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Social Services (Client Information)

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will require social service authorities to request transfer of information from other authorities when clients move from area to area. [8510]

Jacqui Smith: The Department is currently consulting on guidance that includes the requirement that councils should liaise over the care of service users who move from one area to another to ensure continuity of care.

Access to personal assessment information would need to be agreed with the service user, and would take account of common law confidentiality requirements and the provisions of the Data Protection Act. However, information on an individual may be shared by statutory agencies without the individual's consent where there is a sufficient public interest justification to do so, for example where failing to do so would put people at significant risk.

Community Care Assessments

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will require social services authorities to meet targets for the completion of community care assessments. [8509]

Jacqui Smith: In current and forthcoming guidance on assessment, the Department emphasises that people should be told how long the assessment of their needs will take. The guidance also emphasises that assessment should be timely and kept in proportion to individuals' needs.

There are no plans to set national targets on the completion of community care assessments for social services authorities.

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Waiting Lists (Leicestershire)

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people are on waiting lists for operations in each specialty in Leicestershire. [8522]

Mr. Hutton: The table shows the waiting lists for elective admission by specialty in the Leicestershire health authority area as at 30 June 2001—the latest published figures that are available:

SpecialtyOrdinary admissionsDay cases
General surgery1,7451,267
Trauma and Orthopaedics1,738869
Ear, nose and Throat1,746262
Oral surgery121404
Plastic surgery522450
Cardiothoracic surgery360
Paediatric surgery66173
Accident and emergency16
Pain management1177
General medicine20253
Thoracic medicine12
Mental Illness19
Total(7) 8,0777,591

(7) All specialties


Hospital Waiting List Statistics: England

Pain Control Clinics

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to ensure that pain control clinics are in place in every primary care trust area; and if he will make a statement. [9116]

Mr. Hutton: We are committed to providing equity of access to health care and to reducing variations in the availability of National Health Service services. Patients with pain should have access to services which provide management programmes of proven effectiveness. Chronic pain services exist in 220 acute hospitals, 88 per cent. of acute hospitals in the United Kingdom. However, decisions about pain control clinics in primary care trust areas are to be made locally, based on the needs of the local population. In reviewing local provision account should be taken of the needs of both adults and children, and include patients with acute pain resulting from sudden illness or accident, as well as post-operative pain and chronic pain. A systematic review of pain relieving treatments was undertaken in 1997 through the health technology assessment programme and providers may also find this of use in planning local services.

The Clinical Standards Advisory Group report, published in April 2000, shows many NHS trusts have developed excellent services, but we recognise that in some places more needs to be done to drive up standards.

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We expect the NHS to take full account of this report when reviewing local provision to meet the needs of communities.

MRI Scans

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proposals he has to reduce waiting times for MRI scans (a) in Gloucestershire and (b) nationally. [8570]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 18 October 2001]: Investment through the New Opportunities Fund (NOF) and the NHS Plan will provide 86 magnetic resonance imaging scanners for the National Health Service by 2004. These scanners will support the accurate diagnosis and staging of cancer patients by increasing the number of scans that can be undertaken. The Gloucester Royal Infirmary has been awarded a MRI scanner under the NOF initiative. It is likely to reduce waiting times for MRI scans in Gloucestershire.

The length of time which a patient might have to wait for a MRI scan is dependent on their clinical condition with priority given to emergency cases.

Nursing and Midwifery Council

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with rank and file health visitors on the proposals not to include health visitors in the title for the new Nursing and Midwifery Council. [8572]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 18 October 2001]: The Government are aware of the views of health visitors from their 1,200 responses to consultation on the Government's proposals. I am due to meet my hon. Friend the Member for Brent, North (Mr. Gardiner) with a delegation of health visitors shortly to discuss these.

National Institute for Mental Health

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the budget in 2001–02 for the National Institute for Mental Health in England; and how much has been spent. [9514]

Jacqui Smith: The budget for the National Institute for Mental Health in 2001–02 is £400,000. None of this money has yet been spent.

Expenditure Statistics

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the expenditure per head on health was in (a) Tamworth, (b) Telford, (c) Kidderminster and (d) Redditch in each year from April 1996 to April 2001. [8868]

Mr. Hutton: The information is not available in the format requested. Data on expenditure on health per weighted head of population are available for health authority areas, not individual towns. The relevant health authorities are South Staffordshire health authority (Tamworth), Shropshire health authority (Telford) and Worcestershire health authority (Kidderminster and Redditch) and information for these health authorities is given in the table.

Expenditure on health per weighted head of population for each relevant health authority, from 1996–97 to 2000–01, is shown in the table.

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Expenditure on health per weighted head of population for each relevant health authority from 1996–97 to 2000–01

South StaffordshireShropshireWorcestershire


Expenditure is taken from health authority annual accounts or summarisation forms which are prepared on a resource basis and therefore differ from cash allocations in each year. The expenditure is the total spent on the purchase of healthcare by the health authority. The majority of general dental services for all five years and an element of drugs expenditure for 1997–98 and 1998–99 is not included in the health authority accounts and is separately accounted for.


Health authority audited accounts 1996–97 to 1998–99

Health authority audited summarisation forms 1999–2000 and 2000–01

Weighted population estimates for 1996–97 to 2000–01

Mr. Barrie Such

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the progress made in the case of Mr. Barrie Such, pursuant to the undertaking given in the Adjournment debate on 7 December 2000, Official Report, column 246, that the NHS executive regional office would monitor the implementation of the care plan and funding arrangements. [8990]

Jacqui Smith: I can confirm that, following the Adjournment debate in the House on 7 December 2000, agreement was reached between Worcestershire health authority and social services on the provision and funding of a 24 hour package of care for Mr. Such following his eventual discharge from hospital.

Discussions have been taking place on viable options for providing Mr. Such and his family with a home in an appropriate setting. A decision has been reached and plans are currently being drawn up in consultation with Mrs. Such for a new property to be built. When those plans are agreed, the time scale for completion is estimated to be about four to five months

I have requested that the health authority, social services and the district council in Worcestershire continue to work together to ensure a timely and satisfactory outcome for Mr. and Mrs. Such.

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