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Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will set out the numbers of people awaiting delayed discharge (a) by region, (b) by health authority and (c) by trust in (i) numbers and (ii) percentage terms for (A) Q2 200102 and (B) the most recent figures available; what the reasons for delayed discharge were; and how many people were waiting (1) 0 to eight (2) eight to 14, (3) 14 to 21, (4) 21 to 28, (5) 28 to 35, (6) 35 to 42, (7) 42 to 49 and (8) 49 to 56 days. 
Jacqui Smith: Information from Quarter 2 of 200102 on the numbers and percentage of delayed discharges at regional and health authority level, together with the reasons for delay and the numbers of people waiting one to eight days, eight to 14 days, 14 to 28 days and over 28 days has been placed in the Library. The other information requested is not available centrally. The data for the third quarter of 200102 will be available in mid-February.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he has taken to monitor the mortality rate for those re-admitted over 75 years of age (a) in re-admission and (b) within 30 days of re-admission; and if he will make a statement. 
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by region in the last five years and (b) he estimates there will be in post in the next five years. 
|All staff||Consultant||All staff||Consultant||All staff||Consultant||All staff||Consultant||All staff||Consultant|
|Northern and Yorkshire||90||40||100||50||120||60||150||70||130||60|
Where regions are shown, staff holding appointments in more than one region are included separately in each region. The sum of regional totals therefore differs slightly from the England total and a direct comparison between England totals is not advised.
Department of Health medical and dental work force census
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how long investigations into allegations of professional misconduct for hospital practitioners and the final judgment have taken for the last five years; and what the status is of the person under investigation while the complaint is being processed. 
Unless an order has been made by the Interim Orders Committee, a doctor under investigation is free to practise pending conclusion of the case. However, after the screening decision to proceed with an investigation, the GMC notifies the doctor's employer who may take steps in relation to the doctor's continued employment.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what powers the General Medical Council has to discipline hospital practitioners who are found to have been guilty of (a) serious professional misconduct and (b) other less serious misconduct charges. 
Mr. Hutton: When the General Medical Council's Professional Conduct Committee has found a doctor guilty of serious professional misconduct, it can issue a reprimand to the doctor, impose conditions on a doctor's practice for up to three years, suspend the doctor's registration for up to 12 months, which may be renewed, or erase the doctor's name from the register. At present the Professional Conduct Committee has no other powers. The GMC has made proposals for dealing with less serious charges and the Government will be considering how these might be implemented.
The table shows the total number of complaints, complaints against medical staff, and what percentage of the total the latter represents. The complaints against medical staff cover a range of issues and not only questions of conduct.
|Total number of complaints||95,994||86,536||86,013||88,757|
|Complaints against medical staff||43,930||38,261||37,382||36,883|
|Percentage of total||45.7||44.2||43.4||41.5|
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures have been introduced since 1997 (a) to speed up the complaints process against hospital practitioners and (b) to increase the powers of the General Medical Council. 
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doctor's fitness to practise is first called into question. It introduced a minimum five-year period before a doctor who has been struck off the register may apply for restoration. It also enabled the GMC to co-opt non- members of the Council to any of its committees chiefly to help tackle the backlog of cases.
The GMC have committed themselves to new service standards including that by May 2002, except in exceptional circumstances, cases are to be heard by the Professional Conduct Committee within a year of referral by the Preliminary Proceedings Committee.
Mr. Hutton: The Department issued (Disciplinary Procedures for Hospital and Community Medical and Dental Staff) Health Circular(90)9 in 1990, a copy of which is in the Library. This sets out the procedures for handling disciplinary issues for medical and dental staff on nationally negotiated terms and conditions of service. These arrangements are now under review to make sure they meet the needs of the modern national health service.
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the public sector to private sector nursing homes for care of the elderly; and if he will make a statement. 
Jacqui Smith: In our recently published agreement with the statutory and the independent social care, health care and housing sectors"Building Capacity and Partnership in Care"we make clear that contract fees should not be set mechanistically but should take into account the legitimate current and future costs faced by providers as well as the planned outcomes for people using services.
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