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Strategic Health Authorities

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance has been issued concerning public consultation over the proposed locations of the headquarters of the new strategic health authorities; and if he will make a statement. [36750]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 4 March 2002]: The location of new health authority headquarters is regarded as a matter for the chairman (designate) and chief executive (designate) of those authorities to determine. As part of the consultation on health authority boundaries held last autumn, the Department advised that option appraisals should be conducted for appropriate national health service and Government Office for the regions accommodation available within the area. Decisions will have been made in the light of these appraisals.

Community Health Councils

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 8 February 2002, Official Report, column 1238W, on community health councils, if

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he will list the CHCs in England which submitted representations supporting their abolition. [36822]

Ms Blears [holding answer 4 March 2002]: The listening exercise did not ask stakeholders whether community health councils should be abolished. The information requested is not available centrally.

Free Nursing Care

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many people who were receiving nursing care on 1 October 2001 are waiting to be assessed for free nursing care; [38351]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 5 March 2002]: The likely number of those self funders eligible for national health service funded nursing care at any one time is based on the results of a survey carried out in June 2001. The total number of self funders identified through the survey was 42,700.

At 31 December 2001 around 80 per cent. of determinations had been competed. Around 95 per cent. had been completed by the end of February. These figures would include those in a home on 1 October 2001, when NHS funded care was introduced, as well as those who had entered a home after that date.

Determinations for NHS funded nursing care were only introduced with effect from 1 October 2001.

Heart Services

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many purchasing health authorities regularly purchase heart services from (a) private providers and (b) the King Edward VII Hospital, Midhurst. [40691]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 5 March 2002]: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The Department has recently conducted a survey of national health service bodies on the levels of activity being commissioned in the independent sector and the accompanying cost. Findings from the survey will be published shortly. The published results are likely to include details on the number of NHS organisations within the returning sample that commissioned specific heart procedures during the survey period. It is not our intention to publish information in respect of individual hospitals, since it was not collected for that purpose.

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the capacity is for tertiary heart surgery in the south-east region; and what the average waiting times were at each centre in the last 12 month period. [40696]

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Ms Blears [holding answer 5 March 2002]:Our aim is that in time the national health service should be able to offer all heart patients fair access to the surgical and other specialist services they need in a local unit and within an acceptable time. This is why we have developed a national strategy to expand the capacity to perform heart operations. The capital investment programme means that we are investing £230 million in 12 schemes to provide new and bigger heart surgery facilities.

Currently, cardiac surgery is carried out in Brighton, Southampton and Oxford. Capacity is flexible as it depends on a number of factors, including availability of staff, Intensive Treatment Unit beds and hours of theatre usage. Approximately half of the tertiary cardiac procedures for South-east residents are carried out in London centres.

Average waiting times, by month, for south-east centres over the last 12 months are shown in the table.

Datayear 2000–01—Mean waiting time (days)—Revascualisations by operation type

CABGRGU Brighton health care NHS Trust(25)RHM Southampton University hospitalRTH Oxford Radcliffe hospital NHS
Month of admission

(25) Activity was building up from April 2000



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Television Sets

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) analogue and (b) integrated digital television sets his Department has purchased in each of the last 24 months; and if he will make a statement. [38171]

Ms Blears: The Department does not record centrally or separately the numbers of televisions, analogue or integrated digital, that it purchases for use within the Department. Specific guidance on the purchase of televisions is not published or disseminated to officials, but buyers are required to follow normal departmental procurement guidance and procedures whenever purchasing such goods.


Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many contracts the Department has with Capita; and how much they are worth. [38374]

Ms Blears: Since April 2001, five separate business areas within the Department have commissioned work from Capita Business Services and Capita SHG Resourcing, to a total value of £271,700.