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Yvette Cooper [holding answer 8 January 2002]: There are currently approximately 5.7 CT scanners and 3.7 MRI scanners per million head of population in England. By the time that central programmes are complete in 2004 these figures will have risen to approximately 7.1 and 5.2 per million respectively.
|Region||MRI scanners per region (December 2001)||Population||MRI scanners per million population (2001)||MRI scanners per regionpost NOF programmes 2003||MRI scanners per millionpost programmes 2003||MRI scanners per millionpost programmes 2004|
|North and Yorks||23||6,339,044||3.63||26||4.10|||
|South and West||18||4,901,316||3.67||20||4.08|||
(30) This table shows a regional breakdown of MRI installed in the NHS to date and on completion of central equipment programmes
(32) Projected average
|Region||CT scanners per region (December 2001)||Population||CT scanners per million population (2001)||Post programme CT scanners per region2003||CT scanners per millionpost programmes 2003||CT scanners per millionpost programmes 2004|
|Northern and Yorkshire||41||6,339,000||6.47||43||6.78|||
(33) This table shows a regional breakdown of CT installed in the NHS to date and on completion of central equipment programmes
(35) Projected average
For both CT and MRI London appears to have significantly larger numbers of machines per head of population than other regions. However, these figures are based on resident population and do not take account of the patients referred into London from elsewhere.
21 Jan 2002 : Column 675W
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of the extent of re-use of single-use surgical instruments in hospital trusts; what action has been taken against hospital trusts found to be re-using surgical instruments designated for single use only; and which items of surgical equipment in general hospital surgical theatres are normally designated for single use only. 
Jacqui Smith: Designation of medical devices as single use is a matter for the device manufacturer. The Department has advised national health service trusts on a number of occasions that they should not re-use single use devices. Any trust found doing so during the recent comprehensive survey was advised to cease and such cessation was made part of the action plan.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of hospital trusts in England and Wales have an infection control policy in place regarding surgical instrument sterilisation. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 8 January 2002]: The Department does not routinely collect information about the details of national health service trusts' infection control policies. There is, however, a controls assurance standard dealing with infection control. This requires NHS trusts to ensure that written policies, procedures and guidance for the prevention and control of infection are implemented and reflect relevant legislation and published professional guidance, including that on decontamination and the reprocessing of re-usable medical devices.
Ms Blears [holding answer 8 January 2002]: In England, there are 12 air ambulance services provided by 12 independent air ambulance charities. These charities are responsible for the number of aircraft provided.
21 Jan 2002 : Column 676W
Fund raising for air ambulances is organised by independent local charities. On all primary missions, air ambulances are called out directly to emergencies by the local ambulance service. Partnerships between the national health service and a whole range of charitable organisations can bring additional benefits to patients in particular circumstances.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many general practitioners are due to retire in (a) Pendle and (b) the East Lancashire health authority in each year up to 2005; and what steps he is taking to ensure that there are sufficient numbers of younger general practitioners so that no practice closes. 
Mr. Hutton: Figures are not available centrally in the requested format. However, during 200203, 14 general practitioners in the East Lancashire health authority area are expected to retire. A further eight GPs are due to retire during 200304.
21 Jan 2002 : Column 677W
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 9 January 2002]: An inter-country adoption agreement is currently being drawn up between the United Kingdom and Belarus. The wording of the agreement is being finalised. Once this has been done, it will be signed by both countries in due course.
(3) if he will issue guidance to health authorities to ensure that ME is recognised as a clinical condition by GPs and that patients are referred to appropriate specialists. 
Jacqui Smith: We have not had specific discussions with the Royal College of General Practitioners about this issue. However the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME independent Working Group's report which was published on 11 January has been placed on the Chief Medical Officer's website so that it can be accessed by all interested parties including general practitioners. The report and the summary for clinicians should result in improved awareness and understanding of this condition.
ME is mainly managed in primary care. The range of symptoms and other conditions associated with it should be investigated and treated by the most appropriate primary, community or secondary care service. Some patients are seen by neurologists, rheumatologists and psychiatrists.
The Department has commissioned research into the diagnosis and treatment of ME/CFS and details are available on the National Research Register which can be accessed via the Department's research and development websitewww.doh.gov.uk/research. The Department has asked the Medical Research Council to develop a broad strategy for advancing biomedical and health services research on chronic fatigue syndrome.
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