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Hospital Waiting Lists

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is towards the suspension from hospital waiting lists of patients recovering from the first stage of a bilateral procedure. [25499]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 9 January 2002]: Patients who are recovering from the first stage of a bilateral operation should not be suspended from the waiting list but should be placed on the planned list.


Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the side effects of tricyclic antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors; and what evidence he has collated on their impact on suicidal tendencies in their users. [25436]

Ms Blears: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are effective medicines in the treatment of depression, features of which may include suicidal behaviour. It is known that

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features of depression, including suicidal behaviour, can worsen after introduction of any antidepressant prior to its beneficial effect being apparent.

As with all medicines the safety of TCAs and selective SSRIs is continually monitored by the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) and the independent expert advisory body, the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM). The safety profiles of TCAs and SSRIs are well established and are reflected in the product information for prescribers and patients.

Reports of adverse effects, including suicidal behaviour, suspected to be associated with SSRIs and TCAs are collated by MCA/CSM through the spontaneous reporting scheme, the yellow card scheme. These data are reviewed on a regular basis.

A possible causal association between SSRIs and suicidal behaviour has been reviewed by the CSM on a number of occasions, most recently in 2001. The CSM concluded that the current evidence is insufficient to confirm a causal association between SSRIs and suicidal behaviour and advised that the issue should be kept under review.

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The product information and the British National Formulary warn that patients should be closely monitored for suicidal impulses, particularly in the early stages of treatment. An article emphasising this advice was published in the MCA/CSM drug safety bulletin "Current Problems in Pharmacovigilance" in September 2000.

International Recruitment

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 8 January 2001, Official Report, column 647W, on international recruitment, by what means he monitors the results of the international recruitment and regional international recruitment co-ordinators; and if he will publish the names of the international nursing recruitment agencies who fail to adhere to his guidance. [28881]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 21 January 2002]: International recruitment is monitored by the international recruitment co-ordinators who work closely with the national

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health service employers recruiting internationally. Their role is to ensure that the code of practice is followed and that developing countries are not targeted for international recruitment by providing guidance and advice directly to NHS trusts. The director of international recruitment reviews this process monthly.

Recruitment agencies who fail to adhere to the code of practice will not be used by NHS organisations.

NHS Assets

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list for each three star NHS trust in England the estimated value of assets held in (a) land and (b) buildings at the latest date for which figures are available. [28671]

Ms Blears: The table shows the estimated net book value of three star national health service trust's (a) land and (b) buildings installations and fittings as at 31 March 2001.

NHS trust tangible fixed assets—net book value as at 31 March 2001

NHS trust code NHS trust name LandBuildings, installations and fittings
RGTAddenbrooke's NHS Trust21,24399,308
RDDBasildon and Thurrock General Hospital NHS Trust23,13558,525
RCPBassetlaw Hospital and Community Health Service Trust4,07031,496
RMBBlackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley NHS Trust5,09573,620
RMRBlackpool Victoria Hospital NHS Trust5,30353,338
RAEBradford Hospitals NHS Trust9,37385,701
RGACalderdale Healthcare NHS Trust3,37621,926
RCVCentral Sheffield University Hospitals NHS Trust7,490117,702
RFSChesterfield and North Derbyshire Hospital Trust8,15037,033
RLNCity Hospitals Sunderland NHS Trust5,64576,452
RJRCountess of Chester Hospital NHS Trust6,06436,581
RA5East Gloucestershire NHS Trust22,50784,159
RDUFrimley Park Hospital NHS Trust9,90047,757
RGBHuddersfield Health Care Services NHS Trust8,35957,213
RJZKing's College Hospital NHS Trust21,356108,796
RC9Luton and Dunstable Hospital NHS Trust6,88735,855
RQ8Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust45,92178,138
RTXMorecambe Bay Hospitals NHS Trust10,481111,631
RM1Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust2,4924,258
RVWNorth Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust7,59573,964
RNSNorthampton General Hospital NHS Trust15,15260,348
RBZNorthern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust9,17239,126
RTFNorthumbria Health Care NHS Trust14,619116,072
RGNPeterborough Hospitals NHS Trust4,45424,064
RQWPrincess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust16,00034,386
RG2Queen Elizabeth Hospital NHS Trust16,81310,432
RH8Royal Devon and Exeter Healthcare NHS Trust21,43194,218
RK5Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust6,50441,003
RA9South Devon Health Care NHS Trust21,90672,567
RTASouth Durham Health Care NHS Trust6,55843,184
RE9South Tyneside Health Care NHS Trust6,52351,546
RTGSouthern Derbyshire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust12,313103,241
RBATaunton and Somerset NHS Trust11,44877,073
RGRWest Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust6,40029,101
RN1Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust24,01062,879


NHS Trust Summarisation Schedules 2000–01

Hospital Performance

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of (a) the effect of under investment and (b) the poor performance of management with regard to persistently failing NHS hospitals; and if he will make a statement. [29397]

Mr. Hutton: The national health service performance ratings for acute trusts were published in September 2001. The ratings show that hospitals of a similar size perform

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differently. Variations in performance are largely down to hospital management teams. The direct effect of funding levels on performance has not been used in deciding the ratings, although maintaining financial balance is a key target.

The poorest performing, zero star trusts, have submitted performance improvement plans to the Department. These are being reviewed and will subsequently be monitored. The modernisation agency is playing a full role in this process, to bring the performance of these trusts up to a level that patients have the right to expect.

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will take into account (a) social, (b) economic and (c) demographic data when assessing an NHS hospital's (i) success and (ii) failure rate. [29396]

Mr. Hutton: The national health service performance ratings for acute trusts, published in September 2001, were based on areas of performance that are under the influence of hospital managers. Where appropriate, the performance indicators used in the assessment are standardised to take into account the age and sex of patients to make meaningful comparisons between hospital trusts.

Drop-in Body Scans

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the proposal by private firms to offer drop-in body scans claiming to identify cancer and heart disease; and what (a) checks and (b) licensing a company must undergo to ensure that such a service is (i) reliable and (ii) effective. [27853]

Yvette Cooper: From 1 April this year the National Care Standards Commission (NCSC) will take over from health authorities the regulation of independent health care providers under the Care Standards Act 2000. For the first time, owners and managers of independent drop-in medical services and exclusively private general practitioners offering primary care or diagnostic services to the public will be obliged to register with the NCSC, comply with regulations and meet core and service- specific national minimum standards.

Treatment and diagnostic services provided solely by registered nurses or other non-medical health professionals will not be required to register with the NCSC. However, under the Care Standards Act my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has powers to make regulations to bring services not initially regulated by the National Care Standards Commission under regulation at a future date.

Other specific legislation requires that all medical exposures to ionising radiation, such as X-rays or CT scans, whether undertaken in the national health service or private sector must be justified.

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