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MRI Scanners

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) new and (b) replacement MRI scanners have been provided through exclusively central funding since January 2000. [27245]

Yvette Cooper: Since January 2000, 34 additional MRI scanners, 18 replacement MRI scanners and upgrades to two existing MRI scanners have been allocated from central funding. Of these, 13 additional and 10 replacement MRI scanners had been delivered by 14 January 2002.

A further 50 additional MRI scanners will be provided from central funding by 2004, as outlined in the NHS plan and NHS cancer plan.

Linear Accelerators

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) new and (b) replacement linear accelerators have been provided through exclusively central funding since January 2000. [27246]

Yvette Cooper: Since January 2000, 15 additional linear accelerators and 42 replacement linear accelerators have been allocated from central funding. Of these, eight additional and 22 replacement linear accelerators had been delivered by 14 January 2002.

A further 25 additional and 20 replacement linear accelerators will be provided from central funding by 2004, as outlined in the NHS Plan and NHS Cancer Plan.

CT Scanners

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) new and (b) replacement CT scanners have been provided through central funding since January 2000. [27247]

Yvette Cooper: Since January 2000, 21 additional CT scanners and 113 replacement CT scanners have been allocated from central funding. Of these, two additional and 60 replacement CT scanners had been delivered by 14 January 2002.

A further 50 additional CT scanners will be provided from central funding by 2004, as outlined in the NHS Plan and NHS Cancer Plan.

Tuberculosis

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of TB were reported between 1980 and 2000 in the UK. [27594]

Yvette Cooper: The number of reported tuberculosis cases in the United Kingdom from 1980 to 2000 are shown in the table.

TB notifications
YearEngland & WalesScotlandN. IrelandTotal UK
19809,1421,13820510,485
19818,1289721909,290
19827,4069021408,448
19836,8008291637,792
19846,1417411617,043
19855,857707836,647
19865,9927561086,856
19875,085560995,744
19885,161534865,781
19895,432533946,059
19905,2045631315,898
19915,436546966,078
19925,798559846,441
19935,920554906,564
19945,590546936,229
19955,606478906,174
19965,654509756,238
19975,859433756,367
19986,087464616,612
19996,143497616,701
2000(31)6,231(31)406586,695

(31) provisional


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Healthy Living Centre Initiative

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many applications for funding from the healthy living centre initiative have been received from projects based in Buckinghamshire; and what the outcome was in each case. [27782]

Ms Blears: Six applications have been received. Five have been rejected and one is still under consideration.

Two Shires Ambulance NHS Trust

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff were employed by Two Shires Ambulance NHS trust in each year since 1997; and what the average sickness absence rate for staff was (a) in the UK and (b) in Two Shires Ambulance NHS trust in each year. [27784]

Ms Blears: The total number of (whole-time equivalent) staff employed at the Two Shires Ambulance national health service trust for the years 1997–2000 are as follows:

YearNumber
1997450
1998510
1999550
2000580

The collection of NHS trust sickness absence rates commenced in 1998 and the Two Shires Ambulance trust returned their first in 1999. The results of the sickness absence survey for 2000 are not yet finalised and the collection for 2001 has not yet taken place.

In 1999 the sickness absence rate for the Two Shires Ambulance NHS trust was 5.5 per cent.

Cancer Survival Rates

Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the Government are taking to bring survival rates of British cancer patients into line with other European countries. [27826]

Yvette Cooper: The NHS Cancer Plan, which was published in September 2000, sets out a programme of action to tackle the disease. The strategy will speed up access to high quality services across the country to bring cancer services in line with the rest of Europe.

23 Jan 2002 : Column 962W

Theft and Fraud

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his estimate is of the cost of theft and fraud to (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) non- departmental public bodies in each of the last four years. [27979]

Mr. Hutton: The figures requested are in the table.

Year£
(a) Department
1997–9861,415.25
1998–9966,897.29
1999–200048,148.81
2000–0156,831.99
(b) Agencies
1997–981,461
1998–99Nil
1999–20003,493
2000–01Nil
(c) Non-departmental public bodies
1997–9810,458
1998–996,903
1999–20002,739
2000–016,582

The Department now has a Directorate of Counter Fraud Services staffed by professionally trained and accredited counter fraud specialists.

Doctors (Qualification Checks)

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what checks are carried out by NHS trusts to verify the qualifications of doctors before they are offered employment; and if he will make a statement. [28040]

Mr. Hutton: All national health service employers have a duty to check that the doctors they employ are suitably qualified and experienced. This includes checks on General Medical Council registration, qualifications (original certificates), criminal records and health. Employers also take up personal and professional references for potential employees.

In the case of general practitioners, the health authority will make such checks before allowing principals and non-principal general practitioners to be entered on their lists of approved practitioners.

Where doctors are employed in a locum capacity employers will either make the checks themselves or require the supplying agency to do so. This principle is enshrined in the national contract for the supply of locum doctors and the locum code of practice.

Primary Care Collaboratives

Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to extend the primary care collaborative which was launched in 2000 by the National Primary Care Development Team; and if he will make a statement. [28223]

Mr. Hutton: The National Primary Care Development Team of the Modernisation Agency has demonstrated that it is possible to balance demand with capacity to ensure patients are looked after by the clinician best placed to

23 Jan 2002 : Column 963W

meet their needs and that staff are less likely to feel overwhelmed by demand. They are actively disseminating the "advanced access" model developed by the collaborative across the country, which covers nearly 1,000 practices who provide care for seven million patients.

In December 2001, we announced the introduction of 11 new national primary care development centres across England. These new centres are being developed to roll out the benefits of the collaborative to every primary care organisation across the country.

We have provided an earmarked increase of £83.5 million to the primary care trust primary care access fund in 2002–03 to help primary care trusts work with their practices to improve primary care access.

Hampshire Ambulance Service

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what is (a) Hampshire Ambulance NHS trust's target time for responding to emergency calls in (i) Ringwood, (ii) Fordingbridge and (iii) the Avon Valley and (b) the actual time taken in the last two years in good road conditions by the emergency ambulance provided at Totton; and if he will make a statement; [28222]

Ms Blears: Our target response times require that ambulance services prioritise emergency calls. Immediate life threatening calls are classified as category A, and other emergency calls are classified as category B/C. Ambulance services are required to respond to 75 per cent. of category A calls within eight minutes and 95 per cent. of category B/C calls within 19 minutes.

Information relating to response times in the geographical areas mentioned is not collected separately. The information available about responses to emergency calls is available only at ambulance trust level. Information about the number of emergency calls and the proportion of emergency calls resulting in an ambulance arriving at the scene of the reported incident within the Government's target response time for Hampshire Ambulance national health service trust and all other ambulance trusts in England are contained in the Department of Health Statistical Bulletin "Ambulance Services, England 2000–01". A copy is in the Library and available on the Department's website at www.doh.gov.uk/ public/sb0115.htm.


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