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Consultant Neurologists

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many posts for NHS consultant neurologists are unfilled; and if he will make a statement; [63468]

Mr. Hutton: As at 30 September 2001, there were 122 staff within the senior house officer training grade and 162 staff within the registrar group training grade in neurology. Census data are collected every September; the corresponding number of staff in 1997 was 141 and 159 respectively.

The number of consultant neurologists employed in the national health service in each of the last five years is shown in the following table. There has been a 29 per cent. expansion in consultant numbers since 1997.

Hospital medical consultants within the neurology specialty

England as at 30 SeptemberNumber


Figures are rounded to the nearest 10


Department of Health medical and dental workforce census

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The NHS vacancy survey has been conducted in March each year since 1999. The survey collects information on the number of posts, which trusts are actively trying to fill, which have been vacant for three months or more.Neurology speciality data were not collected in the March 2001 survey. However, the data were collected in this year's survey, the results of which will be available for publication in July 2002.

Overseas Nurses

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many nurses from overseas were working in United Kingdom hospitals in 2001. [63474]

Mr. Hutton: The information requested is not collected centrally.

In order to practice as a nurse overseas applicants must register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), formerly the United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing Midwifery and Health Visiting. Overseas nurses registered with the NMC do not necessarily work in the national health service. The number of entrants to the register in the last three years are in the table.

Overseas trained nurses and midwives registering with the UKCC.

Overseas nurses registered with the UKCC3,6215,9458,403

Heart Transplants

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people had heart transplants in the United Kingdom in 2001. [63473]

Mr. Lammy: The total numbers of heart transplants performed in the United Kingdom in 2001 are listed in the table.

Cadaveric heart156
Domino heart(35) 10
Heart/lung 32
Kidney/heart 4
Heart/liver 1
Liver and heart/lung 1

(35) A "domino" transplant is when one person has both heart and lungs transplanted for lung disease and their original heart is transplanted into another person.


Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Lewes of 11 March 2002, Official Report, column 823W, on vaccines, what response he has received from (a) Glaxo Smith Kline and (b) the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control; and if he will place a copy of replies received in the Library. [49883]

Ms Blears [Holding answer 15 April 2002]: Glaxo SmithKline has confirmed that based on still available information that it is highly probable that batches 3741 and 3732 were issued in this country. Unfortunately they

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no longer have details of the quantities of vaccine or the places where the vaccine was supplied. Since vaccines were not centrally purchased and distributed at that time, there are not central records either. Information on individuals who received these vaccines will only exist if the general practitioner at the time of the immunisation recorded the batch number, and the patients' notes are still available.

At the time that batches 3741 and 3732 were issued, the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) only routinely assayed potency of pertussis vaccine using the Kenrick test. The mouse weight gain test, that was suggested to give high toxicity results for the two batches used in Eire, was not used in the release tests for pertussis vaccine by NIBSC at that time.

Cancer Treatment

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what mechanisms are in place to monitor the use of resources earmarked for cancer treatment. [50803]

Ms Blears [holding answer 18 June 2002]: We have already asked health authorities how much of the growth money they are planning to spend on cancer. In May 2002, we will ask them to provide an outturn stating how much they have actually spent during 2001–02, to set alongside information on progress with implementing the NHS Cancer Plan.

We will continue to monitor progress, including the use of earmarked funds via primary care trusts in 2002–03.

Overseas Recruitment

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received from foreign Governments about recruitment for the NHS of (a) nurses and (b) doctors in their countries; and if he will place copies in the Library. [58034]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 21 June 2002]: In the past year we have received representations from the following countries concerning recruitment to the national health service:

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It is not our policy to publish the contents of written representations received from foreign Governments.

Management Information

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the written answer of 15 May 2002, ref 56282, for what reason basic management information in respect of the 2001–02 outturn figures is not available; and if he will make a statement on the steps he intends to take to ensure that up-to-date management information is available to the NHS Executive and to Ministers. [58341]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 21 June 2002]: The information required by the Department is confined to that needed to manage its overall spending limits and the performance of individual bodies against their key financial duties. The audited annual accounts for 2001–02 of the national health service bodies will be published locally and will be available centrally in the autumn.

Drug Users (Treatment and Rehabilitation)

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the average waiting time is from GP referral to initial treatment for users of illegal drugs, broken down by each statutory drugs service in England; and if he will make a statement; [62407]

Ms Blears [holding answer 19 June 2002]: Estimated figures for waiting times for referral to initial consultation are listed in the following table. These figures were compiled to assist the national treatment agency in setting targets for reducing overall waiting times and are the latest currently available. Figures for 2000–01 are currently being collated and will be available shortly.

The targets for treatment services are as follows. This information relates to the local authority area, not for each individual agency.


Average baseline waiting timeMaximum acceptable lengths of wait
Treatment modality1999–20002002–032003–04
Inpatient detoxification6.1 42
Community prescribing-specialist10.263
Community prescribing GPs542
Structured counselling442
Structured day-care programme3.343
Residential rehabilitation5.443

The information that is available to the Government are the longest wait for different modalities of treatment in each drug action team (DAT) area. DATs reported these figures in December 2001 as part of the routine planning process for treatment at local level. The National Treatment Agency will publish more comprehensive data later this year.

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