|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Alan Johnson: The latest labour force survey data shows that there were 2,505,000 people resident in the west midlands who were in employment in the period September to November 2001. This represented an increase of 30,000 or 1.2 per cent. on the previous three-month period and an increase of 42,000 or 1.6 per cent. on the equivalent period a year earlier.
Land Rover employ a total of around 12,000 people in the west midlands. With regard to the current situation between Land Rover and KPMG (administrative receivers to UPF Group) both parties are in urgent negotiations to resolve their differences. We hope that a satisfactory solution is found that safeguards security of supply to Land Rover and also enables the UPF business to be sold
24 Jan 2002 : Column 1075W
Ms Hewitt: All aspects of required security arrangements for nuclear materials stored at the Sellafield reprocessing plant are kept under continuing review by the Director of Civil Nuclear Security, the security regulator. Stringent security measures apply at all civil nuclear sites including Sellafield. It is not Government policy to disclose details of security measures taken at civil nuclear sites.
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what discussions she has held with Consignia concerning the possible closure of post offices; and if she will make a statement; 
Ms Hewitt: The Government have agreed in principle to support the compensation package negotiated between Post Office Ltd. and the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters for a restructuring of the urban post office network. Where appropriate, compensation will be made available to sub-postmasters affected. Detailed discussions continue on the programme.
Ms Hewitt: The programme to restructure the urban post office network will be taken forward in consultation with individual sub-postmasters, the local community and Postwatch. To ensure that post offices meet the high expectations of customers and are in the right locations for their communities, the programme will be carefully tailored to the circumstances of each locality.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether she raised the effect of gas transportation tariffs on Northern Ireland when she met representatives of Centrica on 6 December 2001; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Wilson: I met representatives of Centrica on 6 December 2001 when we discussed a number of issues in confidence and, under Exemption 13 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, it would be inappropriate to go into detail.
24 Jan 2002 : Column 1076W
Jacqui Smith: We announced the modernising hearing aids services project in October 2000. Since then, to the end of December 2001, 19,368 digital aids had been fitted, 19,353 adult patients had been assessed and 14,856 adult patients fitted. By the end of March, we expect to have fitted over 18,000 patients.
I announced on 24 December 2001 that a further £20 million would be made available in 200203 so that a further 30 national health service sites can join the modernising hearing aids project during that year. Decisions on which sites will become involved in the project next year will be made shortly.
The Institute of Hearing Research is evaluating the project, and its findings will help planning of the wider availability of changes in hearing aid services, which include the provision of digital hearing aids, to all NHS audiology departments.
In the meantime, all NHS trusts with the ability, in terms of staff, training, equipment and experience, to provide digital hearing aids, are able to apply for access to a favourable contract for supply of digital hearing aids.
Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were waiting for admission to hospitals, including suspended patients but not including self-deferred cases, in (a) England and (b) each NHS trust in England in the year ending 31 March. 
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans he has to impose (a) geographical and (b) financial limits on the ability of patients to have greater choice over the location of their hospital treatment; 
(3) what expansion of capacity is required to enable patients to have a choice of hospital for treatment; 
(4) how he intends to enable patients to have the choice of access to a local hospital as referred to in his speech to the Fabian Society; and what definition of local he uses in this context. 
24 Jan 2002 : Column 1077W
From July 2002, all patients who have been waiting more than six months for heart surgery will be offered a choice of treatment at another NHS hospital; a hospital in the private sector; or possibly a hospital abroad. Patients opting to stay with their current hospital will do so on the basis that they will wait no more than 12 months in total there.
Proposals to increase the capacity of the NHS are set out in the NHS Plan. The proposals to increase choice are set out in the discussion paper "Extending Choice for Patients", copies of which are available in the Library.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what IT changes will be required to enable patients to have information about the choices open to them described in the Secretary of State's speech to the Fabian Society; 
(3) what IT investment will be required to allow general practitioners to offer patients hospital treatment at a time and place convenient to them. 
The framework was developed in consultation with stakeholders. It is based around local health communities and will allow them to implement locally based solutions within a consistent common national framework. It builds on the national information and information technology infrastructure.
The figures exclude the cost of drugs, which is also funded by South Cheshire health authority. Last year this was approximately £50,000 but the amount can vary year to year depending on requirements.
24 Jan 2002 : Column 1078W
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|