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Air Pollution

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has collated on the threat to human health from emissions of (a) benzene and (b) 1,3 butadiene, (c) particulates (i) PM10 and (ii) PM2.5, (d) carbon monoxide, (e) sulphur dioxide and (f) oxides of nitrogen from road transport; and if he will make a statement. [45947]

Yvette Cooper: The Department of Health's Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP) and its predecessor the Advisory Group on the Medical Aspects of Air Pollution has collated information and written subsequent reports on:


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These reports cover the effects of health of each of the substances and further details about each report can be found on DEFRA's website at http://www.defra.gov.uk/ environment/airquality/index.htm.

These reports provide support for the objectives in The Air Quality Strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These objectives aim to reduce levels of these pollutants from all sources, including road transport.

Health Services (Barnet)

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the demands on health services in (a) Barnet and (b) Hendon of (i) the growth in population in the last 10 years and (ii) the predicted growth in population over the next 15 years; and if he will make a statement. [45823]

Mr. Hutton: It is anticipated that the overall population of Barnet will grow over the next 15 years by around 12 per cent. (ONS). Barnet Primary Care Trust is currently finalising a health improvement and modernisation plan which sets out principal areas for action over the coming years to improve the health and well being of the people of Barnet. This takes account of the needs of the local population (including population size, deprivation and other determinants of health), as well as national requirements. As well as taking forward plans for NHS modernisation, key priority area for action have identified as:


Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the number of people in (a) Barnet and (b) Hendon who are not registered with a GP; and if he will make a statement. [45826]

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

Edgware Hospital

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on progress towards the new hospital development at Edgware. [45821]

Mr. Hutton: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave on 26 March 2002, Official Report, column 699.

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Nurse Training

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many nurse training organisations were operating the new model of nurse education and training outlined in the NHS Plan by Q3 2001–02. [46283]

Mr. Hutton: A total of 54 higher education institutions had been approved by the former English National Board for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting (ENB) to deliver the new pre-registration nursing programmes at diploma and/or degree level—equating to over 95 per cent. of existing organisations.

Health Inequalities

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what national targets have been developed by stakeholders to narrow the health gap (a) in childhood and (b) throughout life between socio-economic groups. [46292]

Yvette Cooper: Following the comment made in the NHS Plan, the two national health inequalities targets were announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State in February 2001, and are as follows:



Negligence Compensation

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list, by regional health authority, the compensation payments paid to members of the general public in response to claims of negligence upheld against the authority in (a) 1996–97, (b) 1997–98, (c) 1998–99, (d) 1999–2000 and (e) 2000–01. [46287]

Ms Blears: Regional health authorities were abolished in 1996 by the Health Authorities Act 1995. It is not therefore possible to break down figures relating to clinical negligence by regional health authority.

Overall figures for expenditure on clinical negligence are available for the following years, as follows:

£ million
1996–97235
1997–98144
1998–99221
1999–2000373

Note:

The figure for the year 2000–2001 is not yet available.


The figures are taken from the National Audit Summarised Accounts for health authorities, NHS trusts and NHS Litigation Authority. Changes to accounting policies mean that these amounts are not directly comparable.

These figures represent all expenditure for clinical negligence which will include compensation payments and legal expenses. Figures relating specifically to compensation payments for successful clinical negligence claims against NHS bodies are not available.

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Fertility Treatment

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which NHS trusts provided IVF treatment on the NHS as of 1 March; how many patients have received IVF treatment in the last year; how many patients he expects to be provided with IVF treatment in the next year; and if he will make a statement. [46030]

Yvette Cooper: A baseline survey of national health service infertility provision was carried out by the Department in 1999. The report on "Survey of NHS Infertility Services 1997–98" has been published and copies are available in the Library. Information about the number of patients who have received IVF treatment in the last year will be made available shortly by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

Cancer

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent steps he has taken to improve the cervical cancer screening programme. [45778]

Yvette Cooper: The Government are currently piloting new technologies in order to improve the cervical screening programme. These are Liquid Based Cytology (LBC) and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) testing. If evaluation proves that the pilots are successful, and if recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, they will be introduced across the NHS.

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what extra major pieces of diagnostic equipment have been purchased under the Cancer Plan. [45776]

Yvette Cooper: The NHS Cancer Plan provided details of diagnostic equipment to be purchased for the NHS. This included 88 MRI scanners, 200 CT scanners and over 300 items of breast screening equipment.

Programmes to deliver this essential equipment are well under way. By March 2002, 28 new MRI scanners, 81 CT scanners and almost all of the breast screening equipment had been delivered to the NHS. The remaining equipment is due for delivery by 2004.

As well as investment in diagnostic radiology equipment, the NHS Cancer Plan makes a commitment to providing £15 million for the modernisation of 23 pathology services.

Dentistry

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidelines exist for NHS dentists concerning the removal of wisdom teeth. [46178]

Ms Blears: In March 2000, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued the following guidance.




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