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Jacqui Smith [holding answer 11 January 2002]: I apologise to the hon. Member for the delay in responding to this question. I refer the hon. Member to the reply that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State gave my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool, North and Fleetwood (Mrs. Humble) on 5 March 2002, Official Report, column 192W.
Department of Health officials have had regular contact with the National Authority for the Protection of Children and Adoption (formally the Romanian Committee for Adoption) concerning individual inter-country adoption applications.
An informal Co-operation Agreement between the Department of Health and the Romanian Committee for Adoptions was signed on 17 February 1998. A copy of the Co-operation Agreement has been placed in the Library for information. The Agreement was drawn up in consultation with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, following the introduction of new adoption legislation in Romania in 1997. The Co-operation Agreement embodies the principles of the Hague Convention for the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption 1993.
25 Mar 2002 : Column 755W
A one-year moratorium on international adoptions from Romania was announced by the Romanian National Authority for Child Protection and Adoption, formerly the Romanian Committee for Adoptions, on 13 July, following a recommendation from the European Parliament. The United Kingdom Government have expressed their support for the one-year moratorium, which will allow the Romanian authorities time to redraft legislation on adoption and get the necessary framework in place to support it.
Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he collated on the relative pay scales of (a) general practitioners and (b) publicly funded hospital consultants in the UK and France. 
Mr. Hutton: I apologise to the hon. Member for the delay in responding to this question. I refer the hon. Member to the reply that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State gave my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool, North and Fleetwood (Mrs. Humble) on 5 March 2002, Official Report, column 192W.
For 200001 the salary scale for NHS consultants ranges from £50,810 to £66,120. The discretionary points scheme extends consultants' salary scale range by eight steps of roughly £2,645 each, up to a maximum of £87,280. Distinction awards may be paid in addition to consultants' basic salaries but subsume the value of any discretionary points previously held.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the Chairman of the West Midlands South Strategic health authority was consulted about the appointment of the Chief Executive of the authority; and if he will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: I apologise to the hon. Member for the delay in responding to this question. I refer the hon. Member to the reply that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State gave my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool, North and Fleetwood (Mrs. Humble) on 5 March 2002, Official Report, column 192W.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on progress with, and the cost to public funds of, the policy of enabling patients whose operations are cancelled on the day they are due to take place either to choose another date within 28 days at the hospital or to have it carried out at another hospital. 
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Secretary of State gave my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool, North and Fleetwood (Mrs. Humble) on 5 March (at column 192W).
The patients' guarantee will come into force in April 2002. When a patient's operation is cancelled by the hospital on the day of surgery for non-clinical reasons, the hospital will have to offer another binding date within a maximum of the next 28 days or fund the patient's treatment at the time and the hospital of the patient's choice. Patients may choose NHS or private treatment and the NHS will fund the operation. Trusts will meet the cost from their existing budgets.
By reducing overall cancelled operations and ensuring that where patients are cancelled, they are offered another binding date within a maximum of the next 28 days, NHS Trusts will not incur any additional costs.
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the waiting time for joint replacements at (a) the Southampton University Hospital NHS Trust, (b) the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Trust and (c) the Poole Hospital NHS Trust. 
Ms Blears: Action has been taken to improve waiting times for Orthopaedics waits in Southampton. This included additional consultants, two new operating theatres and 10 additional beds for orthopaedics. An area wide steering group has also been established.
|Waiting times||Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust||Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Trust|
|0 to 3 months||34||411|
|3 to 6 months||33||542|
|6 months to 1 year||65||281|
|1 to 2 years||387||11|
|Over 2 years||23||1|
Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), Department of Health
1. Waiting time statistics from HES are not the same as the published waiting list statistics. HES provides counts and waiting times for all patients admitted to hospital within a given period whereas the published waiting list statistics count those waiting for treatment at a given point in time and how long they have been on the waiting list.
2. HES calculates the waiting time as the difference between the admission and decision to admit dates. Unlike published waiting list statistics, this is not adjusted for self-referrals or periods of medical/social suspension.
3. The main operation is the first of four operation fields in the HES data set and is usually the most resource intensive procedure performed during the episode.
4. Figures in this table have not yet been adjusted for shortfalls in data.
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Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 25 January, 2002. Official Report, column 1121W, on waiting lists, when the review by the regional offices of the 13 trusts will be made (a) public and (b) available to Ministers. 
Jacqui Smith: The main Government agency for research into the causes of and treatments for disease is the Medical Research Council (MRC), which receives its funding via the Department of Trade and Industry. The MRC spend on autism research for 200001 was approximately £1.2 million. The MRC funds a large amount of work on the causes and treatment of autism, and to increase the knowledge base of issues surrounding autism. As part of this ongoing work the MRC has recently published a review of the current state of knowledge about the causes and epidemiology of autism. The MRC has also recently been given an extra £2.5 million by the Department to do further research into autism.
The Department funds research to support policy and the delivery of effective practice in health and social care. The Department also provides national health service support funding for research commissioned by the research councils and charities that takes place in the NHS. Management of much of the research supported by NHS Research and Development Funding is devolved and expenditure at project level is not held centrally by the Department.
There are a number of research projects on autism for which the Department provides support costs. Details of these individual projects are available on the National Research Register (NRR), which can be accessed via the internet: http://www.doh.gov.uk/research/nrr.htm. The NRR shows that the Department supports a number of research projects on speech therapy and respite care although not specifically relating to autism.
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