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RAF Innsworth

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he had with the Gloucestershire constabulary before deciding to reduce the number of his Department's police at RAF Innsworth, Gloucestershire; and if he will make a statement. [145167]

Dr. Moonie: Officers of the Ministry of Defence police discussed the policing arrangements at RAF Innsworth with officers from Gloucestershire constabulary in September 1998 and October 1999. We now anticipate basing an Area Policing Team (comprising eight officers) at RAF Innsworth from 1 April 2001 as well as the two Unit Beat Officers already envisaged.

15 Jan 2001 : Column: 48W

HMS Tireless

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will assess the practicability of transporting HMS Tireless from Gibraltar to a British dockyard for repair on board a heavy equipment transporter ship. [144031]

Mr. Spellar: The safest and most practicable solution is to continue with the repair of HMS Tireless in Gibraltar. We have looked at the possibility of returning the submarine to the UK in a heavy transporter ship, but this would represent a major challenge. No UK nuclear submarine has ever been transported in this way before and to do so would require both considerable preparatory work on the submarine and extensive modification to the transporter ship. This work would likely take much longer than the repair programme that is currently in hand.


GPs (Retirement)

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many general medical practitioners practising in England retired due to ill health in each of the last five years for which figures are available, before the age of (a) 60 years and (b) 65 years. [142882]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 15 December 2000]: The figures in the table show the number of doctors working in general practitioner practices who have received a pensions award for retirement due to ill health in each of the years 1994 to 1999 under the age of 60 and 65 years in England and Wales.

NHS pension scheme: medical practitioners retiring on the grounds of ill-health
England and Wales

Year ended 31 March
Summary by age
Age 60 and under96107968581
Age 65 and under100111979985
Age 60 and under2021272222
Age 65 and under2022272223
Age 60 and under116128123107103
Age 65 and under120133124121108


NHS Pension Scheme valuation data for 1995-99 (Table 1E)

15 Jan 2001 : Column: 49W

Coronary Heart Disease

Mr. Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list for (a) 2000-01 and (b) 2001-02 (i) the total amount to be spent by his Department on coronary heart disease and (ii) the funds from which that money has been allocated. [143567]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 19 December 2000]: The great majority of spending on services for coronary heart disease is contained within health authority unified allocations. It is for health authorities, in partnership with primary care groups and trusts, National Health Service trusts and other local stakeholders, to determine how best to use their funds to meet national and local priorities for improving health, tackling health inequalities and modernising services.

We have made the improvement of coronary heart disease services one of our main priorities. The NHS Plan set out our commitment to provide significant additional resources, so that by 2003-04 we will be investing an extra £230 million a year in heart disease services. This will be backed up by £120 million from the Treasury Capital Modernisation Fund over two years. Specific sums have been allocated to support implementation of the National Standards Framework for CHD, totalling £130.5 million in 2000-01 and £230 million in 2001-02. In 2001-02, there will also be a further allocation of £94 million, to be distributed between CHD and cancer services.

Ministerial Travel

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many flights including helicopter flights were taken by Ministers within his Department for UK and overseas visits in each year since 1995; on how many occasions (a) charter flights were used and (b) first and club class tickets obtained; and who accompanied the Ministers on each trip. [143862]

Ms Stuart [holding answer 21 December 2000]: Ministers are under a duty to make efficient and cost- effective travel arrangements. This Government have given a commitment to publish an annual list of visits by Cabinet Ministers costing more than £500 as well as an annual figure on spend by all Ministers on overseas visits. The list for 1999-2000 was published on 28 July 2000, Official Report, column 969W.

Detailed information in the form requested is not held centrally and can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Diabetes (Easington)

Mr. Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients have been diagnosed as diabetic in the area covered by the Easington Primary Care Group in the age groups (a) 10 to 19 years, (b) 20 to 29 years, (c) 30 to 39 years, (d) 40 to 49 years, (e) 50 to 59 years, (f) 60 to 69 years and (g) 70 to 79 years. [144293]

Mr. Denham: The table shows a count of finished consultant episodes by 10-year age groups where the main diagnosis was diabetes mellitus, for patients resident in the Easington local authority area, treated in NHS hospitals in England in 1998-99.

