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14 Jan 2003 : Column 534W—continued

Waiting Times

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the 10 longest waiting times for NHS treatment according to the most recent data that he has available. [87538]

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Mr. Hutton: The latest published commissioner data for England in October 2002 show there were a total of nine patients waiting over 15 months for in-patient admission.

Welsh Health Authority Referrals

Mr. Jon Owen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients referred from a Welsh health authority in the last year for which records are available were treated in each of the 10 English hospitals that treated the highest numbers of such patients; for each

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hospital, what the most common procedures carried out on such patients were; and how many such procedures were carried out. [88283]

Mr. Hutton: Data on the number of Welsh patients treated as in-patients in the 10 English national health service trusts that treated the highest number of Welsh patients in 2001–02 is shown in the table.

The five most common in-patient procedures carried out on Welsh patients in those NHS trusts are shown in the table. Data are collected on approximately 850 procedures carried out in NHS trusts.

Five most common in-patient procedures

NHS trustTotal Welsh resident patients treated Procedure Number of patients treated
Countess of Chester Hospital7,729X35 Other intravenous injection332
R24 Normal delivery266
H25 Diagnostic endoscopic exam/lower bowel using fibreoptic signoidoscope172
C75 Prosthesis of lens160
G45 Diagnostic fibreoptic endoscopic exam149
Royal Shrewsbury Hospitals6,819X35 Other intravenous injection518
M45 Diagnostic endoscopic examination of bladder269
C71 Extracapsular extraction of lens237
G45 Diagnostic fibreoptic endoscopic exam209
R24 Normal delivery199
Hereford Hospitals2,949C75 Prosthesis of lens241
R24 Normal delivery75
X35 Other intravenous injection74
M45 Diagnostic endoscopic examination of bladder54
W37 Total prosthetic replacement of hip joint using cement51
Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt2,885X29 Continuous infusion of therapeutic substance245
W37 Total prosthetic replacement of hip joint using cement 243
W82 Therapeutic endoscopic operations on semilunar cartilage155
W40 Total prosthetic replacement of knee joint using cement151
W83 Therapeutic endoscopic operations on other articular cartilage130
Royal Liverpool Children's1,559A54 Therapeutic spinal puncture97
X29 Continuous infusion of therapeutic substance96
T19 Simple excision of inguinal hernial sac59
L91 Other vein related operations52
G45 Diagnostic fibreoptic endoscopic exam44
The Cardiothoracic Centre, Liverpool1,411K63 Contrast radiology of heart720
K49 Transluminal balloon angioplasty of coronary artery169
K45 Connection of thoracic artery to coronary artery133
K26 Plastic repair of aortic valve53
K60 Cardiac pacemaker system introduced through vein46
Central Manchester and Manchester1,089K63 Contrast radiology of heart497
K45 Connection of thoracic artery to coronary artery143
K49 Transluminal balloon angioplasty of coronary artery98
K57 Other therapeutic transluminal operations on heart27
K60 Cardiac pacemaker system introduced through vein17
Walton Centre for Neurology904A55 Diagnostic spinal puncture114
A84 Neurophysiological operations86
A08 Other biopsy of lesion of tissue of brain70
X55 Other operations on unspecified organ69
X29 Continuous infusion of therapeutic substance52
Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen812C82 Destruction of lesion of retina61
X29 Continuous infusion of therapeutic substance52
C79 Operations on vitreous body40
G45 Diagnostic fibreoptic endoscopic exam36
X33 Other blood transfusion26
United Bristol Healthcare768C79 Operations on vitreous body77
X35 Other intravenous injection33
C82 Destruction of lesion of retina31
C75 Prosthesis of lens25
W30 Other external fixation of bone21


Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), Department of Health

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Chemicals Policy

Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effect of the European Union's chemicals management system REACH on (a) the relative costs of the manufacture and use of chemicals in member states in competition with finished manufactured articles imported into the EU and (b) the confidentiality of commercially-sensitive product manufacturing information; and if she will make a statement. [87023]

Mr. Meacher: In May 2001, the Government prepared a partial regulatory impact assessment to consider the impact of the European Union's chemicals management system REACH. A full regulatory impact assessment, with a more detailed cost benefit analysis, taking into account the wider economic impact will be carried out once the Commission has published its proposals.

The Government are committed to having a transparent system and would expect to see as much information as possible made publicly available, which would certainly include basic hazard and exposure data associated with substances. However, in order to avoid free riders and to avoid stifling innovation, adequate controls on access to genuinely commercially sensitive data are needed whilst recognising the right of the public to have access to relevant and meaningful information on hazards and risk. We have had discussions with a number of stakeholders and will seek to work with the European Commission to ensure practical proposals come forward.

The Government and devolved Administrations have agreed a position statement on the New European Chemical Strategy, a copy of this is in the House Library and can be found on the Defra website at

Air Quality

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many days of poor urban air quality there have been in each year since 1993. [88437]

Margaret Beckett: The United Kingdom Government and the devolved administrations monitor levels of a number of pollutants through a national network of air quality monitoring sites. The monitoring network has

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undergone a large expansion from 24 urban sites in 1993 to 100 in 2002. Air quality monitoring data and statistics are published on the National Air Quality Information Archive website

Number of days with poor urban air qualityNumber of urban monitoring sites in operation

The increase in the number of days with poor air quality in 2001 compared with the previous three years is partly due to the larger number of measurement sites in use in 2001 and partly due to the natural fluctuations in weather conditions leading to very localised high concentrations. The overall trend over the whole period from 1993 is downward.

Ancient Woodland

Mr. James Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to change planning regulations to strengthen protection for ancient woodland in England. [89756]

Mr. McNulty: The statement Sustainable Communities: Delivering through planning, given by my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister last July, confirmed that all planning policy guidance notes (PPGs) are to be reviewed. The review of PPG9 on nature conservation will consider how land-use planning can take into account all aspects of nature conservation, including whether there is sufficient protection for ancient woodland. Any changes proposed to the PPG will be subject to public consultation.

Beef Premium

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many inspectors are employed by her Department to validate claims for (a) slaughter premium and (b) beef special premium scheme. [90393]

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Alun Michael: In England, all on-farm bovine inspections take place during a single combined visit to a producer's premises. The actual inspections included will depend on the subsidy schemes against which the producer claims. 247 inspectors in the Rural Payments Agency's Inspectorate are trained to carry out inspections across the range of bovine schemes. These inspectors also carry out inspections under a wide range of other livestock and land based schemes.

Coastal Erosion

Mr. David Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment she has made of the action required in (a) 2001–02, (b) 2002–03 and (c) 2003–04 to protect against the risk of coastal erosion; [89749]

Margaret Beckett: This Department has overall policy responsibility for coastal erosion risk but operational responsibility, for assessing risks, identifying the need for defence measures and deciding which projects to promote and their timing, rests with local authorities. However, as an aid for the planning by all flood and coastal operating authorities, DEFRA commissioned research into a National Appraisal of the Assets at Risk from flooding and coastal erosion. The results were published in 2000 and 2001.

Local authorities submit their medium term plans for capital works to reduce the risk of coast protection to DEFRA annually to inform our decisions on the allocation of funds.

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