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Police Station Cells

Mr. Hurst: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cells there were in police stations in England and Wales in 1999. [34852R]

Mr. Denham: Information on the number of cells in police stations is not held centrally.


Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many reported offences involving the use of (a) firearms and (b) hand guns there were in each of the last six years for which figures are available; [36115]

Mr. Denham: The requested details for homicides and injuries caused by use of firearms, injuries caused by the use of handguns, and offences involving handguns and firearms in general in England and Wales are given in tables 3.1, 3.3 and 3.7 of "Criminal Statistics England and Wales 2000", which was published in December 2001 and is available in the Library. The numbers of homicides in which a handgun was used are as follows:

Number of homicides using a handgun in England and Wales


(33) Calendar years

(34) Years ending March



Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of Quat Phen in combating MRSA. [8723]

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Yvette Cooper: We are not aware of Quat Phen being used within installed ventilation systems used in NHS hospitals with respect to combating MRSA.

However antiseptics and antibiotics are used to treat people who are carriers of MRSA, are colonised with MRSA, or have local or systemic MRSA infections. The treatment used depends on the condition to be treated, and on the strain of MRSA.

Organ Donation

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent initiatives his Department has implemented to encourage people to become organ donors. [23972]

Jacqui Smith: There have been numerous wide- ranging initiatives in England to raise the public's awareness of the shortage of organs for transplantation. The Department runs a public information campaign with a current annual budget of £900,000. A public information leaflet incorporating the organ donor card is widely distributed, and is also available through the Organ Donor Literature line. The campaign is further enhanced by securing free TV airtime for short public information films, a campaign website and partnerships and arrangements with the DVLA, the Passport Agency, rotarian clubs, Boots the Chemist and some banks who have chosen organ donation as a cause to support.

The Department runs a special campaign to raise awareness among members of the Asian Community. This includes short TV films featuring well known Asian personalities and leaflets in various languages. Awareness is also raised by maintaining a presence at cultural and religious events, and by facilitation of debate on this issue at forums set up within Asian communities. Phase three of this campaign was launched in September this year.

A similar campaign targeting the African and African-Caribbean communities is planned for launch in spring 2002. The campaign will feature a public information leaflet, targeting advertising and public relations.

The Department funds the work of the voluntary organisations through the Section 64 Grant Scheme, including a major initiative to raise awareness by the National Kidney Research Fund. We are also helping to promote the Transplant Partnership's 2001 Christmas initiative "sign one more card this Christmas" by using the specially designed franking stamp and encouraging other organisations to do the same.

Nursing Care

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health under which circumstances the NHS might pay a retainer for the nursing costs to a nursing home during a time a person is in hospital. [26580]

Jacqui Smith: The circumstances in which the National Health Service will pay a retainer should be set out in the contract which the NHS agrees with the nursing home.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many health authorities and primary care trusts have completed their determinations of the banding of nursing care for those who were resident in nursing homes at 1 October 2001 and were paying for their own fees; for

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those health authorities and primary care trusts which have not yet completed the determinations, how many each authority has outstanding; how many health authorities and primary care trusts have not yet begun their determinations; if the Government plan to pay interest to those people whose determinations of the banding of nursing care have not been completed by the end of December 2001; and for each health authority and primary care trust that has completed the determinations, what percentage of residents has been placed in (a) the lowest band, (b) the middle band, (c) the highest band, (d) a higher level based on individual need and (e) the percentage found to require fully funded NHS care. [26579]

Jacqui Smith: Preliminary information available from regions of the position at the end of December, indicates that around 80 per cent. of the nursing homes with residents eligible for National Health Service funded nursing care had had their residents' needs for care determined by a registered nurse. The majority of the remaining assessments were completed by the end of January.

Around 99 per cent. of people in nursing homes whose needs have been determined have been found to be eligible. Of those whose needs have been determined, around 19 per cent. have been allocated to the low band; 58 per cent. to the middle band; and 22 per cent. to the high band. The information collected did not include those found to require fully funded NHS care, but the Department is aware that this has occurred in a significant number of cases.

The NHS is funding care from a registered nurse, which is being provided by the nursing home and payments are made to the home for that care from October 2001.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether Welsh residents who move to a nursing home in England will receive NHS funding under (a) the Welsh or (b) the English scheme; [26582]

Jacqui Smith: Residents will receive funding for their nursing care from the authority that is responsible for their health care. In general, this means that residents will receive funding under the scheme of the country in which the nursing home is situated.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures the Government are taking to ensure that additional administration costs incurred by a home as a result of the implementation of free nursing care are not passed on to the resident. [26581]

Jacqui Smith: The national health service is working at a local level to minimise the administrative burdens on both the NHS and nursing homes. Local agreements should ensure that administration costs are not passed on as a separate charge to individuals.

In-patients (Hertfordshire)

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the percentage was of patients waiting for in-patient treatment in the Hertfordshire Health Authority on (a) 1 January 2001 and (b) 1 January 2002. [25989]

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Mr. Hutton: Hertfordshire Health Authority in-patients as a percentage of total waiting for treatment on 1 January 2001 is 49.3 per cent. Figures for 2002 are not yet available.

These data are nationally published data taken from regional offices data systems.

Migraine Treatment

Jane Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent guidance he has issued on treatment available to migraine and chronic headache sufferers. [26081]

Jacqui Smith: We have issued no recent guidance on treatment for either migraine or chronic headache sufferers.

Hearing Aids

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) digital and (b) analogue hearing aids are fitted in the NHS. [32092]

Jacqui Smith: Figures on total numbers of hearing aids purchased by the national health service are not collected centrally. However, figures are collected in respect of the modernising hearing aid services project. To the end of January 2002, 22,346 digital and 1,243 analogue aids were fitted to adults by the 20 hospitals involved in the project.

Miss Widdecombe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which NHS trusts will provide digital hearing aids following the Government announcement on 24 December 2001; and if he will make a statement. [36388]

Jacqui Smith: We have invited expressions of interest by 1 March 2002 from all health communities not yet involved in the modernising hearing aid services project. We will make decisions shortly about which sites will be included.

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