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Hospital Modernisation (Trent Region)

34. Phil Sawford: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what capital funding is available for upgrading and modernising hospitals in the Trent region in the current financial year. [59155]

Mr. Lammy: The area covered by the former Trent region has been allocated £191 million capital in 2002–03. Details of earmarked allocations are given in the table.

Funds available in 2002–03

Trent region£ million
Initial capital planning total139
Earmarked allocations
Local capital modernisation fund (LCMF) 9
Coronary heart disease (CHD)27
Intermediate care2
Maternity units8
Nightingale ward replacements5
Total allocated (to date) for 2002–03191

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35. Ms Drown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action the Government are taking to reduce the suicide rate. [59156]

Jacqui Smith: We published the "National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England" for public consultation on 26 April 2002. It is a comprehensive, evidence-based strategy to prevent suicide. The strategy describes key actions already taken, and proposes further actions to be taken, to help meet the target set out in the White Paper "Saving Lives: Our Healthier Nation". A copy of the consultation document has been placed in the Library.


Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how long the time it takes to transfer a book to Braille will be reduced under the proposed Copyright (Visually Impaired Persons) Bill. [61148]

Miss Melanie Johnson: I have been asked to reply

The Copyright (Visually Impaired Persons) Bill will remove the need to obtain copyright clearance for each book that is to be converted to Braille for visually impaired people by an educational establishment or not- for-profit body, except where the book is already commercially available in Braille. Obtaining this copyright clearance quite frequently takes six months or longer.

Cardiac Care

Mr. Hurst: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many heart bypass operations were carried out in NHS hospitals in each year since 1995. [60546]

Ms Blears: The number of heart bypass operations carried out in the national health service in England, each year since 1995, are as follows:

Coronary artery bypass grafting


Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department has taken to raise awareness among general practitioners and coroners of cardiac risk in the young. [59631]

Ms Blears: We have put in place major cross- Government programmes of work to prevent coronary heart disease by ensuring that children have access to a healthy diet, have opportunities to be physically active

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and are aware of the dangers of smoking. This includes investment from the new opportunities fund for a physical education and sports programme, a national school fruit scheme and a new initiative called Smokescreen to reduce smoking among teenagers. The Department is also developing a document on the health benefits of exercise which will aim to influence policy making and raise awareness about the importance of physical activity among primary care and local authorities.

In due course the children's national service framework (NSF) will produce national standards across the national health service and social services for children. However, its scope has yet to be finalised and it is too early in the development of the NSF to advise what guidance may be made available to general practitioners.

In addition, the paediatric and congenital cardiac services review group has been established to consider the recommendations from the Kennedy report that specifically relate to health care services and treatment for children with congenital heart disease. The group has also been asked to recommend quality standards for paediatric and congenital cardiac services. The review group will report in 2002.

Hospital Discharges

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) pursuant to the answer of 21 May 2002, Official Report, column 305W, on hospital discharges, when his Department expects to complete its consultations on the penalty system for social services departments; [60812]

Jacqui Smith: The proposals for a system of financial incentives to tackle delayed discharge are still being developed. We shall consult fully on the details of the scheme.


Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the Government have invested in stroke treatment since 1997; and what plans he has to increase this. [60136]

Ms Blears [holding answer 12 June 2002]: The specific information requested is not collected centrally. However, as a result of the Budget, the national health service in England will receive an annual average real terms growth in resources of 7.4 per cent. for the five years from 2003–04 to 2007–08. Decisions about allocation of this increased funding will be announced later this year.

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures are contained in the NHS Plan to help the Afro-Caribbean community to combat their higher rate of stroke. [60135]

Ms Blears [holding answer 12 June 2002]: The NHS Plan sets out a comprehensive programme of action to tackle the risk factors for chronic diseases, including stroke, and tackle health inequalities. This includes a five-a-day programme to increase access to, and

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consumption of fruit and vegetables, work with industry to improve the overall balance of diet, including salt, sugar and fat in food, and world leading smoking cessation services. Local strategies on promoting healthy eating and physical activity, reducing smoking, and reducing overweight and obesity are already being developed as part of the national service framework for coronary heart disease. The national service framework for older people makes clear that these activities should take into account both differences in lifestyle and the impact of cultural beliefs.

Departmental Expenditure Limit

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much and what proportion of the departmental expenditure limit for 2002–03 will be accounted for by staff costs; what the figures were for 2001–02; and if he will make a statement. [61018]

Mr. Hutton: The final accounts for national health service trusts, health authorities, primary care trusts and primary care groups have yet to be collected for 2001–02, but the current estimate of the hospital and community health services pay bill in 2001–02 is £22.7 billion (46 per cent. of the overall NHS planned net expenditure).

The overall cost of the 2002–03 pay award is 4 per cent., but it is not yet possible to estimate the full cost of staff costs as a proportion of overall expenditure because the costs of pay drift, increase in staff numbers and other additional costs are not yet available.

Complaint Procedures

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what formal procedures are available for patients who wish to record a complaint about the quality of care and treatment they have received in hospital. [61451]

Mr. Lammy: Patients, or someone on their behalf with their consent, can complain about the service or treatment they have received from the NHS using the NHS complaints procedure. The health service ombudsman can investigate complaints where the NHS complaints procedure has not successfully resolved the complainants concerns.

Heart Surgery Centre (Wolverhampton)

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what date he expects the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust heart surgery centre to open. [61426]

Mr. Lammy: The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust heart surgery centre is planned to open in May 2004. The project plan is on target and building works have commenced.

Patient Confidentiality

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions Ministers in his Department have had with representatives of the (a) Medical Protection Society, (b) Patient Information Advisory Group, (c) Medical Defence Union and (d) GPC regarding patient confidentiality in the last two months. [61420]

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Mr. Lammy: My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary met Professor Joan Higgins, chair of the Patient Information Advisory Group, on 7 May 2002 to discuss patient confidentiality issues.

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