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8 Dec 2003 : Column 303W—continued

Body Mass Index

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has collated on the average body mass index in England for each year since 1990. [141581]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Figures for average body mass index in England are available from the Health Survey for England from 1991, when the survey began, for adults and children and are shown in the table. Figures are not available for 1990.

Body mass index (BMI) by survey year and sex


(39) The Health Survey for England collected data on children only from 1995 for children.

(40) The sample sizes in 1991 and 1992 were smaller than in subsequent years and for reporting purposes the estimates from both years were combined.


Figures for men and women are for ages 16 and over. For children, ages are 2–15, except 2001, which is 0–15.


Health Survey for England, Department of Health.

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Breast Cancer

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the change has been in non-urgent referral waiting times for breast cancer following the introduction of the two-week target for urgent referrals; [141879]

Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 4 December 2003]: Data are not collected centrally on waiting times for those women who were not urgently referred with breast conditions and who were later diagnosed with cancer. The two week waiting time standard has been a success with over 98 per cent. of women with suspected breast cancer now seeing a specialist with two weeks of urgent referral. It is vital that general practitioners (GPs) refer suspected breast cancer appropriately and we have issued GP cancer referral guidelines to assist GPs in determining those patients who need to see a specialist urgently within two weeks.

However, the two week waiting time standard should not be seen in isolation but as part of the Government's wider programme for improving and modernising cancer services. We are making significant extra investment in cancer services (an extra £570 million a year in 2003–04); the biggest ever single cash investment in cancer equipment; extending breast cancer screening, ensuring the provision of additional doctors and nurses working in new ways, and modernisation of care provision through the cancer services collaborative.

The maximum waiting time standard of one month from diagnosis to first treatment, from December 2001, also applies to those women who were routinely referred to ensure they receive speedy treatment following diagnosis.

Cancelled Operations

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many operations were cancelled at London hospitals in each of the last 16 quarters for which figures are available; what percentage of the cancelled operations were consequently carried out within four weeks; and if he will make a statement. [140856]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 2 December 2002]: As part of the NHS Plan cancelled operations guarantee introduced on 1 April 2002, data are collected on the number of operations cancelled by the hospital 'at the last minute' due to non-clinical reasons, and the number of patients not admitted within 28 days of a 'last minute' cancellation.

Data at England level and by national health service trust and strategic health authority level are available in the Library and on the Department's website at: requests.htm.

This data includes all London trusts.

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The NHS Plan states that, from 1 April 2002, if a patient's operation is cancelled by the hospital on the day of surgery for non-clinical reasons, the hospital will have to offer another binding date within a maximum of the next 28 days or fund the patient's treatment at the time and hospital of the patient's choice.

Since 1 April 2003 the guarantee has been extended to cover those patients who are cancelled at the last minute i.e. on the day patients are due to arrive, or after arrival in hospital, or on the day of their operation.

Choice and Plurality Conference

Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish the All Data Report of the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Strategic Health Authority conference on Choice and Plurality in the NHS held on 2 and 3 July. [140617]

Dr. Ladyman: Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Strategic Health Authority forwarded a copy of "Fair for all, Personal to You", their all data report, as part of their response to the national consultation on "Choice, responsiveness and equity in the NHS and social care". The formal consultation ran until 11 November, with a Government document to be published before the end of the year setting out the broad themes that have arisen from the consultation and how these will shape future policy and action.


Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Portsmouth, South of 9 September on the importation of dietary supplements. [142197]

Miss Melanie Johnson: I replied to the hon. Member on 26 November 2003.


Mr. McWalter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his estimate is of (a) the number of people suffering from (i) severe dementia and (ii) moderate to severe dementia in Hertfordshire and (b) the number of residential places within the county which might accommodate those with (i) severe dementia and (ii) moderate to severe dementia. [141915]

Dr. Ladyman: There is no routine collection of information at national or local level about the number of people living with dementia. Research evidence shows that about five per cent. of the population over 65 has dementia. The research quoted by the older people's national service framework in 2001 estimated that

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approximately 600,000 people in the United Kingdom have dementia, of whom there are about 17,000 people under the age of 65.

All care homes which have the client group/service user category of DE (dementia under 65 Years) or DE(E) (dementia over 65 years) are able to accept client/service users with dementia.

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what measures (a) have been recently introduced and (b) are proposed to provide appropriate residential care for those less than 50 years of age suffering from dementia in (i) England and (ii) Wirral; [141461]

Dr. Ladyman: The national service framework for older people includes a standard about promoting good mental health in older people and treating and supporting those older people with depression and people of all ages with dementia. The standard sets out the key interventions required for people with dementia, a service model, action required by the national health service and councils, and milestones for assessing progress.

In March 2003, my right hon. Friend the Member for Darlington (Mr. Milburn), announced that, as part of the eighth wave of its work, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence will be producing guidelines on dementia care. These will benefit people of all ages with dementia.

Local councils are responsible for identifying the care needs of those living in their area and for purchasing or providing the appropriate care. This includes the need for residential care for people with early onset dementia.

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