Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for each NHS trust in Lancashire, what was the (a) number and (b) percentage change in emergency admissions between April and October in (i) 2001 and (ii) 2000. 
|Finished first episodes
|AprilAugust 2001 provisional
|Per cent. change
Source: Hospital Episode Statistics.
Richard Younger-Rose: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with his European Union colleagues regarding strengthening restrictions on country of origin labelling. 
The Food Standards Agency, which is responsible for representing the UK at working level on these matters, is pressing for changes to EU labelling rules to require country of origin labelling on a wider range of foods, particularly meat products. It is also pressing for changes that would prevent misleading labelling by restricting the use of terms like Xproduce of . . ." to those foods where the main ingredient come from, and production processes occur in, the named place or country.
Mr. Hutton: This information has been placed in the Library. Changes in the accounting and financial arrangements for health authorities mean that the figures for 199697 and 200001 are not directly comparable.
Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the response time is for the Sussex Ambulance Service in the last period for which figures are available; and what (a) the national average and (b) the Government's target response time is. 
Ms Blears: The Government's target response times require that ambulance services prioritise emergency calls. Immediate life threatening calls are classified as Category A, and other emergency calls are classified as
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Category B/C. Ambulance services are required to respond to 75 per cent of Category A calls within eight minutes and 50 per cent of Category B/C calls within eight minutes. For rural services, which includes Sussex Ambulance NHS Trust, there should be a response to 95 per cent of emergency calls within 19 minutes, and for urban services within 14 minutes. For urgent patient journeys the ambulance should arrive not more than 15 minutes after the agreed time in 95 per cent. of cases.
Information about the response times to emergency calls and other requests for transport for Sussex Ambulance NHS Trust and all other ambulance trusts are contained in the Department of Health Statistical Bulletin XAmbulance Services, England 2000-01". A copy is in the Library and available on the Department's website at www.doh.gov.uk/public/sb0115.htm.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his most recent assessment is of acute hospital bed availability in (a) Worcestershire, (b) Gloucestershire, (c) Herefordshire, (d) Warwickshire and (e) Birmingham; and if he will make a statement.
|Total acute beds
|Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
|Worcestershire Community & Mental Health NHS Trust
|East Gloucestershire NHS Trust
|Gloucestershire Royal NHS Trust
|Severn NHS Trust
|Hereford Hospitals NHS Trust
|George Elliot Hospital NHS Trust
|North Warwickshire NHS Trust
|South Warwickshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust
|South Warwickshire General Hospitals NHS Trust
|Birmingham Children's Hospital NHS Trust
|Birmingham Heartlands & Solihull NHS Trust
|Birmingham Specialist Community Health NHS Trust
|Birmingham Women's Healthcare NHS Trust
|City Hospital NHS Trust
|Good Hope Hospital NHS Trust
|Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust
|University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust
Source: DoH winter bed census.
The number of acute beds in the table includes adult and children's acute beds, critical care beds, specialist beds, special care baby cots, beds in assessment and admission units and beds in observation wards (if available to admit patients to). Some categories of acute bedssuch as obstetrics and day care bedsare not included in the Department of Health winter bed census figures quoted but have formerly been included in calculations of acute capacity.
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We are now looking at ways to extend the DTC programme, including in the south-east and, if possible, to bring it forward. We will consider suitable proposals that stand to benefit even more patients.
Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department has issued in respect of non-executive appointments to (a) primary care trusts and (b) other NHS bodies; and what role primary care trust chairmen have in selecting non-executive members of (i) primary care trusts and (ii) other NHS bodies. 
Ms Blears: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State determines the criteria according to which all non-executive appointments to National Health Service boards are made. He also determines equal opportunities goals and objectives to ensure that boards are representative of the communities they serve. These provisions apart, the appointment of chairs and non-executives to the boards of NHS trusts, primary care trusts and health authorities is now the responsibility of the NHS Appointments Commission. Guidance on the appointments process was issued by the Commission in October 2001. A copy is in the Library. The guidance provides that the chair of the NHS body involved should serve on (but not chair) the sift and interview panels for non-executive board members. However, the final decision on all appointments is taken by the Appointments Commission.
The Deregulation and Contracting Out Act received Royal Asset on 3 November 1994. Guidance to local authorities on the affect of the amendment in the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act was issued in January 1995 LAC (95)1.
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list each of the overseas trips made by himself and other members of his ministerial team in each of the last four years, specifying the purpose and cost of each trip. 
Mr. John Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether bed blocking at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital by clients of Birmingham City Council's Social Services Department is delaying operations for Solihull patients. 
Yvette Cooper: Birmingham Heartlands and Solihull NHS Trust has been affected by the well-publicised problems with delayed discharges across the whole of Birmingham for most of last year. I am advised that following the allocation of additional XCash for Change" funding in November, there has been an improvement. However, there remain approximately 100 patients who are experiencing delayed transfers of care in the trust. Of these, nine are awaiting social services funding compared with 73 in October 2001, while 31 are awaiting completion of assessments by the Social Services Departments. The Director of Social Services is currently pursuing ways to improve this position.
I am informed that both the Trust and Solihull Health Authority are ahead of their waiting list profiles and have robust plans to ensure that their end of year targets are achieved. In addition, elective and day case admissions have been at a consistent level, and until early in the New Year the number of cancellations of surgery being experienced by the Trust were below their average levels. There was a temporary increase in the number of cancelled operations for two weeks in January due to a viral outbreak affecting both patients and staff, but this has now returned to normal levels.
Jacqui Smith: Delayed discharges are collected as an indicator of how well the whole system is working. A number of smaller specialities, including old age psychiatry, are not included, because they have a smaller impact on the overall capacity of the NHS, since the beds involved would not be suitable for most emergency admissions or post-operative care. However, patients in old-age psychiatry beds should be able to receive the right care at the right time, like all other patients. That is why standard 7 of the National Service Framework for Older People sets out to achieve integrated mental health services provided by the NHS and councils to ensure effective diagnosis, treatment and support.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many old age psychiatry beds, and what percentage of the total, were blocked by patients waiting to enter a care home (a) in the UK and (b) in North Yorkshire, in (i) 1997, (ii) 2000 and (iii) 2002. 
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