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8 Sept 2003 : Column 156Wcontinued
Mr. Hutton: Central information is not collected specifically in relation to adult and adolescent wards. The average number of wards in England reported by national health service organisations is shown in the table.
|Average number of wards|
Before 1 April 2000, this data was not collected. These figures exclude units such as intensive treatment units, accident and emergency/admissions units, coronary care units, special care baby units, paediatric intensive care and day case wards.
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|England total (£)|
1. Annual financial returns of NHS trusts
2. Annual financial returns of health authorities
3. Annual financial returns of primary care trusts
Miss Melanie Johnson: Funding for research on AIDS is provided from a number of different sources, including the Government, charities and industry. The Department of Health does not routinely collect information on all research expenditure. The figures shown in the table for estimated Government spend on research relating to AIDS are approximate.
A figure for 200203 is not yet available. The figure for 200001 is higher than the figure (£21.3 million) given the former Under-Secretary of State for Health, my hon. Friend the Member for Salford (Ms Blears) on 16 July 2002, Official Report, column 212W, as the estimate of spend that the Medical Research Council included in this earlier figure was provisional. The figures for all years include estimated spend by Department of Health national research programmes and arm's length bodies. Management of much of the research supported by National Health Service research and development funding is devolved and expenditure at project level is not held centrally by the Department. In addition to specific projects, the Department also provides support for research commissioned by charities and the research councils that takes place in the NHS. The total investment is therefore greater.
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Dr. Ladyman: The Royal College of Physicians published their report 'Allergy the unmet need, A Blueprint for better patient care' on 25 June 2003. Their report refers to the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) and British Allergy Foundation (BAF) respectively, who compiled a list of national health service allergy clinics which were NHS consultant-led and based at NHS hospitals in the United Kingdom.
The subsequent BSACI handbook "National NHS Allergy Clinics" (2001) lists 86 NHS consultant led clinics in the UK. There were an additional 15 clinics run by NHS consultants identified by the British Allergy Foundation (BAF) in the handbook. Six of these 101 clinics offered services led by a whole-time specialist allergist.
Mr. Hutton: The National Health Service vacancy survey collects information on the number of posts which trusts are actively trying to fill which have been vacant for three months or more. As at 31 March 2003, there was one three month consultant vacancy in allergy in England.
Dr. Ladyman: The information requested is not centrally collected. Waiting list data are collected according to the type of specialist the patient is due to see and therefore the number of allergy sufferers waiting for treatment are not separately identifiable as they may be included in a range of specialist waiting lists. However, all patients for consultant led hospital treatment, including those with allergies, are benefiting from shorter maximum waiting times.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of people in England receiving allograft implants were subsequently infected with (a) Hepatitis and (b) HIV in the last 12 months. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The percentage of people in England receiving allograft implants subsequently infected with hepatitis or HIV is not recorded nationally as part of the routing follow-up post transplant.
Donor screening procedures as advised by the Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Blood and Tissues for Transplant (MSBT) are very effective and all transplant co-ordinators are required to ensure all the relevant data are collected and screening tests performed. This information is double-checked by the
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Miss Melanie Johnson: The awards made in the first round of the scheme were announced on 17 April 2003. The total value of these awards exceeds £1.3 million. Details of the operation and timing of the next round have not yet been determined.
The main agency through which the Government support medical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council (MRC). The MRC is an independent body, which receives its grant in aid from the Office of Science and Technology.
The MRC is not currently undertaking any research into a possible connection between Alzheimer's disease and obesity. However, it is funding research into dementia (including Alzheimer's Disease) and also funding research into nutrition.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many 999 calls were made to the Greater London Ambulance Service in the last 12 months for which figures are available for which a police presence was also provided; and what criteria are used to decide whether a police presence is required to an ambulance call-out. 
Mr. Hutton: This information is not held centrally. The London Ambulance Service National Health Service Trust (LAS) does not routinely collect this information. The LAS informs me that the decision whether to call police for assistance is made either by control room staff or by ambulance crews using information on the nature of the call.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many 999 calls were made to the Greater London Ambulance Service over the last 12 months for which figures are available for which it was decided an ambulance was not necessary; and what proportion of calls over this period such calls represented. 
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(b) England; and what average length of time it took for ambulances to reach (a) the patient and (b) the hospital to which the patient needed to be taken. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The latest information about the proportion of emergency calls resulting in an ambulance arriving at the scene of the reported incident, within the Government's target response times for Essex and all other ambulance trusts, is contained in the Department of Health Statistical Bulletin, "Ambulance Services, England 200203".
Ms Rosie Winterton: The latest information about the proportion of emergency calls resulting in an ambulance arriving at the scene of the reported incident within the Government's target response times for all other ambulance trusts, is contained in the Department of Health Statistical Bulletin "Ambulance Services, England 200203".
Ms Rosie Winterton: Ambulance national health service trusts should respond to 75 per cent. of category A (life threatening) calls within eight minutes. All other emergency calls should be responded to 95 per cent. of the time within 14 minutes in urban areas and 19 minutes in rural areas.
Information about ambulance services response times are collected each year by the Department and published annually. The latest information shows that nationally 74.6 per cent. of category A calls resulted in an emergency response arriving at the scene of the incident within 8 minutes compared to 70.7 per cent. in 200102. Further information is contained in the Department of Health statistical bulletin Ambulance Services, England 200203.
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Drivers of ambulance vehicles can claim exemptions from some of the provisions of various Road Traffic Acts and Regulationsincluding speed restrictionswhere it hinders them from responding to a life threatening emergency call.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) emergency vehicles and (b) vehicles for non-emergency services were in service with each NHS ambulance trust in each of the last three years. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government are determined to tackle the assaults and intimidation that too many national health service staff face. As part of the work previously carried out under the NHS zero tolerance zone campaign, specific guidance to support managers and staff working in ambulance trusts, "Managing Violence in Ambulance Trusts", was issued by the Department of Health.
Responsibility for tackling assaults against staff working in the NHS passed to the Counter Fraud and Security Management Service (CFSMS) on 1 April 2003. During 200304 the CFSMS will be taking forward a number of initiatives to reduce the number of both physical and non-physical assaults. The CFSMS is currently developing;
a national and consistent reporting system to record incidents of physical assaults on staff, using a common definition, with the ability to track cases from report to conclusion. This will allow for intervention where appropriate in order to ensure the best possible outcome for the victim concerned and help increase the rate of offenders prosecuted;
a consistent locally managed reporting system will be established to deal with non-physical assaults using the common law definition. Clear definitions of assault will enable sanctions that are appropriate to the incident to be sought;
a legal protection unit to provide health bodies with advice on cost-effective methods of pursuing a wide range of sanctions against offenders including criminal and civil action where appropriate;
ways in which technology can be used to provide better protection for staff. This work is undertaken in co-operation with the Home Office. One of the chosen test sites for the "Safer Hospitals" project is an ambulance trust;
a Memorandum of Understanding with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) to ensure that a consistent national approach to reducing physical and non-physical assaults on staff is taken by both the NHS and the police.
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