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Ambulance Service Reviews

Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish a list of ambulance service reviews carried out in south-east England in the last five years, stating (a) when each began, (b) when each was conducted, (c) how much each cost and (d) how much was spent on consultants on each occasion. [53914]

Ms Blears: In 1999 the national health service executive's south-east regional office first asked ambulance trusts in the south-east to review their structures to ascertain whether their number and size were appropriate to enable them to fulfil core duties, including emergency services, effectively. This culminated in formal proposals for a review of ambulance service in the region which were circulated for public consultation between May and September 2001.

As a result of the consultation it was announced on 15 January 2002 that health authorities, together with their primary care trusts, would review the position of their local ambulance services. They will make recommendations to the Director of Health and Social Care for the south, by September 2002, about how ambulance services should be organised in the future. This is the only review conducted centrally. Each ambulance trust also reviewed its service in terms of performance standards.

Information on local reviews of ambulance services is not collected centrally.

No additional work force costs were incurred as most of the work in connection with the review of ambulance services in the south-east has been carried out by existing civil servants at the Department and staff at health authorities and trusts. Additional costs were incurred for printing and the hire of, for example, church halls, for public meetings. Consultants KPMG were also involved in some service reviews. However, the wide ranging nature of the process and the number of organisations involved have meant that no central collation of costs was made.

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National Insurance

Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate the cost of the 1 per cent. increase in national insurance payments for each NHS trust in its first year of application. [53934]

Mr. Hutton: It is not possible to estimate the cost for each individual national health service trust. The cost to the NHS as a whole is estimated to be around £200 million next year, or 0.3 per cent. of total NHS spending.

Ashford and St. Peter's Hospitals

Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many franchising bids he has received for the post of Chief Executive of the Ashford and St. Peter's Hospitals NHS Trust. [53915]

Ms Blears: The Department's directorate of health and social care for the south of England has received two expressions of interest. An announcement will be made shortly.

Anti-TB Vaccination

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the commercial basis of the decision to award the anti-TB vaccination contract to Powderject was. [38678]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 28 February 2002]: The contract was awarded to Powderject under European Union public procurement regulations.

Powderject was the only manufacturer with a United Kingdom licence to supply BCG vaccine at that time.

Doctors' Salaries

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the starting salary for (a) junior house officers and (b) senior house officers in (i) the north-west, (ii) the south-east, (iii) the north-east, (iv) the midlands and (v) Scotland was in (A) 1999, (B) 2000 and (C) 2001; what it is in 2002; and what it will be in (1) 2003 and (2) 2004. [44998]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 25 March 2002]: The basic starting salaries of junior doctors are negotiated and determined nationally, and therefore show no regional variation. This includes Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The following table shows as starting salaries the first scale point for house officers and senior house officers over the period 1999 to 2002.

House officerSenior house officer

These are basic salaries, subject to a post-specific supplement to reflect the intensity and unsocial hours aspects of the work of that post. Supplements range from

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20 per cent. of basic salary to 70 per cent. of basic salary; most posts attract at least 50 per cent. Regional variations are not significant. The salaries of doctors in training form part of the remit of the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration (DDRB). Doctors' pay is influenced by DDRB recommendations and salary levels in 2003 and beyond will be dependent upon the views of that body in the light of the circumstances at the time.

GP and Dental Services

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of (a) general practitioners and (b) dentists were located (i) within five, (ii) five to 10, (iii) 10 to 15 and (iv) more than 15 kilometres from settlements with under 3,000 people in (A) 1999, (B) 2000 and (C) 2001. [46507]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 15 April 2002]: Table A shows the estimated percentage of general practitioners in England who were located within (i) five, (ii) five to 10, (iii) 10 to 15 and (iv) more than 15 kilometres from settlements with under 3,000 people, at September for 1999, 2000 and 2001. Table B shows the equivalent data for dentists.

Table A: Estimate of the percentage of Unrestricted Principals and Equivalent (UPEs) within certain distances from settlements with under 3,000 people at September for each of the years 1999, 2000 and 2001 in England

Distance from settlement199920002001
Less than 5 km888888
5 km to 10 km777
10 km to 15 km544
Greater than 15 km000


Data as at 1 October 1999 and 30 September 2000 and 2001.


Department of Health General and Personal Medical Services Statistics.

Table B: General Dental Service—estimated percentage of principal dentists(39) within certain distances from settlements with under 3,000 people at September(40) for each of the years 1999, 2000 and 2001

Distance from settlement199920002001
Less than 5 km858686
5 km to 10 km988
10 km to 15 km666
Greater than 15 km(41)(41)(41)

(39) Dentists are General Dental Service principals on health authority lists. They are counted at every location where they practice. Assistants and vocational dental practitioners are excluded.

(40) Dentists who had a payment claim processed in September.

(41) Less than 1 per cent.

Acute Hospitals

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list those parties which have indicated interest in providing franchised management services for acute hospitals. [50800]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 18 April 2002]: The Department is setting up a register of interest for organisations outside of the national health service which are interested in taking on the management franchise for

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poorly performing NHS trusts. The register will be made public and its criteria published in full. The Department has not yet formally invited expressions of interest, pending publication of the register in the summer.

Negligence Claims

Dr. Jack Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many negligence claims have been made against the NHS in each of the last five years; what the cost was to the NHS from negligence claims over that period; what the average length of time was for a negligence case against the NHS to be settled; and how many inquiries have been set up following settlement of negligence claims against the NHS in those years. [53035]

Ms Blears [holding answer 1 May 2002]: The Department does not hold figures for all negligence claims made against the NHS.

Overall figures for expenditure on clinical negligence, which have been taken from the national audited summarised accounts for health authorities, NHS trusts and NHS litigation authority (NHSLA), for each of the latest years are as follows:

£ million

Figures prior to 1996–97 are not available because clinical negligence was not separately identified in the accounts prior to that date. Changes to accounting policies mean that these amounts are not directly comparable. Data for 2000–01 are not available owing to the transfer of the existing liability scheme to the NHSLA and the format of the accounts.

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