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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) if he will publish the criteria by which sufferers from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are determined to be in eligible occupations for the purpose of receiving benefit; [137242]

Mr. Bayley: Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit may be payable to people who are diagnosed as suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. To be entitled, they must have worked as an employed earner in an occupation involving the use of hand-held powered tools whose internal parts vibrate so as to transmit that vibration to the hand, but excluding those that are solely powered by hand. They must also have a disablement assessed at 14 per cent. or more.

Attendance Allowance

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many applications for Attendance Allowance have been received in each quarter of the last three years; and of those how many were (a) successful, (b) unsuccessful, (c) subject to appeal and (d) successful at appeal. [136806]

Mr. Bayley: The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is in the tables.

Attendance Allowance claims

Quarter endingReceivedSuccessfulUnsuccessful
June 1997115,33476,48432,119
September 1997101,07775,94831,640
December 199798,11269,74127,448
March 199897,72773,99525,600
June 1998102,24671,76226,471
September 1998104,41174,38425,440
December 199898,68071,21225,490
March 1999108,67775,19626,858
June 1999101,70273,84427,099
September 199998,37773,13226,725
December 199990,15858,79519,729
March 2000104,92975,67623,262

(15) Figures include claims received before the quarter


DSS Information Centre: 100 per cent. data

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Attendance Allowance review and appeal decisions(16)

Review decisions(17) Appeal decisions
Quarter endingTotalSuccessful(18)TotalSuccessful(19)
June 199726,54115,5931,207725
September 199731,49717,5611,399804
December 199729,92216,9391,360770
March 199829,26716,8921,696894
June 199824,41513,8111,651873
September 199824,71613,7251,697833
December 199824,12213,5711,494782
March 199926,05214,4311,546772
June 199923,31012,6761,697796
September 199926,28414,0041,566729
December 199917,8958,7221,257602
March 200022,14312,7791,261557

(16) Figures include claims received before the quarter.

(17) Figures include supersessions and reconsiderations from October 1999.

(18) Figures relate to previously unsuccessful claims where benefit is awarded, and to awards which are increased in value.

(19) Figures relate to previously unsuccessful review decisions where benefit is awarded or where the value of the award is increased.


DSS Information Centre: 100 per cent. data.


Waiting Lists

Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the measures that have been taken to reduce out-patient and in-patient NHS waiting lists in the last year for hospitals serving (a) the Greater London Area and (b) the residents of the Borough of Kingston upon Thames. [135778]

Mr. Denham: Within the Greater London area, specific measures to reduce in-patient waiting lists have included the provision of additional theatre lists, weekend working, the recruitment of extra staff and collaborative arrangements with the private sector.

Measures to reduce out-patient waiting lists in London include the provision of more clinics, the implementation of good practice recommendations from the National Patients Access team such as establishing booking system for out-patients, close working with primary care to develop agreed referral guidelines to ensure that the right patients are referred to the right clinics. Other measures include expanding the range of professionals who can see and manage patients health needs through learning from the beacons initiative. We have also established a work programme with National Health Service trusts in London

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to ensure best practice out-patient systems are put in place to reduce waiting times. All trusts have in place plans to improve waiting times for outpatients and a director responsible for implementing the plan.

These developments have resulted in a fall in the total number of London residents waiting for treatment by 29,000 from 167,000 to 138,000 (August 2000) since the General Election.

All these measures will have benefited residents of the Borough of Kingston upon Thames. In addition, local initiatives for in-patients have included Kingston Hospital running additional operating sessions including day case sessions at the weekend, the local health authority funding additional equipment and the appointment of a discharge co-ordinator. Finally Kingston and District NHS Trust has received capital funding to assist with the reduction in waiting lists. This has enabled the trust to buy additional equipment for use in out-patient clinics.


Dr. Naysmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to combat the increase in the prescribing of SSRI antidepressants; and if he will make statement. [136002]

Mr. Hutton: We recognise that there has been an increase in the prescribing of Selective Serotonin Re-Uptake Inhibitor antidepressants. The Clinical Standards Advisory Group have indicated that depression still remains undiagnosed in too many cases and that treatment is often inadequate. A range of effective treatments should be available including appropriate drug therapy as well as psychological approaches. Treatment plans for particular individuals need to be developed in consultation with them and regularly reviewed.

A number of clinical guidelines and protocols for the management of depression have been developed. These include the consensus statement by the Royal Colleges of Psychiatrists and General Practitioners published in 1992.


Mr. Hurst: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists offered NHS treatment in each of the years between 1990 and 1999 (a) in England and Wales and (b) in Essex. [136079]

Mr. Hutton: The number of dentists in the General Dental Service at 30 September in each of the years 1990 to 1999 is shown in the table for (a) England and Wales and (b) Essex.

General Dental Service: Number of dentists

Year(21)England and Wales(22)Essex

(20) Dentists cover principal dentists on a health authority or Family Health Services Authority (FHSA) list, their assistants and vocational dental practitioners.

(21) Number of dentists at 30 September each year.

(22) Before April 1996 the area was covered by Essex FHSA. From April 1996 the area was covered by North Essex and South Essex Health Authorities.

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Hepatitis C

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the demand for liver transplantation arising from people who have contracted hepatitis C; and how this demand will be met. [136162]

Mr. Denham: Figures supplied by United Kingdom Transplant show that, for 1998 and 1999, 82 and 99 transplants respectively were performed on patients who had contracted liver failure as a result of hepatitis C infection. As of 3 November, 23 such patients are on the waiting list for liver transplant.

Liver transplantation is limited by the supply of organs. However, new and innovative techniques such as liver splitting are helping to increase the supply. Publicity campaigns are also an important factor in increasing the supply of organs for transplantation. The current campaign encourages people to join the National Health Service Organ Donor Register, to carry the donor card and most importantly to discuss their wish to be an organ donor after death with their family and friends.

In addition, there is growing experience and success with live related liver transplantation especially in children.

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