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Correspondence

Mr. Cran: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when a substantive reply will be given to Mrs. T. Harper's letter of 28 November 2001, concerning care homes. [36842]

Jacqui Smith: A reply was sent on 21 February.

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Macmillan Cancer Relief

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions his Department has had with Her Majesty's Treasury on the VAT on building costs paid by Macmillan Cancer Relief. [36914]

Mr. Hutton: Responsibility for the Value Added Tax law rests with by right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the

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Exchequer. Officials from the Department have recently accompanied officials from Customs and Excise at an initial meeting with Macmillan.

NHS Estates

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when NHS Estates was disposed of to a partnership company; and if he will place in the Library (a) the partnership agreement, (b) a list of the unwanted NHS Estates disposed of, (c) the partners in the partnership and (d) the names and interests of the partnership company board. [37288]

Mr. Hutton: National Health Service Estates has not yet selected a preferred partner for the disposal of surplus estate.

The transaction is not due to take place until October 2002 at which point further details will be available.

Job No: 713438 Folios: 2050

Residential Homes

Ms Bridget Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what financial assistance he has made available to (a) local authorities and (b) private and voluntary sector residential homes for the elderly to help them bring those homes up to the standards set by the Government. [37215]

Jacqui Smith: The resources provided for personal social services are increasing by, on average 3.4 per cent. per annum in real terms over the next three years. We expect home owners will cover the costs of meeting the standards through the fees they charge. Local authorities are funded to meet these additional costs. Through the agreement between the statutory and independent social care, health care and housing sectors, "Building Capacity and Partnership in Care", issued in October 2001, we made it clear that service commissioners should not set contract prices for care places mechanistically. We expect them to have regard to providers' costs and efficiencies and planned outcomes for service users.

Overseas Visits

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many overseas visits have been undertaken by

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parliamentary private secretaries in his Department at departmental expense in each of the last four years; and at what cost to public funds. [36815]

Ms Blears: None.

Nurses

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many whole-time equivalent nurses are employed in the NHS on non-clinical duties. [37371]

Mr. Hutton: The information requested is not collected centrally.

The 2001 non-medical workforce census includes 5,485 qualified nurses classified as working as managers and within education services. Their roles may include some clinical duties.

There are over 30,000 more nurses working in the National Health Service in 2001 than there were in 1997.

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) EU trained nurses and (b) those trained elsewhere registered with UKCC in the year to 31 March 1997. [37377]

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

Year to 31 March 1997
EC Initial Entrants1,141
Overseas Initial Entrants2,633
Total3,774

Trust Staffing

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many total nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff there were in each trust in each year from 1997 to 2000; and what the whole time equivalent figures were.[37380]

Mr. Hutton: The information requested has been placed in the Library. The full census results, and other data from the NHS hospital and community health services non-medical staff in England: 1991–2001 bulletin can also be consulted on-line at www.doh.gov.uk/public/nhsworkforce.htm.

Headline figures shown in the table for both headcount, and whole time equivalent. Please note that Headcount Practice Nurse figures are estimated for 1998 and 1999, and that headline figures have been rounded to the nearest 10. Due to rounding totals may not equal the sum of component parts. Figures exclude learners and agency staff.

Headcount

19971998199920002001Change 1997–2001 (per cent)Change 2000–01 (per cent)
Nursing, midwifery and health visiting and practice nursing staff total318,860323,460329,640335,950350,4009.94.3
Qualified nursing midwifery and health visiting staff300,470304,560310,140316,750330,5009.94.3
Practice nurses18,39018,89019,50019,20019,8007.73.1


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Whole-time equivalent

19971998199920002001Change 1997–2001 (per cent)Change 2000–01 (per cent)
Nursing, midwifery and health visiting and practice nursing staff total of which256,090257,600261,340266,990277,3348.33.9
Qualified nursing midwifery and health visiting staff (HCHS)246,010247,240250,650256,280266,1718.23.8
Practice nurses10,08010,36010,69010,71011,16310.74.2

Hospices

Mr. Page: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 16 January 2002, Official Report, column 380W, on palliative care, if he will estimate the percentage of the additional 50 million to go to the specialist palliative care costs which will be available to the voluntary sector hospices. [37054]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 25 February 2002]: The level of funding voluntary hospices receive is a matter for local decision based on a strategic view of local palliative care services. We have required all cancer networks to develop costed strategic investment plans for palliative care, which will inform the wider National Health Service planning process through health improvement programmes and service and financial frameworks for 2002–03. The strategic plans they develop will reflect local population needs and are part of the cancer network service delivery plans. This mechanism will help us address the current inequalities in palliative care service provision across both NHS and voluntary providers.

Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to increase hospice funding; and if he will make a statement. [38079]

Yvette Cooper: The NHS Cancer Plan set out our commitment to increase National Health Service investment in specialist palliative care (including hospices) by 50 million by 2004. This investment is intended to help tackle inequalities in access to specialist palliative care and enable the NHS to increase their contribution to the cost hospices incur in providing agreed levels of service. We have commissioned NICE to develop evidence-based guidance on palliative care to assist cancer networks, including voluntary hospices, to identify core services.

Residential Care

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total cost of residential care homes in Lancashire was in (a) 1997, (b) 1998, (c) 1999, (d) 2000, (e) 2001 and (f) today. [37840]

Jacqui Smith: The gross expenditure by Lancashire County Council on residential care home placements

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between 1997–98 and 1999–2000 (the latest year for which data are available) was as follows (figures is millions):

YearLancashire pre 1 April 1998 boundaryLancashire post 1 April 1998 boundaryBlackburn with DarwenBlackpool
1997–9892.5
1998–99101.777.611.212.9
1999–2000110.285.710.713.7

Source: Form RO3.

Job No: 713438 Folios: 2054


Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total cost of maintenance of residential care home buildings in Lancashire was in (a) 1997, (b) 1998, (c) 1999, (d) 2000, (e) 2001 and (f) today. [37839]

Jacqui Smith: Information on the cost of maintaining residential care homes is not held centrally.

Food Poisoning

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases there were of food poisoning in (a) Coventry and (b) the UK in (i) 1998, (ii) 1999, (iii) 2000 and (iv) 2001. [37309]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 27 February 2002]: The table sets out the numbers of notified cases of food poisoning for Coventry and the United Kingdom for 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001. The numbers of notified cases of food poisoning are likely to underestimate considerably the actual incidence of food poisoning.

Notified cases of food poisoning for Coventry and UK 1998–2001

YearCoventryUnited Kingdom
1998464105,060
199943496,866
200032298,076
2001*406*95,807*

*Provisional figures.

Sources:

England and Wales—Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS).

Scotland—the Information and Statistics Division (ISD) and the Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health (SCIEH) divisions of the Common Services Agency of the National Health Service in Scotland.

Northern Ireland—Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety Northern Ireland (DHSSPS).


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Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent research his Department has undertaken into new strains of bacteria that lead to food poisoning. [37619]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 27 February 2002]: The Food Standards Agency has a programme of research the objectives of which are to increase the understanding of how an where pathogenic micro-organisms enter the food chain and to assess how specific food handling and production processes affect the survival, growth and toxin formation of micro-organisms in food. Details of recent research are available in the XFood Standards Agency Research Programme Annual Report 2001" and under XScience" on the Food Standards Agency website (www.food.gov.uk). A copy of the latest report has been placed in the Library.


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