15 Jan 2001 : Column: 50W

Finished consultant episodes (FCSEs) where the main diagnosis was diabetes mellitus by age, for patients resident in the Easington local authority area--NHS hospitals England 1998-99

10 to 1917
20 to 2914
30 to 3911
40 to 498
50 to 5918
60 to 6938
70 to 7921


1. An FCE is defined as a period of patient care under one consultant in one health care provider. The figures do not represent the number of patients, as one person may have several episodes within the year.

2. The main diagnosis is the first of seven diagnosis fields in the HES data set and provides the main reason why the patient was in hospital.

3. Figures in the table have not yet been adjusted for shortfalls in data.


Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), Department of Health.

Patients Advocacy Liaison Service

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure that the Patients Advocacy Liaison Service will be (a) accessible to the least mobile older people and (b) independent of the NHS. [144190]

Ms Stuart [holding answer 8 January 2001]: The Patients Advocacy Liaison Service will act as a welcoming point for patients and carers and will also be a clearly identifiable information point in every National Health Service trust and primary care trust. It will be reasonably accessible to all patients, including the least mobile. PALS will be integral to the NHS and will have independence to fulfil its responsibilities. The role of the Patient Advocacy and Liaison Service will be to resolve the concerns of patients and their families quickly and where possible informally. Where patients do not feel their problems are being resolved satisfactorily, they may wish to progress the matter formally and potentially seek additional support from a local advocacy service that will be available to them from outside the trust. The detail of these arrangements will be discussed during Committee Stage of the Health and Social Care Bill.

Drop-in Centres

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what response he has received on the operation of the new drop-in centres; and if he will make a statement. [144493]

Mr. Denham: Response to the opening and first few months' operation of the centres has generally been positive. Feedback from the centres suggests that patients particularly appreciate the extended opening hours and need for no appointment.

The Department has commissioned a full evaluation of National Health Service walk-in centres. Its results will help inform the development of future centres. The final report is due in December 2001.

15 Jan 2001 : Column: 51W

Meningitis Vaccine

Mr. Ian Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many adverse reactions to the meningitis vaccine were reported, broken down by degree of severity, in each of the last five years. [144510]

Yvette Cooper: On 1 November 1999 a national immunisation campaign started, which aimed to vaccinate all children under the age of 18 years with the new Meningococcal C conjugate vaccine by the end of 2000. Approximately 18 million doses of Meningococcal C vaccine have been distributed to date. This should be taken into account when considering the numbers of reports and reactions.

The numbers of reports and numbers of suspected reactions following the Meningococcal C vaccines reported to the Medicines Control Agency through the yellow card scheme in 1999 and 2000 are in the table.

Total number of reports2,0999,264
Total number of suspected reactions4,59219,177
Number of serious reports4852,326
Number of serious suspected reactions5742,676

The number of suspected reactions is greater than the number of reports because many reports list more than one reaction, e.g. nausea and headache. A reaction is classified by the MCA as serious if it is a disease, disorder, symptom or sign which is generally recognised as serious clinically or if it could be indicative of a serious disorder. The interpretation of this definition is deliberately broad; reactions such as fainting and swollen gland are classified as serious.

Evaluation of safety data from spontaneous suspected adverse reaction reports in the context of reduction of morbidity and mortality from meningitis C, indicates that the overall risk-benefit balance of this new vaccine is overwhelmingly favourable.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish for each health authority the percentage take up by individuals of the meningitis C immunisation programme broken down between (a) children under 12 months, (b) 15 to 17-year-olds and (c) other at risk groups. [144870]

Yvette Cooper: Information on percentage uptake of meningitis C vaccine in all age groups immunised through the current programme is still being collected. This information will be published when it becomes available.

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