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"The Bulletin"

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the leaflet "The Bulletin" issued to general practitioners has cost since its inception. [34140]

Mr. Hutton: Currently the GP Bulletin is circulated to all general practitioners in England. Around 50 per cent. of GPs receive "The Bulletin" electronically, the remainder receive it by hard copy distribution.

14 Feb 2002 : Column 675W

Since its inception the Department has issued seven editions of "The Bulletin", each edition costing around £43,768 (value added tax inclusive). The cost will vary slightly with size.

The Department is conscious of the cost of hard copy distribution. Future editions will be circulated electronically, reducing the cost of distribution approximately to £21,000 (VAT inclusive).

Complaints Procedure

Mr. Pollard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will introduce a right of appeal for a patient against a decision made by an internal NHS inquiry following a complaint against a medical practitioner; and if he will make a statement. [34142]

14 Feb 2002 : Column 676W

Mr. Hutton: The national health service complaints procedure already contains an independent review element if a complainant is not happy with the initial response to their complaint at local resolution. A complainant also has the option of complaining to the health service ombudsman if they are not happy with the response of the NHS to their complaint.

District Nurses

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many district nurses there are per head of population in each health authority in the north-west. [34075]

Ms Blears [holding answer 7 February 2002]: The information requested is shown in the table.

NHS hospital and community health services (HCHS): District nurses employed within health authority areas within the north-west regional office area and per 100,000 population as at 30 September 2001

Whole-time equivalentsPer 100,000 populationHeadcountPer 100,000 population
North-west total1,610201,96030
QC1 South Lancashire HA80209030
QC2 Liverpool HA1203015030
QC3 Manchester HA1203014030
QC4 Morecambe Bay HA70208030
QC5 St. Helen's and Knowsley HA50105010
QC6 Salford and Trafford HA1002012030
QC7 Sefton HA50207020
QC8 Stockport HA1104015050
QC9 West Pennine HA1102013030
QCT Bury and Rochdale HA1103014030
QCV North Cheshire HA1304015050
QCW South Cheshire HA1302018030
QCX East Lancashire HA1503019040
QCY North West Lancashire HA902010020
QDA Wigan and Bolton HA1402016030
QDC Wirral HA50206020


1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.

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

3. Figures exclude learners and agency staff.


Department of Health Non-Medical Workforce Census

Office for National Statistics (ONS)

Accident and Emergency Units

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on trends in waiting times in accident and emergency units since 1997. [34861]

Ms Blears: We are committed to reducing waiting times in accident and emergency departments. The NHS Plan set the target to reduce the maximum wait in accident and emergency from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge to four hours by 2004.

Over 12-hour trolley waits have been reduced by over 50 per cent. since 1999 and over 24-hour waits have been virtually eliminated. The NHS is on track to meet the four-hour target, currently 77 per cent. of all accident and emergency attenders spend four hours or less in accident and emergency.

Negligence Claims

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been allocated to meet medical negligence claims in 2002–03. [35239]

Ms Blears: The budget allocated for clinical negligence for 2002–03 is £403.276 million.

This can be found in the Health Authorities Revenue Resource Limits Exposition book, which was published in December 2001, copies of which are available in the Library.

Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford

Mr. Hurst: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were waiting for a first appointment with a consultant at Broomfield hospital, Chelmsford, Essex in June (a) 1999, (b) 2000 and (c) 2001. [34851]

Mr. Hutton: The information requested for numbers of patients waiting 13 weeks or more for a first appointment for Mid Essex Hospital Services national health service trust is shown in the table.

Separate figures for Broomfield hospital are unavailable.

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Total number of patients waiting more than 13 weeks for an
out-patients appointment

June 19993,284
June 20003,212
June 20012,146

Source: QM08 quarterly return waiting times collection.

Patient Deaths (Hospital Transfers)

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients died (a) in transfer between hospitals and (b) in NHS transport to hospital in the last year for which information is available, broken down by (i) the health authority responsible for the transport involved, (ii) the length of journey by distance, (iii) the condition for which treatment was to be provided and (iv) the type of transport involved. [34764]

Ms Blears [holding answer 8 February 2002]: The information requested is not collected centrally.

NHS Direct Nurse Advisers

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) nature and (b) length is of the specialist training for NHS Direct nurse advisers on (i) self-harm and (ii) suicide. [35497]

Ms Blears: [holding answer 12 February 2002]: All NHS direct nurse advisers are qualified nurses with several years of front-line experience. They receive a supplementary three-day intensive programme of training to develop their competence in the identification of mental health problems over the telephone which includes assessment of risk of self-harm or suicide. In addition, they are given on-site supervision by a senior mental health nurse; they utilise an interactive CD Rom based training package designed to enhance their general knowledge and understanding of mental health issues, and they attend regular refresher courses.

Community Hospitals (Kent)

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what proportion of outpatients from the Kent and Canterbury hospital are being treated in community hospitals; [35400]

Ms Blears [holding answer 12 February 2002]: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Eastbourne District General Hospital

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many operations were cancelled at the Eastbourne District General Hospital in each of the last 60 months for which figures are available. [36243]

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Ms Blears: Data on cancelled operations were not collected by National Health Service Trust prior to this year (2001–02). The information is available only for quarters and the figures for Eastbourne Hospitals NHS Trust are shown in the table.

Last minute cancelled operations for non clinical reasons at Eastbourne Hospitals NHS Trusts—2001–02 Quarter 1 and 2

QuarterLast minute cancellations for non clinical reasons


D of H forms—QMNG

Data on cancelled operations were previously provided at health authority level. That information is available in the Library.

Commission for Health Improvement

Andy Burnham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the 2000–01 annual report of the Commission for Health Improvement will be published. [37197]

Ms Hutton: The combined annual report and accounts "Holding a mirror up to ourselves" is being published today and copies have been placed in the Library.


Mr. Barnes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for North-East Derbyshire which was acknowledged on 7 December, reference P0000821. [36040]

Ms Blears: A reply was sent to my hon. Friend on 13 February.

Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when he will reply to the letter to him dated 3 October from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. J Titterington; [14369]

Ms Blears: A reply was sent to my right hon. Friend's letter of 3 October regarding his constituent Mr. Titterington on 19 November. I apologise for the delay in replying to my right hon. Friend's letter. The initial draft reply did require amendments and there was also a need to liaise with the Home Office due to the subject area.

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