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Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his written answer of 15 October 2001, Official Report, columns 102728W, on beta interferon, what estimate he has made of the annual additional cost of prescribing beta interferon to 12 per cent. of British sufferers from multiple sclerosis. 
Ms Blears: We have made no such estimate.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in England have been waiting more than (a) six, (b) 12, (c) 18 and (d) 24 months for an (i) out-patient and (ii) in-patient appointment for each reporting period since 1995; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 25 October 2001]: The information requested is given in the tables.
A proportion of patients who have waited over 18 and 24 months are awaiting tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy procedures. This is because the National Health Service has been advised only to carry out these procedures (when routine) using single-use supply instruments, due to the theoretical risk of contracting vCJD. There are now sufficient supplies of these instruments; therefore, patients awaiting these procedures should not be waiting as long in the coming months.
Two NHS trusts were responsible for the number of patients waiting over 24 months during the quarters ending March and June 2001. Appropriate corrective action is in place to ensure these patients are treated.
We are determined to reduce waiting times through implementing shorter maximum waiting times. By the end of March 2002, the maximum in-patient waiting time will be 15 months and the maximum waiting time for a first out-patient appointment will be six months.
|Of those on the list, number who have waited:|
|Quarter||Size of in-patient||More than 6 months||More than 12 months||More than 18 months||More than 24 months|
(33) Number of T&As
KH07 quarterly waiting times return. Department of Health
30 Oct 2001 : Column: 651W
30 Oct 2001 : Column: 652W
|Of those still waiting at quarter end for a first out-patient appointment following GP referral, number who have waited:|
|Quarter||More than 6 months||More than 12 months||More than 18 months||More than 24 months|
QM08 quarterly waiting times return. Department of Health
Mr. Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) ambulances, (b) paramedics and (c) ambulance medical technicians there were in Sussex in each of the last five years for which figures are available. 
Ms Blears: Figures for the number of ambulances and ambulance medical technicians are not collected centrally.
The number of ambulance staff in Sussex for each year at 30 September are in the table.
|Year||Paramedics||Other ambulance personnel|
Department of Health Non-medical work force census
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) for what reason ambulance services in Hampshire are to be reorganised; 
30 Oct 2001 : Column: 653W
(3) how many representations during the consultation on reorganising ambulance services in the south-east were in favour of the proposals; 
(4) if he will make a statement on the consultation on reorganising ambulance services in the south-east. 
Ms Blears: Over 100 bodies and individuals responded to the consultation proposals. The South East Regional Office of the Department will make a detailed summary to Ministers shortly.
Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has concerning the possible continuing incidence of anthrax at the former Thanet Isolation (Haine) hospital; and if he will make a statement on possible long-term contamination of the burial grounds. 
Ms Blears: I have been advised by the Director of Public Health at East Kent health authority that there is no risk of anthrax from this site to the general public or anyone working at the Haine hospital site.
In the event of graves being excavated, workers should be advised to take normal precautions to prevent infection from pathogens in soil; namely the use of protective gloves and washable or disposable overalls.
Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of the chairs and non-executive directors of NHS boards have a disability. 
Ms Blears: The proportion of those appointed to National Health Service boards who identify themselves as being disabled is shown in the tables.
|Total||Number disabled||Per cent. disabled|
|Primary care trusts||166||8||4.8|
|Special health authorities||16||0||0|
|Primary care trusts||773||49||6.3|
|Special health authorities||274||11||4.0|
|Total chairs and NEDs||3.641||135||3.7|
Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the names of the chair and
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members of the new Independent NHS Appointments Commission and indicate how they were (a) selected and (b) appointed. 
Ms Blears: The membership of the National Health Service Appointments Commission is as follows:
Sir William Wells
EasternMrs. Rosie Varley
LondonSir Ian Mills
North WestMr. Michael Taylor
Northern and YorkshireDr. John Marshall
South EastMr. Bernard Williams
South WestMrs. Gillian Camm
TrentMrs. Brenda Sills
West MidlandsMrs. Jane Isaacs.
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