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Mr. Havard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when The Appropriate Use of Blood working group will publish its report on the use of alternative blood therapies in place of transfusing blood. 
Ms Blears: The National Blood Service appropriate use of blood group has continued to gather evidence on alternatives to blood, bloodless surgery and autologous blood transfusion. A report is to be produced by spring 2003 for consideration by the group and the Chief
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Medical Officer's National Blood Transfusion Committee. Appropriate recommendations for a future strategy will then be developed. This information will be made widely available on the Internet, to relevant individuals and organisations and promulgated through the regional and hospital transfusion committee structure.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of (a) GP surgeries, (b) hospitals, (c) primary care trusts and (d) health authorities have broadband access; and what targets have been set for full broadband access in each case. 
|General practitioner practices
|157 out of 8,519 connections
|345 out of 726 connections
|Primary care trusts
|77 out of 284 connections
|108 out of 562 connections
These figures relate to connections only, not directly to the organisations themselves, as it is common for health authorities and trusts to have multiple connections. These can be for connections between different sites or multiple connections to the same sites. Information broken down by specific trust or HA is not collected centrally.
Under the existing framework contracts with the NHSnet suppliers, connections to GP practices in England are being upgraded to 256Kbps where they do not already have it. Trust and health authority connections are being upgraded to 2MBps where they do not already have it, or better. The target for completion of this exercise is March 2004.
As part of the Government's "21st Century IT" strategy for the national health service, it is planned to replace the existing networking arrangements with a new national broadband infrastructure for the NHS in England in 200607.
Jacqui Smith: The Department of Health does not routinely collect statistics on the prevalence of individual conditions like dystonia nor on the costs and development of treatments for them. The Dystonia Society however, estimates that around 38,000 people in the United Kingdom currently have the condition.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in implementing the recommendations made in the National Sentinel Audit of Epilepsy-Related Death published in May 2002; what
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steps have been taken to develop the action plan announced in September; when he expects the action plan to be launched; and if he will make a statement. 
Jacqui Smith: In May 2002, we welcomed the publication of National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) sponsored national clinical audit of epilepsy-related death. The audit looked at investigations into epilepsy deaths, care provided prior to death and contact with bereaved families. The audit report draws the attention of local national health service clinicians and organisations to the need to establish or review policies and practicesregarding the management of epilepsy and epilepsy related deaths.
We have given a commitment to consider in full the key findings and recommendations of the audit and to develop an action plan to address the key issues. We have consulted the epilepsy voluntary organisations during its development and expect to publish the action plan shortly. It will take account of two major pieces of work currently in development:
NICE work on a clinical and cost effectiveness appraisal of new anti-epilepsy drugs in children and adults, which is due in autumn 2003. This will be supported by a clinical guideline for the diagnosis, management and treatment of epilepsy which is due in June 2004. These will help address any variations in clinical practice and contribute to the improvement of services.
Provided £71,000 to the Joint Epilepsy Council (JEC) to develop its "National Statement of Good Practice for the Treatment and Care of People who have Epilepsy", which was published in May 2002. The statement makes a series of recommendations for good quality epilepsy services. It is intended to facilitate commissioning and will be of use to NHS purchasers, providers and service users.
Agreed to provide £122,000 over three years to the National Society for Epilepsy for its "Living Well Project". The project aims to promote independent living by providing locally based short-term courses for people with epilepsy to develop self-help and self-management techniques.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy to ensure that the National Service Framework for Children includes standards for the development of neurological head injury and spinal services for children. 
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Ms Blears: Subject to legislation, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) will be established as a special health authority on 1 April 2003, and new staff employed by the HPA as from 1 April will commence employment on National Health Service terms and conditions using local pay and grading arrangements.
Mr. Lammy: The number of heart-only transplants undertaken in United Kingdom National Health Service hospitals in 2000 was 204. The number of heart/lung transplants undertaken in UK NHS hospitals in 2000 was 33.
David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many patients were re-admitted to hospital as emergency cases after being discharged in Hull and the East Riding in 2002; and what the national average was for such re-admissions in 2002. 
Jacqui Smith: The rate of emergency re-admissions to hospital within 28 days of discharge (all ages), as a percentage of live discharges, age and sex standardised, was 7.14 per cent. for Hull and East Yorkshire hospitals trust in 2001, compared with 6.11 per cent. nationally (all England).
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Jacqui Smith: We have issued no specific guidance to hospital trusts and primary care trusts for the provision of services to lymphoedema sufferers. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has, however, recently updated the "Improving Outcomes in Breast Cancer Guidance", and that guidance made some recommendations about lymphoedema.
The guidance recommends that cancer networks should agree guidelines for identification and management of lymphoedema and that a lymphoedema service, staffed by nurses and physiotherapists who have experience in dealing with this problem, should be available for all patients who experience arm swelling or discomfort.
Jacqui Smith: The Department of Health does not routinely collect statistics on the prevalence of individual conditions like lymphoedema. We do have data on the number of finished consultant episodes (FCE) where the main diagnosis is lymphoedema. An FCE is defined as a period of patient care under one consultant in one health care provider. The figures do not represent the number of patients, as one person may have several episodes within a year.