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20 Dec 2004 : Column 1474W—continued


Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many wards have been closed over the last year because of midwife shortages. [204208]

Mr. Hutton: The information requested is not collected centrally. The Government are increasing the number of midwives working in the national health service. We expect that there would be 2,000 more midwives working in the NHS by the end of 2005 than there were in 2000. In September 2003, there were over 1,300 more NHS midwives than there were in 2000, on course to meet this expectation.

Health Services

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what capital investment his Department has made in the Lewisham, Deptford constituency in the past three years. [201101]

Dr. Ladyman: Information is not collected for parliamentary constituencies. However, the South East London Strategic Health Authority reports that, in recent years, over £800 million has been invested to develop healthcare in South East London and that other capital schemes are at a planning stage.

These developments include the private finance initiative redevelopment of Lewisham hospital with a capital value of £72 million, which reached financial close on 8 July 2004 and is due to receive its first patient in the autumn of 2006.

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff there have been in the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Trust in each year of its existence, set out in the same manner as in his answer to the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Ruffley) on 8 September 2004, Official Report, column 1277W. [204427]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The information requested is shown in the table.
20 Dec 2004 : Column 1475W

Hospital, public health medicine and community health services (HCHS): Medicine and dental staff, and non-medical staff in the Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals National Health Service Trust as at 30 September each specified year
Numbers (headcount)

As at 30 September:199819992000200120022003
Medical and dental Staff9749671,0731,1361,1731,190
Non-medical staff:
of which
Professionally qualified clinical staff3,6914,4084,2224,6144,9735,054
Qualified nurses2,8273,3983,2133,5393,6163,613
Allied health professionals329394394417383419
Other qualified St and t5356166156589741,022
Support to clinical staff2,1112,6302,8912,7222,8733,568
Support to doctors and nurses1,7242,1352,4292,2022,3582,963
Support to St and t387495462520515605
NHS infrastructure support1,1051,2831,2721,6901,7291,012
Other and unknown1101600

The increase in support to clinical staff and the decrease in NHS infrastructure staff 2002–03 is as a result of the reclassification of occupation codes of staff within these areas.
Department of Health non-medical workforce census.
Department of Health medical and dental workforce census.

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were on NHS (a) alcohol and (b) drug rehabilitation schemes in the Newcastle City Primary Care Trust area in each year since 1998–99. [204615]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Information on numbers for alcohol treatment is not collected centrally. Data for the number of individuals on drug rehabilitation schemes is not available in the format requested. However, the available data is shown in the table.

In 2003–04, there were 805 people in contact with structured drug treatment in the Newcastle upon Tyne drug action team area. This figure is not directly comparable to previous years as new criteria were introduced in 2003–04, which means that we are not able to make a direct comparison with previous years. National data was produced for 2001–02 and 2002–03, but this data was not verified at a local level.
Number of users reported as presenting for treatment for drug misuse in Newcastle and North Tyneside health authority during six month periods ending 30 September 1998 to 31 March 2001

Six month period ending
Newcastle and North Tyneside health authority
September 1998224
March 1999393
September 1999387
March 2000274
September 2000460
March 2001366

Reporting to the regional drug misuse databases was voluntary; changes in the numbers of users presenting may, at least in part, be due to changes in reporting practice.
The Department of Health series of statistical bulletins 'Statistics from the Regional Drug Misuse Databases'. Bulletins for the six months ending September 1998 onwards are available on the Departments website at: public_ health.htm#SDD

20 Dec 2004 : Column 1476W

Hospitals (Manchester)

Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment was made of the (a) available and (b) future capacity of each Greater Manchester NHS hospital to perform operations of the kind planned for the Greater Manchester Surgical Unit as part of the assessment of the viability of that unit; and what shortfall in capacity was identified. [205058]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The assessment of local delivery options is for strategic health authorities to undertake as part of their capacity planning and local delivery planning responsibilities.

The Department issued capacity planning guidance for 2006–07 to 2007–08 to strategic health authorities (SHAs) in May 2004. The guidance recommends that the first stage of planning should be to model demand for services. This includes looking at effective local approaches to meeting national and local objectives, including options for best meeting patients' needs and the settings that allow patients to be seen most conveniently and appropriately.

Detailed information regarding the business case for the Greater Manchester Surgical Centre is not held centrally. This information can be obtained from the Greater Manchester SHA.

Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the waiting times were in (a) 2003 and (b) 2004 for each hospital in Greater Manchester for the areas of surgery due to be undertaken by the Greater Manchester Surgical Unit; and how many patients were on the waiting list. [205059]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The information requested can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money was (a) paid by and (b) withheld from each Greater Manchester primary care trust (i) for
20 Dec 2004 : Column 1477W
the last two financial years and (ii) in the next year with respect to (A) the Greater Manchester Surgical Unit and (B) the Choice Initiative. [205060]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Department allocated £5.3 million in 2003–04 and £4.7 million in 2004–05 to Greater Manchester Strategic Health Authority (SHA) as part of the choice initiative. The funding was allocated to Salford Primary Care Trust, on behalf of the SHA.

More detailed information on how funding was distributed can be obtained from Greater Manchester SHA.

Irradiation Treatment

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether irradiation treatment of (a) fruit, (b) vegetables, (c) cereals, (d) bulbs and tubers, (e) spices and condiments, (f) fish and shellfish and (g) poultry is permitted in the UK. [205252]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Under current United Kingdom food irradiation regulations 1 any person can apply for a licence to irradiate food that falls within the following categories:

At present, only one UK irradiation facility holds a licence to irradiate food and this licence permits the irradiation of a range of dried herbs, spices and seasonings at a facility in Swindon. Dried spices and condiments are currently the only foods that can be irradiated in the UK.

The schedules to the food irradiation regulations set out what is required in an application for a food irradiation licence and it is the Food Standards Agency who consider applications and who inspect food irradiation facilities in the UK.

The Food (Control of Irradiation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1992 as amended.

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