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Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will review the remuneration paid to hospital practitioners to ensure that it is sufficient to fund the necessary locum cover for the general practitioner. [5931]

Mr. Hutton: We are currently considering with the profession the quantum and complexity of the work performed by general medical practitioners in hospitals and will consider the remuneration issues in this context.

Clinical Staff Numbers

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his target is for the number of (a) nurses and (b) doctors in the NHS for each of the next five years; and if he will make a statement. [5688]

Mr. Hutton: We have not set annual workforce targets. The National Health Service Plan targets are for 20,000 more nurses, 7,500 more consultants, 2,000 more general practitioners and 6,500 more therapists and other health professionals between 1999 and 2004. We have now rolled forward these commitments to provide 20,000 additional nurses and 10,000 additional doctors between 2000 and 2005.

Health Expenditure

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if it is his policy to increase expenditure on health services up to the European Union average as a percentage of gross domestic product; and if he will make a statement. [5708]

Mr. Hutton: It is our intention to increase United Kingdom health care expenditure as a percentage of gross domestic product towards the average of the European Union countries, which is around 8 per cent. of gross domestic product. On current spending plans, by 2003–04 total health spending in the UK will be around 7.7 per cent. of gross domestic product. Spending plans beyond that time will be made at the next spending review.

Biomedical Scientists

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he has taken to recruit more biomedical scientists to the NHS, and increase staff retention. [6396]

20 Jul 2001 : Column: 738W

Mr. Hutton: The National Advisory Group for Scientists and Technicians has been charged with developing plans to improve workforce planning, education, training and career development among this group of staff, including biomedical scientists. The Department is also developing a specific strategy for improving recruitment, retention and return, liaising closely with employers, professional bodies and trade unions to raise the profile of the work of scientists.

The National Health Service careers service, http://, has been extended to include scientists and technicians. A new generic scientists and technicians careers leaflet has also been prepared.

To address particular recruitment and retention problems in pathology laboratories pay increases of between 7.3 per cent. and 16.7 per cent. have been agreed from April 2001 for over 6,000 trainee Medical Laboratory Scientific Officers (MLSOs), MLSO1s and MLSO2s.

Neonatal Screening

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will announce a timetable for the national roll-out of the 20 universal neonatal hearing screening pilots. [5814]

Yvette Cooper: The universal neonatal hearing screening pilot is the first phase of a national roll-out of the service. The pilot phase will provide important information, about the impact on audiology and other support services, and will provide the data that is required to enable us to plan a national roll-out to a sensible, feasible time scale. An announcement will be made early next year about a timetable for national implementation, taking account of the initial findings of the pilot phase. The pace of change will be determined by the practical challenges that the pilot will uncover.

Breast Screening

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) screening and (b) non-screening pilot schemes his Department has established since May 1997; and how many have now been completed and (i) rolled out nationally, (ii) given a timetable for national roll out and (iii) placed under review subject to further consideration of their findings. [5813]

Yvette Cooper: Since 1997, the Department has run six screening pilots. These are screening for chlamydia (under review), colorectal cancer (in progress), universal neonatal hearing screening (in progress), using liquid based cytology and human papilloma virus testing in cervical screening (in progress), extending the National Health Service Breast Screening Programme to older women (completed and being implemented) and developing new ways of working in the NHS Breast Screening Programme (in progress). Information on all forms of non-screening pilot programmes could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Kidderminster Hospital

Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the projected costs of the inquiry into elective surgery at Kidderminster Hospital. [3760]

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Yvette Cooper: The independent clinical review of future elective services at Kidderminster Hospital is being undertaken because of the new opportunity presented by the planned increase in elective surgery through the implementation of the National Health Service Plan.

Professor Ara Darzi, Professor of Surgery at St. Mary's Hospital, London, is undertaking the review and is giving his services free of charge. The staffing support costs associated with the review have come from normal departmental running costs.

Expenses will be incurred for accommodation and hospitality and are commensurate with a clinical review of this type.

Trivax Vaccines

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money his Department has paid in compensation to families whose children are believed to have been damaged as a consequence of inoculation with Wellcome's Trivax vaccines from (a) batch 3741 and (b) batch 3732. [5694]

Maria Eagle: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested is not available.


Pickett's Lock

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the impact of a new athletics facility at Pickett's Lock on existing international standard facilities in England. [97]

Tessa Jowell [holding answer 25 June 2001]: I will write to the hon. Member as soon as possible.

BBC Digital

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will publish the correspondence between her Department and the BBC concerning the BBC's proposals for new digital services. [2411]

Tessa Jowell [holding answer 5 July 2001]: I have placed copies of all relevant correspondence between my Department and the BBC in the Libraries of both Houses, except those where rules of commercial confidentiality apply.

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will publish recent representations made by the independent television sector concerning proposed new BBC digital services; and if she will make a statement. [2410]

Tessa Jowell [holding answer 5 July 2001]: Where permission has been given to do so, I will publish responses to the consultation once I have reached a decision on whether to approve the proposed new services.

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Lottery Funding (Films)

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to her answer of 2 July 2001, Official Report, column 72W, on lottery funding of films, what the net income is from all sources to date, in each case, of films in receipt of lottery funding; and on how many screens each opened. [2815]

Tessa Jowell [holding answer 9 July 2001]: This information changes constantly as a film is released at cinemas and on video or DVD in different countries at different times. The shelf life of films is long, which means there is no simple answer to the question. That is not to say that revenues are not known for films in which lottery money has been invested (in relation to territories and media where the distributor was entitled under the terms of the deal to a share of the revenues) but those revenues increase constantly and reflect changing market value and are therefore difficult to interpret.

The Maltings, Farnham

Virginia Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what advice was given by the South East Arts Board on the Maltings lottery application; what response the Arts Council of England made to this advice; on what basis the response was made; and if she will place the relevant papers in the Library; [2830]

Tessa Jowell: My right hon. and noble Friend the Minister for the Arts will write to the right hon. Member, placing copies of her letter in the Libraries of both Houses.

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