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Cancer Services

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money was allocated for cancer services in (a) 1999–2000, (b) 2000–01 and (c) 2001–02; how much money is allocated for cancer services in 2002–03 in (i) the NHS Cancer Plan and (ii) the NHS Priorities and Planning Framework 2002–03; and if he will make a statement. [29435]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 23 January 2002]: In 1999–2000 and 2000–01, resources for cancer services were included in general allocations to the national health service. The Department does not collect information that enables a complete figure to be calculated on the cost of a particular disease.

The time since the publication of the Cancer Plan (September 2000) has seen the biggest ever increase in funding specifically for cancer services.

In 2001–02 there was an extra £280 million made available for cancer services as promised in the Cancer Plan.

The NHS priorities and planning framework for 2002–03 earmarked a further £76 million to increase cancer spending (in 2002–03) as promised in the Cancer Plan.

NHS Pensions

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to allow general practitioners over the age of 50 years to join the NHS pension scheme. [33494]

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Mr. Hutton: General practitioners are entitled to join or rejoin the national health service pension scheme at any time until age 70, unless they are aged 50 or over and have already received benefits from the NHS scheme.

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) general practitioner practices, (b) health trusts and (c) health authorities paid their pension contributions late in the last period for which figures are available. [33621]

Mr. Hutton: The number of general practitioner practices, national health service trusts and health authorities who have paid pension contributions to the NHS pension scheme for England and Wales after the due date, is set out in the table.

NHS trusts and health authoritiesGeneral practitioner practices
November 2001
Number of participating employers735631
Number paid after the due date5140
Percentage paid after the due date6.96.3
March 2001
Number of participating employers8,5798,606
Number paid after the due date1,3361,642
Percentage paid after the due date15.619.1

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Smallpox Vaccine

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many doses of smallpox vaccine are available in the UK. [33695]

Mr. Hutton: The Department holds a substantial strategic stock of smallpox vaccine that would be rapidly deployed in the event of an outbreak of the disease. Information about the size and location of the stock is not being put into the public domain as this is information that might be useful to terrorists.

Radiographers (Hillingdon)

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many radiographers there were in the Hillingdon Health Authority in each of the last seven years. [34098]

Mr. Hutton: The information requested is in the table.

NHS hospital and community health services (HCHS): Scientific, therapeutic and technical and staff employed in the radiography(29) areas of work within the Hillingdon health authority area as at 30 September each year

Whole-time equivalentsHeadcount

(29) Hillingdon HA does not employ any Therapeutic radiography staff

(30) = five or less and greater than zero


1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10

2. Due to rounding totals may not equal the sum of component parts


Department of Health Non-Medical Workforce Census

Consultancy Vacancies (Cumbria)

Mr. Martlew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the consultancy vacancies at the Cumberland Infirmary and the West Cumbria hospitals, indicating how long each post has been vacant. [34563]

Jacqui Smith: Data relating to consultant vacancies in the former Carlisle Hospitals National Health Service Trust and the West Cumbria Healthcare NHS Trust are shown in the table. Data related to the trusts have been supplied as information relating to individual hospitals is

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not collected centrally. The trusts may not directly correspond to existing trusts due to mergers occurring after the vacancy survey was conducted. The vacancy is collected on the basis that it has been unfilled for three months or more.

NHS vacancy survey, March 2001: Three month vacancy rates and numbers—Consultants

Three month vacancy rates (percentage)Number of three month vacancies
Northern and Yorkshire3.6110
West Cumbria Healthcare NHS Trust0.0(31)
Carlisle Hospitals NHS Trust5.2(31)

(31) Figures based on less than 10 posts


1. Three month vacancies are vacancies as at 31 March 2001 which trusts are actively trying to fill, which had lasted for three months or more (whole-time equivalents)

2. Three month vacancy rates are three month vacancies expressed as a percentage of three month vacancies plus staff in post from the September 2000 medical and dental and non-medical work force censuses (whole-time equivalent)

3. Numbers are rounded to the nearest 10

4. Percentages rounded to one decimal place

5. England totals include staff from special health authorities

6. Totals may not equal sum of component parts due to rounding


NHS Vacancy Survey, March 2001

GP Consultations

Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what reasons underlay the decision to stop the practice of providing GP consultation automatically for those aged 75 years. [34927]

Mr. Hutton: The services that general practitioners are required to provide for all their patients are set out in the Terms of Service, schedule 2 to the National Health Service General Medical Services Regulations 1992. There has been no change to paragraph 16 which states that patients over 75, as well as receiving the full range of general medical services (GMS), are entitled to an annual health check from their GPs. In personal medical services, GPs are required to perform services equivalent in scope to those provided in GMS.

Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when he expects the Commission for Health Improvement to complete its investigation and to report on the backlog of ultrasound tests in Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust; and if he will make a statement; [36037]

Mr. Hutton: The Commission for Health Improvement (CHI) plans to publish its report of its clinical governance review of Barnet and Chase Farm NHS Trust by April 2002. It intends to publish the outcome of its investigation into radiology services at the same trust in the summer.

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CHI conducts routine clinical governance reviews into arrangements by NHS trusts for the purpose of monitoring and improving the quality of care. It may also carry out investigations into the management, provision or quality of health care.

If, when carrying out a clinical governance review, a matter comes to CHI's notice which it considers should be the subject of an investigation, it may decide to carry one out. In the case of its review of Barnet and Chase Farm NHS Trust, CHI has made such a decision in the light of information brought to its attention about a backlog of ultrasound tests.

Benefit Downrating (Hospital Patients)

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what administration costs fall to the NHS in connection with the downrating of benefits during stays in hospital. [35579]

Mr. Hutton: It is the responsibility of individuals in receipt of social security benefits to notify their local Department for Work and Pensions office when they are admitted or discharged from hospital.

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