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6 Feb 2003 : Column 434W—continued


David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff there were in each ambulance station in TENYAS in each month since 1 January 2002; and what redeployments of staff there were between ambulance stations in the same period. [93845]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested is shown in the table. However, the numbers of redeployments of staff are not collected centrally, nor by Tees, East and North Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (TENYAS).

Staff establishment by station for the period January 2002 to December 2002 (wte)

North Yorkshire
Pateley Bridge555555568888
Hull/East Riding
Hull Central353535353535353535354143
Sutton Fields292929292929282928303027

1. Increase in establishment for Tees area staff also moved from other stations to form permanent relief/extra crew at Coulby Newham to remove relief from base stations.


Tees, East and North Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (TENYAS)

6 Feb 2003 : Column 435W

Bone Fractures (Hospital Patients)

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to Ref.PQ02260, 29 January 2003, whether statistics on the numbers of people experiencing bone fractures while being cared for in NHS hospitals will be collected as part of the proposed national reporting and learning system for adverse events. [95567]

Mr. Lammy: The national reporting and learning system will collect reports from National Health Service staff, patients, carers and the public on all kinds of adverse events and near misses involving NHS patients, including those relating to bone fractures.

The system will enable the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) to identify trends and patterns of adverse events, including avoidable injuries such as bone fractures, and to use this information to seek effective solutions to stop them recurring.

The NPSA is currently looking into interventions to prevent hip fractures occurring to those who fall while under NHS care, including the use of hip protectors. The NPSA is also collaborating with the National Institute for Clinical Excellence in the development of guidelines for falls prevention in acute settings.

Brain Cooling Technologies

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the effectiveness of brain cooling technologies in treating brain damage. [92289]

Jacqui Smith: Researchers have suggested that cooling the body may limit a chemical chain reaction in which injured brain cells release toxic chemicals that damage neighbouring cells. Clinical trials in rat populations with traumatic brain injuries suggest hypothermia does reduce permeability of the blood brain barrier, bruising and swelling of the brain, and neural cell death and injury. In recent years, there have been human clinical trials studying the connection between hypothermia and traumatic brain injury outcomes.

Some of the trials showed promising results, while one showed no benefit and, in fact, indicated hypothermia may be harmful to patients over 45 years of age. It has now been recognised that larger trials are required that provide the statistical power necessary to give clear answers both in children and in adults.

Buckingham Hospitals NHS Trust

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 28 January 2003, Official Report, column 803W, on Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust, what action he will take to ensure that (a) a chief executive and (b) other executive directors will be in post when the Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust comes into being. [95987]

Ms Blears: Several senior appointments have been made to the Buckinghamshire Hospitals National Health Service Trust which include the chair and two of the non executive directors.

6 Feb 2003 : Column 436W

Interviews were held for the post of chief executive on 29 January, but no appointment was made. Interim management arrangements are being discussed to ensure that the new trust can assume its role from 1 April.

I will write to the hon. Member outlining these arrangements when they are finalised.

Care Bed Costs

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average cost of (a) establishing and (b) running (i) a high dependency care bed and (ii) an intensive care bed was in the last period for which figures are available. [95519]

Mr. Lammy: Information is not collected centrally on the average cost of establishing and/or running a high dependency or intensive care bed.

Child Asylum Seekers

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on what health assessment is made for unaccompanied children applying for asylum. [91993]

Jacqui Smith: Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are supported by local authorities' social services departments under the Children Act 1989. This requires authorities to undertake a needs assessment as specified in the Government guidance, the "Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families".

This multi-disciplinary assessment will determine the type of support the young person will receive, depending on their needs, wishes and capabilities. If the child becomes looked after, a health assessment must be undertaken and then reviewed annually by an appropriately qualified registered medical practitioner.

If not a looked-after child, support may be less intensive but will still be in line with the framework guidance.

Chiropodists and Podiatrists

Barbara Follett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what discussions there have been between his Department and the Health Professions Council on how the public will differentiate between the clinical competencies and qualifications of chiropodist and podiatrist practitioners; [95602]

Barbara Follett (4) what plans his Department has to recommend to the Health Professions Council that they institute a sub-register for current chiropodists who may decide not to join the Health Professions Council's register. [95599]

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Mr. Hutton: I met with the president and chief executive of the Health Professionals Council (HPC) on 4 December 2002 at which all aspects of the HPC's proposals were discussed.

The HPC consulted about which titles should be protected by law and has undertaken extensive market research to understand the public's perception of titles currently in use by healthcare professionals. The HPC's decision to propose the protection of both chiropodist and podiatrist reflects the general perception that these titles are used interchangeably. The titles indicate that those registered have met HPC's standards of competence. All applicants for registration will be expected to meet standards of proficiency, whether they are applying through the transitional arrangements, as international applicants or as UK applicants who have completed an approved course.

The HPC proposes using subsections of the register to distinguish between modalities of care but believes that to distinguish between skill levels would be confusing and unnecessary. The HPC has no plans to introduce a sub-register for those practitioners who do not meet the Council's standards of proficiency and who would not therefore be able to use the protected titles. Ultimately, it is for the Health Professions Council to propose and the Privy Council to determine the protected titles that will be associated with parts and subsections of the Health Professions Register.

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