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Oxted Hospital

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects the redevelopment of Oxted Hospital to commence; and if he will make a statement. [149698]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 9 February 2001]: Surrey and Sussex Healthcare National Health Service Trust, of which Oxted and Limpfield Hospital is part, is due to submit its full business case for the new community hospital at Oxted to the South East Regional Office of the NHS Executive in March. It is anticipated that work on the new site will start before the end of the year.


Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 31 January 2001, Official Report, column 217W, on fluoride, if he will list the research upon which he bases his conclusion; what research he has evaluated which suggests that calcium fluoride is better for dental health than sodium fluoride; if he keeps this situation under constant review; how much money his Department has spent on research into the impact on dental health of (a) calcium fluoride and (b) sodium fluoride in each of the last 30 years; and if he will make a statement. [149762]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 9 February 2001]: Sodium salts are generally used in fluoridation schemes because they are more soluble than calcium salts. In the 1960s the Government undertook three research studies of fluoridation schemes using sodium salts. The cost of the studies is not now available. We have asked the Medical Research Council how, in the light of the recently conducted systematic review of water fluoridation conducted by the University of York, the knowledge base concerning water fluoridation and its effects on health could be strengthened.

Waiting Lists (Essex)

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were waiting for hospital treatment in the Mid Essex hospital trust area in (a) the latest month for which figures are available and (b) the previous month. [149695]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 9 February 2001]: The information requested is shown in the table.

Month Total number of patients waiting
November 20009,050
December 20009,466


Monthly waiting list returns, KH07 quarterly returns

Primary Health Care

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the difference in cost between primary health groups and primary health trusts; if their funding will come from local health authority budgets; and if he will make a statement. [149679]

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Mr. Denham [holding answer 9 February 2001]: As sub-committees of health authorities, the management costs of a primary care group (PCG) fall to a health authority. Primary care trusts (PCTs) are, however, free standing National Health Service bodies and therefore their management costs are separate from a health authority. However, where PCTs are established, the local health authority will contribute management resources as part of their delegation of functions to a PCT. In addition, PCTs will also receive additional management resources from within that health system to reflect any provider responsibilities that they take on from local NHS trusts.

PCT management costs reflect their increased responsibilities compared to PCGs. The overall expenditure on the management and administration of the NHS is falling in real terms under this Government. The management cost savings achieved so far have included the additional costs of PCGs and the targeted continued reductions for current and future years will include the cost of PCTs.

Outside Contracts

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which services hospital managers are (a) permitted and (b) not permitted to contract out to private companies; and if he will make a statement. [149674]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 9 February 2001]: The list shows services which may be provided under contract by the private sector to National Health Service bodies:

Any proposals which include categories of services or staff other than those on the list must be submitted to the NHS Executive for approval by Ministers.

Mental Health Care

Mr. Barnes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the reports into untoward incidents involving

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(a) the disappearance and (b) the deaths of patients receiving care for mental health problems in each health authority for each of the past five years. [149500]

Mr. Hutton: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Details of all deaths of patients detained under the Mental Health Act are reported to the Mental Health Act Commission. A report of the findings between 1997 and 2000 is due to be published later this month. Copies of the report will be placed in the Library when published.


Mr. Barnes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list, by health authority, the number of suicides of patients in community health care trusts in each of the past five years. [149499]

Mr. Hutton: The information requested is not available centrally. However, the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness does collect data on suicides by people in contact with mental health services in the year before death. The National Confidential Inquiry began collecting this data in only April 1996. In May 1999 the Inquiry published its report "Safer Services" outlining its findings over the two year period from April 1996. Copies of this report are available in the Library.

Transplant Centres

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what criteria will be used to decide whether Manchester, Birmingham or Sheffield will be the fourth transplant centre to remain in operation following the proposed rationalisation of services. [150073]

Mr. Denham: The study currently under way will determine which of the three units is best able to accommodate an enlarged transplant team based on least disruption to existing and future transplant patients and least disruption to meeting the priority targets for other essential cardiac operations as set out in the National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease.


Higher Education

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many unfilled places there were within the higher education sector in (a) autumn 1997, (b) autumn 1998, (c) autumn 1999 and (d) autumn 2000. [147637]

Mr. Wicks [holding answer 30 January 2001]: Planned student numbers are set out each year covering home and EU students funded by the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) and the Teacher Training Agency (TTA). The table shows the total student numbers (full-time equivalents) planned for HEFCE and TTA prior to the academic year in question, and the comparable estimated outturn for each year. Equivalent figures for Autumn 2000

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are not yet available. The growth in financial year FTEs between 1996-97 and 1999-2000 was 34,000. The total number of home, EU and overseas students in English institutions (headcounts on 1 December) rose by 76,000 between 1996-97 and 1999-2000.

Home and EU domiciled Higher Education students in England

Academic yearPlanned FTEsEstimatedOutturn FTEs

(5) Figures relate to 1 December. The FTE factor used for part-time students is 0.35. For comparability, figures include some students studying professions allied to medicine for which funding responsibility was transferred to the Department of Health for 1998-99 and exclude 18,500 FTEs in 1999-2000 in further education colleges for which funding responsibility transferred to the Higher Education Funding Council in England in 1999-2000.

UCAS data show that accepted applicants for full-time undergraduate courses rose by 5,000 between 1999-2000 and 2000-01. Early data on applications for 2001-02 show an increase of 2,000 applicants over 2000-01.

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