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Mr. Hutton [holding answer 10 April 2002]: The number of elective admissions to National Health Service hospitals from October to December 1997 was 1,236,609. The figures are not yet available for 2001, but for the same period in 2000 there were 1,352,035 elective admissions.
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Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the impact the proposed overnight closure of Edgware UTC will have on (a) public confidence and support for the NHS in Hendon and (b) the willingness of the public to participate in NHS consultations and as lay representatives on consultative bodies; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Hutton [holding answers 25 March and 10 April 2002]: In the light of the representations received, I have asked that the decision to close the overnight service at Edgware UTC be reviewed by the newly formed North Central London Strategic Health Authority.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the number of people attending the Edgware Hospital UTC and walk-in centre (a) in total and (b) between 10 pm and 7 am who are not registered with a GP; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 25 March 2002]: We do not collect information on patients not registered with general practitioners. The national health service walk-in centres are not open between 10 pm and 7 am. On average, around 10 patients a night attend the urgent treatment centre after 10 pm.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what payments have been made to individuals following findings of maladministration by ombudsmen with responsibility for agencies under the remit of his Department in the last 12 months; and what plans he has to review the powers to increase the level of awards that can be made in the last 12 months. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 10 April 2002]: There have been three payments totalling £33,100 for findings of maladministration made by the Department's agencies in the last 12 months. The judgments were all made by the pensions ombudsman.
We have no plans to review the agency chief executives' delegations, which give them the powers to incur expenditure in this area. The pensions ombudsman's awards are binding and only subject to the Court of Appeal on a point of law. We have no powers to increase these awards.
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Mr. Hutton [holding answer 10 April 2002]: The current available percentage of the national health service estate, by value, that is less than 15-years-old, as established by the Valuation Office Agency in their survey carried out in the year 2000, is 11.5 per cent.
Implementation of the planned capital investment in the NHS of around £7 billion by 2010 should see the achievement of the NHS Plan target of 40 per cent. of the NHS Estate, by value, being less than 15-years-old by the year 2010.
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 10 April 2002]: Figures on the numbers of national health service trusts who use their operating theatres at the weekend are not collected centrally for England. Information relating to health services in Wales is a matter for the devolved Administration.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the answer of 15 January 2002, Official Report, column 255W, on drugs theft, what the cost to the NHS has been of damage to property due to theft and fraud in each year since 1997. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 10 April 2002]: The Department has recently expanded the remit of the national health service counter fraud service to cover internal fraud within the Department. The number of staff needed to carry out this work is under consideration.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the answer of 25 February 2002, Official Report, column 938W, on patient consultations, what plans he has for a GP work load survey to be conducted by his Department to measure GP average consultation times. 
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Mr. Hutton [holding answer 10 April 2002]: Previous surveys have been conducted jointly by the English, Welsh and Scottish Health Departments and the British Medical Association. A further joint work load survey is planned once the new GP contract has been agreed.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department holds a central list of recommended cleaning contracting companies that local health authorities work from when awarding hospital cleaning contracts. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 10 April 2002]: The Department does not hold such a list. Contract cleaning services are procured by NHS trusts against the new national cleaning standards. Trusts will procure this service through advertisements placed in the European Journal. Health authorities are not involved in awarding contracts for cleaning NHS hospitals, only for their own administrative premises. A trust will award contracts on best value, taking into account operational and economic issues.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the London Regional Office will conclude its review of the Epsom and St. Helier NHS Trust in respect of its management of in-patient waiting lists; and if he will publish the findings. 
Epsom and St. Helier NHS Trust validates both its active and suspended list on a regular basis and is confident that their waiting lists are robust and accurate. A further validation was carried out by the trust themselves as a result of being identified as having a suspension rate greater than 10 per cent. Epsom and St. Helier was not identified as having adjusted inappropriately their waiting list figures.
The regional office conducts robust validation of waiting list data from trusts and health authorities including following up any irregularities. The regional office does not consider that there is any reason to review waiting list information at Epsom and St. Helier NHS Trust. In the light of the National Audit Office report on 'Inappropriate Adjustment to NHS Waiting Lists' the Department of Health has asked the Audit Commission to introduce spot check of individual trust's waiting list and waiting time information during 2002. Details are still being finalised, but the work is scheduled to begin early in the new financial year.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 11 March 2002, Official Report, column 817W, on long-term care, what is the maximum length of time which payment of proceeds arising from the sale of a house can be deferred after entrance into residential care. 
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Jacqui Smith: The deferred payments scheme does not have any time limit that is set for a property to be sold. During their stay in residential accommodation the resident is the only person who can end the deferred
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payment. If a resident passes away then the deferred payment agreement is terminated, but their estate is not obliged to pay the amount owed to the council for a further 57 days.