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10 Dec 2002 : Column 306W—continued

Psychiatric Emergency Re-admissions

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the reasons underlying the failure to meet the public sector agreement of the rate of psychiatric emergency readmissions by April 2002. [85634]

Jacqui Smith: The psychiatric emergency readmission rate has been reduced from the baseline of 14.3 per cent. in 1997–98 to 12.7 per cent. at the last quarter of 2001–02. Further falls are expected with the implementation of community-based service models such as assertive outreach and crisis resolution.


Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of primary care trusts have a trained healthcare professional to support those wishing to give up smoking. [85695]

Ms Blears: This information not collected centrally. All primary care trusts are required to make available smoking cessation services to support smokers who wish to quit. The services must be delivered by a trained adviser, usually a healthcare professional.

Treatment Agencies

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 2 December 2002 to the right hon. Member for West Dorset (Mr. Letwin), Official Report, column 597, if he will break down by treatment types the people in contact with treatment agencies. [86052]

Ms Blears [holding answer 9 December 2002]: The table shows the numbers of drug misusers in treatment by type of service 2000–01.

10 Dec 2002 : Column 307W

Agency typeNumber of people
Community: Specialist services103,094
Community: General Practitioners8,180
Structured day programmes706
Residential rehabilitation1,902
England total118,522


Department of Health Statistical Bulletin Statistics from the Regional Drug Misuse Databases on drug misusers in treatment in England, 2000–01.


Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department spends on educating the public about prevention and awareness of tuberculosis. [83330]

Ms Blears [holding answer 25 November 2002]: #324,471.59 was spent on this year's Tuberculosis Awareness campaign.

10 Dec 2002 : Column 308W

Waiting Times

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action his Department has taken to reduce waiting times for admission to accident and emergency departments from ambulances. [85764]

Mr. Lammy: The Government are committed to bringing down waiting times for all accident and emergency (A&E) patients, no matter how they arrive at the A&E department. By the end of 2004, virtually all patients should be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours of arrival at A&E.

If for any reason a patient who arrives by ambulance is not transferred in to A&E within 15 minutes, the patient is nevertheless then treated as having arrived at A&E for the purposes of measuring performance against the four hour target.

Where local delays occur they can be addressed through emergency care networks—which bring together all local participants in the emergency care system to iron out problems and spread good practice—and the emergency care collaborative, a new national programme aimed at reducing waiting times for all A&E patients.