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Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what additional expenditure has been incurred by the Health Protection Agency on (a) counter-terrorism and (b) civil protection since 11 September 2001. 
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 26 March 2002]: The Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) and the Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research (CAMR), which will be incorporated into the Health Protection Agency from April 2003, have incurred £1,176,000 of additional expenditure since 11 September 2001 on counter- terrorism and civil protection work. These sums are in addition to programmes of related work which were in place prior to 11 September. It has not been possible to divide these figures up between counter-terrorism and civil protection as the two areas involve overlapping work. No additional expenditure has been incurred by the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) and the National Focus for Chemical Incidents (NFCI).
The Chief Medical Officer's strategy, "Getting Ahead of the Curve", proposes the creation of a Health Protection Agency which will take over functions currently performed by the PHLS, CAMR, NRPB and the NFCI. We aim to establish the new agency by 1 April 2003.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 22 November 2001, to the hon. Member for Wantage (Mr. Jackson), Official Report, column 410W, how many smallpox vaccine doses would be required to contain a smallpox outbreak with a two-week time to disease recognition, in an area with a population density of (a) 100 persons per sq km, (b) 1,000 persons per sq km and (c) 10,000 persons per sq km. 
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 26 March 2002]: Because of the large number of variables involved in calculating possible smallpox transmission rates it is not possible to provide specific answers to the questions posed. These variables include, among others the nature of the release of the organism and the number of individuals initially infected as well as the effectiveness of public health interventions such as patient isolation and contact tracing.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what proportion of the staff of his Department are part-time employees. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 10 April 2002]: The Department currently has 496 staff (9.5 per cent.) working part-time.
The Department has for some time had a flexible working patterns policy and actively encourages and supports its staff and managers to work flexibly. A range of flexible working patterns including part-time working, job sharing and home working is available to staff by arrangement with their management.
16 Apr 2002 : Column 920W
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many departmental services have been reviewed since agreement in September 1999 on the programme to do so. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 10 April 2002]: Since September 1999, the Department has reviewed 30 of its services, equating to approximately 25 per cent. of its activities. The review process was in accordance with Government policy in the handbook "Better Quality Services".
Since March 2001 specific BQS activity has been incorporated into a fundamental review of all the Department's services and activities. This fundamental review was carried out in the spirit of BQS in line with Government policy. It has generated a programme of change that focuses on the Department's delivery contract and which aims to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health who undertakes the review of departmental services. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 10 April 2002]: Reviews of departmental services are undertaken by using either in-house expertise or external consultants, where it is felt that they can add value.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of whether the PSA target for £15 million savings from action on contractor fraud will be met on time. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 10 April 2002]: The target was to prevent £9 million worth of pharmaceutical contractor fraud and to recover £6 million worth of the same fraud by the end of 200102. The table shows prevention figures to March 2002 and recovery figures to February 2002. Both elements of the target have been met, and in the case of recovery ahead of the end date set.
|December 1998 to March 1999(34)||52,882|
|April 1999 to March 2000||2,103,119|
|April 2000 to March 2001||3,189,111|
|April 2001 to March 2002||3,972,342|
|December 1998 to March 2000||(35)2,251,815|
|April 2000 to March 2001||3,097,676|
|April 2001 to February 2002(36)||2,130,260|
(33) Figures relate to prevention of continuing fraud.
(34) Progress tracked since December 1998 when PSA targets on pharmaceutical contractor fraud for the period to the end of 200102 were published.
(35) Figure relates to all recoveries December 1998 to March 2000.
(36) Recovery figures for March 2002 not yet available.
16 Apr 2002 : Column 921W
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of whether the PSA target for a 50 per cent. reduction in prescription charge evasion by the end of 200203 will be met on time. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 10 April 2002]: On its formation in late 1998 the NHS Counter Fraud Service (NHS CFS) inherited the public service agreement target to reduce patient prescription charge fraud by 50 per cent. by 200203.
The progress the NHS CFS has made against the target has already shown a reduction in losses to fraud in this area of 41 per cent. (£48 million) by the end of 200001. This is a good indication that the target of a 50 per cent. reduction by the end of 200203 will be met.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the criteria used for deciding when to carry out a mastectomy. 
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 10 April 2002]: "Improving Outcomes in Breast Cancer: The Manual (Guidance for Purchasers 1996)" states that a range of operations should be available for the treatment of breast cancer. If the cancer is not too large or diffuse, surgical options include mastectomy or breast conserving surgery. In such cases, the choice should be made jointly by the surgeon and the patient, who should be fully informed of all the options and their potential risks, benefits and implications for further treatment. Breast reconstruction should be discussed with patients who are to undergo mastectomy.
A copy of the guidance is available in the Library.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time is for an intensive care baby incubator in London NHS hospitals at the latest date for which figures are available. 
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 10 April 2002]: The Department does not collect information on the average waiting times for intensive care baby incubators.
Intensive care baby incubators are always available for sick babies.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the availability of intensive care baby incubators in London NHS hospitals; and what measures are being taken to increase availability. 
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 10 April 2002]: In 1999 the London Health Authority chief executives convened a steering group to oversee a review of neonatal intensive care services in London. A discussion document was published in September 2001 which set out proposals for modernising the provision of neonatal intensive care for London. This also included the revised standards recently published by the British Association of Perinatal Medicine (BAPM). Copies of the discussion document have been placed in the Library.
16 Apr 2002 : Column 922W
A number of initial consultation meetings have been undertaken to agree on next steps which include establishing managed clinical networks and determining the levels of care to be provided within the networks. This work is currently in progress.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many ambulances serve Greater London; and how many paramedics there are (a) in cars and (b) on motorbikes. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 10 April 2002]: The number of resources on duty at any one time varies according to the time and day. The London Ambulance Service has a fleet of 395 front line ambulances, 204 patient transport vehicles, 30 fast response cars, 10 motorbikes and eight special care baby units.
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