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North Staffordshire Hospital Trust

Mr. Stevenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list for each year since 1994 the number of (a) nurses, (b) doctors, (c) consultants, (d) midwives and (e) health visitors employed by the North Staffordshire Hospital Trust; and if he will make a statement. [115627]

Mr. Denham: The table illustrates that the number of nursing and midwifery staff employed by the North Staffordshire Hospital National Health Service Trust declined between the years 1994 and 1997. However, nursing staff numbers have increased in 1998 and the numbers of hospital medical doctors employed within the Trust steadily increased since 1994, demonstrating our commitment to increase the number of doctors and nurses working within the NHS. It should be noted that inflated figures for nursing staff in 1994 are not comparable with later years, due to a new classification system introduced in 1995.

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NHS hospital and community health services: staff within North Staffordshire Hospital NHS Trust, as at 30 September each year

Nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff (numbers (headcount)) (5) Hospital medical staff and consultants
Nursing staffMidwifery staffHealth visiting staffNumbers (headcount)Of which medical consultants

(5) A new classification of the non-medical workforce was introduced in 1995, therefore information based on this classification is not comparable with earlier years.

(6) Five or less and greater than zero.


1. Figures exclude learners and agency staff

2. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10


Department of Health Non Medical Workforce Census.

Department of Health Medical and Dental Workforce Census.

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Residential Properties

Mr. Stinchcombe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will list by region (a) the number of residential properties owned by health authorities and NHS trusts that were empty on 1 April 1999, (b) the number of such properties empty for one year or more

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and (c)(a) and (b) as a percentage of the total number of residential properties owned by health authorities and NHS trusts; [115613]

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Mr. Denham: Information as of 1 April 1999 is not available centrally since the last survey was carried out as at September 1998. This showed that out of a total of 2,336 houses, and 5,388 flats owned by National Health Service trusts, 290 houses and 605 flats were vacant. This represented an average of 11.6 per cent. vacant of the total (approximately 2 each per NHS trust).

Information is not available on the number of properties empty for one year or more.

The regional totals are as follows:

HousesFlatsTotal vacant
Anglia and Oxford282541128
Northern and Yorkshire301744108
South and West23967798
North Thames332712135
North West27286897
South Thames34052674
West Midlands18388987


Regional boundaries changed in April 1999

The survey of the NHS residential estate, carried out last in September 1998, counted the number of houses and flats, not the number of bed spaces in those properties.

Domiciliary Oxygen Service

Mr. Ivan Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he intends to review the Domiciliary Oxygen Service in England following the Royal College of Physicians' guidance, "Domiciliary Oxygen Therapy Services". [116304]

Ms Stuart: Following the publication of the Royal College of Physicians' guidance "Domiciliary oxygen therapy services", we will be reviewing a number of aspects of the Domiciliary Oxygen Service under the following terms of reference.

To review the scope and organisation of the Domiciliary Oxygen Service in England in the light of the 1999 guidance of the Royal College of Physicians, including:

    the availability of alternative forms of oxygen delivery (cylinder, concentrator, and liquid) and associated equipment, and the circumstances in which one form might be preferable to another,

    whether the current supply arrangements, including the arrangements for setting prices should be maintained or altered,

    the cost effectiveness and affordability of any changes,

    other relevant matters.

I am placing in the Library a copy of a letter to interested companies and organisations inviting them to let us have their views as a first step in the review.

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NHS Spending (Hampshire)

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the total NHS spending per head of population (a) nationally and (b) in Hampshire, including the unitary authorities of Southampton and Portsmouth and (c) in each health authority in Hampshire, including the unitary authorities of Southampton and Portsmouth, in each year since 1979 for which figures are available. [116020]

Mr. Denham: Health authorities have existed in their current form since 1 April 1996.

The table shows spending levels on health per weighted head of population for Hampshire health authorities.

Expenditure figures are from health authority audited accounts and are not total National Health Service funding. For 1997-98 and 1998-99 the Prescription Pricing Authority rather than individual health authorities have accounted for the majority of drugs expenditure. Health authorities do not account for the majority of General Dental Service expenditure.

Expenditure estimates for 1999-2000 are not available.

Expenditure per weighted head of population

Health authority1996-971997-981998-99
North and Mid Hampshire538.86518.81541.54
Portsmouth and South East Hampshire561.65521.45586.91
Southampton and South West Hampshire574.88577.56621.60
England total625.56607.85659.76

NHS Prescriptions (Appeals)

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what target times his Department set for appeal of new (a) products and (b) pharmaceuticals to be available on NHS prescription. [R] [115959]

Ms Stuart: Drugs, including pharmaceuticals, may be prescribed on the National Health Service by general practitioners unless and until they are listed in Schedule 10 to the National Health Service (General Medical Services) Regulations 1992 (the "blacklist"). Appliances must be listed in Part IX of the Drug Tariff in order to be prescribed on the NHS by GPs. Representations against proposals to list drugs in Schedule 10, or against the rejection of an application for listing of an appliance in Part IX, may be made but no timescale for the consideration of such representations has been set and will vary depending on the complexity and difficulty of the issues in question.

Private Finance Initiative

Jane Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what amount of public funds was spent (a) on fees and (b) otherwise in respect of the private finance initiative proposals for the Royal Berkshire and Battle hospitals. [106698]

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Mr. Denham: The Royal Berkshire and Battle Hospitals Trust has been involved in three private finance initiative schemes to date:

    Haemodialysis Unit: moving renal services from Dellwood Hospital to the Royal Berks site; and

    Information Management and Technology (IM and T) Project: a partnership to develop various interlinked IM and T systems.

The amount of public funds spent on fees and other PFI related costs to date are set out in the table.

Public expenditure on each project to March 2000

To March 2000ConsolidationHaemodialysisIM and T
Legal Advice263035
Financial Advice101948
Other Advice(7)5171213
Sub-total Fees5536196
Other Costs
PFI Partner Exit Costs(8)304----
Internal Project Costs(9)28420--
Associated Estate Works--84--
Sub-total Other Costs5881040

(7) A significant proportion of the cost for 'Other Advice' arose from seeking planning permissions for the project, some benefits from which have been passed on to the publicly funded project.

(8) The trust board agreed to pay Proteam 2 (the private sector partner) this amount under an abortive cost agreement.

(9) 'Internal Project Costs' covers the additional cost of project management and staff working on the project. The IM and T project is very new and material internal project costs to date are very low. The estimate is that final fees will be £238,000 and internal project costs £265,000, including the figures in the table.

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