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18. Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many additional whole-time equivalent nurses will be employed in the NHS under his national plan. 
Mr. Denham: The NHS Plan commits us to providing 20,000 more nurses between 1999-2000 and 2003-04. This is a headcount figure. Depending on the number of nurses working part-time and the hours they actually work, this could produce up to 15,000 whole-time nurses.
20. Mr. Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the projected impact of the NHS plan in Birmingham. 
Yvette Cooper: Birmingham Health Authority, working with NHS trusts, primary care groups, primary care trusts and the local authority, is working to implement and resource the radical programme of change over the next 10 years as set out in the NHS Plan.
As a result we expect to see improvements in tackling heart disease, in the delivery of cancer services, and further improvements in mental health services in line with the NHS frameworks. In addition, there will be further modernisation of hospital facilities in Birmingham and decisions will be made shortly about a major new hospital development in south Birmingham.
21. Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on current nurse recruitment in the NHS. 
Mr. Denham: The Department is improving recruitment and retention by improving pay, by encouraging the National Health Service to become a better employer, increasing training commissions, attracting former staff back to the NHS, encouraging flexible retirement, and supporting more effective, collaborative international recruitment.
32. Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the changing age profile of the nursing pool in the UK for recruitment in the NHS. 
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Mr. Denham: The age profile of the nursing pool is one of a number of factors taken into account as part of the workforce planning process.
22. Mr. Savidge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the work of the UK transplant service. 
35. Mr. Mudie: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the work of the UK transplant service. 
Mr. Denham: United Kingdom Transplant (UKT) is a Special Health Authority whose core business is to maintain information about those waiting for transplants, to match organs which become available with patients waiting for them and to follow up the outcome of such transplants.
Following its Quinquennial Review, published last year, UKT is now on course to deliver its important new responsibilities which include setting and monitoring transplant standards as well as promoting the procurement of organs for transplantation.
23. Mr. Barnes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his response is to the Commission for Health Improvement report on Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Royal Hospital NHS Trust; and if he will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: For the first time ever, an independent body is inspecting the National Health Service hospitals. The Commission for Health Improvement's report is rigorous, challenging and fair, giving credit to the organisation's strengths and highlighting areas for improvement. The Trust has drawn up and published an action plan in response to CHIMP's input and we now look to the Trust to implement the plan.
24. Mr. Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the impact of a ban on tobacco advertising on health. 
Yvette Cooper: Studies of the impact of advertising bans in other countries suggest that a ban on tobacco advertising in the United Kingdom will reduce smoking by approximately 2.5 per cent. in the longer term, saving 3,000 lives a year in the process.
25. Mr. Bill Michie: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made towards the completion of the Sheffield Hospital for Women; and if he will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: The £27 million Sheffield Women's Hospital--to be known as the Jessop Wing--is near final completion and is due to open on schedule on the weekend of 3 February 2001.
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The new facility will provide a much needed modern women's hospital that the people of Sheffield can rightly be proud of, replacing the outdated Victorian facilities that currently exist.
26. Shona McIsaac: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the provision of emergency contraception. 
Yvette Cooper: There have been a number of recent initiatives that should ensure improved access to emergency contraception products. We laid an Order before the House on Monday 11 December to make progestagen the only emergency contraception available as a pharmacy medicine. Also, in addition to the usual NHS routes of access for women of all ages, other health professionals such as nurses and pharmacists are now able to supply emergency contraception using a patient group direction, following a clarification to medicines legislation in August.
27. Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what priority he gives to resourcing rehabilitation services within the national health service. 
Mr. Hutton: Providing effective rehabilitation after illness or injury is a high priority for the National Health Service. This year, the Department, together with Department for Education and Employment and Department of Social Security, is developing Job Retention and Rehabilitation Pilots to test ways of helping people with prolonged illness or disability to remain in work, or return to work when they are able.
28. Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made with promoting healthy eating among children in poor families. 
Yvette Cooper: The NHS Plan identified access to healthy food, particularly among children, as a Government priority. Already pilots are under way to provide free fruit in infant schools, and new nutritional standards for school lunches come into force in April.
29. Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations he has received regarding bed blocking. 
Mr. Hutton: We have received many representations from parliamentary colleagues and others. We are alleviating the problem of bed blocking by investing more resources, by ensuring closer working between local health and social services and through improvements and expansion in care services.
31. Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress is being made in preventing young people from taking up smoking. 
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36. Mr. Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress is being made in preventing young people taking up smoking. 
Yvette Cooper: "Smoking Kills", published in December 1998, committed us to reducing smoking among children aged 11-15 from 13 per cent. to 11 per cent. by 2005 and 9 per cent. by 2010.
As part of its comprehensive programme of action in preventing teenage from taking up smoking we are taking a number of measures.
We have consistently raised the duty on cigarettes by 5 per cent. above the rate of inflation. High prices are particularly effective in dissuading young people from smoking.
The Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Bill published on 14 December will ensure that tobacco is no longer promoted through advertising, sponsorship or other promotional schemes. The brands most heavily advertised are those most heavily smoked by children.
On 13 September we launched an enforcement protocol with local authorities to strengthen the enforcement of the existing legislation on under-age sales of cigarettes.
Our tobacco education campaign, launched in December 1999, is aimed at persuading smokers to give up and non-smokers, particularly children, not to start. As part of the broader campaign we are planning a dedicated sub-campaign aimed at young people, to be launched next year.
The most recent survey results indicate that smoking among children aged 11-15 is now already at 9 per cent. This is very encouraging, but we are not complacent and are working to ensure that this downward trend continues.
33. Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure that the Barnsley health authority has sufficient resources available to meet the demands placed upon it. 
Yvette Cooper: In the allocations for 2001-02 announced on 14 November 2000, Barnsley Health Authority received £185.6 million, an increase of 8.7 per cent., compared with a national average of 8.5 per cent. These allocations include £2 million for the new health inequalities adjustment. In addition, for 2002-03 and 2003-04 all health authorities will get a minimum increase of 6 per cent. each year. This will allow health authorities to plan ahead for the medium term instead of just the short term.
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