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17 Jan 2005 : Column 797W—continued


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what dietary supplements are recommended for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. [207489]

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Dr. Ladyman [holding answer 10 January 2005]: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued guidance on the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with Methylphenidate in October 2000. It made no recommendations about dietary supplementation. However, it did note that "Dietary interventions are seen as possibly useful in cases where a parent has observed that a particular food aggravates hyperactivity".

This guidance is currently under review by NICE and the development of a guideline that will address the effectiveness of a broader range of interventions has also been agreed by NICE. The scope of this guideline has yet to be determined.


Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has undertaken into the benefits of early intervention for children with autism; and if he will make a statement. [206973]

Dr. Ladyman: The main agency through which the Government support medical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council (MRC). The MRC is an independent body funded by the Department of Trade and Industry via the Office of Science and Technology.

The MRC is currently not funding any intervention studies in autism. The subject has however been identified as a priority by the council, and workshops held in order to encourage applications for grant support from researchers in the area have generated a number of applications which are presently under consideration.

Barnet and Chase Farm NHS Trust

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients at Barnet and Chase Farm NHS trust are waiting for (a) ophthalmology and (b) cardiothoracic elective surgery; what the average waiting time is in each case; and if he will make a statement. [207942]

Dr. Ladyman: Barnet and Chase Farm national health service trust does not provide services in either of the specialties mentioned.

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients from Barnet and Chase Farm NHS trust had treatment outside London in (a) 2003–04 and (b) 2004–05 to date; and if he will make a statement. [207943]

Dr. Ladyman: Information is collected on the number of patients treated outside of their primary care trust (PCT) of residence. Information on the number of patients from Barnet PCT who received national health service treatment outside London is shown in the following table.
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PCT of residence: 5A9 Barnet PCT—count of finished admission episodes(19) in strategic health authorities outside London—NHS hospitals, England 2001–02, 2002–03, 2003–2004

Finished admission episodes

(19) Finished admission episodes—A finished admission episode is the first period of in-patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. Please note that admissions do not represent the number of in-patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year.
Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health.

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients at (a) Barnet and Chase Farm NHS Trust, (b) the Royal Free Hospital and (c) Northwick Park Hospital had operations cancelled at the last minute in each of the last three years. [207944]

Dr. Ladyman: Please note that data is available only at trust level rather than hospital level. Therefore, the figures for Northwick Park Hospital are included in the figures for North West London.

The number of patients who have had last minute cancellations for a non clinical reason are shown in the table.
Number of last minute cancellations for non-clinical reasons

Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust4041,3461,206
Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust285341148
North West London Hospitals NHS Trust433617499

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The data source is the Department's dataset quarterly monitoring of cancelled operations. I have not provided any data for 2004–05 as only part year data are available.

Care Standards

Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will ensure that persons applying for approval under the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003 to different offices of the Care Standards Commission are only required to pay for one Criminal Records Bureau check when making multiple applications under the Care Standards Act 2000. [206638]

Dr. Ladyman: The requirement for charging for a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check is set out in the Police Act 1997. There is no provision in the legislation for allowing an application to be made without payment of a fee. However, volunteer care workers do not have to pay for a CRB check.


Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS consultant physician posts are unfilled; and what proportion of the consultant physician work force this represents. [209242]

Mr. Hutton: The latest vacancy data available is at 31 March 2004.

The table shows the three-month consultant physician vacancy rates and numbers.
Three-month consultant physicians vacancy rate(20) and numbers in England as at 31 March 2004

Specialty3 month vacancy rate (percentage)3 month
vacancy number
Staff in post vacancy (whole-time number equivalent)Staff in post (headcount)
Audiological medicine0.003439
Clinical genetics2.1294124
Clinical neurophysiology4.947886
Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics0.005074
Endocrinology and diabetes mellitus3.316469538
Genito-urinary medicine3.310286312
Geriatric medicine2.825876928
Infectious diseases0.0070102
Medical oncology3.56164197
Nuclear medicine9.354453
Occupational health8.666484
Paediatric cardiology1.616268
Palliative medicine9.215149195
Rehabilitation medicine2.33107115
Renal medicine1.75294326
Respiratory medicine2.715542583

(20) Three month vacancies are vacancies which trusts are actively trying to fill, which had lasted for three months or more (whole-time equivalents). Three month vacancy rates are three month vacancies expressed as a percentage of three month vacancies plus staff in post.
(21) No matching speciality can be found for pharmaceutical medicine or general medicine. These specialities and other specialities for which we do not have a match are reported under the Other category in the vacancy survey.
Department of Health medical and dental vacancy survey

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Consultants' Contract (Derbyshire)

Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost to NHS trusts in (a) West Derbyshire constituency and (b) Derbyshire of implementing the new consultants' contract. [207444]

Dr. Ladyman: No estimates have been made of the costs of the consultant contract by constituency or county. Funding for the consultant contract, agreed with the British Medical Association during negotiations was allocated to primary care trusts (PCTs) in December 2002 as part of main allocations. The amount that went to main allocations was 0.3 per cent. (£129 million) in 2003–04, 0.4 per cent. (£178 million) in 2004–05 and 0.5 per cent. (£224 million) in 2005–06.

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