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Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the average time waited on the day for their treatment by out-patients at the oncology unit at Cheltenham General Hospital; and if he will make a statement. 
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emergency closure of the accident and emergency department at Crawley and Redhill hospitals effective from 21 January. 
Emergency cases where paramedics determined that the patient should be treated at the nearest accident and emergency department were accepted as were all patients self referring to the accident and emergency departments. Diversion arrangements were made for neighbouring hospitals to take other urgent (but not emergency) cases.
Mr. Hawkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many deaths were caused by the use of (a) ecstasy, (b) cocaine and (c) heroin in the last 12 months; what steps he is taking to reduce the incidence of deaths caused by the use of class A drugs; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 24 January 2002]: The latest year for which figures are available is 1999. The number of deaths in England and Wales where ecstasy, cocaine and heroin/morphine was mentioned on the death certificate, with or without other substances, are as follows:
(42) As heroin breaks down in the body into morphine, the latter may be detected at post mortem and recorded on the death certificate.
Office for National Statistics database of deaths from drug related poisonings
In November 2001 we launched our action plan to prevent drug-related deaths which aims, by promoting practical measures such as resuscitation training for drug users and harm reduction training for drug treatment staff, to reduce the number of these deaths. A press release was issued at launch, reference 2001/0543, and can be found on the Department's website.
|Number of elective operations||12,044||13,024||13,595|
|Number of operations postponed||41||53||75|
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relative merits of (a) cell research and (b) the further development of pharmaceutical products in developing a cure for type 1 diabetes. 
Jacqui Smith: We have received no advice on the relative merits of cell research and the further development of pharmaceutical products in developing a cure for Type 1 diabetes. The Human Genetics Commission provides us with strategic advice on developments in human genetics and their social and ethical implications. To date, the Commission has given no advice relevant to cell research and diabetes. The Gene Therapy Advisory Committee has received no proposals for gene therapy research relating to diabetes and none is expected at present. We will, however, continue to monitor developments with interest.
Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice his Department provides to primary care trusts and other health bodies on screening vulnerable individuals for early signs of the onset of diabetes. 
Jacqui Smith: We have asked the UK National Screening Committee to assess the benefits and disbenefits of screening for Type 2 diabetes. The Committee has decided that further research, which may require some complex studies, is needed to inform its advice. It will report to the Department in 2005.
Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people have (a) Type I and (b) Type II diabetes; and what research his Department has (i) commissioned and (ii) evaluated on (A) the costs to the health service of diabetic care, (B) the numbers of undiagnosed diabetics and (C) the costs and benefits of a high risk screening programme for Type II diabetes. 
Jacqui Smith: An estimated 1.3 million people in England have diagnosed diabetes, of whom around 15 per cent. have Type 1 diabetes and around 85 per cent. have Type 2 diabetes. In addition, as many as 1 million people may have Type 2 diabetes without yet knowing it. Around 5 per cent. of total national health service resources is used for the care of people with diabetes. We see bringing clarity to the question of screening for Type 2 diabetes as a priority. We have asked the United Kingdom National Screening Committee to assess the benefits and disbenefits. The committee will make recommendations in 2005.
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 24 January 2002]: New Forest primary care trust, which manages Lymington hospital, has been actively working on plans for a new hospital which are now very advanced. The PCT intends to submit an outline business case to the south-east regional office of the Department of Health in February 2002 seeking approval to proceed with the detail design and build of the new hospital.
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Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the Government's funding of social services in Gloucestershire, with particular reference to disabled people. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 24 January 2002]: Gloucestershire's Personal Social Services Standard Spending Assessment (PSS SSA) increases from £81.3 million for 200102 to £84.2 million for 200203, which is an increase of over 5 per cent. In addition, Gloucestershire will receive substantial increases in grants for social services. Their carers grant will increase by 21 per cent. Their building capacity and deferred payment grant will double. Their children's services grant will increase by 13 per cent.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what representations he has had from insurance companies about the introduction of the Road Traffic (NHS Charges) Amendment Regulations 2001; and if he will make a statement; 
Ms Blears [holding answer 24 January 2002]: The Department advised the Association of British Insurers of planned increases under the provisions of the Road Traffic (NHS Charges) Act 1999 in the tariff and cap on 7 December 2001. Officials have since corresponded with the association on these matters and I understand a further approach has been made to me seeking to delay implementation. However the increased charges will not have an immediate impact as they will only apply to road traffic accidents happening on or after 28 January 2002. As the average time to settle the relevant insurance claims is around 18 months, the full effect of the increases will not occur until summer 2003.
Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people the Government's Chief Medical Officer estimates were covered by occupational health services in (a) 1975, (b) 1985, (c) 1995 and (d) the last year for which survey figures are available. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 25 January 2002]: The only estimates of occupational health provision the Department holds are taken from the 1993 Health and Safety Executive (HSE) contract research report "Occupational Health Provision at Work" (reference: 57/1993). The HSE has recently commissioned a new survey to assess the current level of usage of occupational health support among employers.
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