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Nurses (North Essex)

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many vacancies there are for nurses in the North Essex Mental Health Partnership; and how many approved nursing posts there are. [86510]

Mr. Lammy: The number of nurse vacancies at North Essex Mental Health Partnership national health service trust is shown in the table. Information on the number of approved nursing posts is not collected centrally.

Vacancies in NHS trusts by DHSC and North Essex Mental Health Partnership NHS trust, qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff (excluding health authority staff)

3 month vacancy rate (percentage)3 month vacancy (number)Staff in post (whole-time equivalent)Staff in post (headcount)
England (excluding HA staff)3.1%8,390265,720329,980
Midlands and Eastern2.5%1,86072,17090,190
North Essex Mental Health Partnership NHS trust2.2%20700790
Special health authorities0.9%109701,090

Key Notes:

1. Three-month vacancy information is as at 31st March 2002.

2. Three-month vacancies are vacancies which trusts are actively trying to fill, which had lasted for three months or more, (whole-time equivalent).

3. Three-month vacancy rates are three-month vacancies expressed as a percentage of three-month vacancies plus staff in post.

4. Three-month vacancy rates are calculated using staff in post from the Vacancy Survey, March 2002.

5. Staff in post data is from the Non-Medical Workforce Census, September 2001.

6. Staff in post data excludes staff employed by health authorities, as vacancy information was only collected from trusts, PCTs and Special Health Authorities.

7. Vacancy and staff in post numbers are rounded to the nearest ten.

8. Percentages are rounded to one decimal place.

Other Notes:

9. Due to rounding, totals may not equal the sum of component parts.

10. Due to rounding, calculating the vacancy rates using the above data may not equal the actual vacancy rates.

11. Figures may not match previously published data due to a different method of rounding used on the staff in post data.


Vacancy numbers and rates: Department of Health Vacancies Survey March 2002

Non-medical staff in post: Department of Health Non-Medical Workforce census September 2001.

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Prison Health Services

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 3 December 2002, Official Report, col. 748W, on prison health services, if the increased funding is ring-fenced for NHS services within prisons. [86964]

Jacqui Smith: .Detailed decisions on the allocation of the increased funding announced for prison health services have not yet been finalised.

Restaurant Menus

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information restaurants and take-away food outlets are required to publish in relation to the presence of genetically modified foods and food products in the meals they supply; how they are able to find out about such a presence in (a) their ingredients and (b) the food which the animals which produced it were fed on; what the penalties are for non-compliance with these requirements; which enforcement authorities are responsible for ensuring compliance; how many prosecutions have been brought for failing to comply with the regulations; what the outcome was in each of those cases; and what estimate he makes of the total cost to date to (i) industry in implementing and (ii) public funds in enforcing this legislation. [85833]

Ms Blears: Current labelling regulations require food sold to the final consumer or to mass caterers to be labelled as genetically modified if an ingredient contains novel genetic material (DNA or protein). There are no requirements to label products from animals fed GM feed. In the United Kingdom, these requirements also extend to food sold in catering establishments where information on the extent to which GM ingredients are used is provided to customers on demand.

Enforcement of the Genetically Modified and Novel Food (Labelling) (England) Regulations 2000 is a matter for the local authorities, with the penalty on conviction under these regulations being a fine not exceeding level five on the standard scale. Parallel arrangements apply in other of parts of the UK. Compliance checks are usually carried out as part of routine premises inspections and no specific costs are recorded for the enforcement of these regulations. There have been no prosecutions to date. No details of the actual costs incurred by the hospitality industry have been received in recent consultations, but the total cost to the catering industry was estimated at #1 to #2 million in the regulatory impact assessment for the Genetically Modified and Novel Food (Labelling) (England) Regulations 2000.

Smallpox Vaccine

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the side effects from smallpox vaccinations are. [85635]

Mr. Hutton: Full details of the side effects of vaccination and contraindications to vaccination are given in the Department's draft smallpox plan available at

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Severe side effects that could occur in anyone included generalized vaccinia and progress vaccinia and post-vaccination encephalitis. However these side effects were more likely to occur in those with any degree of immuno-suppression or in pregnant women and their offspring. Eczema vaccinatum was a very serious side effect in those with active skin lesions at the time of the vaccination. Post vaccination encephalitis could also occur in anyone.

The overall risk of severe complications following vaccination is low but they could be fatal. Complications occurred more frequently in persons receiving their first dose of vaccine, and among very young children.

Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent estimate he has made of the total registration cost for a product under the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive; [85795]

Ms Blears: I refer the hon. Member to the replies I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Great Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell) today and on 5 December 2002, Official Report, column 967W.


Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on his plans to extend the vaccination of children in the UK. [86035]

Ms Blears: The existing childhood immunisation programme has been extremely effective in eradicating diseases that previously killed and disabled large numbers of children. For example, polio vaccination has eliminated polio for more than 15 years from this country. MMR has virtually wiped out congenital rubella syndrome and has prevented any child deaths from acute measles for 10 years.

The impact of the childhood programme is reviewed regularly. Changes to programme are only considered following a careful assessment of all of the evidence by the expert advisory body the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. No decisions have yet been made concerning extending the programme.

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list take-up rates of vaccinations generally available through the NHS for each of the past five years. [86033]

Ms Blears: The information available about uptake of immunisations, primarily childhood immunisations and the numbers of vaccinations given in England is contained in the Statistical Bulletin XNHS Immunisation Statistics, England: 2001–02". A copy of

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the bulletin is in the Library and can also be found on the Department's website at

Data were not collected on a routine basis for influenza immunisation before 2000–01. In that year, uptake among the age target group of people over 65 years of age was 65 per cent., across England and improved to 68 per cent., across England in the following year, 2001–02. Data are not yet available for the end of the programme for 2002–03.

Woodhill Prison

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding Milton Keynes PCT received in (a) 2001–02, (b) 2000–01 and (c) 1999–2000 in respect of the prison population at Woodhill. [86965]

Jacqui Smith: Milton Keynes Primary Care Trust (PCT) received specific funding of 50,000 in 2001–02 and 108,000 in 2002–03 to support the development of improved mental health services for the prison population at Her Majesty's Prison Woodhill.

In each year the PCT, and previously the health authority, received funding for the secondary care of that part of its population classified by the Office for National Statistics as normally resident in HMP Woodhill. This funding comprised part of the general resource allocation for the PCT and was not separately identified.

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Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding Milton Keynes PCT will receive in repect of Woodhill Prison as a result of the increased national funding. [86966]

Jacqui Smith: Primary care trusts (PCTs) will not immediately assume financial responsibility for prison health services as a result of the transfer of Departmental budgetary responsibility for these services to the Department from April 2003. Future allocations to PCTs in respect of local prison populations have not yet been calculated, but in most cases the resources allocated will be significantly greater than current prison service expenditure on health care in the relevant prisons.

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether remand prisoners in Woodhill Prison are included in the funding calculation for Milton Keynes PCT. [86967]

Jacqui Smith: Remand prisoners will be taken into account in future funding calculations for Primary Care Trusts.

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding Milton Keynes PCT received in (a) 2001–02, (b) 2000–01 and (c) 1990–2000 for upgrading health facilities within Woodhill Prison. [86968]

Jacqui Smith: The prison service is responsible for the maintenance of health care facilities at Her Majesty's Prison Woodhill. Accordingly, no funding was allocated to Milton Keynes Primary Care Trust, or to its predecessor, Buckinghamshire Health Authority, for upgrading health facilities within HMP Woodhill during the three years in question.