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Mixed-sex Wards

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what criteria he will decide when he has met his pledge to end the existence of mixed-sex wards. [40197]

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Ms Blears: Guidance on maintaining privacy and dignity was first issued to the service in 1997 and since then trusts have been working towards clear targets to eliminate mixed sex accommodation in 95 per cent. of NHS trusts by December 2002.

There are three targets that trusts are working towards. These are:


NHS Activity Levels

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the activity levels were in the quarter to (a) December 2000 and (b) December 2001 for (i) new attendances at accident and emergency departments, (ii) first out-patient attendances, (iii) general and acute elective hospital spells and (iv) general and acute non-elective spells. [39958]

Mr. Hutton: The activity levels for quarter to (a) December 2000 and (b) December 2001 for (i) new attendances at accident and emergency departments, (ii) first out-patient attendances, (iii) general and acute elective hospital spells and (iv) general and acute non-elective spells are provided in the table.

Attendance and hospital spells in England
Thousand

October to December
20002001
Accident and emergency first attendances3,1813,229
General and acute out-patient first attendances2,8442,902
Hospital spells
General and acute:
Total2,3422,346
Elective1,3411,338
Non elective1,0001,007

All estimates are derived from the Department quarterly management information system. Figures for 2000–01 have been adjusted to take account of definitional changes between 2000–01 and 2001–02 to allow direct comparison with 2001–02 figures.

The estimates relate to activity commissioned using national health service funds by health authorities in England. This includes activity in private hospitals and NHS hospitals outside England, but excludes private patients and patients from outside England treated in English NHS Hospitals. Some activity for the latter may be included through host commissioner services (eg accident and emergency and genito urinary medicine).

Management data have been used rather than Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data because HES data are not yet available for December 2001–02.

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Children Act

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps have been taken to review the regulations and guidance associated with the Children Act 1989 following the Utting report. [39957]

Jacqui Smith: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on 25 February 2002, Official Report, at column 973W.

NHS Mortuaries

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the combined capacity of designated, permanent mortuaries in the national health service was in each of the past five years. [39956]

Ms Blears: The information requested is not available centrally.

Health Inequalities

Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received from organisations in east London on her Department's cross-cutting review on health inequalities. [39965]

Yvette Cooper: Representations on a range of issues were received from both local and national organisations based in east London in response to the Department's document "Tackling Health Inequalities: Consultation on a Plan for Delivery", including Barts and London NHS Trust, East London and City HA, and Cancer Black Care. These representations along with feedback from regional workshops, including one in London, are informing the cross-cutting Spending Review on health inequalities.

Bioterrorism

Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he has taken to update advice to NHS personnel on how to identify the effects of (a) anthrax, (b) smallpox and (c) sarin; and if he will make a statement. [40278]

Yvette Cooper: The Department issued guidance on 17 October 2001 to all health authorities and regional directors of public health on the procedures to be followed in the event of a deliberate release of chemicals such as sarin and of biological agents such as anthrax and smallpox. At the same time, guidance for medical and laboratory staff was issued by the public health laboratory service on 17 October 2001 and is subject to continuous updating e.g. clinical evaluation and management of persons with possible inhalation anthrax was last updated on 2 January 2002.

NHS Security

Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent steps he has taken to improve security in (a) hospitals, (b) clinics and (c) GP surgeries; and if he will make a statement. [40276]

Mr. Hutton: Security is the responsibility of the individual national health service trust.

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All hospital, clinic and GP premises have different site and building constraints depending on location. The problems for inner city trusts are significantly different from those in rural areas.

Security is an important issue in the health service as it contributes to a safe working environment for staff, patients and visitors.

Guidance on security is provided for designers and users through Health Building Notes, the NHS Security Manual and individual specialist documents including Effective Management of Security in A&E Departments, and Safe and Sound (for maternity units). The revised NHS Security Manual will be published in May 2002.

Security is achieved through the use of security staff (either in-house or private contractors) and supported by various electronic security systems, including CCTV, personal attack alarm systems and door entry control.

Care Homes

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many private sector residential care homes for the elderly there were in 2000; and what forecast he has made of the number from April 2002. [39949]

Jacqui Smith: The table shows the number of private residential care homes in 2000 and 2001, at 31 March of each year. Forecasts of the future number of homes are not available.

Number(8) of private residential care homes for older people(9) in England as at 31 March

YearNumber
200012,050
200111,480

(8) Rounded numbers

(9) Includes homes for older people who are mentally infirm.

Source:

Department of Health's annual returns.


Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many residential care homes closed in (a) Eastbourne and (b) East Sussex in each of the last five years. [40361]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested is not centrally available.

GP Appointments

Mr. Truswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many GP practices have achieved the NHS Plan target for patients to see their GP within 24 hours in (a) Leeds LS28, (b) Pudsey constituency, (c) each of the Leeds primary care groups, (d) West Yorkshire and (e) the UK. [39964]

Mr. Hutton: Patient surveys identify ready access to primary care as a key issue and the NHS Plan sets a target that by 2004 all patients will be able to see a primary care professional within 24 hours or a GP within 48 hours if they choose to do so. From September 2001 we have been using quarterly telephone surveys of GP practices to monitor progress towards delivery of this target. The results of these surveys indicate that on a national basis the interim milestone for March 2002 of 60 per cent. compliance will be achieved. Detailed and reliable data

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are not available in all the formats requested, but surveys to date do also suggest that the milestone will be achieved within the Leeds health area.

Further progress towards the target will be supported in 2002–03 by an earmarked increase of £83.5 million in the PCT Primary Care Access Fund to £168 million and by expanding the capacity of the National Primary Care Development Team.

Vulnerable Adults (Guidance)

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many local authorities (a) have fully compliant policies and procedures, (b) have draft policies and procedures and (c) are not compliant with the protection of vulnerable adults guidance, "No Secrets", LAC(2000)7; [39304]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 4 March 2002]: The guidance "No Secrets" reinforces existing good practice with respect to adult protection. Information on the local costs of implementation is not held centrally.

72 local councils submitted their local multi-agency codes of practice to the Department of Health by the 31 October 2001 deadline. A further 48 codes of practice have been received since, and the remainder are being actively pursued. These codes of practice are being analysed for their content and compliance with "No Secrets". The analysis will also determine the number of codes of practice that were fully implemented by 31 October 2001.

The Department has no immediate plans for a formal review of the implementation of the "No Secrets" guidance but the matter will be considered when the findings of the analysis of local codes of practice are available.

The Department publicised the "No Secrets" guidance through a series of six, one-day workshops in Leeds and London, from November 2000 through to March 2001. The workshops encouraged representatives from all statutory agencies to discuss issues such as reporting and referral systems for inter-agency working. A number of local councils have publicised the launch of their multi-agency codes of practice. "No Secrets" requires

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local councils to develop local reporting and referral systems for inter-agency working in their codes of practice.


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