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General Social Care Council Codes of Practice

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to publish the General Social Care Council Codes of Practice for (a) employers and (b) employees; and if he will place copies in the Library. [45629]

Jacqui Smith: Publication of the Codes of Practice is a matter for the General Social Care Council. The council is currently carrying out a major consultation exercise on draft codes. It expects to publish the codes in the summer. Copies will be placed in the Library.


Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health in which section of the Government's proposed National Service Framework the issue of RSV immunisation falls. [41480]

Yvette Cooper: One of the external working groups driving forward work on the Children's National Service Framework has been set up to look at services needed by all children in order to maintain and promote good health. This will include issues such as childhood immunisation.

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Hospital Planning

Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what factors are taken into account when planning the future location and size of (a) hospital maternity services and (b) hospital paediatric services. [41402]

Yvette Cooper: The national health service provides care for women during pregnancy and childbirth in various types, sizes and locations of maternity units, including units within general hospitals or stand-alone units. The Department expects this choice to continue. It is for area strategic health authorities, trusts and local health communities to decide on the best pattern of service provision, taking into account the needs of local people, evidence of effectiveness and available resources. The Department has also set up a maternity and neonatal work force group to consider work force issues for various models for maternity care. Its findings will feed into the development of the maternity module of the Children's National Service Framework, which will be published at a later date.

The acute module of the new National Service Framework for Children will among other issues consider access to appropriate hospital paediatric services. It will be published later this year.


Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he has estimated the number of patients exposed to surgical instruments possibly contaminated with vCJD in each of the last five years. [41804]

Yvette Cooper: No. Because of the many uncertainties surrounding this issue—including the incubation period of vCJD and the difficulties of tracking individual instruments—we do not consider it feasible to make such an estimate. The risk assessment therefore did not predict the scale of any secondary epidemic of vCJD, instead, it developed different scenarios to address the various uncertainties—including the standard of decontamination—and gaps in our knowledge about vCJD.

The advice we had from the spongiform encephalopathology advisory committee was that good decontamination is key in reducing the risk of person to person transmission of vCJD via surgical instruments. This was confirmed by the risk assessment. As a result of the work we did last year on improving decontamination, all national health service hospitals in England have access to decontamination services of an acceptable standard.


Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prescriptions were charged to patients in Shrewsbury and Atcham in each year since 1997. [41812]

Yvette Cooper: Information at a constituency level is not held centrally. The table shows the amount of prescriptions charged to patients in the Shropshire area.

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Prescription items dispensed in Shropshire health authority by community pharmacists and appliance contractors only by charged prescriptions and those categories where no prescription charge is made, 1997–2000

Charged total Free
Number (thousand)Percentage of totalNumber (thousand)Percentage of total


The analysis is based on a 1 in 20 sample of all prescriptions submitted to the PPA by community pharmacists and appliance contractors. Items dispensed by dispensing doctors and personal administration prescriptions are excluded.

Mental Health

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to improve access to mental health services for women from Asian, black and ethnic minority communities. [42391]

Jacqui Smith: The Department is introducing a range of initiatives to address issues of inequalities in access to mental health services for people from Asian, black and minority ethnic groups, including:

Emergency Care

Mr. Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what cash allocations have been made under the reforming emergency care accident and emergency nurse allocation for 2002–03 to each NHS trust in the northern region; upon what basis the allocations have been made; and which trusts are involved in PFI programmes. [43882]

Jacqui Smith: Cash allocations to national health service acute trusts in the Department's northern and Yorkshire region, under the reforming emergency care accident and emergency nurse allocation for 2002–03 are shown in the table. All trusts received funding for two additional nurse posts for each accident and emergency department. Trusts at which more than 25 per cent. of their accident and emergency attendees were spending over four hours in the Department received funding for a further six extra nurse posts in each accident and emergency department. The table also indicates those trusts that are involved in private finance initiative programmes.

NHS trustAllocation (£)PFI
Bradford hospitals73,561Yes
Calderdale and Huddersfield147,122Yes
City hospitals Sunderland73,561No
Dewsbury health care73,561No
Gateshead health73,561No
Harrogate health care73,561No
Hull and East Yorkshire hospitals73,561Yes
Leeds teaching hospitals588,488Yes
Newcastle upon Tyne hospitals73,561Yes
North Cumbria acute147,122Yes
North Durham health care588,488Yes
North Tees and Hartlepool147,122No
Northallerton health services73,561Yes
Northumbria healthcare147,122Yes
Pinderfields and Pontefract73,561Yes
Scarborough and north-east Yorkshire health care73,561No
South Durham health care73,561Yes
South Tees acute hospitals73,561Yes
South Tyneside health care73,561No
York health services73,561No

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National Institute for Technical Excellence

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the average time a (a) technology and (b) medicine appraisal has taken place under the auspices of the National Institute for Technical Excellence. [47862]

Yvette Cooper: The appraisal process of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence takes about one year from initial scoping work to the issue of final guidance. The timetable can be longer for appraisals which are particularly complex or where the determination is subject to appeal.

Diagnostic and Treatment Centres

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many diagnostic and treatment centres have been developed; how many are operational; and how many patients they have treated in the last 12 months. [47825]

Mr. Hutton: A "first wave" of eight diagnostic and treatment centres (DTCs) is due to be operational by the end of 2002. When these DTCs are up and running they will provide an extra 20,000 treatments a year.

The NHS is on course to meet the NHS plan commitment to have eight DTCs open by 2004 with a further 12 in development.

CT Scanner Procedures

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many extra CT scanner procedures have been carried out since the publication of the NHS National Plan. [47013]

Yvette Cooper: For the financial year 2000–01, there were a total of 1,488,752 computed tomography (CT) scans carried out by national health service trusts in England. This compares to 1,359,852 CT scans in the previous financial year.

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