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(3) how many ambulance crew members were assaulted while on duty in each of the last 10 years. 
Ms Blears: Information on level of sickness absence resulting from violence at work, by individual staff group, is not collected centrally, but may be held at a local level by individual national health service employers. Data on violent incidents and sickness absence involving all staff in the NHS were not collected on a national basis prior to 1998.
The Department conducted a survey of NHS trusts in England in 199899. The survey found that, on average, seven violent incidents were recorded each month per 1,000 staff. This is equivalent to approximately 65,000 violent incidents against NHS trust staff each year. Details of the survey can be found in Health Service Circular 1999/229: "Managing Violence, Accidents and Sickness Absence in the NHS", a copy of which is in the Library.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 8 January 2002, Official Report, column 629W, on the NHS Reform Bill, how he defines the term key local stakeholder. 
Mr. Hutton: Stakeholders are identified locally but would be expected to include frontline health community organisations and their local partners, patients and the public. Key stakeholders are likely to include:
Primary care trusts;
Strategic health authorities;
Professional and staff representatives; and
Others deemed appropriate in the local context.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the work on the National Alcohol Strategy commenced; at what stage the work is at present; when it is expected to be published; and if he will make a statement. 
12 Feb 2002 : Column 329W
Ms Blears: The White Paper "Our Healthier Nation" (1999) set out that the Government, local organisations, the voluntary sector and the drinks industry would need to take action to successfully tackle alcohol misuse.
review progress to date;
outline a programme for the future.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people have been appointed by him to official bodies and NDPBs coming under the aegis of his Department in the last three years; and who they were. 
Ms Blears: Information on all appointments made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to the Department's public bodies at 1 April 2001 is included in the Department of Health Public Appointments annual report 2001, copies of which were sent to all hon. Members on 26 January. Copies are also available in the Library. Appointments made to national health service trusts, health authorities and primary care trusts have since 1 April 2001 been the responsibility of the NHS Appointments Commission. Terms of office of those appointed to public bodies vary, but most are for four years.
Mr. Wood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the remit is of the Dental Practice Board; what the objectives of the Dental Practice Board are; who sets the objectives; how the performance of the Dental Practice Board will be monitored; and what the budget of the board is. 
Ms Blears: The Dental Practice Board is a statutory NHS body with responsibilities for vetting treatment claims from, and paying remuneration to, dentists providing general dental services and certain personal dental services under the NHS.
Its objectives are mainly to ensure that payment claims are accurately processed, that dental treatments and payments are monitored for probity and quality, including independent professional scrutiny by dentists employed within its Dental Reference Service, and to provide appropriate information on dental payments and the provision of services. The Secretary of State for Health and the National Assembly for Wales set the objectives of the Dental Practice Board.
12 Feb 2002 : Column 330W
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the activity levels were in the quarter to (a) September 2000 and (b) September 2001 for (i) new attendances at accident and emergency departments, (ii) first out-patient attendances, (iii) general and acute elective hospital spells and (iv) general and acute non-elective spells. 
Mr. Hutton: The activity levels for quarter to (a) September 2000 and (b) September 2001 for (i) new attendances at accident and emergency departments, (ii) first outpatient attendances, (iii) general and acute elective hospital spells and (iv) general and acute non- elective spells are outlined in the table.
|Accident and emergency first attendances||3,321||3,341|
|General and acute out-patient first attendances||2,763||2,795|
|Hospital spellsgeneral and acute||2,282||2,293|
(51) July to September
Jacqui Smith: Funding for the Diabetes National Service Framework is being considered as part of our spending review, together with other priorities. We shall set milestones in the delivery strategy for the framework, to be published this summer, based upon the resources that will be available.
Ms Blears: We are considering whether to establish a new advisory committee under the Medicines Act 1968 or whether to ask an existing committee, such as the Committee on Safety of Medicines, to make recommendations to Ministers on which prescription only medicines may be prescribed by new groups of prescribers. We are seeking the advice of the Medicines Commission and the Committee on Safety of Medicines.
12 Feb 2002 : Column 331W
Dr. Naysmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when he expects to announce his timetable for commencing section 63, on the extension of prescribing rights, of the Health and Social Care Act 2001; 
Ms Blears: As a first step towards implementing the provisions of section 63 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001, the Department and the Medicines Control Agency plan to undertake a joint public consultation in the spring on proposals to introduce supplementary prescribing for nurses and pharmacists. We will consider extending prescribing responsibilities to other health professions in the light of developments on these proposals.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has received from (a) the Laing and Buisson surgery and (b) other sources on the number of (i) care home closures and (ii) care home bed losses on the Isle of Wight in each year since 1997. 
|Residential care homes||Residential care home beds||Nursing homes||Nursing home beds|
Department of Health statistics
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