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Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland Trust

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health who has been appointed Chair and non-executive directors of the Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland Neuro-rehabilitation Trust. [157101]

Mr. Hutton: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has appointed Ms Sue Whittaker to chair the new Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland Mental Health National Health Service Trust until 30 November

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2004. An announcement on the appointment of four of the non-executive directors of the new trust will be made very shortly.

Newcastle (Strategic Review)

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when decisions were taken to (a) establish the Newcastle Acute Services Review, (b) replace the present Northern Centre for Cancer Treatment, Newcastle and (c) replace the present Hunters Moor Hospital, Newcastle; when the outline business cases were submitted for (b) and (c); and when he will invite bids for the work. [157015]

Mr. Hutton: The Newcastle strategic review (NSR), as a strategy, was approved by Ministers in December 1993. The first support to its capital investment implications commenced in 1995, with the start of an allocation of £8.4 million of "fast track" capital to commence movement of acute services off the Newcastle General Hospital site. Confirmation of the support to larger scale capital investment was provided by the approval of the second wave strategic outline case (SOC) in April 1998, revisions to which were approved in September 1999.

The 1993 NSR strategy document did not include provision for the relocation of the northern centre for cancer treatment (NCCT) from the Newcastle General Hospital site. It became subsequently apparent as acute services were relocated off the Newcastle General Hospital site that the NCCT would become increasingly isolated from access to surgery, medicine, anaesthetics, critical care and other clinical services. Consequently, the subsequent SOC (approved in April 1998) included the reprovision of the NCCT on the Freeman Hospital site.

Public consultation was undertaken during Summer 2000 on the reconfiguration of neuro-disability services for the northern part of the region. In September 2000 Newcastle and North Tyneside health authority supported the option to reprovide the services including those currently provided at Hunters Moor Hospital with new facilities on the Walkergate Hospital site.

The business cases for the main elements of the NSR (which includes reprovision of the NCCT) were received on 14 February 2001. The date for when bids for the work will be sought is dependent on the completion of the refinement of the outline business cases, which is now being undertaken by the trust and health authority.

Although a business case for the development at Walkergate is in preparation, a definitive version has not yet been submitted to the regional office of the National Health Service Executive for approval. Consequently it is not yet possible to say when bids for this scheme will be invited.

NHS Vacancies

Mr. Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS vacancies there were for (a) doctors, (b) nurses, (c) midwives, (d) health visitors, (e) professions allied to medicine and (f) management and administration staff for each of the last 10 years for which figures are available; how many posts in each category have been vacant for longer than three months; and if he will make a statement. [157323]

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Mr. Denham: The Department has collected data on the number of posts that have been vacant for three months or more as at 31 March in 1999 and 2000. The information is in the table.

Department of Health Vacancies Survey
Three month vacancy figures(82) in England as at 31 March for each year

Qualified nurses7,1509,870
Of which
Midwives 370490
Health visitors 95191
Professions allied to medicine(83)8601,510
Administration and estates(84)6401,740

(82) Posts that had been vacant for three months or more at 31 March each year.

(83) Professions allied to medicine staff include the following occupation groups: Chiropody, dietetics, occupational therapy, orthoptics/optics, physiotherapy, diagnostic radiography, therapeutic radiology, art/music/drama therapy.

(84) Management and administration staff are part of administration and estates staff group, and cannot be separately identified.


Figures are whole time equivalents rounded to the nearest 10.


Department of Health Vacancies Survey

Locum Doctors

Mr. Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost was to the NHS of employing locum doctors in (a) general practice and (b) hospital medicine in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [157324]

Mr. Denham: This information is not collected or held centrally.


Mr. O'Hara: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what change there has been in recorded cases of epilepsy between 1 November 1999 and 28 February 2001. [157555]

Mr. Denham: The information is not available in the format requested. The table shows the number of admissions by month to National Health Service hospitals in England for epilepsy in 1999-2000. Data for 2000-01 are not yet available. The figures do not reflect the numbers of individuals involved, neither do they include cases of epilepsy that do not result in admission to hospital.

Admissions to NHS hospitals in England where the main diagnosis was epilepsy, 1999-2000

July 3,071
August 3,282
September 3,234
October 3,104
December 2,783
February 2,873


1. 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

2. Figures have not yet been adjusted for shortfalls in data


Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), Department of Health

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Mrs. Roe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the hon. Member for Broxbourne will receive a reply to her letters of 12 January, 8 February, 8 March and 4 April relating to a constituent, Mrs. Ruth Cooper of Hoddesdon. [157458]

Mr. Denham: A reply to the hon. Member's letters was sent 19 February 2001.


Private Security Industry Bill

11. Mr. Michael Jabez Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals he has for licensing wheel-clampers. [156030]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Private Security Industry Bill, which was introduced in the House last month, sets out proposals to regulate private wheel-clampers. Under the Bill anyone engaged in wheel-clamping by way of business or employment or for monetary gain will need to obtain a licence from the regulatory authority which is also being set up under the legislation.

Ms Dari Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received regarding the Private Security Industry Bill. [156054]

Mr. Charles Clarke: We have received representations from a number of organisations and individuals including:

The representations related to a number of provisions of the Bill, including the regulation of in-house manned guards and other sectors of the industry, wheel-clamping and the licensing of security companies.

Mr. Hope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his plans for regulation of club and pub doormen. [156038]

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Mr. Charles Clarke: The Private Security Industry Bill provides for the establishment of a Security Industry Authority which will have responsibility for licensing individuals employed in designated sectors of the security industry, including door supervisors.

The Authority will be responsible for establishing a licensing regime for all door supervisors. This will involve setting national criteria, in consultation with the police, industry and local authorities, which will be used in deciding whether to grant a licence. Initially the criteria will involve a criminal record check, but it is envisaged that over time additional criteria relating to training and similar issues will be imposed. This aim is to ensure that only fit and proper people receive licences to operate as door supervisors. Those who do not meet the published criteria will be refused licences.

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