Previous Section Index Home Page

Stroke Units

Linda Perham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many general hospitals in the NHS had stroke units in each of the last five years. [4097]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested is not collected centrally. However, many hospitals already have, or plan to introduce, specialist stroke services.

The Department published the National Service Framework for Older People (NSF) on 27 March. It sets out a comprehensive strategy to ensure fair, high quality, integrated health and social care and reduce variations in services for older people.

The NSF addresses a number of specific conditions which are significant for, although not limited to, older people. It includes a standard on stroke and service models which should apply to all who need them regardless of age.

The stroke standard provides for stroke prevention, immediate care, early and continuing rehabilitation, and long-term support as components of a service model for integrated specialist stroke services which will build on current arrangements and be in place in all general hospitals which care for people with stroke by April 2004.

Research Expenditure

Linda Perham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much public money was spent in the last five years on research into (a) heart disease, (b) cancer and (c) stroke and stroke-related problems. [4098]

Yvette Cooper: Funding for research in cancer, heart disease and stroke is provided from a number of different sources, including the Government, charities and industry. The Department does not routinely collect information on all research expenditure.

The main Government agency for research into the causes of and treatments for disease is the Medical Research Council (MRC) which receives its funding via the Department of Trade and Industry. The Department funds research to support policy and the delivery of effective practice in the national health service. The Department also provides NHS support finding for research commissioned by the research councils and charities that takes place in the NHS.

Management of much of the research supported by NHS research and development funding is devolved and expenditure at project level is not held centrally by the Department. The information is therefore not available in the format requested for all years.

We are currently investing over £150 million a year in research that is directly relevant to cancer. Detailed figures for departmental and MRC estimated expenditure on cancer research are available for the following years:

£ million

Department of HealthMedical Research Council

It is important to note that scientific definitions have evolved over time and that the MRC has improved methods of capturing data and identifying spend. For these reasons, spend figures from one year to the next are incommensurable.

18 Jul 2001 : Column: 236W

The MRC's estimated expenditure on stroke research for the last five years was:

£ million

The MRC spent £12.3 million on heart disease research in 1998–99 and £10.5 million in 1999–2000. The Department spent approximately £48.9 million on research for cardiovascular disease and stroke in 1998–99 and approximately £49.1 million in 1999–2000. Research is currently being supported in these areas via regional and national research and development programmes.

Out-patient Appointments

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what percentage of patients failed to attend their out-patient appointments for (a) general medicine, (b) surgery, (c) radiology and (d) professions allied to medicine, in the last 12 months; [4566]

Mr. Hutton: Information on patients who, in 2000–01, failed to turn up for their out-patient appointments for general medicine, general surgery and radiology is given in the table. We do not collect information on out-patient appointments with professions allied to medicine.


SpecialtyDid not attend (DNA) rate
General medicine11.0
General surgery10.1


DNA Rate: percentage of patients who failed to attend their first out-patient appointment without notifying the trust


QM08 quarterly returns

Regional variations for all specialities is given in the following table.


DNA rate
Northern and Yorkshire10.210.6
West Midlands11.310.8


QM08 quarterly returns

18 Jul 2001 : Column: 237W

We fully accept that missed appointments can result in wasted resources and patients waiting longer than they need to. It is not possible to estimate the financial cost of this to the national health service because trusts usually have systems in place to minimise the impact of patients failing to turn up.

We do not plan to penalise patients who fail to attend. Instead we are introducing booking systems that give patients the opportunity to choose a date and time for their appointment that is convenient for them. By knowing their dates well in advance patients are able to make work, child care or any other arrangements in good time. These systems also make it easier for patients to change their appointments if they find they cannot make the date they originally agreed. Booking systems have been proved to reduce DNA rates significantly.

Under our NHS Plan two thirds of out-patient appointments with consultants and elective admissions to hospital will be pre-booked by March 2004 and all will be pre-booked by the end of 2005.

NHS Charter

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will introduce a staff charter for staff working in the NHS, to cover (a) working conditions, (b) catering facilities, (c) housing and transport and (d) safety. [4570]

Mr. Hutton: The improving working lives standard commits all National Health Service employers to improve all aspects of the working lives of all staff groups in the NHS. The NHS Plan sets a target for all NHS employers to be accredited as putting the improving working lives standard into practice by April 2003. NHS employers will be assessed against this standard. All NHS trusts have achieved the first stage towards full accreditation against the improving working lives standard. A copy of the standard is available in the Library

St. Leonard's Hospital, Dorset

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will instruct NHS Estates to demolish the redundant buildings in their ownership at St. Leonard's Hospital, Dorset; and if he will make a statement. [4755]

Ms Blears: National Health Service Estates appealed in April 2000 against the non-determination of the planning application for the St. Leonard's Hospital site by East Dorset district council.

18 Jul 2001 : Column: 238W

In July 2000 the planning inspectorate requested that NHS Estates undertake an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the site. Work for the EIA has been completed and submitted. A date for the public inquiry into the planning appeal is awaited from the planning inspectorate.

It would be inappropriate to demolish the buildings until the conclusion of the planning appeal.

Meat Hygiene Service

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the 2000–01 annual report and accounts for the Meat Hygiene Service will be laid before Parliament. [5391]

Yvette Cooper: The 2000–01 Annual Report and Accounts for the Meat Hygiene Service were laid before Parliament today. Copies are available in the Library, but formal printing and publication will not occur for another four to six weeks, pending preparation of a version in Welsh as required by the Welsh Language Act 1993.



Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many and what proportion of the total teaching population of (a) teachers and (b) deputy headteachers are not registered with the General Teaching Council; and if she will make a statement. [4663]

Mr. Timms: Details relating to the numbers and proportions of teachers and deputy headteachers registered with the General Teaching Council (GTC) are a matter for the GTC. I have asked the Chief Executive of the GTC to write to the hon. Member with the information requested. A copy of her response will be placed in the Library.

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent representations she has received from teachers and headteachers who are not registered with the General Teaching Council; and if she will make a statement. [4662]

Mr. Timms: My Department has received a large number of inquiries about registration over the past three months and, where appropriate, these have been forwarded to the General Teaching Council (GTC) to deal with. My officials do not routinely check with the GTC whether or not someone contacting the Department about a GTC related issue is a registered teacher. Consequently, we do not maintain a record of representations made from teachers or headteachers who are not registered.

Next Section Index Home Page