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26 Nov 2001 : Column: 715W
Mr. McCartney: The information requested is contained in the publication, "Retirement Pension Summary of Statistics31 March 2001". The publication is available in the Library and can be found on the internet at www.dss.gov.uk/asd/online.html.
Ms Blears: As part of on-going contingency planning, arrangements are in place to mitigate the effects of a bioterrorist act and to ensure response and recovery in conjunction with other Government Departments, the national health service and key public health agencies. Further guidance was issued in October to regional directors of public health and health authorities to ensure the NHS is ready to address bioterrorist threats, including anthrax, smallpox, botulism, plague or other unknown biological or chemical agents. At the same time, guidance for medical staff was made available on the Public Health Laboratory Service website.
Jacqui Smith: The Department's on-going planning activity includes a review of the impact of terrorist biological threats and the countermeasures necessary, including vaccination where appropriate. We are working closely with the Ministry of Defence to address the issues of possible biological threats. We are in discussions with the United States of America, the European Union and other Governments to share information on planning and response, including vaccine supplies. There is a strategic reserve of vaccination, which could be rapidly deployed.
Jacqui Smith: In 1994, the board of the Calderdale Healthcare National Health Service Trust submitted an outline business case (OBC) to rationalise services from three hospital sites on to one. The costs in this OBC, £34.85 million, related to construction costs only for a combination of new build and refurbishment.
Further work led to a full business case (FBC) being developed in 1996. The scheme that was put forward was significantly enhanced from the OBC proposal. This included detailed internal design work, creating additional clinical space and more single areas with en-suite facilities. It also included the addition of new build mental health villas that were excluded from the original OBC. The cost of the FBC was £60.96 million.
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The original costs of £34.85 million did not include all the elements of the scheme; it covered only a distinctly different and small scheme. It therefore is not possible to make comparisons between the costs at OBC stage and at FBC stage.
The FBC included a three-level diagnostic ward block, new mental health villas, a refurbished children's and women's block, other refurbished buildings, and modern systems to support the new facilities.
The design strategy was further changed in 1998, as it became apparent that the layout would still not meet the need. These changes added a fourth level to the diagnostic ward block to house a new maternity block, and demolition of the existing women and children's block.
These changes resulted in a new build and refurbishment scheme totalling £76 million. When the costs of borrowing and insurance of the private sector partner, Catalyst, are included in the total cost, the figure is £103 million.
Jacqui Smith: As part of the NHS plan, the national health service is working towards reducing the current maximum in-patient wait of 18 months to 15 months by March 2002, 12 months by March 2003, nine months by March 2004 and finally six months by the end of 2005. The maximum out-patient waiting time will fall from over six months today to six months by March 2002 and three months by 2005.
The health community in Lincolnshire has an excellent record in consistently reducing waiting times across the majority of specialties. It is acknowledged that there are short term pressures around some waiting lists at present. A number of innovative schemes have been introduced to address this. The situation is kept under regular review and the health community is confident that it will be able to maintain its agreed action plan.
Ms Blears: Statistics on the number of operations cancelled for non-medical reasons in each health authority are collected on a quarterly basis. Copies are available in the Library. The latest figures are for quarter one (AprilJune) of the 200102 financial year.
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 31 October 2001]: The latest information held centrally indicates that there were 35 crisis resolution teams in place as at October 2000. The NHS plan has a set target of having 335 crisis resolution teams established by 2004. Progress towards meeting this target is being monitored through the
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Jacqui Smith [holding answer 31 October 2001]: Between 1 April 2001 and 30 September 2001 (the last date for which accurate information is available) 65 people moved from high secure hospitals to more appropriate accommodation.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) early intervention teams, (b) crisis resolution teams and (c) assertive outreach teams (i) have been and (ii) will be established in the current financial year. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 31 October 2001]: The information available in response to the number of assertive outreach teams at (i) have been and (ii) will be established in the current financial year, is set out in the table.
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(34) Estimate as at the end of quarter one of the 200102 financial year.
(35) Forecast for the end of the 200102 financial year taken at the end of quarter one.
Quarterly Monitoring 200102
The precise numbers of early intervention teams and crisis resolution teams that (i) have been and (ii) will be established in the current financial year are being collected. A census earlier this year showed there were 35 crisis resolution teams and 12 early intervention teams in England.
Ms Blears: We announced on 31 July that we were referring insulin pump therapy to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence for appraisal. The institute appraises the clinical and cost effectiveness of treatments and issues authoritative, evidence-based guidance to the national health service, to help to deliver equity of access to effective treatments wherever patients may live.
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Ms Blears: We welcome the progress which the National Institute for Clinical Excellence has already made. Authoritative, evidence-based guidance has been issued on a wide range of subjects, particularly drug treatments. NICE has also established six collaborating centres for the development of clinical guidelines, and has already published four guidelines.
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