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Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to stop the use of glutaraldehyde in hospitals in England and Wales. [35030]

Ms Blears: There are currently no plans to stop the use of glutaraldehyde in hospitals in England. National Health Service employers are already to give priority to preventing their employees being exposed to glutaraldehyde by inhalation, ingestion or skin contact under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1994.

Date Rape Drugs

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidelines he has issued to young women with regards to the dangers of date rape drugs. [35629]

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Ms Blears: The Department funds the National Drugs Helpline to provide information, advice and support to anyone concerned about substance misuse. The helpline provides a range of information about date rape drugs, including their effects, risks and referral to local agencies that offer support. This service is free and confidential, and is open 24 hours a day.

The Department also funds Drugscope, an organisation that provides information on all aspects of drug policies and problems, including information on prevention and safety issues for people who feel that they may be affected by date rape drugs.

Child Protection

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which Minister is responsible for the area child protection committees. [37775]

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Jacqui Smith: Area child protection committees are inter-agency forums for agreeing how the different services and professional groups should co-operate to safeguard children in their area. They are not statutory bodies, but are accountable for their work to their main constituent agencies. They are therefore not accountable to any Secretary of State. Each local authority with social services responsibility should take lead responsibility for the establishment and effective working of ACPCs. Local authorities are ultimately accountable to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health in respect of their social services functions.

Ambulance Staff (Physical Assaults)

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will list, by regional ambulance service, the number of days off sick taken by ambulance staff following physical assaults by members of the public while on duty in (a) Q4 2000–01, (b) Q1 2001–02, (c) Q2 2001–02, (d) Q3 2001–02 and in (e) 2000–01, (f) 1999–2000, and (g) 1998–99; [35864]

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Ms Blears: The Department conducted a survey of sickness absence, accidents and violence in national health service trusts in England in 1998–99. The survey found that there were approximately 65,000 violent incidents against NHS trust staff recorded each year. Figures for each individual NHS ambulance trust are shown in the table. A further survey of recorded violent incidents in 2000–01 has been conducted, and the figures are currently being analysed by the Department.

Information on levels of sickness absence resulting from violence at work is not collected centrally, but may be held at a local level by individual national health service employers. The average sickness absence rate for staff directly employed by NHS ambulance trusts in 1999 was 6.6 per cent.

Violent incidents in ambulance trusts—reported 1998–99

Region Trust nameNumber of violent incidents standardised to a yearRate of incidents per 1,000 staff (WTE)
Northern and YorkshireCleveland Ambulance NHS Trust1554
Northern and YorkshireCumbria Ambulance Service NHS Trust(44)(44)
Northern and YorkshireDurham County Ambulance Service NHS Trust32100
Northern and YorkshireHumberside Ambulance Service NHS Trust2366
Northern and YorkshireNorth Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust721
Northern and YorkshireNorthumbria Ambulance Service NHS Trust5270
Northern and YorkshireWest Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Services NHS Trust2827
TrentDerbyshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust2557
TrentLeicestershire Ambulance and Paramedic Services NHS Trust3479
TrentLincolnshire Ambulance NHS Trust56101
TrentNottinghamshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust120221
TrentSouth Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service NHS Trust5799
EasternBedfordshire and Hertfordshire Ambulance and Paramedic NHS Trust2238
EasternEast Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust(44)(44)
EasternEssex Ambulance Service NHS Trust1216
LondonLondon Ambulance Service464153
South EastHampshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust2660
South EastKent Ambulance NHS Trust96152
South EastOxfordshire Ambulance NHS Trust00
South EastRoyal Berkshire Ambulance NHS Trust36101
South EastSurrey Ambulance Service NHS Trust1224
South EastSussex Ambulance Services NHS Trust105144
South EastTwo Shires Ambulance NHS Trust(44)(44)
South WestAvon Ambulance Service NHS Trust3085
South WestDorset Ambulance NHS Trust93290
South WestGloucestershire Ambulance Service NHS Trust(45)(45)
South WestWest Country Ambulance Services NHS Trust4347
South WestWiltshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust(44)(44)
West MidlandsHereford and Worcester Ambulance Service NHS Trust(45)(45)
West MidlandsStaffordshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust00
West MidlandsWarwickshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust(45)(45)
West MidlandsWest Midlands Ambulance Services NHS Trust6360
North WestGreater Manchester Ambulance Service NHS Trust7171
North WestLancashire Ambulance Service NHS Trust5688
North WestMersey Regional Ambulance Service NHS Trust5658

(44) Indicates that there were less than five violent incidents, when standardised to a year.

(45) Indicates that the trust either submitted no data or the data was not comparable with other trusts.


1. Data reported covered different time periods and have been standardised to an annual equivalent to allow comparison.

2. The figures represent all violent incidents to any staff in each ambulance trust. No figures are available for only physical assaults or for only ambulance staff on duty.

3. At the time of this collection national definitions had not yet been published. Definitions and reporting thresholds varied between trusts.


Department of Health's 1998–99 Survey of Sickness Absence, Accidents and Violence in NHS trusts