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Expedited Out-patient Opinions

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance is given to clinicians for the purposes of determining which patients receive expedited out-patient opinions within the NHS. [18241]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 5 December 2001]: The decision on how quickly a patient should be referred to out-patients is a clinical matter and it is for general practitioners to decide this on a case by case basis. To assist GPs in referring, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) is developing referral guidance for certain conditions including benign prostate disease, osteoarthritis of the hip, and lower back pain. The Department has issued guidance to the national health service that priority treatment should be given to war pensioners, both as in-patients and as out-patients, for

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examination or treatment relating to the condition for which the patient receives a pension, unless in emergencies or if another case demands clinical priority.

The process of booking appointments should be patient focused. The national booked admissions programme, launched in 1998, is putting in place systems that allow patients to pre-book appointments for a time that is convenient for them, and by the end of 2005 we are committed to all out-patient and in-patient elective admissions being pre-booked.

Ward Housekeepers

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list, by date of publication, guidance he has given on the role and duties of the ward housekeeper (a) internally and (b) externally; and if he will place the guidance in the Library. [21789]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 10 December 2001]: Housekeeper information and guidance was first published and distributed as a leaflet in March 2001. More detailed draft guidance was made available to trusts from June 2001 with a request for comments and best practice examples suitable for inclusion in the completed guidance. The approved guidance on the role and duties of the ward housekeeper—"Housekeeping, a first guide to new, modern and dependable ward housekeeping services in the NHS"—was placed on the national health service estates website in November 2001 for public access. A short video film and complementing leaflet, "Ward Housekeepers, getting the basics right", showing how the housekeeper works within the ward team, were also produced and distributed in November 2001 to interested NHS trusts. Further copies of both the video and leaflet are available upon request.

Copies of the guidance and a copy of the video film have been placed in the Library.

Housekeeping guidance, best practice advice and information has also been given at a number of workshops held throughout the regions:


Two further workshops are scheduled for January 2002 in London and Leeds.

Out-of-Area Treatment

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will set out by NHS region, health authority and

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NHS trust the (a) number of out-of-area patients treated and (b) cost of out-of-area treatments in each of the last four years for which information is available. [21005]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 10 December 2001]: Information on the cost of out-of-area treatments has been placed in the Library. The information on patient numbers is not available centrally.

The out-of-area treatment adjustment was introduced in 1999–2000. Information is therefore available only for the three years 1999–2000 to 2001–02.

Nurses

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the average (a) salary and (b) other related cost of a nurse, by region. [22212]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 11 December 2001]: The average annual salary and other earnings of a full time qualified nurse employed by the national health service, by region, are estimated to be:

£

Basic salaryOther earnings
Northern and Yorkshire20,1003,100
Trent20,2002,700
West Midlands20,1003,000
North West20,3002,900
Eastern20,4002,900
London20,2005,300
South East20,4003,000
South West20,3003,100
England20,2003,300

Cannabis

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the Government will publish their response to the Second Report of the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology on the Therapeutic Uses of Cannabis. [23251]

Ms Blears: The Government's response to the Second Report of the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology on the Therapeutic Uses of Cannabis has been published today and copies will be placed in the Library.

Diabetes

Mr. Pollard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will publish the Diabetes National Service Framework standards document. [23388]

Jacqui Smith: We shall be publishing the Diabetes National Service Framework standards tomorrow. Copies will be placed in the Library.

Coronary Patients

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance he has issued to health authorities and NHS healthcare trusts in respect of the provision of adequate post-discharge care for coronary patients; what budget has been allocated for this service in the current three year spending programme; and if he will make a statement. [21452]

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Jacqui Smith: The National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) was published on 6 March 2000 setting out national standards for the care of patients with CHD. This includes guidance on appropriate care on discharge from hospital following a heart attack, on secondary prevention of CHD to prevent further events, and on the provision of cardiac rehabilitation. In addition, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has produced a clinical guideline on secondary prevention for patients who have had a heart attack which covers appropriate drug treatment and the role of rehabilitation.

Spending on national health service services generally comes from a unified allocation to health authorities and it is not possible to identify the total spend on a particular area of care. We have provided substantial increased funding and by 2003 we will be investing an extra £230 million a year in heart services. Money has also been made available from Her Majesty's Treasury capital modernisation fund to provide equipment for rehabilitation (£10 million) and primary care services (£15 million).

Haemodialysis

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many haemodialysis units treating NHS patients within the United Kingdom there were for each year since 1999, broken down by regional health authority, indicating which are (a) privately managed and (b) NHS managed; [22674]

Jacqui Smith: The United Kingdom renal survey, commissioned by the Department and using 1998 data, shows that there were 52 'main' renal haemodialysis units in England. Fifty of these were managed by the national health service and two by private sector providers. In the same year there were 73 satellite haemodialysis units.

A recent Departmental survey of regional commissioners suggests that in 2001 there are now 55 main renal units and 96 satellite units, 24 of which are managed by private sector providers.

A study by the Department in 1996 estimated the cost of main unit based haemodialysis as £31,520 per patient per year. The cost of haemodialysis treatment in satellite units, where most private sector involvement rests, is not available in published literature because of the variation in structure, process and patient case-mix in these units.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many haemodialysis patients' usual treatment was administered in haemodialysis units in a different health authority region to where they reside in each year since 1990, broken down by regional health authority. [22677]

Jacqui Smith: Data for the number of patients receiving haemodialysis in one of the eight national health service regions other than the one in which they reside are not readily available.

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Where patients are treated outside of their 'home' health authority, service agreements are made between commissioners and providers in the respective health authorities. This may provide better access to geographically closer haemodialysis facilities.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many haemodialysis patients were receiving treatment at haemodialysis units for each year since 1990, broken down by regional health authority [22675]

Jacqui Smith: Figures for the number of patients receiving hospital and satellite unit based haemodialysis are available from United Kingdom renal survey data. However, these figures are collected on a unit centred basis and not on a regional basis. Surveys have been undertaken in 1993, 1995 and 1998.

Hospital haemodialysis patients in England

Year of UK renal surveyNumber
19933,899
19955,383
19987,788


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