Previous Section Index Home Page

11 Feb 2003 : Column 662W—continued

Stop Now Orders

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many Stop Now Orders (EC Directive) Regulations injunctions have been sought against companies and individuals since March 2002, broken down by each UK public qualified entity. [96755]

11 Feb 2003 : Column 663W

Ms Hewitt: Since March 2002, six Stop Now Orders have been sought and obtained from the courts. Four of these were obtained by Trading Standards authorities and two by the Office of Fair Trading.

Vehicle Fleets

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what progress has been made, by (a) volume and (b) percentage for each (i) category of vehicle, (ii) type of power unit and (iii) type of fuel, on an annual basis, over each of the past three years, in renewal of the Post Office's vehicle fleet on a lower emission basis; [96446]

Mr. Timms: These are matters that fall within the day-to-day responsibility of Royal Mail. I have therefore asked the Chairman to reply direct to my hon. Friend.

Waterloo Road Post Office

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what she estimates will be the effect on the Waterloo area of the closure of the Waterloo Road Post Office. [97333]

Mr. Timms: Decisions on post office closures are an operational matter for the company. Before closure of any post office is decided, Post Office Ltd. carries out a formal consultation process in accordance with the Code of Practice on branch closures, agreed with Postwatch.


Barnet Hospital

15. Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on services at Barnet hospital. [96687]

Ms Blears: Services at Barnet Hospital are improving but there is much more that needs to be done. Inpatients and outpatients are waiting for shorter periods and recent improvements in practice in the accident and emergency department will also ensure shorter waits. Public and staff are being involved in the further development of services locally.

Foundation Hospitals

16. Mr. Liddell-Grainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether he plans to extend foundation status to all hospitals in England and Wales; [96688]

18. Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to increase the number of proposed foundation hospitals. [96690]

Mr. Hutton : "A Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts" sets out proposals for NHS Foundation Trusts and invites applications for the first phase from current acute and specialist NHS 3-star Trusts. Legislation will be

11 Feb 2003 : Column 664W

placed before the House to establish NHS Foundation Trusts. The eligibility criteria for NHS Foundation Trusts will be kept under review.

Hospital Mergers

19. Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what studies he has undertaken on the effect of hospital mergers on clinical performance. [96692]

Mr. Hutton: Hospital mergers are changes of organisational structures rather than changes to services. Each case has to be considered on its merits, taking local circumstances into account. One study covering 25 trusts in London did consider the effect of mergers. It found that while there were risks in the process, given the diversion of managerial focus, there was also evidence of a number of benefits, including greater sharing of good practice.

NHS Administrators

20. Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many administrators are employed in the NHS. [96693]

Mr. Hutton: There are 27,424 managers and senior managers employed in the NHS and 184,229 clerical and administrative staff. (Latest DH workforce census data as at 30 September 2001). Of the 184,229 clerical and administrative staff over half of these staff are providing direct support to health professionals in the delivery of care to patients, such as medical secretarial and radiography services.

Consultants Contracts

21. Caroline Flint : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on consultants contracts. [96694]

Mr. Hutton: We announced a new framework of incentives and rewards for NHS consultants to the House on Thursday 23 January. The new framework will enable trusts to ensure greater rewards for those consultants who do most for NHS patients. It will give flexibility to trusts locally in choosing how best to use extra resources to reward consultants, reform working practices and improve patient services.

We are now consulting on the framework, with a view to beginning implementation from this April.

Worcestershire Royal Acute Hospital

22. Mr. Michael Foster : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the bed capacity at Worcestershire Royal Acute hospital. [96695]

Mr. Lammy: Bed numbers have remained constant since the opening of the new Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester. There are approximately 1,400 acute beds and community based beds available across the county of Worcestershire compared to 1,387 in 1998–99.

NHS Dentistry (Somerset)

23. Mr. Heath: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the provision of NHS dentistry in Somerset. [96696]

11 Feb 2003 : Column 665W

Ms Blears: The Government are committed to providing National Health Service dentistry for all who need and seek it. We recognise, however, that there are some areas of the country, including parts of Somerset, where it is difficult to get access to an NHS dentist. For this reason more than £3.5 million additional investment is being made over two years in Somerset (2001/02 and 2002/03) to establish a ental access centre to treat non-registered patients.

I can report that Somerset Coast Primary Care Trust is reaching dental access levels of 75 per cent. and this is expected to improve with the opening of a new practice. Taunton Deane Primary Care Trust is achieving 100 per cent. access levels for routine dental care; and South Somerset PCT has recently recruited an additional general dental practitioner.

Bowel Cancer

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to introduce screening for bowel cancer; and what assessment he has made of its effectiveness. [96074]

Ms Blears: The Government's commitment to a national screening programme for bowel cancer will be taken forward by a new national health service bowel cancer programme, launched on 4 February 2002 in London at a conference of experts from a wide variety of backgrounds, including the voluntary sector. The programme will be led by the national cancer director, and will concentrate on developing a national screening programme for bowel cancer, streamlining care for symptomatic patients expansion and development, and a communications strategy for the public and professionals.

Government-funded pilots into faecal occult blood (FOB) testing for bowel cancer screening will report in the spring. However, the choice of screening methodology for bowel cancer screening is not clear cut between FOB testing and flexible sigmoidoscopy. The NHS bowel cancer programme will consider which method, or a combination of methods is the most appropriate for a bowel cancer screening programme in England.

Children (Sport)

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of children undertook at least one hour's sporting activity each week on average each year since 1997. [92064]

Mr. Caborn: I have been asked to reply.

Annual information in this form is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, Sport England carried out a survey of young people (aged 6 to 16) in 1994,1999 and 2002. The 1999 survey found that, overall, 82 per cent. of children spent at least one hour a week in PE lessons. Results from the 2002 survey will be published by Sport England in March.

Clinical Negligence Claims

Mr. Leigh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the reason is for the delay in implementing the

11 Feb 2003 : Column 666W

reform proposals outlined in the Government's response to the Committee of Public Accounts 37th report of 2001–02, "Handling Clinical Negligence Claims in England"; and when the proposed White Paper will be published. [96691]

Mr. Lammy: Clinical negligence is a complex issue needing extensive consultation, and review of published literature and reports. The Chief Medical Officer is working up a comprehensive report outlining proposals to make arrangements fairer for those suffering injury through negligent national health service treatment.

Community Care

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on how he plans to distribute the £100 million to offset the impact of the fines on local authorities arising from the Community Care (Delayed Discharges etc) Bill. [96994]

Jacqui Smith: I refer the hon. Member to the response given to the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. Burstow) on 5 December 2002, Official Report, column 963W. An announcement on this will be made shortly.

Next Section Index Home Page