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Prisoners (Mental Health)

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prisoners have been transferred to NHS mental health facilities on temporary licence since 13 July 2000; and what funding arrangements have been made in respect thereof. [16609]

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Jacqui Smith [holding answer 22 November 2001]: The Prison Service does not collect information about the number of prisoners transferred to national health service mental health facilities on temporary licence but it would expect there to be few, if any, such cases. The objective is to ensure that prisoners who are so severely mentally disordered that they required in-patient treatment in hospital are diagnosed, assessed and transferred as quickly as possible. Some 750 prisoners a year are transferred from prison to hospital by direction of my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary under sections 47 and 48 of the Mental Health Act 1983. The costs of their treatment in hospital are borne by the national health service.

Atypical Anti-psychotic Drugs

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of patients not receiving atypical anti-psychotic drugs who could benefit from them. [17217]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 22 November 2001]: This estimate has not been made. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has been asked to appraise the clinical and cost effectiveness of atypical antipsychotics in schizophrenia. This guidance is due to be published in March 2002.

Mind Out for Mental Health Campaign

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he intends to continue to provide funding for the Mind Out for Mental Health campaign in 2002–03. [16618]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 22 November 2001]: Decisions have not yet been made on communications expenditure for 2002–03.

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the availability of leaflets for employers under the Mind Out for Mental Health campaign. [16619]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 22 November 2001]: One thousand Working Minds tool kits were produced for use by human resource managers as part of the Mind Out for Mental Health campaign. The tool kits have been extremely popular and have now been distributed to employers and groups working with employers. There are currently no stock of the tool kit available. However, the information contained in the tool kit is available on the campaign website www.mindout.net, and can be downloaded free of charge by users.

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Working Minds Programme

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what changes in employers' policy and practice the Working Minds programme seeks to achieve; and if he will make a statement on how he intends to monitor progress and measure success. [17091]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 22 November 2001]: The Working Minds programme is working in partnership with employers to: increase awareness and improve understanding of mental health issues among employers and employees; eliminate discrimination on the grounds of mental health within the workplace and during employee recruitment; improve workplace policies on mental health and promote best practice in the management of mental health at work; and promote improved management and fair treatment of staff experiencing mental health problems in the workplace.

The campaign does not dictate changes in policy and practice, but provides the information to encourage employers to take action, along with signposts to further resources provided by specialist organisations. Every employer is different, so each will want to develop specific policies and practices that are appropriate for their own size, structure, objectives and culture, within a time scale that is appropriate for them.

Changing individual behaviour and organisational culture will take a sustained effort on behalf of employers and a considerable amount of time. We would therefore not expect to see immediate improvements in workplace policy and practice on mental health. However, we are able to monitor the immediate impact of the campaign. At the start of the Working Minds programme, we conducted research among human resource managers to evaluate their awareness of, and approach to, mental health in the workplace. We will repeat this research at intervals to measure the progress the campaign is making in putting mental health on the workplace agenda. We are also embarking on an evaluation programme which will measure take-up of campaign materials and specifically evaluate how useful employers have found the information, and what action they are taking as a result of the campaign.

Heart Operations

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) longest and (b) shortest waiting times were for heart operations (i) in South Tyneside and (ii) nationally in (A) 1997, (B) 1998, (C) 1999, (D) 2000 and (E) 2001. [17405]

Jacqui Smith: Information relating to in-patient waiting times for cardiology and cardiothoracic specialities for Gateshead and South Tyneside health authority and England is shown in the tables.

Waiting times data for cardiology speciality

Number of in-patientsOf those waiting, number who have waited:
Month endingwaiting in cardiology speciality0–2 months3–5 months6–8 months9–11 months12–14 months15–17 months18+ months
Data for Gateshead and South Tyneside HA (QDG)
31 March 199723684924317000
31 March 1998 1035430136000
31 March 19998533171916000
31 March 200068411935000
31 March 20011186735133000
Data for England
31 March 199720,40810,5965,4302,5491,31331317730
31 March 1998 21,63411,6555,1912,8771,4673401040
31 March 199918,92410,9494,5411,9891,084296650
31 March 200021,72112,2165,3462,4441,1084062010
31 March 200123,70213,3195,9392,7711,1933791010

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Waiting times data for cardiothoracic specialitypa

Number of in-patientsOf those waiting, number who have waited:
Month endingwaiting in cardiothoracic speciality0–2 months3–5 months6–8 months9–11 months12–14 months15–17 months18+ months
Data for Gateshead and South Tyneside HA (QDG)
31 March 199711333432413000
31 March 19981065127199000
31 March 199912039332523000
31 March 200012555322612000
31 March 200112045372315000
Data for England
31 March 199712,7595,1383,4972,3851,3033271027
31 March 199814,4125,5244,0012,6601,6774201300
31 March 199914,4705,3943,7552,6721,7357361780
31 March 200015,7245,6333,7702,8132,0291,1153640
31 March 200114,5555,7173,5932,5791,6987582100

Source:

QF01 quarterly return


Social Services (Winter Pressures)

Mr. Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list by local authority the money allocated to social services to alleviate winter pressures for (a) winter 2000–01 and (b) winter 2001–02. [17627]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 23 November 2001]: In order to manage winter pressures it is crucial that the national health service and social services work closely together. In winter 2000–01, we allocated an additional £116 million for winter pressures via the NHS for use in joint planning to address local issues in both health and social care. This was followed up with an additional £100 million for social services in 2001–02 to enable them to continue to meet commitments from last winter.

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On 9 October we announced a further £100 million for social services in 2001–02 to tackle capacity issues and reduce delays in discharge from hospital.

Ambulance Service

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to waive the requirement for applicants for posts in the Ambulance Service to hold a category D1 driver's licence. [15943]

Mr. Jamieson: I have been asked to reply.

All drivers, including ambulance drivers, are required to hold the appropriate driving entitlement relative to the types of vehicle they drive. Category D1 entitlement is required for vehicles with more than eight but no more than 16 seats. The Government have no plans to change the driver licensing rules in this area.