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12 Dec 2002 : Column 492Wcontinued
Mr. Hutton: All United Kingdom residents are entitled to national health service treatment. In the year 200102 there were 187 acute trusts in England, each of which may include more than one hospital. The population of England was some 49 million people, giving an average population of 260,000 per acute trust.
Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were on alcohol and drug rehabilitation schemes on the NHS in Leeds Strategic Health Authority area; how many were waiting for places; and how many were given places, in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
|Year||Number of people accessing treatment|
Neither the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System NDTMS or Drugs Misuse Database (DMD) holds, or is designed to hold, data on the number of places available for drug and alcohol treatment on the NHS.
West Yorkshire Strategic Health Authority
Paul Holmes : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many incidents of arson against NHS properties there were; and what the cost of the damage was in each county in each year since 1992. 
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|Strategic health authority||Estimated total cost of damage (#)||Number of deliberate fires 1995 to 2002|
|Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire||56,695||142|
|Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire||137,150||29|
|Birmingham and the Black Country||10,312,959||121|
|Cheshire and Merseyside||335,493||116|
|County Durham and Tees Valley||72,965||59|
|Coventry, Warwickshire and Herefordshire||66,062||17|
|Cumbria and Lancashire||291,143||159|
|Dorset and Somerset||44,563||54|
|Hampshire and Isle of Wight||155,749||67|
|Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland||126,856||87|
|Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire||20,030||79|
|North and East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire||28,091||66|
|North Central London||29,439||77|
|North East London||722,743||63|
|North West London||116,300||22|
|Northumberland, Tyne and Wear||462,611||222|
|Shropshire and Staffordshire||109,860||46|
|South East London||60,639||47|
|South West London||31,801||56|
|South West Peninsular||43,677||86|
|Surrey and Sussex||1,493,921||109|
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 5 December 2002, Official Report, column 975W, on care home registrations, for what reasons information on the (a) average length of time and (b) number of care home applications to be registered and processed by the NCSC is not available; and when he expects this information to be available. 
Jacqui Smith: The National Care Standards Commission (NCSC) does not currently have the full information requested. This is because it requires inspections of services to have been carried out and recorded on the NCSC database. Not all services have yet been inspected and so are not included on the database.
Jacqui Smith: Carers' Rights Day is a one-day take-up campaign initiated and organised by Carers UK and questions concerning evaluation of the effectiveness of the day should be addressed to them directly. The Government supports the work done by Carers UK in promoting carers' issues and providing information and advice.
Mr. Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many consultants have accepted national health service posts as international fellows as a result of the initiative whereby Sir Magdi Yacoub was appointed as the Government's Special Envoy for the national health service; and in which specialities. 
Mr. Hutton: 36 offers of appointment for the National Health Service International Fellowship Scheme have been made and accepted. Further offers of appointment are expected following recent and planned interviews.
Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when his Department will reply to the letter of 24 June from the hon. Member for Witney about the buildings of the Burford Hospital and their proposed sale . 
12 Dec 2002 : Column 495W
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his Answer of 3rd December, Official Report, column 754W, on CRB checks, what assessment he has made of the effect on running costs of (a) children's homes, (b) residential care homes and (c) nursing homes of (i) delays to and (ii) postponement of Criminal Records Bureau checks. 
Jacqui Smith: The postponement of criminal records checks for staff who were in post immediately before 1 April 2002 makes no change to the rigorous pre-employment checks which were already in place to ensure their suitability to work with children and vulnerable adults. As such we do not anticipate these postponements affecting care home running costs. For children's homes, there have been no changes or postponements to the checks required.
We do not anticipate care homes incurring significant costs due to delays at the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) in processing applications for checks on new staff, or, in the case of children's homes, in processing applications for checks on all staff. The National Care Standards Commission has issued guidance to providers about the response to delays at the CRB in processing checks on new members of staff. The intention of the guidance is to enable providers to employ new members of staff in care homes, and all staff in children's homes, pending the completion of CRB checks while also ensuring the safety of residents.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 5 December 2002, Official Report, column 965W, on frictional discharges, what his definition is of minimal levels of delayed transfers by 2006; and if he has set a target to achieve this level. 
Jacqui Smith: The Department has not set a central target for 2006. It is our judgment that the financial incentives we are putting in place will ensure that the health and social care system delivers minimal delayed transfers by then.
Mr. Lammy: Patient information is generally held by national health service trusts under legal and ethical obligations of confidentiality. Information in health records should not be released to others without the consent of the patient concerned where the disclosure will identify the patient. The exceptions are where the information is effectively anonymised, is required by statute or the courts or if it is judged that there is a strong public interest justification in disclosure which overrides the duty of confidence to the patient. For example such circumstances would include the protection of the public and prevention of serious crime. Additionally there must not be a statutory prohibition against the
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release of the information and NHS trusts must have the vires to release information for the purpose in question. Any disclosure of patient information must satisfy these and any other data protection requirements.
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