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Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many accident and emergency admissions there were at the Royal Shrewsbury hospital in each year since March 1997. [56184]

Ms Blears: The data requested is shown in the table.

First attendances35,70536,73036,22437,52637,111
Follow up attendances3,9504,8105,0944,4474,624
Total Accident and Emergency attendances39,65541,54041,31841,97341,735


KH09—Outpatient and Ward Attenders

West Park Development, Epsom

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will withdraw the plan to construct a new roundabout on Christchurch Road in Epsom as part of the proposed West Park development. [55638]

Ms Blears: The proposed roundabout is intended to provide access to the West Park site in conjunction with the existing access from Horton Lane.

Two vehicular access points into the site represents good practice in terms of road design and safety, urban design, public transport, emergency access and egress as well as an advantageous traffic management plan to both the retained health care uses and the proposed new development.

Homeless People

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of (a) rough sleepers and

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(b) people living in temporary accommodation are registered with a general practitioner. [56567]

Ms Blears: This information is not collected centrally. However, the Government are committed to ensure that all children in temporary accommodation receive regular health checks from health professionals, and to increase access to general practitioners and health care for all homeless people. The absence of a permanent address should not be a bar to registering with a general practitioner.


Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients in each of the last five years have received the pneumococcal vaccine. [56921]

Ms Blears: The number of people who have received pneumococcal vaccine can be estimated by the number of prescription items dispensed in the community for pneumococcal vaccine. The amount of pneumococcal vaccine dispensed in England for the last five years is given in the table.

Number of prescription items dispensed in the community for pneumococcal vaccine, 1997 to 2001

Prescription items (thousands)Net ingredient cost (£000)Number of vaccines (thousands)

Radio Systems (Emergency Services)

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment has been made of the interoperability of the new ambulance radio system with those of other emergency services; and if he will make a statement. [56682]

Mr. Lammy: It is our intention to undertake a national procurement exercise for a new national digital radio network for ambulance services starting in July 2002. Increased interoperability and resilience has been built into the user requirement specification for the new network based on the expert advice of the professional heads of the ambulance, police and fire services.

Cancer Treatment

Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he last met the Government's National Cancer Director to discuss cancer treatment in the NHS; and how often such meetings take place. [59285]

Ms Blears: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State last met Professor Mike Richards, National Cancer Director on 18 June. They also usually meet informally at least once a month to discuss cancer services. Other Ministers also regularly meet Professor Richards.

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Mental Health

Matthew Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to create the world class mental health service envisaged in the Wanless report; and if he will make a statement. [59859]

Jacqui Smith: My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Budget statement outlined substantial additional resources to ensure a modern health service. There is no doubt that increase in national health service expenditure over the next decade will see substantial increases in spending on mental health. The Department is studying the Wanless report with great interest and it will be an important source of analysis and information in the allocation of resources to the service.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many of the new graduate primary care mental health worker posts have been (a) created and (b) filled in (i) England and (ii) North Yorkshire; [60508]

Jacqui Smith: The new graduate primary care mental health workers and mental health gateway workers announced in the NHS Plan will be employed to help general practitioners manage and treat common mental health problems in the financial year 2003–04. Further information to support their recruitment, and to monitor their establishment, will be available in due course. A special session on new primary care workers and 'Gateway' workers was held at 23 November 2001 conference 'Fast-forwarding Primary Care Mental Health' (

Pilot projects for new graduate primary care workers have recently started in Northumbria and Birmingham. A mental health primary care team, established in Scarborough in 1998, with the aim of strengthening primary care mental health provision, also achieved NHS Beacon status in April 1999. The service provides one model of how gateway staff might work in other parts in the country.

This year, £2.5 million has been made available to establish new training programmes to support new primary care workers when they are employed. This initiative is being led by South Trent Work Force Development Confederation.

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the extent of under-investment in core mental health services (i) in London and (ii) nationally over the past 20 years; and if he will make a statement. [62911]

Jacqui Smith: Health authorities and now primary care trusts as commissioners of local services are required to spend money based on their assessment of need.

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The Department has recently received the details of a mental health finance mapping exercise that was completed by mental health national service framework local implementation teams at the end of October 2001.

The NHS Plan announced substantial additional investment in mental health services. In 2002–03 an additional £93.5 million revenue and £70 million capital, and in 2003–04 an additional £312 million revenue and £17 million capital will be made available.

The finance mapping exercise will provide an opportunity to track this investment through to local service provision.


Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the most common form of treatment is for myeloma patients. [62719]

Ms Blears: Chemotherapy, usually combined with steroids, is the main treatment for myeloma.

UK Biobank

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of company access to anonymised genetic and lifestyle data from UK Biobank. [62277]

Ms Blears: Details of how companies may gain access to anonymised genetic and lifestyle data held by the UK Biobank have not yet been finalised. A monitoring body, independent of the UK Biobank funders, will be established to protect the interests of Biobank participants and the general public. This monitoring body will be responsible for finalising, and overseeing the implementation of, policies on access to anonymised samples and data by all users, whether in the commercial or academic sectors, taking into account the results of consultations with the public and other stakeholders. An open meeting with industry representatives is being planned for later this year to discuss possible access arrangements. All projects, whether funded from the public or private sector, will need to have ethical approval and will be reviewed by the scientific management committee.

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