Previous Section Index Home Page

23 Feb 2004 : Column 265W—continued

Acute Care

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department has published to ensure that patients who have received specialist acute care are referred for aftercare to a hospital close to the patients' homes; and if he will make a statement. [155152]

Dr. Ladyman: In January 2003, the Department published a good practice guide; "Discharge from hospital: pathway, process and practice". This puts the patient and their carer at the heart of the process for discharge from acute hospital care to other forms of care. February 2003 guidance on reconfiguration, "Keeping the NHS Local", also emphasises the need to expand the range of local options available from providers across the whole health and social care system.

Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase Deficiency

Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the areas that will start screening newborn children for medium chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency, broken down by primary care trust. [155171]

Dr. Ladyman: Six laboratories in England are screening newborn children for medium chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency for 24 months. This is the first stage of a five-year programme to assess the potential

23 Feb 2004 : Column 266W

impact of screening. The pilot covers children born in and around Birmingham, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, parts of London and South East counties.

"Agenda for Change"

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish the evaluation undertaken so far by his Department into the pilot trials of "Agenda for Change". [153109]

Mr. Hutton: The United Kingdom Health Departments, national health service unions and NHS employer representatives are reviewing the emerging evidence from the 12 "Agenda for Change" early implementer sites. The conclusions from this review should be known from late spring. Some emerging lessons from the early implementer sites, designed to support other NHS organisations in their preparatory work, are available on the web-sites of the Department of Health and NHS Modernisation Agency.


Mr. Peter Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the future demand for anaesthetists in Northumberland and Tyne and Wear Strategic Health Authority area following the introduction of the European Working Time Directive; and if he will make a statement on meeting the demand. [153811]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Working Time Directive (WTD) is an integral part of modernising and improving services at all levels. Strategic health authorities (SHAs) are responsible for planning for implementation by national health service trusts of the WTD for doctors in training from August 2004, as part of their overall NHS planning.

It is for local organisations to determine the level of staff needed to implement the WTD and to deliver a quality service. Priority will be given to trusts facing WTD challenges in the allocation of an additional 1,500 locally funded specialist registrar training opportunities, subject to educational approval being obtained.

Figures from the September 2002 Department of Health census show that, in the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear SHA, there were 272 staff with a specialty in anaesthetics. Of these 138 were consultants. As part of the local delivery plans, the local health economy is planning an increase to 176.48 whole time equivalent consultants by 31 March 2006.

In addition to recruiting increased numbers of consultants, the NHS in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear is looking at new and innovative ways to provide services. This includes the implementation of the non-medical anaesthetics practitioner role at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust, which involves recruiting non-medical anaesthetic personnel from overseas.


Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many asthma sufferers had their condition reviewed at least once in the last year for which figures are available. [154569]

23 Feb 2004 : Column 267W

Dr. Ladyman: The information requested is not collected centrally.

The question of the frequency of patient review is a purely clinical one and will depend on the circumstances of the individual patient.

The new general medical services contract significantly benefits patients by improving the quality of care and widening the range of services available at general practitioners' surgeries.

Benefit Fraud

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff in his Department have been (a) investigated, (b) suspended, (c) dismissed, (d) prosecuted and (e) convicted for involvement in benefit fraud in each of the last six years; and what amounts were involved in each case. [151998]

Ms Rosie Winterton: There are no recorded instances.

Capital Investment (Newcastle)

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list (a) planned and (b) committed new capital investment programmes undertaken in the Newcastle Primary Care Trust area by the (i) Newcastle Primary Care Trust, (ii) Newcastle Hospitals Trust, (iii) Neuro Rehabilitation Trust, (iv) Northumberland, Newcastle and North Tyneside Trust and (v) Northgate and Prudhoe Trust since 1997–98, including PFI financed projects. [154607]

Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 12 February 2004]: Planned and committed capital investment programmes in the area covered by Newcastle Primary Care Trust since 1997–98 are as follows.

1. Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals National Health Service Trust


A major private finance initiative (PFI) development, costing £220 million, will result in the transfer of acute services from Newcastle General Hospital to the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) and Freeman Hospital. This will include a new cancer and renal care centre at the Freeman Hospital. At the RVI, there will be a new accident and emergency department, with all of the vital clinical supporting services accommodated together (for example, traumatic orthopaedics, neurosciences, diagnostic imaging and critical care), and a new children's wing. The Freeman Hospital developments are scheduled to open in mid-2006 and an opening date of late 2007 is scheduled for the developments at the RVI.


A new children's intensive care unit and fracture clinic was opened in spring 2002 at a cost of £3 million.

A new 17-bed critical care unit at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle was completed in 2003 at a cost of £4.5 million.

New facilities for cleft lip and palate services were developed during 2002–03 at a cost of £1.4 million.

23 Feb 2004 : Column 268W

The regional neurosciences centre at Newcastle General Hospital was improved and upgraded during 2002–03 at a cost of £1.2 million.

Facilities for dermatology patients were upgraded at the RVI during 2002–03, at a cost of £1.2 million.

A new energy centre at the RVI, costing £6.9 million and funded through the PFI, was opened during 2003.

A pharmacy manufacturing and stores scheme opened at the RVI during 2O03 at a cost of £8.6 million.

A new antenatal clinic opened at the RVI during 2003. This was developed at a cost of £5.7 million.

Work has started on a multi-storey car park, funded through the PFI, costing £8 million, for completion in the autumn.

2. Northgate and Prudhoe NHS Trust


A £20 million Northern neuro disability centre is to be developed at Walkergate through the PFI. This is scheduled for completion in 2006 and will bring together current services at Hunters Moor Hospital, Newcastle, the Janie Heppell Unit and Annexe at Prudhoe Hospital and the Sanderson Centre and Hartside Unit at St. Nicholas Hospital, Newcastle. It will provide services for people with neuro disabilities caused by disease, illness or accident.

3. Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland Mental Trust NHS Trust


A £20 million development is planned at St. Nicholas Hospital in Newcastle to improve adult medium and low secure forensic psychiatry accommodation and provide a new personality disorder unit. This is scheduled for completion in 2007.


A rehabilitation unit at St. Nicholas Hospital was reprovided in 2002 at a cost of £1.2 million, as well as accommodation for the neuropsychiatry service, at a cost of £2 million.

4. Newcastle Primary Care Trust


More than £5 million is to be spent using NHS local investment finance trust (LIFT) to provide modern health centres in Kenton, Walker and Brunton Park. This is part of a scheme that will eventually transform more than 25 outdated health centres and community facilities across Newcastle and North Tyneside.

In a separate scheme, a new doctors' surgery in the west end of Newcastle is being developed at a cost of £2 million. This is being done in partnership between Prospect Medical Group and Prime, a private sector development. Work started last year and was scheduled for completion in February 2004.


As above—the LIFT project will eventually result in major improvements to more than 25 health centres across Newcastle and North Tyneside.

Next Section Index Home Page