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Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many full-time and whole-time equivalent nursing posts (a) are vacant and (b) have been vacant for over three months in each region in the UK. 
|Whole time equivalents|
|Northern and Yorkshire||760|
1. Three month vacancies are vacancies as at 31 March 2001 which trusts are actively trying to fill, which had lasted for three months or more (whole time equivalents).
2. Numbers are rounded to the nearest 10.
3. England totals include staff from Special Health Authorities.
4. Totals may not equal sum of component parts due to rounding.
Department of Health Vacancies Survey 2001
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the annual (a) percentage and (b) cash increases in the funding for the Wigan and Bolton health authority have been since the general election in 1997; and what moneys have been received by the Royal Bolton Hospital in addition to their health authority allocations during the same period. 
|Wigan and Bolton HA||North West|
|Year||Percentage increases||Cash increases £000||Percentage increases|
Figures shown are 'headline' opening allocation increases each year
14 Jan 2002 : Column 73W
|Wigan and Bolton health authority||30.5||38.22|
|All other income||5.7||57.03|
1. The contract value with the Wigan and Bolton health authority in any one year may be subject to some (relatively minor) distortion to the extent that as a host some income increases/decreases for the Trust are arbitrarily channelled through the health authority.
2. The Trust has highlighted one material technical item in 19992000.
3. The question refers to moneys received. The term allocation is not appropriate in this context. The income flowing from the HA to the Trust each year is subject to annual discussion with a financial value being agreed as part of the Service and Financial Framework.
Jacqui Smith: All prisoners' physical and mental health care needs are assessed when they are first received into prison custody. The Prison Service recognises that current reception screening arrangements can fail to identify prisoners who have serious mental health problems. A more effective health screening tool for identifying serious mental health problems on first reception into prison is being developed and implemented as part of the Prison Health Policy Unit/Task Force's current work programme.
Martin Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the waiting time is for a first appointment to see an orthopaedic consultant at (a) St. George's Hospital, (b) Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, (c) Guy's and St. Thomas' Hospital and (d) Epsom and St. Helier's Hospital NHS trusts. 
|Chelsea and Westminster||126|
|Guys and St. Thomas'||1,229|
|Epsom and St. Helier||396|
(19) Number of patients with a written referral from a general practitioner who had not yet attended for a first outpatient appointment in trauma and orthopaedics by end of September 2001 who had been waiting 13 weeks and over.
14 Jan 2002 : Column 74W
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many representations he received before publication of the Adoption and Children Bill from birth relatives who experienced distress at having their identifying details passed on to adopted persons. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 8 January 2002]: Departmental officials have received expressions of concern from some interested stakeholder organisations about the possibility of birth relatives being caused distress as a result of identifying details being passed on to adopted persons. As acknowledged by officials when giving oral evidence to the Adoption and Children Bill Special Standing Committee on 20 November 2001, this is only likely to concern a small minority of cases.
Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many of the individual checks made against the Protection of Children Act list since it came into force have identified listed individuals applying for work with children. 
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to establish which overseas healthcare providers can provide high standards of care and good value for money in treating NHS patients. 
Mr. Hutton: The Department plans a competitive tendering process which will require overseas providers who wish to provide hospital services to the national health service to demonstrate that they can provide a high quality service at competitive prices. Decisions about the appropriate providers will take into account both paper evidence and visits by managers and clinicians: these service requirements will be underpinned by robust contractual arrangements.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received from private sector health organisations against (a) the Government sending patients abroad for NHS funded treatment and (b) allowing healthcare companies or staff from abroad to operate in NHS hospitals. 
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 9 January 2002]: The test bed sites in south-east England who are piloting processes for sending national health service patients overseas for treatment are in contractual negotiations
14 Jan 2002 : Column 75W
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money his Department allocated for (a) 2000, (b) 2001, (c) 2002 and (d) 2003, to monitor the effectiveness and value for money of the ward housekeeper scheme. 
Mr. Hutton: The housekeeping guide, "A first guide to new, modern and dependable ward housekeeping services in the NHS", includes a framework for the establishment of housekeeping services within trusts. The framework states that the trust should set up a review process that will evaluate the housekeeping service and establish a continuing quality improvement process.
A trial questionnaire devised to capture patients satisfaction with ward housekeeping services is to be piloted in six trusts within the new few months. The results and conclusions will be shared with relevant trust patient forums and committees. It is planned to include the resulting agreed questions in the National Health Service Estates national questionnaire for future years.
The NHS Estates national questionnaire gathers information from patients about their experience within the NHS. These results in turn will help to support the findings of clinical governance and clinical care outcomes.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money his Department has allocated to (a) implement and (b) run the ward housekeeper scheme in (i) 2000, and (ii) 2001; and what his projected expenditure is on the programme for the next three years. 
Mr. Hutton: To support the introduction of ward housekeeping set out in the NHS Plan, national health service hospital trusts will each receive a one-off payment of £50,000 for project management costs to help them introduce and develop ward housekeeping. Trusts will decide at local level how best to fund housekeeping services in future years.
14 Jan 2002 : Column 76W
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