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Rehabilitation Beds

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what statistics he collates on (a) the availability of specialist rehabilitation beds in NHS hospitals, (b) their occupancy and (c) the explanations for voids. [48816]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 17 April 2002]: Specialist rehabilitation beds are included in wards categorised as 'Other general and acute' and are not counted separately in the annual collection of KH03—'Bed availability and occupancy'.

Information on general rehabilitation beds was collected on the winter bed census. There were 7,269 open and staffed beds as at 29 November 2001. Occupancy was not included as part of this census.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many contracts his Department has with consultants; what level of professional indemnity insurance is standard in contracts with small consultants; whether he can make exceptions to the level of professional indemnity insurance; and what recent discussions he has had with other Government Departments about the level of professional indemnity insurance. [50844]

Ms Blears [holding answer 18 April 2002]: The Department does not centrally hold a record of individual contracts.

In the past the Department sought a professional indemnity of not less than £5 million, as the standard sum. Since risks vary between contracts, it is no longer deemed appropriate to resort to a single standard level of indemnity and current Department consultancy contracts include the following paragraphs as standard:


The Department has not specifically discussed the issue of professional indemnity in consultancy contracts with any other Department. In this and all matters pertaining to commercial contracts, the Department does give all due regard to best practice advice disseminated by the Office of Government Commerce.

Ambulance Services (South-east)

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what has been the cost in the past five years of consultants fees incurred in relation to reviews of the configuration of ambulance services in Surrey, Kent and Sussex; and if he will make a statement. [51988]

Ms Blears: No additional workforce costs were incurred as most of the work in connection with the review of ambulance services in the south-east has been carried out by existing civil servants at the Department and staff at health authorities and trusts. Management consultants have been employed but this was for the region wide review. For that reason costs specifically relating to Surrey, Kent and Sussex have not been recorded.

Looked-after Children

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children were placed in (a) care, (b) foster care and (c) adopted in each of the last five years. [51079]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested is shown in the table.

Number of children looked after at 31 March 1997–31 March 2001 and the number of children adopted from care during the years ending 31 March 1997–31 March 2001
England

19971998199920002001
Total number of children looked after at 31 March51,20053,30055,50058,10058,900
Of which:
Number in foster placements33,50035,00036,20037,90038,400
Number of children adopted from care during the year ending 31 March1,9002,1002,2002,7003,100

Notes:

Children looked after in this table exclude agreed series of short term placements.

All figures in this table have been rounded to the nearest 100.

Source:

DH Annual Statistical returns (CLA Episode)


23 Apr 2002 : Column 239W

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will reply to the question of 6 March, ref. 41920, from the hon. Member for West Chelmsford on mixed sex wards at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford. [51227]

Jacqui Smith: I replied to the hon. Member today.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will answer the parliamentary question from the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam regarding overseas nurse recruitment of 28 February. [51081]

Mr. Hutton: I replied to the hon. Member on 16 April 2002, Official Report, columns 1024–25W.

Departmental Expenditure (Scotland)

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list, in real terms, for each year since 1979 (a) the total sums of money spent directly by his Department in Scotland and (b) the total sums of money allocated by his Department for spending in Scotland through (i) the Scottish Office, (ii) the Scotland Office and (iii) the Scottish Executive. [16184]

Mr. Hutton: Pursuant to the reply given to the hon. Member by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State (Mr. Milburn) on 5 March 2002, Official Report, column 275W, the information requested is not readily available. Public expenditure information by territory and function is available in the Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses (PESA) 2001–02 (Cm 5101) for the years 1995–96 to 1999–2000, and earlier years are available in previous PESA publications. Copies of these are available in the Library.

Audit Commission

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what appointments he has made to the Audit Commission in each of the past five years. [51923]

Ms Blears: Three health commissioners have been appointed during the last five years:


Health Reforms

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what legislative changes will be required to implement the health reforms envisaged in his statement on 18 April. [51913]

23 Apr 2002 : Column 240W

Mr. Hutton: The statement and publication on 18 April set out further policy reforms as part of the Government's continuing strategy of reform backed by investment to deliver the NHS Plan published in July 2000. "Delivering the NHS Plan" makes clear that new legislation will be needed to introduce a system of cross-charging in relation to delayed discharges (paragraph 8.10); to establish the new Commission for Healthcare Audit and Inspection (paragraph 10.8); and to establish the new Commission for Social Care Inspection (paragraph 10.11). The details of the legislative changes required to implement these and the reform package as a whole are now being considered.

Ministerial Travel

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many times Ministers in his Department have travelled abroad at taxpayers' expense since March 2001; what countries they visited; and what the total cost of each visit was. [47104]

Ms Blears [holding answer 10 April 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister on 11 April 2002, Official Report, column 552W.

Press Office

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total cost of running the Department's press office was in (a) 1996–97 and (b) the latest year for which figures are available. [46801]

Ms Blears [holding answer 10 April 2002]: The Department's staffing cost information for Press and Publicity Division for 1996–97 does not separately identify the cost of press office. The total cost of Press and Publicity Division for 1996–97 was £2.3 million. The cost of the News Branch for 2000–01 was £1.2 million.

Ambulance Call-outs

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many ambulance call-outs were made between 20 December 2001 and 3 January 2002 in Essex; what average length of time it took for ambulances to reach (a) the patient and (b) the hospital to which the patient needed to be taken; and what the average figure was in England; [46758]

Ms Blears [holding answer 10 April 2002]: The information is not collected centrally in the format requested.

23 Apr 2002 : Column 241W

Information about ambulance response times is contained in the Department of Health Statistical Bulletin 'Ambulance Services, England 2000–01'. A copy of the bulletin is in the Library and available at www.doh.gov.uk/public/sb0115.htm.


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