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Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for each month for which data is available how many telephone calls were received by NHS Direct from people living in Shrewsbury and Atcham; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Stuart: NHS Direct Stafford, which covers the Shrewsbury and Atcham area in Shropshire, became live on 31 October 2000. Information is not collected on a constituency basis, but the number of telephone calls received from people with a Shropshire postcode is shown in the table.
(29) Covers one day (31 October 2000)
(30) Increase in numbers coincides with television advertisement campaign in the Central TV region.
NHS Direct Stafford
Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many doctors were employed at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on (a) 1 May 1997 and (b) the latest available date for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: The table shows the number of hospital medical and dental staff employed by the Royal Shrewsbury hospital national health service trust in both 1997 and 2000. This indicates an increase in the number of doctors working at the trust:
|At 30 September||Number|
Figures rounded to the nearest 10
Department of Health medical and dental workforce census
We are committed to further increasing the number of staff in the national health service and outlined proposals for this in the NHS plan, published in July 2000. Proposals include 7,500 more consultants and 2000 more general practitioners by 2004.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will list the health authorities in which beta interferon is made available to newly diagnosed MS sufferers; 
8 May 2001 : Column: 154W
Mr. Denham: We have recently reminded all chief executives in the National Health Service that existing guidance contained in circulars EL(95)97 and HSC 1999-176 remains in place pending the publication of authoritative guidance from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.
Information about health authorities' policies on the treatment of multiple sclerosis is not available centrally. Any such policies should provide for individual cases to be considered on their merits in the light of the evidence available on different forms of treatment.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the overseas countries visited by each Minister in his Department as part of their official duties in each of the last five years. 
Ms Stuart: Health Ministers as part of their official duties have visited the following countries.
|Belgium||Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Public Health) (PS(PH))|
|Germany||Secretary of State (SofS)|
|Sweden||Minister of State (Commons) (MS(C))|
|Italy||Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Lords) (PS(L)|
|Turkey||Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Health) (PS(H))|
8 May 2001 : Column: 155W
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost was of sending (a) Ministers and (b) civil servants to health conferences in (i) the UK and (ii) overseas in each of the last five years. 
Ms Stuart: The Department does not collect the information in the form requested and an answer could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what has been the cost to date of NHS Direct. 
Ms Stuart: NHS Direct has been funded from a top-sliced central budget. The total costs of the service since 1998-99 are given in the table. These costs include all set-up costs for establishing the call centre environment, and central costs.
The 2000-01 figures are an estimate based on latest information. The final costs will not fluctuate widely from the information in the table.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the cost to date of the introduction and operation of the Commission for Health Improvement. 
Mr. Denham: Not including the preparatory administrative costs borne by the Department (which could not be identified without disproportionate effort), the cost of establishing and continued operation of the Commission for Health Improvement between 1 November 1999, when it came into being, and 31 March 2001, is £13.7 million. This total includes a proportionate contribution from the National Assembly for Wales.
The breakdown of expenditure in each year is shown in the table:
|November 1999-March 2000||2.3|
|April 2000-March 2001||11.4|
Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will provide a substantive answer to the question tabled by the hon. Member for Salisbury for answer on 23 March. 
Ms Stuart: I replied to the hon. Member today.
Sir Brian Mawhinney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many ME specialist clinics have outreach mobile units to go to those whose symptoms are so severe as to render them bed or house-bound; 
8 May 2001 : Column: 156W
(3) if he will list the NHS trusts which provide specialist (a) in-patient and (b) ward facilities for those suffering from ME. 
Yvette Cooper: The information requested is not held centrally.
The National Health Service provides a considerable number of services which people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) access. These patients are seen within a wide range of hospital specialities including general medicine, neurology and immunology. The CFS/ME working group is developing guidance to improve the quality of care for CFS/ME patients.
Sir Brian Mawhinney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many doctors specialising in ME are attached to NHS trusts in the (a) Cambridgeshire/ Peterborough, (b) Lincolnshire and (c) Northamptonshire health authority areas. 
Yvette Cooper: The information requested is not available centrally or collected in Lincolnshire. Addenbrooke's national health service trust is reported to have five general neurologists working across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. In Northamptonshire, no one clinician has been identified with a particular interest in CFS/ME, although general physicians and neurologists are available to exclude alternative diagnosis.
Sir Brian Mawhinney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list for each appropriate English local authority the most recently available average amount which is spent per annum per child on children held in secure accommodation, together with the number of such secure placements in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Hutton: At 31 March 2000 there were 436 approved places in local authority secure accommodation. Information on numbers of children admitted to secure units and numbers of days that each child spends in secure units is not available. Information on numbers of children accommodated on 31 March is available but because the numbers are so small, and because of the likely variations in numbers in secure units on each day of the year, this would not produce reliable calculations of average spend per annum per child.
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