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30 Oct 2003 : Column 359Wcontinued
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) medical and clinical staff and (b) other types of staff were employed in the NHS in London in the most recently available survey of staffing. 
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|England at 30 September 2002||Number (headcount)|
|All London staff (16)||186,755|
|All Doctors (17)||19,990|
|Other Professionally qualified clinical staff||82,093|
(16) Figures for London based on the North West London, North Central London, North East London, South East London, and South West London Strategic Health Authority areas and the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
(17) Excludes medical Hospital Practitioners and medical Clinical Assistants, most of whom are GPs working part time in hospitals.
Department of Health medical and dental workforce census
Ms Rosie Winterton: There is a legal obligation on dispensing doctors and pharmacists to supply appropriate information to patients when dispensing medicines in the form of patient information leaflets or information included on the packaging itself. Since 1 January 1999, all licensed medicines in the United Kingdom have approved leaflets and labels and there has been a range of developments in recent years which have helped to ensure patients receive appropriate information. These include guidance for hospitals on dispensing medicines in original packs at the outset of a patient's stay that will be sufficient for discharge.
Also, in August 2002, the Medicines Control Agency, which was the predecessor to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, and the Department issued joint guidance on how compliance with the requirement to include appropriate written information to patients may be achieved.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish an update of the information supplied to the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam by the Sheffield University School of Health Related Research concerning the implementation of the risk sharing scheme for MS sufferers. 
Dr. Ladyman [holding answer 27 October 2003]: Latest returns show that around 6,300 patients are currently receiving treatment with a disease modifying treatment for their multiple sclerosis. Around 300 patients each month are starting treatment.
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Mr. Hutton: The National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 1989, as amended, places a duty on national health service trusts to establish whether a patient is eligible for free NHS hospital treatment and if not to levy a charge for any treatment provided. Trusts are not required to submit data on the numbers of overseas visitors treated or the costs of doing so, not least because overseas visitors, as defined by the charging regulations, are not automatically "health tourists".
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the 200304 budget is for Northwick Park Hospital, Kenton; what the level of staffing is at the intensive therapy unit at the hospital; how many respiratory consultants there are at the hospital; how many patients have died in the ITU at Northwick Park hospital since 1 January; and what plans there are to move the high dependency unit closer to the ITU at Northwick Park Hospital. 
Information on the level of staffing at the intensive therapy unit at Northwick Park Hospital is not collected centrally. Information from North West London Hospitals NHS Trust is that the intensive treatment unit (ITU) at Northwick park has nine nurses, one outreach nurse, an ITU junior doctor on call at all times (six on full shift rota, comprising four clinical fellows), one anaesthetic senior house officer, one anaesthetic specialist registrar. One additional anaesthetic resident registrar covers obstetrics, theatres and intensive care unit. One anaesthetic consultant is dedicated to intensive care unit cover.
|September 2002||June 2003|
(18) denotes not applicable. June 2003 data is taken from the mini census which collected consultants only.
Data as at 30 September or 30 June.
Department of Health medical and dental workforce census
Information from North West London Hospitals NHS Trust is that there have been 73 deaths in the ITU since January 2003. There are no current plans to move the high dependency unit closer to the ITU at Northwick Park.
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Mr. Hutton [holding answer 19 September 2003]: Although full international comparisons of health status and health outcomes are well developed in many areas, such as cancer and coronary heart disease mortality, there has been almost nothing equivalent on the subject of post-operative mortality. There are occasionally specific studies comparing individual hospitals, but the Department of Health is not aware of any systematic studies comparing post-operative mortality rates between countries.
Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the Commission for Health Improvement will visit Riversdale Hospital in High Wycombe; when the Commission will report on its findings; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 28 October 2003]: Riversdale Hospital is part of Buckinghamshire Mental Health National Health Service Trust. The Commission for Health Improvement (CHI) is currently conducting a clinical governance review of the trust.
Mr. Stephen Twigg: In schools, humanities are normally taught through the separate subjects of geography and history. These are compulsory for all pupils aged 5 to 14. After the age of 14 they are optional but we are introducing a statutory entitlement at KS4 (ages 14 to 16) for all pupils to study a course in the humanities.
Mr. Stephen Twigg: The Department is currently updating its guidance to schools on all matters relating to drugs with a view to issuing new guidance in February 2004. This document will revise and consolidate existing guidance from the Department, specifically "Circular 4/95: Drug Prevention and Schools" and "Protecting Young People: Good practice in drug education in schools and the youth service" which was published in 1998.
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Alan Johnson: From 2006/07, we are proposing to allow higher education institutions to charge variable fees of between £0 and £3,000 per year per course, subject to their having an Access Agreement approved by the Office for Fair Access. We intend to abolish up-front fees in 2006: instead students can defer paying their fees until after they graduate. Graduates will only start making repayments on their student loan once they are earning over £15,000, and then at a rate linked to their income.
We will continue to provide a means-tested grant to cover the standard tuition fee (£1,125 in 2003/04), and propose to introduce from 2004 a new additional grant of up to £1,000, as part of a package of measures to ensure that more young people continue to take up higher education opportunities. Access Agreements will focus on what institutions are doing to encourage more people from disadvantaged backgrounds to apply: they will be required to say how they will recycle a proportion of their additional fee income into bursaries and other financial support to students from poorer families.
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