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Continuing Care

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many people are receiving NHS-funded

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continuing care in (a) NHS hospitals and (b) nursing homes in each strategic health authority area in the UK; [80489]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested is not collected centrally. Data for newly eligible patients in North Staffordshire for the period 1996–97 to 2000–01 are in the table. Data for patients who are not eligible have never been collected. No more recent data exists. From March 2003, the Department will be collecting information on the total number of people receiving continuing national health service health care and the number of people newly meeting eligibility criteria for continuing NHS health care.

Number of people newly meeting 'eligibility' criteria for continuing in-patient care, North Staffordshire health authority

Physically illMentally illOthersTotal

(27) Data not subdivided

Delayed Discharges

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place a copy of the Quarter 2 2002–03 emergency readmission and delayed discharge figures for over 75s in the Library. [81720]

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Jacqui Smith . The Quarter 2, September 2002, figures on delayed discharge and emergency readmission should be available in December and when it is available I will put a copy in the Library.


Mr. Adrian Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will publish the National Service Framework delivery strategy for diabetes before the end of this year; [80788]

Mr. Lammy: We shall be publishing the delivery strategy for the diabetes national service framework in the next few weeks. We have included two national targets for diabetes, for retinal screening and for practice-based registers and structured care, in 'Improvement, Expansion and Reform', which sets the priorities for the National Health Service for the next three years. We shall make announcements on funding for the NHS shortly.

European Food Safety Authority

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will be making nominations for the membership of the European Food Safety Authority's Scientific Panels; if he has made nominations for the panel on genetically modified organisms; whom he has nominated; which criteria were used to make nominations; and whether stakeholders and the public will be asked to make nominations. [80720]

Ms Blears [holding answer 18 November 2002]: The Government will not be making nominations. All members of the European food safety authority's scientific panels will be independent scientific experts selected following an open call for expressions of interest and appointed by the authority's management board.

Foster Carers

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many foster families were recruited in each of the last five years; [82033]

Jacqui Smith: There is no national data collection of the number of foster parents recruited by local authorities and independent foster agencies.

Hepatitis C

Dr. Naysmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the national strategy on hepatitis C will be implemented; what funding will be available; and what timetables are proposed. [80809]

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Ms Blears: The hepatitis C Strategy for England will form the basis of an action plan as proposed in the Chief Medical Officer's infectious diseases strategy, Getting Ahead of the Curve. This action plan will be drawn up by the end of 2002, following the consultation exercise. It will serve as a clear framework setting out actions that need to be taken by Government, the national health service and others to secure improvements in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis C.

A number of funding streams will support the strategy. A major component has been included in health authority allocations to support the National Institute for Clinical Excellence recommended combination drug treatments for moderate/severe liver disease caused by hepatitis C. Other funding streams are:

MMR Vaccinations

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to ensure adequate supplies of single component MMR vaccinations for those parents (a) whose children have already started a course of such vaccinations and (b) who wish their children to start a course of such vaccinations. [82020]

Ms Blears: The Department does not purchase single measles, mumps and rubella vaccines for children. This is because the triple MMR vaccine provides the best protection against these three potentially fatal diseases.

Children who have started a course of single measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations can complete it using the triple MMR vaccine. Children wishing to start a course of single vaccines are recommended to use the triple vaccine.

Royal United Hospital, Bath

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the length of ambulance waits outside casualty at the Royal United Hospital, Bath; [80722]

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Ms Blears: Information on ambulance waits outside accident and emergency departments is not collected centrally. However, I have been advised by Wiltshire Ambulance Service national health service trust that waiting times at the Royal United Hospital, Bath have substantially improved in the past two months and average waits are not disrupting ambulance services.

I am also advised by Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Strategic Health Authority that Royal United Hospital Bath NHS trust has had no trolley waits over 12 hours since July 2002 and that the trust is meeting waiting time targets for both in-patients and out-patients. The trust is continuing to work to minimise trolley waits and to improve waiting times. It is aiming to hit both the 12-month target for in-patients and also the 21-week target for out-patients by the end of March 2003.

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the financial position of (a) Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust, (b) West Wiltshire NHS Primary Care Trust and (c) Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust. [80725]

Ms Blears [holding answer 18 November 2002]: The Royal United Hospital Bath is reporting a forecast income and expenditure deficit of #25.2 million for the financial year 2002–03. This deficit is acknowledged to be part of a wider Bath health community financial deficit of #30.7 million and is not wholly attributable to any individual organisation. Bath health community is working in conjunction with the Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire strategic health authority to develop plans leading to financial balance.

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust is predicting a year-end deficit of #1.4 million. West Wiltshire Primary Care Trust also has a deficit of #1.2 million. The trusts continue to work with partner agencies to develop solutions to address these problems. Progress has been made in a number of localities and a consultation on service development is under way in others.

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