|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 8 January 2002]: This information is not routinely collected. The 1998 Medical Research Council Cognitive Function and Ageing Study estimated that about 600,000 people in the United Kingdom have dementia. Alzheimer's disease causes up to 60 per cent. of cases of dementia.
5 Feb 2002 : Column 923W
|Sex not known||41|
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the average time taken to answer NHS Direct's telephones (a) at weekends, (b) between 6 pm and 11 pm, (c) between 11 pm and 6 am and (d) during daytime office hours in the last 12 months. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 8 January 2002]: It is not currently possible to provide the information on average time taken to answer NHS Direct calls as requested. However, the average time it takes for NHS Direct to answer the telephone is approximately 30 seconds after the confidentiality message finishes.
NHS Direct sites
5 Feb 2002 : Column 924W
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many times in 2001 St. John Ambulance volunteers carried out duties normally the responsibility of London ambulance service personnel. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 9 January 2002]: We are keen to help ensure that all disabled people, including those with head injury, are able to play a full part in society. One important way of doing this is by helping people return to work whenever possible. Currently local authorities are taking the lead on Joint Investment Plans on Welfare to Work for disabled people initiative. The idea of these plans is to provide effective and joined up services for disabled people who want to work, to stay in work, or to move closer to the world of work.
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 9 January 2002]: There are no plans to extend our data collection. We already collect data on the number, extent and severity of traumatic brain injury, as shown in the table, which has data for the last five years. Around one million people a year receive a head injury in the United Kingdom, and over 100,000 of those attend hospital.
|S00S09 Injuries to the head||199596||199697||199798||199899||19992000||200001|
|S00 Superficial injury of head||9,731||10,829||11,000||10,875||12,293||11,379|
|S01 Open wound of head||20,180||23,186||23,824||23,668||27,184||25,883|
|S02 Fracture of skull and facial bones||29,839||31,419||30,265||27,837||30,825||28,318|
|S03 Dislocation sprain and strain of joints and ligaments of head||317||381||367||410||349||314|
|S04 Injury of cranial nerves||78||63||94||96||106||68|
|S05 Injury of eye and orbit||3,655||3,503||3,320||3,255||3,591||3,230|
|S06 Intracranial injury||23,226||20,036||16,529||11,942||12,790||11,892|
|S07 Crushing injury of head||30||16||11||19||16||5|
|S08 Traumatic amputation of part of head||127||116||102||111||123||123|
|S09 Other and unspecified injuries of head||40,912||42,193||41,102||40,163||43,271||39,175|
A Finished Consultant Episode (FCE) is defined as a period of patient care under one consultant in one health care provider. The figures do not represent the number of patients, as one person may have several episodes within the year. Data for 199596 to 199798 are adjusted for both coverage and unknown/invalid clinical data. 199899 to 200001 data are not yet adjusted for shortfalls.
5 Feb 2002 : Column 925W
Mr. Hutton: If a national health service body is not performing one or more of its functions adequately or at all, or there are significant failings in the way the trust is being run, the Secretary of State for Health has the powers, under section 13 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001, to intervene.
In the case of trusts that have recently received a zero star performance rating they are required to provide an action plan, agreed with the Department, to address the particular areas of performance which they need to improve. Franchise arrangements will be considered only if these trusts fail to make progress against their action plan.
Mr. Hutton: We are committed to increasing general practitioner numbers in line with the NHS Plan target for at least an extra 2,000 by 2004. To deliver this we are, in consultation with the profession and others, exploring and implementing change to make general practice more attractive.
These changes already include increasing the number of training places, recruiting from overseas, providing additional training and support for new GPs; improving GPs' working lives by reducing bureaucracy and introducing family friendly packages; giving better support by providing better information technology, better buildings and different ways of working; developing flexible career options; and offering cash incentives to new GPs or returning GP retainees. These measures are intended to attract new GPs, to retain those now practising, and to encourage the return of those who are qualified but not currently working in general practice.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what criteria he has used in the evaluation of primary care groups in their applications to become primary care trusts; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hutton: Primary care trusts are established after full and open consultation locally. Each application to establish a PCT is assessed against the nationally published criteria for assessment contained in Health Service Circular 1999/167. Applications must demonstrate:
The degree of support for the proposal
The 'fitness' of the proposed organisation to deliver
5 Feb 2002 : Column 926W
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his definition is of other sensitive sites referred to in the Stewart report on "Mobile Phones and Health"; and whether this includes sites directly on top of homes. 
Ms Blears: In May 2000, the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones (IEGMP), chaired by Sir William Stewart, issued a report on "Mobile Phones and Health". This report included a number of recommendations designed to provide more information to people about base stations in their area. It included a recommendation that there should be an independent random on-going audit of all base stations to ensure that exposure guidelines are not exceeded outside the marked exclusion zones and that the base stations comply with their agreed specifications. The group said that particular attention should be paid initially to the auditing of base stations near to schools and other sensitive sites. The group was particularly concerned about schools, as at open meetings held by the group around the country, concern had been expressed about the potential exposure of children in schools and this was seen as a sensitive issue. The group was not specific about other sensitive sites. There was no specific concern about homes directly underneath base stations as the radio signals are generally directed to the horizon and not downwards.
The IEGMP was also concerned about possible interference caused by the use of mobile phones in hospitals and other sites where the radio frequency radiation could possibly interfere with sensitive equipment. They, therefore, made a recommendation that health authorities/health boards should issue guidance on the use of mobile phones and should ensure that all hospitals comply. This guidance includes the placing of visible warning signs at entrances to buildings to indicate that mobile phones should be switched off. In addition, health care establishments have liaised carefully with mobile phone organisations to ensure that any risk is negligible to patients and staff when considering the location of base stations on their premises.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|