone number and (b) interactive e-mail to the NHS Direct service. [5617]

Ms Blears: We are committed to introducing a national textphone service for NHS Direct and expect this to be fully implemented within the next twelve months. An interactive e-mail inquiry service will be introduced in November this year.

Nursing and Midwifery Council

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received concerning the draft order on the Nursing and Midwifery Council; and if he will make a statement. [5518]

Mr. Hutton: We are receiving a substantial volume of responses to consultation. These are currently being considered, and a report will be published in due course.

Worcestershire Social Services

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the level of funding available to Worcestershire social services department. [5748]

20 Jul 2001 : Column: 732W

Yvette Cooper: For 2001–02, we have made available just over £84 million to Worcestershire county council for social services; this is 6.4 per cent. more than in 2000–01. Within this increase, Worcestershire's social services standard spending assessment has increased by 5.2 per cent.

Bed Blocking

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to reduce the level of bed blocking in Worcestershire. [5749]

Yvette Cooper: The number of delayed transfers of care in Worcestershire have been relatively steady, with no significant increases being reported. However, Worcestershire social services and the local health economy are working collaboratively to address existing needs, and several plans are currently in hand. These include:


Genetically Modified Organisms

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes discussed the Aventis study entitled "The Effect of Glufosinate-Resistant Corn on the Growth of Male Broiler Chickens"; and if he will place the minutes of this meeting in the Library. [5654]

Yvette Cooper: The chicken study was not part of the package considered by the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes.

The study was part of the dossier submitted to the French competent authority in support of an application to market glufosinate tolerant maize. The study has recently been considered by the Advisory Committee on Animal Feedingstuffs who are currently finalising their comments.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what level of funding was allocated by his Department between 1996 and 2001 for research into benign prostatic hyperplasia. [5879]

Yvette Cooper: The main Government agency for research into the causes of and treatments for disease is the Medical Research Council (MRC), which receives its funding via the Department of Trade and Industry. The Department of Health funds research to support policy and the delivery of effective practice in the national health service.

20 Jul 2001 : Column: 733W

Between 1996 and 2001 the Department of Health and the MRC's estimated spend on research projects related to benign prostatic hyperplasia was over £1.5 million. In addition to these specific projects the Department of Health also provides funding for research commissioned by the research councils and charities that take place in the NHS. The total investment will therefore be considerably greater than the spend on individual projects. The National Research Register contains details of these projects and is available at: http://www.doh.gov.uk/ research/nrr.htm.

Worcestershire Health Authority

Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on performance related pay increases agreed for executive directors of the Worcestershire health authority in (a) 1998–99, (b) 1999–2000 and (c) 2000–01. [5495]

Yvette Cooper: I am informed that executive directors of Worcestershire health authority have received no performance-related pay increases for any of the three years specified.

Health authorities must publish details of pay awards to directors in their annual reports. These awards must be in line with national policy, and I understand that this has been the case for executive directors of Worcestershire health authority.


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