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Television Licences (Prosecution)

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many people were prosecuted for not having a television licence in the United Kingdom in 1999. [115552]

Janet Anderson: I understand from the BBC that there were 76,524 prosecutions for television licence evasion in the United Kingdom in 1999.


Cigarette Consumption

Mr. Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the impact on cigarette consumption of the withdrawal of Gratis points; and if he will make a statement. [114530]

Yvette Cooper: No separate assessment has been made of the impact on cigarette consumption from withdrawal of Gratis points. We have estimated that the ban on advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco will result in a 2.5 per cent. reduction in consumption. This would mean that about 3,000 lives a year could be saved in the long term.

Natal Intensive Care Unit

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what provision has been made by the Neo-Natal In-services Commissioning investigation for NHS North Thames Region in their examination of the most suitable locations for natal intensive care unit services in the region, for audit of the cost and current usage data being submitted to them by the individual trusts. [114572]

Yvette Cooper: The London Regional Office of the National Health Service Executive was established on 1 January 1999 and this covers most of the health authorities of the old North Thames Region. Under the auspices of the London Regional Specialised Commissioning Group, a consortium of London health authorities has recently been established to commission neo-natal intensive care services for the residents of London.

This new consortium is gathering information about the cost and volume of neo-natal intensive care activity currently provided by NHS trusts in order to identify the amount of money needed from health authority budgets to fund the required level of service.

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Information provided by trusts is being cross-checked with information provided by health authorities to ensure that appropriate levels of service are funded to meet the needs of the London population. The consortium is not at this stage considering changes to the configuration of neo-natal intensive care services.

Oncology Consultants

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) clinical and (b) medical oncology consultants there are per 100,000 population for each health authority in England; and if he will make a statement. [115190]

Yvette Cooper: The latest available information is shown in the table.

Number of hospital medical consultants in clinical oncology and medical oncology, per 100,000 population by health authority in England at 30 September 1998
Numbers per 100,000 population

Health authorityClinical oncologyMedical oncology
Barking and Havering1.040.00
Bexley and Greenwich0.000.23
Calderdale and Kirklees0.170.00
Cambridge and Huntingdon1.920.85
Camden and Islington1.632.45
Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow1.940.60
East Kent0.000.67
East London and The City0.820.16
East Norfolk0.320.32
East Riding0.520.00
East Sussex0.670.00
Enfield and Haringey0.820.00
Gateshead and South Tyneside0.000.85
Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster3.331.54
Kingston and Richmond0.300.00
Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham1.210.94
Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth0.000.48
Morecambe Bay0.000.32
Newcastle and North Tyneside2.550.00
North Cumbria0.630.00
North Essex0.560.00
North Staffordshire0.640.00
North West Anglia0.240.24
North West Lancashire1.070.21
Portsmouth and South East Hampshire0.920.00
Salford and Trafford0.000.45
South and West Devon0.850.00
South Essex0.560.00
Southampton and South West Hamptonshire1.290.92
West Hertfordshire3.180.00
West Kent0.510.10
West Surrey0.940.00
West Sussex0.000.13


Figures per 100,000 population are based on 1998 mid year population estimates


Department of Health medical and dental workforce census

24 Mar 2000 : Column: 709W

Breast Screening

Ms Perham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to introduce the new class of scientific screening officers for the NHS breast screening programme. [115225]

Yvette Cooper: We are currently considering with the professional bodies the capacity and workforce of the breast screening programme, in view of the growing numbers of women eligible for breast screening as those born in the post-war years reach the age of 50. Our first priority is to maintain the quality of the screening programme, and while alternative staffing arrangements are under consideration no change will be introduced until we can be confident that the quality of screening will continue at its current high standard.

Cancer Treatment Waiting Times

Mr. Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress is being made on reducing waiting times for cancer treatment. [115196]

Yvette Cooper: We are determined to reduce cancer waiting times for diagnosis and treatment. In April 1999, we introduced a two-week waiting time standard for patients referred urgently by their general practitioners with suspected breast cancer. Since then, over 56,000 women have benefited by seeing a specialist within two weeks. We will introduce this high standard of care for all other urgent cases of suspected cancer by the end of this year.

We are also introducing "On the spot" style booking systems for cancer treatment through the Cancer Services Collaborative. This £6 million initiative will significantly improve patient care by streamlining and re-designing care from referral through diagnosis and treatment thus reducing delays at every stage.

Heart Operations

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures he will take to increase the number of heart operations in 2000. [115114]

Yvette Cooper: Heart disease remains a huge health burden to the country and is the biggest single cause of premature death. That is why on 6 March we launched a radical and far-reaching 10-year programme of action

24 Mar 2000 : Column: 710W

to transform the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of coronary heart disease. The National Service Framework will help save 200,000 lives by 2010.

As a first step, on 18 October my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced a £50 million boost to cardiac surgery to increase the number of heart operations by 3,000 by April 2002 by making maximum use of the capacity that currently exists in the National Health Service.

Bed Availability

Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many beds were available (a) nationally and (b) in London in each year from 1979 to 1999. [115103]

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

Average daily number of available beds open overnight, England 1979 to 1998-99 and London regional office area
1984 to 1998-99

YearEnglandLondon regional office area


DH form KH03 and SH3

Data are collected by individual NHS trusts or units. Figures for earlier years have been aggregated to reflect the London Regional Office area introduced in 1998-99. Aggregation is not possible prior to 1984 as raw data are not available.

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