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NHS Professionals

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what measures he is taking to ensure that nurses working through NHS Professionals are paid on time and in full; [30774]

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Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the length of time is within which he expects NHS Professionals to pay its temporary staff; [39683]

Mr. Hutton [holding answers 1 March 2002]: I apologise to the hon. Members for the delay in responding to these questions. I refer them to the reply that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool, North and Fleetwood (Mrs. Humble) on 5 March, 2002, Official Report, column 192W.

HSC 2001/002 and guidance "NHS Professionals—A co-ordinated, NHS-led approach to temporary staffing" sets out NHS Professionals national standards for good employment practice, including provision for weekly payment upon submission of completed and authorised time sheets.

Local, regional and national project boards are in place to monitor the implementation of NHS Professionals to meet the required standards.

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how an NHS employee will become entitled to extra (a) maternity and (b) sickness pay in return for working additional hours for NHS Professionals; and what is the nature of the extra entitlement; [41724]

Mr. Hutton: NHS Professionals "A co-ordinated, NHS-led approach to temporary staffing" published in November 2001 highlights guidance on pay and conditions for NHS Professionals staff including maternity, sickness, pension and annual leave entitlement.

For maternity and sickness leave statutory provisions apply. Staff have the opportunity to join the NHS Pension Scheme and accrue benefits under the terms of that scheme. The number of days annual leave entitlement is as per the Working Time Regulations and the payments are pro rata to hours worked within a reference period, with staff taking the leave within their NHS Professionals

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shifts. Salary and grade levels are agreed at the recruitment stage with the understanding that staff have the opportunity to complete shifts below their substantive grade but not over. There is no provision for overtime payments.

Non-consultant Doctors

Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he is taking to ensure non- consultant career grade doctors can be appointed to NHS specialist posts; and if he will make a statement. [40967]

Mr. Hutton: We have proposed amendments to the European Specialist Medical Qualifications Order 1995. The amendments will increase the number of doctors in non-consultant career grades eligible to apply for consultant posts in the national health service subject, where appropriate, to the successful completion of a period of further training. It is not possible to extend this to all doctors in non-consultant career grades as they will not all have the required qualifications and training.

Nurse Recruitment

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what evaluation was made by his Department of the Sharing Ideas nurse recruitment project. [40883]

Mr. Hutton: The "Sharing Ideas" resource pack was published in March 1998, supported by the "Working Lives" published in March 1999. "Sharing Ideas", "Working Together", "Making a Difference" and "Working Lives" were the building blocks of the current successful returner, recruitment and retention and improving working lives programmes aimed at delivering the NHS Plan.

Speech Therapists

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he is taking to increase the number of speech and language therapists for children. [38438]

Jacqui Smith: Speech and language therapists working in the national health service have a broad range of responsibilities and children are one of the many

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important groups they help. Since 1997, the number of qualified speech and language therapists has increased by 17 per cent. (from 4,870 to 5,680 in 2001). We are also committed in the NHS plan to increasing the number of training places for therapists (including speech and language therapists) and other professional staff by 4,450 by 2004. The number of speech and language therapy training commissions increased by 101 between 1999 and 2000 and 2000 and 2001, 11 in 2001–02 and further increases are planned for 2002–03.

Health Authority Appointments

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) men and (b) women from an ethnic minority background have been appointed to a health authority covering the Greater London Area since May 1997. [40519]

Mr. Hutton: The appointments made of people from an ethnic minority background to health authorities serving the London region since 1 May 1977 and at 5 March 2002 are given in the table.

Appointment made since 1 May 1997 Appointments as at 5 March 2002
Ethnic originFemaleMaleFemaleMale
Asian Bangladeshi1000
Asian Indian5643
Black African2313
Black Caribbean7650
Black other1010
Other6241
White49683129
Sub-total71854636
Total 156 82

General Practitioners

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will give a profile of practising GPs in England and Wales, based on age and sex. [39208]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 28 February 2002]: The information requested is shown in the table.

General medical practitioners in England by age and sex, 2001

TotalUnder 3030–3435–3940–4445–4950–5455–5960–6465 and over
All practitioners31,8351,3253,5785,5906,2545,2214,6803,2441,396546
All UPEs 27,8432702,4664,8445,7775,0124,5643,1541,325431
Male—all practitioners19,7434451,5352,8853,7653,5103,4632,5451,139456
Male- UPEs18,5741141,2222,7403,6733,4513,4192,4941,093368
Female—all practitioners12,0928802,0432,7062,4891,7111,21769925790
Female-UPEs 9,2691561,2442,1042,1041,5611,14566023263

Notes:

All practitioners include Unrestricted Principals and Equivalents, Restricted Principals, Assistants, GP Registrars, Salaried Doctors, PMS Other and GP Retainers.

UPEs (Unrestricted Principals and Equivalents) include GMS Principals, PMS Contracted GPs and PMS Salaried GPs.


Information for Wales is a matter for the Welsh Assembly.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many GPs in England and Wales work part- time; and how many worked part-time in 1997. [39207]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 28 February 2002]: Part-time working among general practitioners (GPs) is growing as the numbers and proportion of women GPs increase. Many of these prefer more flexible working arrangements than are offered by traditional General Medical Services principal posts. One of the strengths of

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the Personal Medical Services arrangements which were first piloted in 1998 is that it readily offers such flexibility. In 1997 4,823 GPs worked part time in England. By 2001 (latest available data) this had increased to 6,252. The equivalent data for Wales are a matter for the Welsh Assembly.


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