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30 Oct 2002 : Column 832W—continued

Ophthalmology Surgery (Worcestershire)

Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the saving would be to the county health services in Worcestershire of moving elective ophthalmological day care surgery to the Diagnostic and Treatment Centre at Kidderminster from (a) Worcestershire Royal Infirmary and (b) Alexandra hospital, Redditch. [77244]

Mr. Lammy: The Worcestershire Acute Hospitals National Health Service Trust is currently carrying out a countywide review of ophthalmology services. No decisions have been made on changes to ophthalmology services in Worcestershire, and no detailed cost analysis has been undertaken on the relocation of ophthalmology services to Kidderminster from other acute hospitals. All factors, including any financial implications, will be evaluated fully in determining the nature of future developments.

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Organ Donors

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on donor shortage; and what he proposes to do to increase the number of donors available. [77158]

Mr. Lammy [holding answer 29 October 2002]: There is a world-wide shortage of organs for transplantation. There are a number of reasons for this not least that there is a welcome reduction in the numbers of people dying in circumstances in which organ donation would have been possible, for example, the decreasing number of fatal road accidents and improvements in neurological surgery.

We are taking specific action to increase the number of donors available by investing in initiatives to raise public awareness and the benefits of organ transplantation, particularly in the ethnic minority populations where there may be a greater need for transplantation, implementing measures to help ensure that potential donors are identified and that we increase the use of both living and non-heartbeating donation. Nearly #4 million is being invested in the national health service through United Kingdom transplant to boost the number of life-saving organ transplants. This is funding 35 donor liaison schemes to improve procedures for identifying possible organ donors and the steps to take so that relatives are approached and given the opportunity to decide about donation. It is also supporting 25 living donation programmes, 10 additional transplant co-ordinators and six non-heartbeating donor programmes.

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many organ transplants have been made in each year since 1997; how many people have died waiting for organ transplants in that time; and for what organs they were waiting. [77159]

Mr. Lammy [holding answer 29 October 2002]: The number of organ transplants in each year since 1997, the number of people dying waiting for a transplant and the organ they were waiting for is shown in the table.

Dying on waiting list
Cardiothoracic organ175161163122100
Total dying on waiting list532551528474414
All organs2,7792,6742,6952,7092,717

PALS Services

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS trusts have so far established PALS services; what estimate he has made of the extent to which PALS services are functioning; and which trusts do not yet have a PALS service: [77424]

Mr. Lammy: This information is not collected centrally. It is the responsibility of strategic health authorities to monitor Patient Action and Liaison

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Services (PALS) development. #10 million was made available to health authorities for PALS in 2002–03 and this will be recurring in the primary care trust baselines.

Pharmacy Dispensing Contracts

Mr. Andrew Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many pharmacy dispensing contracts were issued in each of the last five years. [77246]

Mr. Lammy: Information on the number of decisions on applications, or of decisions on applications on appeal, relating to the provision of National Health Service pharmaceutical services for the years 1996–97 to 2000–01 is contained in tables 10 and 11 respectively of the Department's statistical bulletin XGeneral Pharmaceutical Services in England and Wales 1991–92 to 2000- 01". Information on the number of community pharmacies providing NHS dispensing services which opened in the same period is available in table 4 of the same bulletin. A copy has been placed in the Library.

Prescription Charges

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 15 October 2002, Official Report, column 798W, on prescription charges, if he will list the average prescription charge per prescription item dispensed for each year listed; and if he will make a statement. [77031]

Mr. Lammy: The charge per prescription item was set out in the table included with my answer of 15 October 2002, Official Report, column 798W.

Private Treatment

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many private patients received treatment in (a) England and (b) each NHS region in each of the last six years as (i) in-patients and (ii) day cases, in NHS pay beds. [76607]

Mr. Hutton: The table gives information on private patients admitted to national health service hospitals in England in each of the last six years for which information is available. A breakdown by NHS region will be placed in the Library.

Finished consultant episodes (FCEs) for private patients treated in NHS hospitals in England

YearOrdinary admissionsDay case

Source: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), Department of Health

Public Service Agreements

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what baseline his Department will use to demonstrate that organisations have secured a 1 per cent. increase in cost efficiency and 1 per cent. increase in quality

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equivalent of its budget, as set out in paragraph 8.4 of XImprovement, Expansion and Reform: The Next Three Years". [75714]

Mr. Lammy [holding answer 22 October 2002]: This requirement relates to the value for money public service agreement (PSA) target:

The PSA covers the three years from 2003–04, so the baseline for the target is the cost and quality of services in 2002–03.


Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many radiographers are employed by each NHS health authority; and what the comparative figures were for each year since 1997; [75789]

Mr. Hutton: Information about the number of radiographers working in the national health service since 1997 by health authority area has been placed in the Library.

Information about the number of radiographers leaving the NHS each year is not collected centrally. The non medical work force census records the number of staff working in the NHS each year as at 30 September. It shows the net change in the last year taking account of leavers, retirements, returners and new staff joining the work force.

The number of radiographers employed in the NHS has increased by 940 between September 1997 and September 2001.

Radiotherapy Waiting Times

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations his Department has received concerning the introduction of a national standard method for calculating radiotherapy waiting times to enable waiting times to be directly compared between radiotherapy centres; and what plans he has to introduce such a national standard. [75749]

Mr. Hutton: The Department has received informal representations from the Royal College of Radiologists and others about the introduction of radiotherapy waiting times monitoring. The NHS Cancer Plan set out maximum waiting time targets for first cancer treatment, which will come into effect over the next few years. Arrangements to monitor these targets are currently being put in place and will cover radiotherapy where this is the first treatment.

Individual radiotherapy services are expected to audit their waiting times for radiotherapy as part of the national standards for cancer. This is monitored locally through the peer review appraisal process. We do not

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collect data centrally on these waits. Radiotherapy waiting times data will be available when clinical audit datasets are implemented.

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