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21 Nov 2002 : Column 238Wcontinued
The Department of Health, with the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Health and Safety Executive and the European Chemical Industry Council, is funding a programme of four epidemiological studies to investigate trends in male reproductive health, and the possible influences of occupational, environmental or other exposure to chemicals. Two of these studies will provide extensive information on semen quality in men in the United Kingdom. We expect the programme of studies to be completed by the end of this year and the results of the research will be published in due course.
Vernon Coaker : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received about the proposed fee increases for the Health Professions Council; and if he will make a statement. 
The principle of United Kingdom healthcare regulation is based on the concept of independent self-regulation and it is for the HPC to determine the appropriate fee to be charged for registration taking account of the functions it is required to undertake and the views of those consulted. When considering whether to approve the proposed fees, the Privy Council will take account of these relevant issues.
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Mr. Hutton: Data on junior doctors' working hours is not collected in a way that enables an average to be calculated. Available data shows the proportion of junior doctors who work above or below set thresholds.
Initial indications from monitoring carried out in September 2002 showed 86 per cent. working on average less than 56 hours a week, with at least 23 per cent, of these working less than 48 hours a week.
Jacqui Smith: The proposals in the draft Mental Health Bill have been the subject of a long process of consultation by the Government, starting with the Green Paper XReform of the Mental Health Act 1983" published in November 1999. Since then there have been informal discussions with key stakeholders and letters have been received, for example following the publication of the White Paper XReforming the Mental Health Act" published in December 2000.
Jacqui Smith: Although the National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) is only in the first year of its establishment, there are plans in place and funds set aside to commission an evaluation of NIMHE's activities, in collaboration with the research & development Directorate at the Department. It is anticipated that the work will be commissioned in 2003.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many staff were employed to carry out the administration for NHS services for residents of (a) Chesham and Amersham and (b) Buckinghamshire in 1997; how many are employed now; and if he will make a statement; 
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Information available centrally on the number of administrative staff in the former Buckinghamshire health authority area is shown in the table. 2001 is the most recent year for which information is currently available.
|Whole time equivalents||1997||2001|
|All administrative staff||2,120||2,560|
|Health and community health services||1,560||1,880|
|General and personal medical services||560||690|
Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
Due to rounding totals may not equal the sum of component parts.
Department of Health non-medical workforce census.
Department of Health general and personal medical services statistics.
A direct comparison of running costs for NHS organisations within the former Buckinghamshire health authority area, between 1997 and now, is not possible because of the considerable organisational change that has taken place in the intervening years.
Mr. Milburn: The NHS Bank has been operating in 'shadow' form this year overseen by the Department's director of finance and investment and four strategic health authority chief executives. The future management arrangements are still under consideration.
The shadow NHS Bank has made available a total of 100 million to three strategic health authority areas. Avon, Gloucestershire & Wiltshire, 45 million, Surrey and Sussex, 30 million, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, 25 million. The terms, conditions and amounts for individual health service bodies is still to be finalised by the strategic health authorities and are subject to delivery of agreed recovery plans.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much North Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust and its predecessor, Warrington Hospital NHS Trust, spent on public relations in each of the last five years. 
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|Year||Warrington hospital NHS trust #000||Halton hospital NHS trust #000||North Cheshire hospitals NHS trust #000|
Jacqui Smith : The Department is currently consulting on proposals to increase the capital limits used in the financial assessment for residential accommodation, including care homes providing nursing care, to 12,000 and 19,500 with effect from 7 April 2003.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what systems are in place to (a) identify and (b) collect payment from illegal immigrants and others who use the national health service and are subject to the charges to overseas visitors regulations 1989, as amended; 
Ms Blears: The National Health Service is first and foremost for the benefit of people who live in the United Kingdom. A person who is not ordinarily resident in the UK but who requires NHS hospital treatment is subject to the provisions of the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 1989, as amended [in 1991 (SI No: 438), 1994 (SI No: 1535), 2000 (SI No: 602), 2000 (SI No: 909)].
These regulations place a duty on NHS trusts to establish the residential status of all patients. Where an NHS trust identifies a person who is not ordinarily resident in the UK and is not otherwise exempt from charge then the regulations provide for the making and recovery of a charge by the trust for most types of hospital treatment.
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