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Independent Complaints Reviews

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidelines exist with respect to tape recording the proceedings of independent complaints reviews; and if he will make a statement. [31069]

Ms Blears: It is for the lay chairman, in consultation with the other panel members, to decide how an independent review panel will operate. This can involve the tape recording of the panel's proceedings with the agreement of all concerned.

Hospital Meals

Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average cost per hospital meal is (a) before and (b) after the implementation of the Government's Better Hospital Food programme; and if he will make a statement. [31331]

Ms Blears: The Better Hospital Food programme, announced in the NHS Plan, is designed to improve the quality and availability of food in hospitals for all patients and is a long-term programme. An additional £38.5 million has been made available to support this programme.

The first stage is to ensure that all sites are brought up to the required level. As the 31 December 2001 target date for implementation has only just passed, precise information will not yet be available, and will vary from site to site according to historic levels of investment, the type of system in operation and patient choice. We expect that detailed costings information will be available as the programme becomes established.

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Chiropody Services

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of chiropody services in the Hillingdon health authority. [31361]

Mr. Hutton: It is for local statutory bodies, Hillingdon Primary Care Trust in this instance, to determine the services they provide in the light of their knowledge of local needs and priorities.

Ashford and St. Peter's Hospital NHS Trust

Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many beds were available for use within the Ashford and St. Peters hospital NHS trust on 1 January (a) 1999, (b) 2000, (c) 2001 and (d) 2002. [31588]

Ms Blears: The number of beds available for use on the 1 January for the requested years at Ashford and St. Peter's hospitals national health service trust is not centrally available.

An average daily number of available beds in each financial year is collected and the information for the trust is given in the table. An available bed is defined as open and staffed at midnight and is ready to take a patient or has a patient occupying the bed.

Average daily number of available beds, wards open overnight(25), Ashford and St. Peter's Hospital NHS Trust, 1998–99 to 2000–01

YearTotal number of available beds

(25) ie 24 hours


KH03—Bed availability and occupancy

Health Authority Expenditure

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will rank each health authority in England by the percentage change in health spending per head of population between 1997–98 and 2002–03. [31820]

Mr. Hutton: Expenditure per head cannot be reliably compared between health authorities or between different years.

Expenditure data for 2000–01 are the latest available, therefore the increase in expenditure per weighted head of population has been calculated as the percentage change between 1997–98 and 2000–01. These are shown in the table.

Health AuthorityPercentage increase 1997–98 to 2000–01
Morecambe Bay 51.60
Sefton 45.04
Dorset 43.56
Bromley 39.82
Camden and Islington 39.34
Croydon 37.75
Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster 33.70
Barnet 32.69
Tees 32.54
Nottingham 31.73
Liverpool 31.62
Doncaster 31.17
Dudley 30.88
Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham 30.85
Redbridge and Waltham Forest 30.81
Salford and Trafford 30.47
Wirral 30.25
Barnsley 29.79
East London and The City 29.66
East Kent 29.51
South Essex 29.48
Northamptonshire 29.42
East Sussex, Brighton and Hove 29.41
Bexley and Greenwich 29.36
Avon 29.24
Portsmouth and South East Hampshire 29.00
North Essex 28.87
Enfield and Haringey 28.22
Rotherham 28.15
Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth 27.58
East Surrey 27.56
Berkshire 27.44
Northumberland 27.19
Barking and Havering 26.99
Calderdale and Kirklees26.92
Oxfordshire 26.83
Bedfordshire 26.71
Sunderland 26.49
Coventry 26.45
West Pennine 26.40
South and West Devon26.17
Somerset 26.04
North and Mid Hampshire25.70
Manchester 25.59
Wigan and Bolton 25.54
North West Lancashire 25.53
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly25.40
Walsall 25.40
Newcastle and North Tyneside 25.32
East Riding and Hull25.29
West Sussex 25.23
Isle of Wight 25.19
Norfolk 25.17
Wiltshire 24.73
Cambridgeshire 24.23
Stockport 24.10
North Cumbria 24.05
Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow 23.97
North Nottinghamshire 23.97
West Surrey 23.86
County Durham and Darlington23.60
South Cheshire 23.56
Leeds 23.18
Suffolk 23.12
West Kent 23.11
North Yorkshire 23.02
St. Helens and Knowsley 22.83
Southampton and South West Hampshire 22.79
Gloucestershire 22.72
Sandwell 22.48
North Staffordshire 22.34
Bury and Rochdale 22.27
Bradford 22.08
North Cheshire 21.80
North and East Devon 21.67
Gateshead and South Tyneside 21.66
South Lancashire 21.62
Brent and Harrow 21.60
Shropshire 21.59
Birmingham 21.56
West Hertfordshire 21.54
South Staffordshire 21.44
Hillingdon 20.93
East and North Hertfordshire 20.90
Leicestershire 20.80
East Lancashire 20.60
Buckinghamshire 20.56
Sheffield 20.52
Worcestershire 19.91
South Humber 19.32
Lincolnshire 19.26
Wakefield 18.65
Kingston and Richmond 18.05
North Derbyshire 17.94
Southern Derbyshire 17.67
Warwickshire 16.43
Herefordshire 13.26
Solihull 13.16


1. In many health authorities there are factors which distort the expenditure per head. These include: the health authority acting in a lead capacity to commission health care or fund training on behalf of other health bodies; asset revaluations in NHS Trusts being funded through health authorities; and some double counting of expenditure between health authorities and primary care trusts within the health authority area. Allocations per weighted head of population provide a much more reliable measure to identify differences between funding of health authorities.

2. Expenditure is taken from health authority and primary care trust summarisation forms and accounts which are prepared on a resource basis and therefore differ from allocations in the year. The expenditure is the total spent by the health authority and by the primary care trusts within each health authority area. The majority of General Dental Services expenditure is not included in the health authority or primary care trust accounts and is separately accounted for by the Dental Practice Board.

3. Health authorities and primary care trusts should account for their expenditure on a gross basis. This results in an element of double counting where one body acts as the main commissioner and is then reimbursed by other bodies. This affects the results for 2000–01 in particular but the effect of this double counting within the answer cannot be identified.

4. Cambridgeshire and Norfolk health authorities were established on 1 April 1999 from the merger of three former health authorities. Expenditure figures for 1997–98 have been calculated from the relevant proportions of the three health authorities in the new bodies.


Health Authority annual accounts 1997–98

Health Authority summarisation forms 2000–01

Primary Care Trust summarisation schedules 2000–01

Weighted population estimates 2000–01

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Residential Children's Services

Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when residential children's services will be registered in Herefordshire and Worcestershire under the new requirements governing residential child care. [31674]

Jacqui Smith: The new National Care Standards Commission (NCSC) will register residential children's services when its powers, as set out in the Care Standards Act 2000, come into force on 1 April 2002. Until that date, applications for registration will continue to be dealt with by the local council in which area the proposed residential service is situated. Applications that have not been processed by councils by the end of March 2002 will have their applications transferred to NCSC.

Children's residential services, which are already registered with local councils, will have their current registration transferred to the NCSC on 1 April 2002.

7 Feb 2002 : Column 1166W

Councils are currently compiling the necessary information to ensure that transfer of registration takes place on that date.

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