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Mr. Alan Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many students (a) successfully completed speech and language therapy courses and (b) were recruited to courses in speech and language therapy in 2001. 
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Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what qualifications short of professional training are available to health care assistants and unqualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff. 
Mr. Hutton: Extending the skills, potential and careers of NHS staff is a fundamental part of the NHS Plan and "Working TogetherLearning Together, a Framework for Lifelong Learning for the NHS". Copies of these are available in the House of Commons Library. Decisions on training are taken by individual staff and local NHS organisations in the light of local, national service frameworks and NHS Plan priorities.
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The Learning and Skills Council (LSC), established in April 2001, is responsible for overseeing, planning and funding post-16 education and training in England. The NHS in England is increasingly taking advantage of the full range of national education and training frameworks, particularly national vocational qualifications (NVQs). Healthcare assistants and unqualified nursing and midwifery staff generally undertake NVQ levels 2 and 3 in Care.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what targets he has set as regards the ending of mixed sex mental health wards; what progress has been made; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list each NHS health authority in England and Wales that (a) does and (b) does not (i) conduct non- emergency operations relating to cancer on Saturdays and Sundays and (ii) administer non-emergency radiotherapy treatment on Saturdays and Sundays. 
Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of cancer patients have developed neutropenia while receiving chemotherapy in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many women in each NHS health authority in England and Wales were screened for breast cancer in (a) the year prior the implementation of the NHS Breast Cancer Screening Programme and (b) during the first year
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of the programme; and what the average waiting times for radiotherapy were in each NHS health authority for those years. 
Yvette Cooper: The national health service breast screening programme began in 1988 following a successful trial, the United Kingdom trial of the early detection of breast cancer and the publication of the Forrest report in 1986 1 . Before 1988, the only unit undertaking breast screening by mammography in England was the Guildford centre, which was the English site for the trial. In 198788, the year before the programme began, it is estimated that 5,000 women were screened at the Guildford centre.
Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the NHS health authorities in England and Wales that (a) are and (b) are not meeting the target in the NHS cancer plan of a maximum one month wait from diagnosis to treatment for patients referred for breast cancer treatment. 
Yvette Cooper: The NHS Cancer Plan targets are only applicable to England. The maximum target wait of one month from diagnosis to first definitive treatment for breast cancer came into effect on 31 December 2001. Central monitoring began on 1 January 2002 and data will be published later in the year.
Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to introduce a system of therapy and counselling for (a) patients and (b) families of patients who have been diagnosed as having cancer; and if he will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: As part of the NHS Cancer Plan we are developing a supportive care strategy. The strategy includes ensuring that people affected by cancer are able to access the right professional support, treatment and help, from when cancer is first suspected through to death and bereavement. As part of the strategy, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has been asked to develop and publish evidence-based guidance on supportive and palliative care. The initial NICE findings will be available from summer 2002 and will include guidance on psychological and social support for patients and carers.
Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of (a) lung, (b) breast, (c) prostate, (d) ovarian and (e) leukaemia cancer patients who have been initially diagnosed as suffering from curable cancer have been considered incurable by the time treatment began in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
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Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average population served by each UK hospital offering specialised cancer care was in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement on the variations by (a) nation and (b) region. 
Yvette Cooper: Information is not available in the form requested. Although efforts have been made to quantify catchment populations at a trust level, all calculations are based on ward-resident populations. Therefore cancer network populations are more appropriate. Cancer services are provided by cancer networks which bring together primary and community care and secondary care services. Data on cancer network populations for England are shown in the table. Further information is available at http:// www.canceruk.net/catchment/catchment.htm.
|Greater Manchester and Cheshire||3,031,185|
|Mount Vernon (Herts, Beds, NW London)||2,844,717|
|Four Counties (Berks, Bucks, Northants, Oxford, Wiltshire)||2,760,312|
|Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire||2,053,076|
|Merseyside and Cheshire||2,031,650|
|Central South Coast||1,811,372|
|North West Midlands||1,512,214|
|Devon and Cornwall||1,473,707|
|North East London||1,468,266|
|South West London||1,445,978|
|Lancashire and South Cumbria||1,428,763|
|South East London||1,388,034|
|Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire||1,224,704|
|3 Counties (Gloucs, Hereford, Worcs)||1,198,068|
|Humber and Yorkshire Coast||994,309|
|Norfolk and Waveney||682,461|
|Teeside, South Durham and North Yorkshire||660,891|
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