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Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of the health budget in each NHS trust area in England is spent on professions allied to medicine broken down by each discipline. 
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in the Mid Essex hospital trust area were awaiting in-patient treatment in the last two available months; and how many were waiting (a) over 12 months and (b) over 15 months for treatment. 
Yvette Cooper: At Mid Essex Hospital Services National Health Service Trust there were 9,732 patients waiting for elective admission at 31 March 2002, of these 320 were waiting more than 12 months and none were waiting more than 15 months. At the end of February there were 9,646 patients waiting for elective admission, of these 286 were waiting more than 12 months and five were waiting more than 15 months.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in the Mid Essex hospital trust area are waiting for an out-patient appointment; how many have been waiting more than (a) 13 weeks and (b) 26 weeks in the latest available quarter. 
Yvette Cooper: As at 31 March 2002 at Mid Essex Hospital Services National Health Service Trust 794 patients were waiting more than 13 weeks for first consultant out-patient appointment following a general practitioner written referral, and no patients were waiting more than 26 weeks.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on (a) the steps which he is taking to ensure that hepatitis C is diagnosed and treated and (b) the budget for health awareness promotion concerning hepatitis C. 
In October 2000, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued guidance to the national health service on the use of Ribavirin and Interferon Alpha in the treatment of hepatitis C. Since then, we have placed health authorities and primary care trusts under a statutory obligation set out in directions, which came into force on 1 January 2002, to provide appropriate funding for treatments recommended by NICE.
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Work on the strategy has identified the need to raise professional and public awareness of hepatitis C. The Department recently held four regional hepatitis C seminars for primary care professionals and sent a hepatitis C briefing pack to all general practitioners and practice nurses in England. The pack includes information leaflets for patients. We will be assessing the need for further health promotion activities to raise professional and public awareness.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the date was of the last meeting held between Ministers in his Department and Ministers in the Department for Education and Skills at which child mental health services were discussed. 
Jacqui Smith: I met with my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Education and Skills (Baroness Ashton of Upholland) on 6 February 2002 to discuss a wide range of subjects, one of which was child and adolescent mental health.
Jacqui Smith: The Department has not issued any guidance on access specifically to national health service chiropody services. However, chiropody/podiatry services are essential parts of the national service frameworks for older people and diabetes.
Jacqui Smith: We have no specific plans to develop a partnership with the private sector state registered chiropodists. However, the NHS Plan document "Delivering the NHS Plan" states that primary care trusts will be free to purchase care from public, private or voluntary providers as appropriate.
Jacqui Smith: Information about initial contacts and first contacts by region with the chiropody service are contained in the statistical report "Chiropody Services, Summary Information for 200001, England". A copy of the report is in the Library and it is also available on the Department's website www.doh.gov.uk/public/kt230001.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement about (a) the reasons for substantial regional variations in the episodes of care in chiropody and (b) what steps he is taking in respect of such variations. 
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Jacqui Smith: We acknowledge that there are regional variations in national health service chiropody/podiatry services. These variations may result from NHS organisations prioritising the services they provide to meet local demand for chiropody/podiatry services. The criteria used to clinically prioritise will be determined locally.
We are committed to recruiting more allied health professionals (AHPs) which include chiropodists/ podiatrists through the NHS Plan targets and will build on the over 6,500 extra AHPs as announced in the 2002 Budget.
Jacqui Smith: The national service framework for older people sets a performance measure to collect numbers/rates of people aged 75+ who access chiropody/ podiatry services. Information from that may be used to inform future planning of services.
Jacqui Smith: The Department has made no assessment of the use of art therapy and counselling either alone or in comparison with other treatments or services. However, creative arts therapy is increasingly recognised as a valuable treatment for people with a range of problems, including mental health problems. It offers an opportunity for expression and communication and can be particularly helpful to those individuals who find it hard to express their feelings verbally. The art therapist may work as part of a team in both primary and specialised health and social care settings. Equally, counselling, like psychotherapy, is offered within the national health service by a large number of both medical and non-medical staff in primary and specialised care settings and has been shown in a number of independent trials to make an important contribution to the treatment of common mental disorders.
|Manchester health authority area||Salford and Trafford health authority area|
1. "Salford and Trafford" was formerly one health authority and data cannot be subdivided.
2. Data relates to expenditure in the two health authority areas (Manchester, Salford and Trafford) on the purchase of secondary health caremental illness for the five years from 199697 to 200001, which is the latest year for which information is available.
3. The 200001 figures include expenditure by primary care trusts within the relevant health authority area, to enable comparison.
Annual accounts of the Manchester, and Salford and Trafford, health authorities 199697 to 199899
Summarisation forms of the Manchester, and Salford and Trafford, health authorities 19992000 and 200001
Summarisation schedules of the primary care trusts within the Manchester, and Salford and Trafford, health authority areas 200001
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