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1 Nov 2004 : Column 129W—continued

Ministerial Expenses

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much the Department spent on (a) maintenance, (b) renovation, (c) council tax and (d) running costs of residential properties used by Ministers and officials in each year since 1997. [191400]

Ruth Kelly: Admiralty House contains residential accommodation for Ministers and the occupying Departments are responsible for relevant costs associated with each of the residential flats. No Cabinet Office Ministers are currently accommodated in Admiralty House. The Cabinet Office is responsible for costs associated with the common parts, as well as for maintaining the fabric of the entire building.

The Cabinet Office's share of the maintenance costs of Admiralty House for 2003–04 was £12,237.

No major refurbishment work was undertaken in 2003–04.

The Cabinet Office's share of the running costs of Admiralty House (i.e. excluding the appropriate share of the costs from the occupying Departments) for 2003–04 was £383,109. For information, I refer the hon. Member to the response given on 19 November 2003, Official Report, column 879W.

Information about the costs of official residences used by Ministers for previous financial years is already in the public domain.

During 2003–04, three Cabinet Office officials were occupying accommodation in residential properties in the grounds of the Emergency Planning College in Easingwold. The number of properties varied from month to month. One flat was occupied by an official working at the Emergency Planning College on detached duty. The other occupants paid a market rent for the properties, established by independent valuers appointed by the Office of Government Commerce. Records are not held separately of the maintenance, renovation and running costs associated with these properties in particular and these costs could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The council tax for 2003–04 associated with the property occupied by the individual on detached duty was approximately £205.

Since 13 May 2002, when the Cabinet Office entered into a PPP contract with Initial Style Conferences Limited (ISC) for the latter to provide a range of services
1 Nov 2004 : Column 130W
at the Centre for Management Policy Studies College at Sunningdale, the Department has incurred no costs in providing residential properties to Ministers or officials.

Parliamentary Questions

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he will reply to the question tabled by the hon. Member for New Forest, East for named day reply on 25 October 2004, ref.193672. [194856]

Mr. Milburn: I replied to the hon. Member on 25 October 2004, Official Report, column 1053W.

Theft and Fraud

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what her estimate is of the cost of theft and fraud to (a) her Department, (b) its agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies in each year since 1997. [191412]

Ruth Kelly: The cost of theft and fraud to the Department, its agencies, and non-departmental public bodies, in each of the last seven financial years are shown in the following table.



Drug Rehabilitation

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of progress in reducing waiting times for drug rehabilitation assistance in (a) south Somerset and (b) Somerset; and if he will make a statement. [192070]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The National Treatment Agency (NTA) set national waiting time targets for drug treatment services in December 2001. The average waiting time figures for Somerset in December 2001, the current waiting times and the national waiting time targets set for April 2004 are shown in the table. Data on waiting times is only routinely collected at drug action team (DAT) level, so I am not able to provide specific data in relation to south Somerset.
Waiting time in weeks

ModalityDecember 2001NTA national waiting time target—April 2004September 2004
Inpatient treatment1320
Residential rehabilitation636
Specialist prescribing2136
General practitioner prescribing1323
Day care(25)3(25)
Structured counselling822

(25) Not available. Somerset does not have structured day care services available.

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The work of the NTA South West regional team to reduce waiting times has included:

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the waiting time between assessment and prescribing for people wanting help to avoid reliance on illegal drugs in Yeovil constituency; and if he will make a statement. [192069]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Waiting time figures are only available at drug action team (DAT) level, so I am not able to provide specific data in relation to Yeovil.

However, the latest average waiting times in Somerset, of which Yeovil is a part for specialist and general practitioner prescribing services, is shown in the table. For comparison, I have shown the latest figures against the average waiting times in December 2001, when the National Treatment Agency (NTA) set national waiting time targets for drugs treatment services, which are also shown.

The data shown is in terms of weeks.
Specialist prescribingGP prescribing
December 20012113
NTA national waiting time target April
September 200463

Air Ambulances

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance is provided to NHS trusts on the use of air ambulances. [193964]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Air ambulances are provided through charitable organisations.

The Department informed ambulance services and their commissioners in January 2002 that the cost of clinical staff on air ambulances should from 1 April 2002 be met by the national health service on a continuing basis.

The Department has issued guidance on "Use of military helicopters by the NHS" [HSG(97)33] and this is available on the Department's website at:
1 Nov 2004 : Column 132W Circulars/HealthServiceGuidelines/HealthService GuidelinesArticle/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4018355&chk= eziOGO.

NHS Staff (Assaults)

Tom Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many members of staff working in accident and emergency departments in hospitals in the Greater London area have been assaulted by members of the general public during the last 12 months. [195370]

Dr. Ladyman: The information requested is collected at national health service organisation level, rather than for individual accident and emergency departments. Information on the number of reported violent incidents against NHS staff for the NHS organisations within the five London strategic health authority areas for 2002–03 is shown in the table.
Reported violent incidents against NHS staff in London 2002–03

LondonStrategic health authority (SHA) or NHS trust15,421
Q04North West London SHA3,308
Q05North Central London SHA2,531
Q06North East London SHA1,811
Q07South East London SHA3,424
Q08South West London SHA2,136
RRULondon Ambulance Service NHS Trust2,211

1. Figures are the total of all violent incidents reported by organisations within the London SHAs and London Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
2. London Ambulance Service NHS Trust cannot be assigned to a particular SHA.
Department of Health Survey of Violence, Accidents and Harassment 2002–03.

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