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Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what targets his Department has set for the reduction of under-nutrition; and what progress has been made to reach the targets; [12915]

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Jacqui Smith [holding answer 6 November 2001]: In the NHS Plan, we made a commitment to reduce under-nutrition by developing a hospital nutrition policy to improve the outcome of care of patients by 2004. A number of measures and strategies are in place to manage, monitor and screen patients for under-nutrition in hospitals, residential care and the wider community. A full list of these initiatives has been placed in the Library.

We recognise that one of the most important factors in aiding hospital patients to gain improved health is through the provision of good quality nutritional food that the patient is able to eat and enjoy. Two reports published last year—from the Nuffield Trust and the British Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition—made recommendations for hospital nutrition services encompassing both hospital food and artificial nutrition.

We are introducing housekeepers on to ward teams to work with the ward sister. One of the key responsibilities of the housekeeper is to ensure that patients are given encouragement and assistance in not only choosing suitable meals and snacks but also with eating if required. From 14 November, a housekeeping guide will be able on

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the national health service estates website. This guide has been compiled after consultation with NHS trusts and all staffing groups, ie dieticians, nurses, caterers, facilities, estates and hotel services. Patients have also been involved with the guide and have been instrumental in establishing the 11 patient-focused national service standards for housekeepers.

Ambulance Services

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health to what extent each ambulance service in England met Government performance targets in the most recent year for which information is available; what the cost of each service was for that year; and what the cost per head of population of providing each service was in that year. [12926]

Ms Blears [holding answer 6 November 2001]: Information about response times to emergency calls for all national health service ambulance trusts is contained in the Department of Health Statistical Bulletin "Ambulance Services, England 2000–01". A copy is in the Library and available at

Information on the cost of each service and the cost per head of population of providing each service is specified in the table (the most recent available figures are for 2000–01).

NHS trustExpenditure (£000)Per weighted head population (£)
Avon Ambulance Service NHS Trust14,52215.40
Beds and Herts Ambulance and Paramedic NHS Trust23,90216.02
Cumbria Ambulance Service NHS Trust9,75319.82
Dorset Ambulance NHS Trust12,57518.09
East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust33,02916.36
East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust45,09016.13
Essex Ambulance Service NHS Trust27,24218.24
Gloucestershire Ambulance Services NHS Trust8,59316.70
Greater Manchester Ambulance NHS Trust35,19512.55
Hampshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust21,11113.94
Hereford and Worcester Ambulance NHS Trust12,08019.02
Isle of Wight Healthcare NHS Trust2,45517.95
Kent Ambulance NHS Trust21,74314.46
Lancashire Ambulance Service NHS Trust27,15018.02
Lincolnshire Ambulance NHS Trust17,66018.80
London Ambulance Service NHS Trust119,78515.01
Mersey Regional Ambulance Service NHS Trust30,24812.01
North East Ambulance Service NHS Trust29,12717.47
Oxfordshire Ambulance NHS Trust9,90018.27
Royal Berkshire Ambulance Service Trust13,97019.19
S Yorks Met Amb and Paramed Serv NHS Trust16,84812.04
Shropshire's Community and Mental HS NHS Trust6,34015.87
Staffordshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust16,21816.09
Surrey Ambulance Service NHS Trust19,51820.55
Sussex Ambulance Service NHS Trust27,87218.19
Tees East and Nth Yorkshire Amb Serv NHS Trust32,27617.33
Two Shires Ambulance NHS Trust18,83516.75
Warwickshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust9,32820.34
West Midlands Ambulance NHS Trust39,16714.21
West Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust45,17320.82
West Country Ambulance Services NHS Trust40,49319.97
Wiltshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust9,74417.99

Hearing Aids

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, (1) pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for North Devon (Mr. Harvey), on 25 April 2001, Official Report, columns 171–72W, on hearing aids, what plans his Department has to ensure funding for the continued provision of digital hearing aids under the modernising NHS hearing aids services project throughout the financial year 2002–03; [13779]

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Jacqui Smith: The evaluation of the modernisation project will be taken into account when considering further investment next year in a national health service hearing aid service, which includes the provision of digital hearing aids. The Department has received interim evaluation reports from the Institute of Hearing Research, and will continue to be updated on progress. Planning and decisions on modernisation and associated funding and resources are being kept under review until further data can start to be taken into account.

National Blood Service

Mr. Havard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which organisations and individuals make up the National Blood Service's appropriate use of blood and blood components group. [13508]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 12 November 2001]: The membership of the National Blood Service Appropriate Use of Blood group is:

Traditional Medicines Directive

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representation he intends to make to the European Commission about the proposed traditional medicines directive. [13851]

Ms Blears [holding answer 12 November 2001]: The United Kingdom comments on early drafts of the proposal for a directive on traditional medicinal products were set out in letters from the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) to the European Commission dated 18 December 2000 and 30 April 2001. Copies of these letters have been placed in the Library. The Commission has indicated that

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it expects shortly to adopt proposals for new provisions on traditional herbal medicinal products. We will decide what further representations may be required once we have assessed these updated proposals.


Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if it is his policy that by 2004 all young people who experience a first episode of psychosis should be offered the choice of being prescribed atypical medicines. [13849]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 12 November 2001]: As indicated in the mental health policy implementation guide, early intervention in psychosis teams should use either low dose traditional or atypical antipsychotics in first line treatment and they should involve service users in decision making and monitoring of effects. The NHS Plan states that by 2004 all young people who experience a first episode of psychosis, such as schizophrenia, will receive the early and intensive support they need.

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