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Hospitals, London

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hospital beds there are in the Greater London area per member of the population ; what are the comparable figures under the suggestions made in the Tomlinson report ; and if she will make a statement.

Dr. Mawhinney : The average daily number of hospital beds in all specialties in Greater London per thousand of the population in the financial year 1992-93 is 4.9. The Tomlinson report looked only at acute hospital beds and focused on inner London. Professor Tomlinson gave three main reasons why the need for hospital beds in inner London would fall : (i) patients from outside London would be less likely to come into London for hospital treatment ; (ii) changes in medical care will lead to more day surgery ; and (iii) shorter hospital stays will contribute to increased efficiency in bed usage.

Day Care Places

Mr. Austin-Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the number of full-time day care places in day nurseries for under-fives provided in each local authority in Greater London.

Mr. Bowis : The latest available information on full-time day nursery places in London is contained in the publication "Children's day care facilities at 31 March 1992, England". Copies are available in the Library.

Community Care

Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 20 January, Official Report, column 794, if she will give the planned expenditure for the present year under the community care expenditure under the provisions of the special transitional grant ; and if she will give the actual outturn expenditure for the first half-year and for each of the first three quarters.

Mr. Bowis : We have made available for 1993-94 a special transitional grant of £565.4 million, which must be spent entirely on community care. Authorities will be required to account for their expenditure at the end of the financial year.

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Patient S

Mrs. Ann Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what drugs and treatment were given to Patient S, who recently died following the withdrawal of food and drink, between the time when the feeding tube was removed and his death on 16 January.

Mr. Sackville : The Department does not hold confidential personal information of this nature.

Mrs. Ann Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether a post mortem report has been commissioned in the case of the death of Patient S on Sunday 16 January ; whether an inquest will be held into that death ; and if she will make it her policy to publish any medical, pathological and other reports compiled in respect of this case.

Mr. Sackville : We understand from my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department that a post mortem report has been compiled and that an inquest will be held. The decision whether or not to release information put in evidence at an inquest rests with the relevant coroner.

NHS Expenditure

Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the NHS planned expenditure in England in 1994-95, 1995-96 and 1996-97 in cash and real terms.

Mr. Sackville : The Government are honouring in full their pledge to increase year by year the level of resources committed to the national health service in real terms. Government expenditure on the national health service in England is planed to rise to £30,669 million in 1994-95, a cash increase of 5.6 per cent. over plan, or 1.6 per cent. in real terms. Details of the Government expenditure plans for 1994-95 to 1996-97 for all the Department's programmes will be published in March in the departmental report.

NHS Trusts

Mr. Brandreth : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many hospitals and other units will start operation as NHS trusts in April.

Dr. Mawhinney : To date we have given approval to 99 hospitals and other units to become operational as national health service trusts from 1 April 1994. We will be considering further applications shortly and will make a further announcement then. An updated list of the status of all fourth wave applications has been placed in the Library.

Nursing Staff

Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the number of qualified nursing staff by specialty for each region in each year since 1979.

Mr. Sackville [holding answer 6 December 1993] : This information will be placed in the Library. The total number of qualified nurses and midwives working in the national health service has risen by 6, 490 in the period September 1989 to September 1992.

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12. Mr. Fishburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of children are now immunised against HIB meningitis.

Dr. Mawhinney : Immunisation against Haemophilus influenae type b was added to the routine childhood immunisation programme on 1 October 1992. Preliminary figures for England and Wales show that 90 per cent. acceptance for the full course of three doses of vaccine is already being achieved.

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to resource the creation of rapid response units, nationally, to combat child meningitis fatalities.

Mr. Sackville [holding answer 21 January 1994] : Children with meningitis are most appropriately treated in

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paediatric intensive care units. A report, "The Care of Critically Ill Children", by a working party convened by the British Paediatric Association has recently been published and copies are available in the Library. This includes recommendations on how a more accessible distribution of paediatric intensive care facilities can be achieved.

We are about to issue the report to purchasers of health services for children, with the request that they ensure any planned increases in paediatric intensive care facilities proceed and that they review immediately the current level of provison in order to develop a strategic plan for the purchasing of paediatric intensive care within the overall development of children's services. Regional health authorities will oversee this process and submit an interim report on action under way to the National Health Service Management Executive by April.


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