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New Opportunities Fund (Cancer Care)

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) breast, (b) lung, (c) stomach and (d) prostate cancer sufferers have been helped by allocations from the new opportunities fund since 1999. [15258]

Jacqui Smith: Funding of £93 million from the new opportunities fund was announced in 1999 and has been used to purchase 57 linear accelerators, 36 MRI scanners and over 300 items of equipment for the breast screening programme. A further £23.25 million was made available in 2000 from the new opportunities fund to provide improved palliative care at home.

The equipment and funding for palliative care will provide additional diagnostic and treatment facilities for all cancer sufferers as well as improve cancer care for those at home, but it is not possible to provide detailed figures for patients with specific cancers.

NHS Walk-in Centres

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost is of the NHS walk-in centres in (a) 2000–01 and (b) 2001–02. [14911]

Jacqui Smith: The estimated revenue costs for 2001–02 of the 42 national health service walk-in centres which will be operating before the end of this year are £36 million. The revenue costs in 2000–01 of the 40 centres then open were £33 million. In addition, development of these centres has involved capital costs of £30 million in 2000–01 and an estimated £5 million in 2001–02.

Cleft Lip and Palate Services

Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what were the recommendations of the Clinical Implementation Group in respect of cleft lip and palate services for the North West Region. [15016]

Jacqui Smith: Cleft lip and palate services are one element in a wider discussion around tertiary children's services in the North West and we want to ensure that the very best integrated paediatric care is provided.

The Department's North West Regional Office produced a commissioning framework for cleft lip and palate services. A cleft review panel, which comprised local clinicians, commissioners, regional office representatives and national experts in cleft care including the chief executive of the Cleft Lip and Palate Association (CLAPA), met in June 2001 to review presentations from both tertiary paediatric trusts—Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital Trust and Central Manchester and Manchester Children's University Hospitals Trust. Discussions are taking place between the two trusts to reach agreement on the best configuration of cleft services for the north west and it is anticipated that a proposal will go to public consultation in January 2002.

Waiting Lists

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list in (a) rank and (b) alphabetical order of health authority the (i) proportion and (ii) number of patients waiting (A) over 12 months and (B) over 18 months for in-patient treatment (1) at the last available date, (2) in March 1997 and (3) in June 1997. [15285]

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Mr. Hutton [holding answer 15 November 2001]: The information requested has been placed in the Library.

In line with the NHS Plan, inpatient waiting times will fall on a staged basis from 18 months now through to 15,12, nine and down to six months by 2005. As a result, we expect the average time patients wait for inpatient treatment to fall from three months to seven weeks.

As a first step towards this, the maximum waiting time for an inpatient appointment will be 15 months by the end of March 2002

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients are waiting for admission for orthopaedic treatment at Bedford Hospital NHS Trust; how many were waiting in November (a) 2000, (b) 1999, (c) 1998 and (d) 1997; and how many have waited (i) six months, (ii) six to 12 months and (iii) 12 to 15 months. [15622]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 16 November 2001]: Figures for inpatient orthopaedic treatment are not available monthly but are collected on a quarterly basis.

Figures for patients waiting for orthopaedic admission at Bedford Hospitals National Health Service Trust are shown in the table.

Total waitingUp to 6 months6–12 months12–15 months
March 1997 7545132329
December 19981,143565422115
December 19991,187578480104
December 20001,189505458139



Performance Fund

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which organisations have received allocations from the Performance Fund; and how much in each case. [15766]

Mr. Hutton: The information requested has been placed in the Library.

"Sold on Health" Report

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on progress with implementing the recommendation in the "Sold on Health" report; and what savings to public funds (a) are planned and (b) have been achieved. [15760]

Jacqui Smith: "Sold on Health" is a joint report published by the Department and Her Majesty's Treasury in May 2000. The report focused on the whole life cycle issues relating to the estate in the National Health Service, from procurement through its operational management and subsequent disposal.

Substantial progress has been made, and details will soon be available on the Sold on Health website "".

Invest to Save Budget

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the expected saving is to public funds from the projects of his Department in Round 2 of the Invest to Save Budget. [15763]

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Mr. Hutton: The estimated savings of Invest to Save Round 2 projects over the period of project's funding is: 2000–01 £1.2 million and 2001–02 £760,000 through a combination of cash releasing and efficiency savings. However, the key aim of the Invest to Save programme is to encourage innovation, streamlining and improvements in the delivery of public services.

Modernisation Agency

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the Modernisation Agency was established; and what its cost to public funds is in 2001–02. [15765]

Mr. Hutton: The National Health Service Modernisation Agency was set up on 1 April 2001. Its budget for the year 2001–02 stands at £54 million.

GP Appointments

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the expected cost to public funds is of enabling all patients to have GP appointments within 48 hours. [16250]

Mr. Hutton: Better access for patients is part of the vision for modernising primary care. Expenditure in primary care is around £5 billion. As well as this funding an access fund is available for primary care. Rising from £54.5 million in 2000–01, recurrent funding of £84.5 million is available this year, increasing to £114.5 million in 2002–03 and is intended to support primary care trusts in securing delivery of the 48-hour target. This can be further enhanced by PCTs unified budgets.

Transsexual People

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidelines his Department issues on the provision of care for transsexual people. [16384]

Jacqui Smith: The Department has issued no specific guidance on the provision of care to transsexuals. Like all other services, decisions about whether gender reassignment surgery should be funded under the national health service, are made by individual health authorities, who must take account of the wider picture in terms of local priorities and circumstances when determining how resources are spent. Each case must be decided on its own merits.

NHS Dental Care

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps are being taken to ensure that all those who want to are able to register for NHS dental care. [16208]

Ms Blears [holding answer 19 November 2001]: We are committed to ensuring that national health service dentistry is available to all who want it through registration with an NHS dentist. In supporting this commitment the Government have invested over £100 million in the last two years. This includes a scheme that spends about £20 million per annum on rewarding dentists with a significant NHS commitment.

Registration can play an important role in promoting oral health through strengthening the relationship between patient and dentist. However many people do not visit a dentist regularly. Systems are now in place for NHS

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Direct to advise patients in all parts of the country on where they can find a NHS dentist, within locally defined time and distance standards.

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