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Medical Technical Staff

Mr. Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to increase the pay of medical technical staff in the NHS. [112444]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 1 March 2000]: We have offered medical technical staff above inflation pay rises not just for one year but for three years. The details of the offer are as follows:

    For year 2 (2000-01) an increase of 3.25 per cent. or £300 whichever is the higher;

    For year 3 (2001-02) in the context of agreement on the negotiations on Agenda for Change (including the principle of pay linkage as set out in paragraph 7.4 of the Joint Framework of Principles and Agreed Statement on the Way Forward issued on 8 October 1999) and the joint commitment to lifelong learning, a minimum RPI(X) at December 2000 reported in January 2001, plus 0.5 per cent.


Sir Nicholas Lyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people have suffered injury as a result of having been injected with myodil. [112478]

Ms Stuart: It is not possible to estimate the number of people who have suffered injury, such as arachnoiditis, as a result of being injected with Myodil, as no data are held centrally.

GPs (Indemnity)

Mrs. Brinton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 7 March 2000, Official Report, column 625W, on indemnity cover for general practitioners, if the criteria for approval of medical liability indemnities under section 9 of the Health Act

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1999 will include the maintenance of a solvency margin no lower than that applicable to other injuries under the Insurance Companies Act 1982; and if he will make a statement. [115413]

Mr. Denham: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave on 7 March 2000, Official Report, column 625W. Criteria for the approval of professional indemnity cover, including the ability to meet the anticipated levels of claims, are currently the subject of consultation with interested organisations.

Children's Services (North-west London)

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proposals he has for the redevelopment of children's services in north-west London, with specific reference to (a) Northwick Park hospital's new paediatric ambulatory care unit and (b) matched funding from north Thames region for the £2.5 million raised from public subscription. [114570]

Mr. Denham: The Paediatric Ambulatory Care Unit at Northwick Park was completed and opened some 14 months ago. It was funded through a Children's Appeal which met the majority of the costs with the hospital itself making a smaller contribution from their annual block capital allocation. The foundation stone was laid by the Princess of Wales two weeks before her death and the unit is known as the "Princess Diana Ambulatory Care Unit". This improvement further enhances children's services in north-west London.

No funding for the unit was sought from the Regional Capital Programme.

Crohn's Disease

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what provision his Department has made for research into and treatment of Crohn's disease. [114951]

Mr. Denham: We fund health and medical research in different ways. The Medical Research Council spent around £0.5 million on Crohn's disease in 1998-99. In addition we are currently commissioning, via the Health Technology Assessment Programme, a research project relevant to Crohn's disease, which will assess the impact of patient-centred disease management of inflammatory bowel disease.

Funding for the treatment of specific diseases is not separately identified in Health Authority or Primary Care Group allocations. Those commissioning healthcare will do so on the basis of local needs, in the context of priorities set nationally.

The treatment of patients with Crohn's disease is increasingly shared between gastroenterologists and General Practitioners. It may include following a special diet, dietary supplements, drug treatment with anti- inflammatory drugs, antibiotics and immunosuppressive drugs; and, in severe cases, surgery. Chronic inflammatory bowel disease is a risk factor for malignancy, and regular assessment is important.

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NHS Regional Structures

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was (a) the annual cost of and (b) the number of people employed in each NHS regional structure in each of the last three years. [114902]

Mr. Denham: The information requested is in the tables. The regional offices were organised in April 1999. The cash allocations have been mapped from the old to the new structure. The staffing figures are not available in this format.

Cash allocations

NHS executive regional offices1997-981998-991999-2000
North and Western6,983,8946,999,3927,397,361
Northern and Yorkshire6,814,4196,906,3157,279,300
South Eastern8,416,9498,442,6099,205,567
South and West6,907,4196,935,7177,048,229
West Midlands6,966,8897,030,2917,246,700

Staff numbers

NHS executive regional officesApril 1998April 1999January 2000
Anglia and Oxford111----
North Thames105----
South Thames114----
North and Western117116109
Northern and Yorkshire109109105
South Eastern--113123
South and West107112104
West Midlands109102109

Ryhope General Hospital, Sunderland

Mr. Etherington: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many beds were occupied at the Ryhope General Hospital, Sunderland, on the first day of each month since 1 January 1999. [115080]

Mr. Denham: The information requested is given in the table.

MonthBeds occupied
January 1999121
February 1999141
March 1999133
April 1999113
May 1999105
June 1999114
July 1999118
August 1999108
September 1999110
October 1999119
November 1999117
December 1999109
January 2000121
February 2000149


Sunderland Health Authority

23 Mar 2000 : Column: 631W

Speech and Language Therapists

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations he has received about including Speech and Language Therapists within the remit of the Pay Review Body; and if he will make a statement. [115083]

Mr. Denham: We have received several representations from Trade Union Organisations, hon. Members and individuals about whether other professional groups, including Speech and Language Therapists, should be permitted to come under the remit of the nurses and professions allied to medicine Pay Review Body (NPRB).

Our proposals for modernising National Health Service pay which were published in February 1999 in "Agenda for Change", include bringing some smaller groups of highly qualified staff within the scope of the NPRB, without changing its fundamentally professional character.

Initial discussions with NHS trade unions on pay modernisation resulted in a joint Framework of Principles and Agreed Statement on the Way forward which was published on 8 October 1999. Paragraph 7.2 of the Joint Framework sets out as a starting point for more detailed discussions with trade unions the qualifying criteria for groups to come within the scope of the NPRB.

The criteria are:

The Joint Framework also goes on to say that:

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I am sure my hon. Friend will appreciate that as this is part of continuing confidential discussions with NHS Unions aimed at reaching agreement by summer 2000, I am unable to comment further at this stage.

Mixed-sex Wards

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many mixed-sex wards exist in the North and Yorkshire region; where they are; and when they are due to be phased out. [115482]

Mr. Denham: Health authorities are monitored centrally on their commitment to eliminate mixed-sex hospital accommodation. Data from the latest monitoring exercise were published by the National Health Service Executive in "Health Authority Target Dates for meeting the Objectives to Eliminate Mixed Sex Hospital Accommodation: Position at 30 September 1998", copies of which are available in the Library.

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