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HEALTH

RSV

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost in the last 12 months of treating infants suffering from RSV infection in terms of (a) hospital stays and (b) intensive care unit stays. [41474]

Yvette Cooper: Most children who contract Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) do so by the age of three. In the latest year for which figures are available, 2000–01, there were 182 admissions to NHS hospitals in England for respiratory diseases, with a subsidiary classification of RSV, for children under 4 years. Costs associated with admission vary significantly with severe cases requiring paediatric intensive care, assisted ventilation and specialised interventions. Information on the cost of these admissions is not collected centrally.

Press Officers

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many press officers there were in each health authority in each year since 1997. [41712]

Mr. Hutton: This information has never been collected centrally.

Celebrations

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements his Department has made to celebrate (a) St Patrick's Day, (b) St Georges's Day, (c) St Andrew's Day, and (d) Her Majesty the Queen's Golden Jubilee; and how his Department celebrated St David's Day. [42270]

Ms Blears [holding answer 11 March 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport gave to the hon. Member for South Suffolk (Mr. Yeo) on 11 February, Official Report, columns 58–59W.

My Department is represented on the Steering Group on Eligibility Criteria for The Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal. The Medal will be awarded to serving members of the frontline emergency services including the ambulance service in England. No special arrangements have been made to celebrate St Patrick's Day, St George's Day, St Andrew's Day, or St David's Day.

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Hospital-acquired Infection

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he has taken to improve the prioritisation of resources for dealing with hospital acquired infection in response to the report of the National Audit Office entitled "The Management and Control of Hospital-Acquired Infection in Acute NHS Trusts in England" (HC 230). [43120]

Ms Blears: Since the publication of the National Audit Office report in February 2000 we have made it clear that tackling healthcare associated infection is a high priority. It was recognised in the National Plan implementation programme, published in November 2000, as a core requirement underpinning other priorities. We have made it clear to the National Health Service that trusts and health authorities should put infection control and basic hygiene at the heart of good management and clinical practice with appropriate resources.

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Special Advisers

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the number and expected cost to his Department of special advisers in (a) 2001–02 and (b) 2002–03. [43278]

Ms Blears: There are currently 2 special advisers. 1

Under the terms of the Ministerial Code, Cabinet Ministers may each appoint up to two Special Advisers. 1


Public Service Agreements

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the public service agreement targets which have been revised and those which have been introduced since the publication of the 2001 departmental report.[43252]

Ms Blears: The following table sets out revised public service agreement targets since the publication of the Department's 2001 Departmental report.

Old targetRevised targetReason
Our objective is to narrow the health gap in childhood and throughout life between socio-economic groups and between the most deprived areas and the rest of the country.Our objective is to narrow the health gap in childhood and throughout life between socio-economic groups and between the most deprived areas and the rest of the country.The original wording of the Department's PSA target concerning health inequalities stated that "Specific national targets will be developed in consultation with external stakeholders and experts early in 2001." The first two of these specific national targets (concerning infant mortality and life expectancy) were shown in the 2001 departmental report:
Starting with children under one year, by 2010 to reduce by at least 10 per cent the gap in mortality between manual groups and the population as a whole.Starting with children under one year, by 2010 to reduce by at least 10 per cent the gap in mortality between manual groups and the population as a whole.A third specific national target (concerning teenage pregnancy) has now been developed and will be shown in the next departmental report (due Spring 2002).
Starting with health authorities, by 2010 to reduce by at least 10 per cent the gap between the quintile of areas with the lowest life expectancy at birth and the population as a whole.Starting with health authorities, by 2010 to reduce by at least 10 per cent the gap between the quintile of areas with the lowest life expectancy at birth and the population as a whole.
By achieving agreed local conception reduction targets, to reduce the national under 18 conception rate by 15 per cent by 2004 and 50 per cent by 2010, while reducing the level of inequality in rates between the worst fifth of wards and the average by at least a quarter.

Prevention of Admission Scheme

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding allocation was provided to the prevention of admission scheme in the last five years by (a) region and (b) local authority; how many people were assisted as part of the scheme; and how many people were subsequently admitted to hospital after receiving care on the scheme.[42600]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 13 March 2002]: The NHS Plan announced an extra £900 million annually by 2003–04 for new intermediate care and related services to promote independence and improve quality of care for older people. Further details are in HSC 2001–01, LAC (2001) 01, published in January 2001 [which is in the Library of the House].

The NHS funding earmarked for intermediate care which commenced in 2000–01 forms part of unified allocations to health authorities. Unified allocations are based on a weighted capitation formula that determines every health authority's fair share of available resources. The Government's policy is not to hypothecate resources made available to councils unless it is essential to do so. Deployment of resources made available through the Standard Spending Assessment remains a decision for councils to make in the light of local circumstances.

The results of the survey of NHS intermediate care in England carried out last Summer show that, by the end of this year there will be, compared to the baseline of 1999–2000, around an additional 126,000 people in receipt of intermediate care services. The full results of the survey, giving data by Region and by health authority, are in the Library. Information on the number of people admitted to hospital after receiving intermediate care is not available.

Plasticised Cadavers

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what implications there are for public health arising from the exhibition of plasticised cadavers; and if he will make a statement. [43234]

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Yvette Cooper: The representatives of Professor von Hagens have been informed that his proposed exhibition would require a licence under the Anatomy Act. Any public health considerations would be addressed when determining whether to grant a licence.

Speech and Language Therapists

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many vacancies there were for speech and language therapists in each English primary care group trust at the latest date for which figures are available. [43027]

Mr. Hutton: Between 1997 and 2001 the number of speech and language therapists employed in the NHS increased by 810 (17 per cent).

At 31 September 2000 only one of the seventeen Primary Care Trusts (South Peterborough PCT) then existing employed speech and language therapists. The national vacancy rate and information for South Peterborough Primary Care Trust is in the table below.

Department of Health Vacancies Survey, March 2001 Vacancies by Primary Care Trusts for Qualified speech and language therapists 3 month vacancy rates 2 numbers 1 and staff in post 2

whole-time equivalent
Organisation codeOrganisation Name 3 month vacancy rates3 month vacanciesstaff in post
England 4.7 per cent2004,070
4LA06 South Peterborough PCT   0.0 per cent015

Notes:

1. Three month vacancies are vacancies as at 31 March 2001 which trusts are actively trying to fill, which had lasted for three months or more (whole time equivalents)

2. Three month vacancy rates are three month vacancies expressed as a percentage of three month vacancies plus staff in post from the September 2000 non-medical workforce census (whole time equivalent)

3. At 3 September 2000 Non-medical workforce census, 17 PCTs were in existence, of which only one, 4LA06, had Speech Language Therapy staff. As SIP figures from the census are required for the calculation of vacancy rates, no rates are available for the PCTs formed on 1 October 2000.

4. Data will be available from the March 2002 Vacancy survey in July 2002.

5. Numbers are rounded to the nearest ten

6. Percentages rounded to one decimal place

Source:

Department of Health Vacancies Survey, March 2001

Department of Health Non Medical Workforce Census



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