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7 Nov 2002 : Column 548W—continued

Biomedical Research

Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the answer of 14 October 2002, Official Report, column 498W, on biotechnology research projects, what proportion of (a) the medical research council's—#362 million of research and development spending and (b) the Department of

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Health's—#510 million research spending shown in Table 3 Looking Forward (Cm 5338) goes into biomedical research. [79515]

Ms Blears: All the research that the Medical Research Council (MRC) supports is biomedical research. An estimated 60 per cent. of the Department's research expenditure is used in the National Health Service to support research by the MRC, by medical research charities and by other research collaborators, a substantial part of which is to support the clinical stages of biomedical research. The Department and the NHS also directly fund health services' biomedical research; for example, through genetics knowledge parks and other programmes. Some 40 per cent. of the Department's policy research programme expenditure is on biomedical research.


Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent research his Department has commissioned into the causes of myalgic encephalomyelitis. [79186]

Ms Blears: The Department has asked the Medical Research Council (MRC), which receives its grant-in-aid from my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Trade And Industry, via the Office of Science and Technology, to develop a broad strategy for advancing biomedical and health services research on chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME). The MRC has appointed an independent scientific advisory group, which will draw on the report of the Chief Medical Officer's Working Group, published in January 2002, on other recent expert reviews in this field and on research reported in the peer reviewed literature. The MRC is committed to the development of a research strategy for CFS/ME that will advance understanding of the aetiology, epidemiology and

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biology of CFS/ME and, in the light of current knowledge, suggest what areas of further research are needed with regard to possible prevention, management (including diagnosis) and treatment.

NICE Guidance

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate the total cost to the NHS of guidance issued to date by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. [79714]

Ms Blears: The estimated full-year running costs of all National Institute for Clinical Excellence appraisal guidance issued up to and including appraisal guidance number 52, relative to previous levels of National Health Service spending where appropriate, amount to some #513 million for England. In some cases the financial impact on the NHS may build up gradually, for instance where infrastructure changes are needed to put the recommendations into full effect.

Agency Nurses

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the cost to the NHS of agency nurses was in each of the last six years in (a) England (b) each NHS region; [75637]

Mr. Hutton: Data outlining the expenditure on non-National Health Service nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff is shown in the table. These figures include all agency staff and any other staff not directly employed by the individual NHS trusts, health authorities and primary care trusts. A regional breakdown is not available prior to 1996–1997.

RegionExpenditure #Expenditure #Expenditure #Expenditure #Expenditure #Expenditure #
Northern & Yorkshirenot available6,028,6676,714,8337,504,7749,670,40311,687,978
Trentnot available5,960,3347,697,70210,064,12912,885,28616,582,418
West Midlandsnot available16,939,66320,265,85526,503,75732,564,52837,964,326
North Westnot available9,570,01713,211,62117,857,45123,917,19431,022,389
Easternnot available14,055,47415,719,90422,670,38030,951,97542,387,041
Londonnot available108,202,417111,628,043130,573,228180,665,901202,308,850
South Eastnot available21,586,15529,963,66541,469,98852,808,57466,046,899
South Westnot available9,153,90811,136,94415,581,45518,192,82227,431,981
England Total166,631,982191,496,635216,338,567272,225,162361,656,683435,431,882


1. Annual financial returns for NHS Trusts, 1995–96—2000–01

2. Annual financial returns of district and regional health authorities and the special health authorities for the London postgraduate teaching hospitals, 1995–96

3. Annual financial returns for health authorities, 1996–97—2000–01

4. Annual financial returns for primary care trusts, 2000–01

Information on expenditure on non-NHS nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff broken down by NHS trust has been placed in the Library. The Department is unable to disaggregate agency nursing costs only, nor provide information on bank nurses as requested.

Neonatal Services Review

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will publish the neonatal services review; and if he will place a copy of (a) the review and (b) plans to change the configuration of services in the Library.[80051]

Jacqui Smith: I am considering the report following from a review of neonatal services and expect to determine the next steps in this process shortly.

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Cancelled Operations

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many operations were cancelled (a) on the day of admission and (b) before the day of admission at Wythenshawe Hospital in each quarter since 1997. [79879]

Jacqui Smith: Wythenshawe Hospital is part of South Manchester University Hospitals National Health Service Trust, which comprises both Wythenshawe and Withington Hospitals. Separate figures are not available for each hospital individually or earlier than 1 April 2001.

Statistics are compiled for the total number of operations cancelled for non-clinical reasons. The figures do not differentiate between those cancelled on the day of admission and prior to admission.

Quarter endingNumber of cancellations
30 June 200182
30 September 200185
31 December 2001327
31 March 2002498
30 June 2002445
30 September 2002230

Mobile Decontamination

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS acute trusts do not have mobile decontamination facilities available. [79893]

Ms Blears: The Department has provided capital funding from a #5 million allocation in 2002–2003, which will enable all NHS acute trusts and ambulance service trusts to purchase mobile decontamination facilities and associated chemical personal protective clothing. The implementation programme is currently in progress and several individual trusts will still be awaiting delivery.


Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many vacancies there were for (a) medical and dental staff, (b) qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff and (c) professions allied to medicine in (i) England, (ii) each NHS region and (iii) each health authority in 2001. [79798]

Mr. Hutton: I refer the hon. Member to the response I gave him on Monday 19 November 2001, Official Report, column 117–122W.

Figures for March 2002 are now available and have been placed in the Library.

GP Access Targets

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of GP practices met the 24 and 48 hour access targets set out in the NHS Plan in (a) England, (b) each NHS region and (c) each primary care trust at the latest date for which figures are available. [79797]

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Mr. Hutton: The information requested by strategic health authority and primary care trust for Quarter 1, 2002–2003 has been placed in the Library.

Hospital Transport

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the answer of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on 24 May 2002, Official Report, column 1197W, on hospital transport if he will make a statement on the contribution of voluntary providers to accident and emergency transport. [80041]

Jacqui Smith: Voluntary aided societies do occasionally convey patients to accident and emergency departments from say, sporting events and very occasionally they may provide support to statutory ambulance services.

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