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Smoking Helpline

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people have called the smoking helpline since it was set up. [24302]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 8 January 2002]: A total of 325,698 people have called the national health service smoking helpline in the inclusive period 1 June 2000 to 2 December 2001.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people are employed on the smoking helpline; and at what cost. [24304]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 8 January 2001]: A total of 213 staff, including 49 specialist advisers, are trained to work on the helpline services. The precise numbers engaged at any given time depends upon predicted call volumes.

The overall budget for the specialist adviser staff in 2001–02 is £285,000. Calls dealt with by the non- specialist service are charged on a per call basis with a budget ceiling of £239,000.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the smoking helpline cost to set up. [24301]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 8 January 2002]: Set up costs of the national health service smoking helpline amounted to £37,420.

Media Injunctions

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has spent in legal fees in each of the last five years in relation to obtaining injunctions against media organisations. [24320]

Ms Blears [holding answer 8 January 2002]: The Department has incurred no legal costs in relation to obtaining injunctions because we have not sought any injunctions against the media in the last five years.

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Bed Blocking

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many of the patients awaiting discharge in inappropriately occupied beds in Worcestershire hospitals will have their future care packages funded by (a) the health authority, (b) the county social services department and (c) a combination of both; what the equivalent figures were in January 2001; and if he will make a statement. [26403]

Yvette Cooper: Funding arrangements for the number of patients awaiting discharge in inappropriately occupied beds in Worcestershire hospitals 2000–01 are as follows.

December 2000December 2001
Health authority funded placements1119
Social Services funded placements911
Jointly funded placements95

Note:

The data for each year come from two different sources. The 2001 figures have been taken from the weekly SITREPs, and the 2000 figures have been taken from the 2000–01 Q3 CIC return. Both sets of figures cover the last day in December. The monthly figure is a snapshot for that day, the weekly figure is a snapshot for the week ending 31 December.


We are investing an extra £900 million in intermediate care to ensure that we can free up acute hospital beds which are being occupied by older people who could be cared for at home or elsewhere, which in turn will speed up accident and emergency admissions. The NHS Plan clearly states that by 2004 we will end widespread bed blocking. To achieve this we have a target of 5,000 extra intermediate care beds and an additional 1,700 non-residential intermediate care places by 2003–04, with 220,000 more people receiving intermediate care services.

I am advised that Worcestershire county council's allocation of £713,000 from the Government's "Cash for Change" initiative will be used to fund additional residential and nursing home placements, a home care discharge scheme and one off payments to support independent sector homes cost pressures. In addition, Worcestershire health authority received an extra £382,000 in April 2001 to help them prepare for winter pressures.

Kidderminster Hospital

Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will review the arrangements for the alternative storage of the deceased following the closure of the mortuary at Kidderminster hospital; and if he will make a statement on the implications for costs to families. [26222]

Yvette Cooper: I am informed that the coroner, local funeral directors and the Kidderminster and district community health council have been involved in the planning of alternative arrangements for the storage and removal of the bodies of deceased patients from Kidderminster hospital.

Where the family have already decided upon a funeral director, then arrangements will go ahead as planned. In those cases where a decision has yet to be made, then arrangements have been made with a local funeral directors company for appropriate storage of the deceased, at no cost to the family, until a decision is reached.

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The trust has confirmed that it sees as a priority the need to maintain a service which treats the deceased with respect and dignity, and which is compassionate in the manner in which it relates to the members of their family.

Haemophilia

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations he has received concerning the availability of recombinant clotting factors to haemophilia patients in England; and if he will make a statement. [26423]

Yvette Cooper: Departmental officials discussed the availability of recombinant clotting factors with the Haemophilia Society on 30 November 2001.

We are actively considering extending the provision of recombinant clotting factors to all haemophilia patients in England when supplies allow. Currently the policy is to provide recombinant clotting factors for new haemophilia patients and children under 16.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the health authorities and trusts in England which provide recombinant clotting factors to haemophiliac patients aged over 16 years. [27244]

Yvette Cooper: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Tuberculosis

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of human TB there have been in the United Kingdom since 1995, broken down by year and county. [26753]

Yvette Cooper: The number of reported cases of human tuberculosis in the United Kingdom from 1995 to 2000 is shown in the table.

199519961997199819992000(26)
Northern and Yorkshire624605617642611573
Trent520544484498497456
Eastern267260232268228273
London2,0242,1902,4112,4442,4932,643
South East484457483503495527
South West202201212213209228
West Midlands654655610673712734
North West633581615674693623
Wales180161195172205174
Scotland478509433464497406
Northern Ireland907575616158
Total6,1746,2386,3676,6126,7016,695

(26) Provisional


Herceptin

Mr. Hurst: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when he expects to receive the findings of NICE regarding the use of the drug Herceptin as treatment for breast cancer; and if he will make a statement; [26962]

Yvette Cooper: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and the National Assembly for Wales have asked the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) to appraise Herceptin for the treatment of advanced breast

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cancer, and to issue guidance on its use to the NHS in England and Wales. NICE expects to issue guidance on Herceptin in spring 2002.

Data on the number of health authorities in England and Wales currently authorising the use of Herceptin is not collected. However, as with all newly licensed treatments in advance of a NICE appraisal, the Department's advice is that funding authorities should consider the clinical evidence available for a specific treatment before making any decision.

Explosion (Sandhurst)

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the health of residents in Sandhurst, Gloucestershire, following the explosion at Cleansing Services Group Ltd.; and if he will make a statement. [26656]

Ms Blears [holding answer 11 January 2002]: Gloucestershire health authority has monitored the health of the residents of Sandhurst following the fire at Cleansing Services Group in October 2000.

The authority has found that the physical and/or psychological health of a significant proportion of Sandhurst residents was affected following the fire. The majority of physical symptoms experienced resolved within four weeks although a small number of people reported continuing physical symptoms seven months after the incident. The health authority has established a study to monitor the long-term effects of the incident on the community.


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