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Medical Devices Agency

Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish the 2001–02 annual report of the Medical Devices Agency. [71906]

Mr. Lammy: The report and accounts of the Medical Devices Agency have today been laid before the House of Commons pursuant to section 7 of the Government Resources and Accounts Act 2000. Copies have also been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Overseas Treatment

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many NHS patients treated elsewhere in Europe have subsequently required further referrals; [71083]

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Mr. Hutton: Information about follow-up care following inpatient treatment and associated referrals for further treatment is not collected centrally from the national health service. NHS organisations may collect and analyse this kind of information, among other indicators of quality, as part of their local clinical governance arrangements designed to assure and continuously improve the quality of care for all NHS patients. Primary care trusts and NHS trusts are responsible for ensuring that NHS patients receive high clinical standards of care wherever they are treated.


Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the effects of holistic and complementary therapies in helping patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis. [63143]

Jacqui Smith: The recent report of the chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) working group noted patients' comments to the effect that certain complementary therapies were helpful in alleviating some symptoms. It also noted a need for guidance in using such therapies.

Guidance is currently being prepared by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence on palliative care for cancer patients, including the use of complementary therapies. This may be of some help to CFS/ME sufferers.

Mental Health

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the rate of emergency psychiatric readmissions was in (a) 1997–98, (b) 1999–2000 and (c) 2001–02. [69295]

Jacqui Smith: The rate of emergency psychiatric re-admissions for 1997–98 was 14.3 per cent.; 1999–2000 was 13 per cent. and 2001–02 was 12.7 per cent.

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many mental health crisis resolution teams have been established since the publication of the NHS Plan. [68277]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 10 July 2002]: As at autumn 2001 there were 52 mental health crisis resolution teams.

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which region has the smallest percentage of assertive outreach services for mental health; and if he will make a statement as to the reasons. [68175]

Jacqui Smith: North-western region has the lowest proportion of assertive outreach services with 14 teams. This constitutes approximately 7.7 per cent. of all teams and reflects the lower demand of the local population: 9.4 cases per 100,000 individuals compared with the national average of 17.5 cases for the same number of people.

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many staff work in mental health early intervention teams in England; [68136]

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Mr. Hutton [holding answers 11 July 2002]: The Department does not collect information covering all components of early intervention schemes and community mental health teams. However, the Centre for Public Mental Health at Durham University has been sponsored by the Department to develop mapping of the mental health work force. Further work is required to validate the returns but their latest information, available at service mapping, provides the best information we have on the distribution of the mental health work force.

Community psychiatric nurses are a key element of both teams and community learning difficulties nurses are important for the delivery of community mental health services. Between 1997 and 2001 the numbers of nurses working in these specialties have increased by 25 per cent. and 28 per cent. respectively. Further information is shown in the table.

NHS Hospital and Community Health Services (HCHS): Qualified nursing staff working in the community psychiatric and community learning disabilities areas of work in England as at 30 September each year

Whole-time equivalents Headcount
All qualified staff11,94012,960
of which:
Community psychiatric9,0109,740
Community learning disabilities2,9303,230
All qualified staff12,48013,610
of which:
Community psychiatric9,46010,230
Community learning disabilities3,0203,380
All qualified staff12,93014,110
of which:
Community psychiatric9,71010,550
Community learning disabilities3,2103,560
All qualified staff13,53014,850
of which:
Community psychiatric10,19011,080
Community learning disabilities3,3403,770
All qualified staff14,69016,380
of which:
Community psychiatric11,04012,220
Community learning disabilities3,6503,160


1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10

2. Figures exclude agency staff

3. Due to rounding, totals may not equal the sum of component parts


Department of Health non-medical workforce census

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of the NHS budget was spent on mental health in (a) 2000–01 and (b) 2001–02. [68146]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 11 July 2002]: The expenditure figures for 2000–01 will not be available until late August 2002. The expenditure figures for 2001–02 will not be available until late August 2003.

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Mr. Kolathuv Unni

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the circumstances (a) in which Mr. Kolathuv Unni was allowed to practise psychiatry in the NHS, having previously been struck off by the General Medical Council and (b) the General Medical Council took into account when they reinstated him to the register. [68746]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 11 July 2002]: There is no bar on working in the national health service if an individual has been restored to the medical register following erasure. NHS employers must make informed decisions based on the information provided during the recruitment process.

Guidance on pre- and post-appointment checks for NHS staff has recently been strengthened. This includes a requirement for applicants for certain posts to make a declaration regarding any previous disqualifications from the practice of a profession by a regulatory body in the United Kingdom or in another country.

Decisions on whether or not to restore an individual to the register are a matter for the General Medical Council. However, the GMC has agreed to respond to the second part of this question upon receipt of a written request from the hon. Member.

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what investigations were made by UK authorities in New Zealand into the conduct of Mr. Kolathuv Unni (a) prior to his initial recruitment to the NHS and (b) at the time of his successful application to be re-admitted to the medical register. [68745]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 11 July 2002]: This is a matter for the General Medical Council, the independent statutory body responsible for the registration of doctors to practise medicine in the United Kingdom. They have agreed to provide this information direct on receipt of a written request from my hon. Friend.

Child Care

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Weston- Super-Mare (Brian Cotter) of 4 July 2002, Official Report, column 574W, on child care, how much remuneration an NHS child care co-ordinator receives. [71070]

Mr. Hutton: The remuneration of childcare co-ordinators is a matter for local determination. Guidance issued by the Department in 2001, recommended a starting salary in line with general Whitley Council pay scales for administrative and clerical staff grade 6/7, spring point 24–32. In 2002–03 this equates to £19,592-£27,887 per annum.

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