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Primary Care

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the levels of investment in primary care research and development have been in each year since 1997. [27359]

Jacqui Smith: The Department's estimated expenditure on primary care research and development for the years since 1997 are:

Year£ million

Cancelled Operations

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many operations have been cancelled in each of the last four quarters. [27360]

Mr. Hutton: Data on the number of operations cancelled, by region and health authority, for the time periods requested, are available in the Library.

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Data are collected on the number of operations cancelled at the last minute. The latest published figures are for Quarter 1 2001–02.

Operations cancelled at the last minute are those cancelled by the hospital, for non-medical reasons, on or after the day the patient was due to be admitted.

Domiciliary Oxygen Therapy Service

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost to the NHS was of (a) concentrators and (b) cylinder oxygen as part of the Domiciliary Oxygen Therapy Service in the last year for which figures are available. [27242]

Jacqui Smith: The figures requested are shown in the table.

Cost of Domiciliary Oxygen Therapy Service, England, 2000–01

£ million
Payments to suppliers of oxygen concentrators14.3
Net ingredient cost of oxygen supplied in cylinders, and oxygen masks(32)9.6
Fees paid to pharmacies for the collection and delivery of cylinders and provision of associated equipment14.4

(32) Net ingredient cost (NIC) refers to the headline reimbursement cost of the drug before the deduction of discount and does not include any dispensing costs or fees.


Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA)

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans the Government have to improve the provision of oxygen through the Domiciliary Oxygen Therapy Service. [27241]

Jacqui Smith: We will be considering options shortly.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients received domiciliary oxygen supply services in each year since 1992. [27243]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Invalid Vehicles

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many invalid vehicles provided under the invalid vehicle scheme up to 1976 were on the road in each of the last five years. [27251]

Jacqui Smith: The number of vehicles provided under the invalid vehicle scheme at the end of each of the last five years was as follows:

YearTotal fleet size

Everyone leaving the invalid vehicle scheme will be eligible to receive indefinitely the higher rate mobility component of disability living allowance, currently set at £38.65 a week rising to £39.30 from April 2002. They

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may choose to use this, for example, to obtain a motorised scooter or a four wheeled car specially adapted to each driver's needs through the motability scheme. Help with driving lessons is available. Technical officers from the service have visited each driver to discuss his or her future needs and to help decide what option to take.

National At-Risk Register

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans the Government have to introduce a national at-risk register to co-ordinate those lists which exist at a local level. [27239]

Jacqui Smith: A central register is maintained for each area covered by a social services department. The register lists all the children resident in the area (including those who have been placed there by another local authority or agency) who are considered to be at continuing risk of significant harm, and for whom there is a child protection plan.

"Working Together to Safeguard Children" implemented better ways of making sure these registers link up together more effectively when a child moves from place to place. Since the publication of "Working Together" in December 1999, it has been the case that if a child and family have moved permanently to another local authority area, the receiving local authority should convene a child protection conference within 15 working days of being notified of the move. Only once this has taken place may de-registration take place in respect of the original local authority's child protection register.

We have no plans at present to introduce a national risk register.

Accident Rates

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the accident rate per 100 persons has been in each of the last available five years. [27363]

Yvette Cooper: The number of in-patient admissions for accidents and rates per 100,000 population is shown in the table.

Hospital episode statistics: Admissions and rates per 100,000 population where the primary diagnosis(33) is "accidents" (ICD10 codes S00-T98) with a relevant cause(34) code (CD10 codes V01-X59, Y40-Y84)

YearAdmissionsRates per 100,000 population

(33) The primary diagnosis is the first of seven diagnosis fields in the Hospital Episode Statistics data set, and provides the main reason why the patient was in hospital.

(34) The cause code is a supplementary code which indicates the nature of the condition.


Data in this table are adjusted for both coverage and unknown/invalid clinical data, except for 1998–99 to 2000–01 which are not yet adjusted for shortfalls.


Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health

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Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many electrically powered indoor/outdoor wheelchairs have been made available in each year since 1997; [27348]

Jacqui Smith: Figures on expenditure on electrically powered indoor/outdoor wheelchairs (EPIOCs) are not collected centrally, nor are figures for numbers of vouchers issued separated into manual wheelchairs and EPIOCs.

The table gives the only date available centrally. A number of these figures are incomplete (as annotated):

Number of powered wheelchairs issued4,4644,0333,388(36)3,279
Number of vouchers issued for wheelchairs(35)560(36)5,0106,305(36)6,250

(35) Collection of data was not mandatory

(36) Incomplete figure (one return missing)

Mixed Sex Wards

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the definition of a mixed sex ward includes those wards which use privacy screens. [27365]

Ms Blears: The term "mixed sex ward" can be used to describe a variety of arrangements. The use of partitioning as a means of dividing wards into bays, which are then used to accommodate either male or female patients, is an acceptable means of protecting patients' privacy and dignity.

However, the use of moveable privacy screens alone is not acceptable, as these provide poor physical separation of facilities. Their use as an adjunct to permanent solutions, such as partitioning, can be helpful in further enhancing a sense of privacy and dignity.

Guidance on maintaining privacy and dignity was first issued to the national health service in 1997. This guidance clearly states that any screening in use must be adequate to ensure privacy is maintained, e.g., which will prevent patients being overhead or overseen by others, where this is not desirable.

Protecting patients' privacy and dignity is of paramount consideration, irrespective of whether the ward is single-sex or accommodates both male and female patients in appropriately designated bays.

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