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War Pensions Agency

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what additional cost savings measures referred to on page 75 of the 2001 departmental report were taken to enable the War Pensions Agency to operate within its running cost allocation in 2000–01. [19118]

Dr. Moonie: I have been asked to reply.

During 2000–01, the War Pensions Agency adopted a carefully controlled expenditure regime ensuring that proper financial procedures were embedded within the

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Agency. Monthly reviews of expenditure were undertaken and closely scrutinised to enable the agency to operate within the running cost allocation for 2000–01.

The 2000–01 programme of work was regularly reviewed and the impacts of any proposed changes to the agency's capacity to deliver the programme were considered. Links were also ensured between the agency's work programme, investment appraisal procedures and appropriate approval routes for change initiatives.

Benefit Reductions

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what reductions are applied to a liable person's liability to pay (a) rent and (b) council tax during a period of in-patient hospital treatment. [19116]

Ms Keeble: I have been asked to reply.

Liability to pay rent would not normally be reduced during a period of in-patient hospital treatment, unless the landlord specifically agreed to this. Nor does any general reduction from council tax apply in such circumstances. However, if a person moves permanently into a hospital, his or her previous home will be exempt from council tax if it is unoccupied.

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Health Authority Modernisation

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place a copy of each health authority's local modernisation review for 2002–03 in the Library as soon as they are received. [14713]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 14 November 2001]: The purpose of the local modernisation reviews (LMR) is to engage local partners, frontline staff, and patients' representatives in reviewing what needs to be done to deliver national health service priorities locally. The outputs from this year's LMR will inform the annual planning round and the development of the 2002–03 "Service and Financial Frameworks" (SaFFs). These frameworks set out the levels of NHS activity and resources allocated to achieve the local health system's contribution to national targets for the coming year. NHS organisations will sign accountability agreements in relation to delivering their contribution to the 2002–03 SaFF.

LMRs are local planning exercises. The Department itself does not receive copies of these documents. We are unable, therefore, to place copies of LMRs in the Library. External scrutiny to the LMR process has been secured through local peer review and involvement by lay members of the local modernisation boards.

Hearing Aids

Mr. Heath: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) from what date East Somerset health trust will be included in the modernising NHS hearing aid services project; [15596]

Jacqui Smith: There are currently 20 national health service trusts taking part in the modernising NHS hearing aid services project, as listed in the table.

It is too early to say when a specific trust might be involved in the project. Evaluation of the project by the Institute of Hearing Research is on-going. Subject to favourable evaluation, the Department, on advice from the project's implementation team, will make decisions about how best to spread the modernised services. Trusts would be invited to be part of the project on the basis of geographical spread, preparedness to modernise, and the commitment of the local health community to the aims of the project.

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NHS trustStart year
Addenbrookes NHS Trust2000–01
James Paget Healthcare NHS Trust2000–01
Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital2000–01
Whipps Cross University Hospital NHS Trust2000–01
Bradford Hospitals NHS Trust2000–01
Leeds Teaching NHS Trust2000–01
City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Trust2001–02
Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust2000–01
Morecambe Bay Hospitals NHS Trust2001–02
Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust2000–01
United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust (children)2001–02
Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust2001–02
East Berkshire Community Health NHS Trust2000–01
Royal Berkshire and Battle Hospitals NHS Trust2000–01
Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust2000–01
Queens Medical Centre University NHS Trust Nottingham2000–01
The Kings Mill Centre for Healthcare Services NHS Trust2001–02
Sheffield Children's Hospital NHS Trust (children)2000–01
University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust2000–01
Royal Shrewsbury and Princess Royal Hospitals NHS Trust2000–01

Religious Circumcision

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS trusts make provision for religious circumcision. [15468]

Jacqui Smith: In 1999–2000 205 national health service hospitals in England recorded a total of 21,763 inpatient episodes where the main operation was circumcision. It is not possible to determine whether the procedure was carried out for religious reasons.

Associate Specialists

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to ensure that associate specialists in the UK obtain equal treatment to those from the EU (a) in gaining entry to the Specialist Register and (b) in the appointment of consultant posts. [16198]

Mr. Hutton: Standards for entry to the specialist register in the United Kingdom are the same for all doctors working in the European Economic Area as all doctors have to have completed a period of training recognised by the competent authority. Appointment to consultant posts in the UK is governed by the National Health Service (Appointment of Consultants) Regulations 1996, which apply equally to all EEA doctors.


Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on the prescribing of statins; and if he will make a statement. [15792]

Jacqui Smith: The National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease, revised in the Chief Medical Officer's Update in February 2001, sets out the policy for the prescribing of statins. The first priority is to ensure that people with established CHD are treated with statins to lower their cholesterol level either below 5.0 mmol/l or to reduce total serum cholesterol by 20–25 per cent., whichever would result in the lowest level. (The equivalent figures for LDL cholesterol would be 3.0 mmol/l or by a 30 per cent. reduction, whichever

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results in the lowest level.) The next step is the treatment of those without diagnosed CHD but whose risk of a cardiac event is greater than 30 per cent. over 10 years.

This is consistent with the guidance already issued to the national health service by the Standing Medical Advisory Committee and with the Joint British Society Guidelines published in the British Medical Journal.

Health Service Staff (Leicestershire)

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) doctors and (b) nurses were employed in the national health service in Leicestershire in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2001. [15751]

Jacqui Smith: The number of doctors and nurses employed in the area covered by Leicestershire health authority in 1997 and 2000 (the latest year available) are given in the table. Data relating to 2001 will not be available until February 2002.

National health service hospital and community health services and general and personal medical services: All doctors and nursing staff within Leicestershire health authority area are as at 30 September each year

All staff9,5409,930
All practitioners (excluding GP retainers)(33),(34)560540
of which:
HCHS medical and dental staff(36)1,1201,260
Total nursing staff7,8708,140
of which:
Qualified staff5,2605,740
Qualified (HCHS) nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff4,9505,420
Practice nurses300330
Unqualified (HCHS) nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff2,6102,400

(33) All practitioners (excluding GP retainers) include unrestricted principals and equivalents (UPEs), restricted principals, assistants, GP registrars, salaried doctors (Para. 52 SFA) and PMS others

(34) As at 30 September 2000 there were eight GP retainers within Leicestershire HA

(35) UPEs include GMS unrestricted principals, PMS contracted GPs and PMS salaried GPs

(36) Excludes hospital medical practitioners and medical clinical assistants, most of whom are also GPs working part-time in hospitals


1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10

2. Due to rounding totals may not equal the sum of component parts

3. Figures exclude learners and agency staff

4. In 1997, Leicestershire HA comprised of the following organisations: Leicestershire HA, Leicester General Hospital NHS Trust, Leicester Royal Infirmary NHS Trust, Glenfield Hospital NHS Trust, Leicestershire Mental Health Service NHS Trust, Leicestershire Ambulance and Paramedics Services NHS Trust and Fosse Health, Leicestershire Community NHS Trust

5. In 2000 following mergers, Leicestershire HA comprised of the following organisations: Leicestershire HA, Leicestershire and Rutland Healthcare NHS Trust and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

6. Practitioner figures were collected as at 1 October in 1997


Department of Health non-medical work force census

Department of Health medical and dental work force census

Department of Health general and personal medical services statistics

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