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9 Feb 2005 : Column 1611W—continued

Burns Treatment

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to enhance specialist burns treatment facilities in the south-east region; and if he will make a statement. [213122]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 1 February 2005]: The National Burn Care Group, which is considering options for reconfiguration of specialist burns services across England and Wales, is being led by the national health service.

Decisions have not yet been made regarding the development of burn care centres; any proposals for change will be submitted to a full public consultation process, probably in the summer of 2005.

Cancer Research/Services

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been spent by his Department on cancer research in each of the last seven years. [210572]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The information requested is shown in the table.
£ million

Over 75 per cent. of the Department's total expenditure on health research is devolved to and managed by national health service organisations. The figures given include estimates of the expenditure incurred by those organisations for the years 1997–98 to 2000–01, and the actual expenditure reported by them for the years from 2001–02.

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how the additional cancer funding announced on 30 September 2003 has been spent; [213482]

(2) what steps his Department is taking to address shortfalls consequent on the funding cap on voluntary hospices. [213483]

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Miss Melanie Johnson: My right hon. Friend the Member for Darlington (Mr. Milburn) announced in September 2003 the allocation of an additional £50 million per annum for specialist palliative care (SPC). The extra funding met the Government's commitment in the NHS Cancer Plan 2000 and represents a significant increase in national health service funding of about 40 per cent. over 2000 levels.

Reports on the use of the additional £50 million in 2003–04 have been received from 32 of the 34 cancer networks. The remaining two networks received their allocations later than the others and were not included in this information collection exercise. The 32 networks received a total of £45.8 million and spent £38.4 million of this amount in-year on specialist palliative care. Because of a lack of suitable staff to fill posts within the first year of the budget, £7.4 million has been carried forward for use in future years.

£24.8 million of the £38.4 million was used to support voluntary sector services, including hospices, of which £8.5 million was for new services, and £13.6 million of the £38.4 million was used to support NHS services, of which £10.2 million was for new services.

To date, the allocation has funded 28 new whole-time equivalent (WTE) consultants in palliative medicine, 133 new WTE clinical nurse specialists and the opening of 38 new SPC beds.

Primary care trusts (PCTs) are responsible within the NHS for commissioning and funding services for their resident population, including palliative care. The NHS is currently receiving the largest sustained increase in funding in its history, growth money not identified for specific purposes. PCTs will be able to use these extra resources to deliver on both national and local priorities, including, as they determine, palliative care. There are no restrictions on the levels of funding possible for hospices. It is for individual hospices to negotiate funding with their PCT.

Care Homes (Derbyshire)

Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) care homes and (b) care home places were available in West Derbyshire in each of the last seven years run by (i) Derbyshire county council and (ii) the voluntary independent and private sector. [211916]

Dr. Ladyman: Data is not available for the area requested. Table 1 shows the number of care homes for adults aged 18 and over in Derbyshire at 31 March for the years 1997 to 2001. Table 2 shows the number of care home places for adults aged 18 and over in Derbyshire at 31 March for the years 1997 to 2001.

I understand from the Chair of the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) that figures for later years were collected by the National Care Standards Commission, and now CSCI, but comparable details are not available.
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Table 1: Number of care homes in Derbyshire(51) 1997–2001
Rounded numbers

Local authorityResidential private(52)VoluntaryNursing(53) independentTotal

Table 2: Number of care home places in Derbyshire(51) 1997–2001
Rounded numbers

Local authorityResidential private(52)VoluntaryNursing(53) independentTotal

(51) Nursing relates to North Derbyshire and South Derbyshire health authorities. Residential care relates to Derbyshire council with social services responsibilities (CSSR) and Derby CSSR.
(52) Includes private and small residential care homes.
(53) Includes general nursing homes, mental nursing homes and private hospitals and clinics. These figures also include dual registered homes that are registered with both the local authority to provide residential care and the health authority to provide nursing care.
RA and RH(N) form A.

Cataract Services

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on steps taken to reduce cataract treatment waiting lists. [210109]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 24 January 2005]: By the end of January 2005, waiting times for cataract operations had been reduced to a maximum of three months and most patients can now expect to be treated within six weeks. This is four years ahead of the NHS Plan target. This is a result of sustained investment and reform in national health service services, including extra capacity supplied by the independent sector, which has so far provided over 13,000 additional cataract operations.

Childhood Cancer

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of links between levels of chemicals revealed in the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory and levels of childhood cancer. [215064]

Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 8 February 2005]: The committee on carcinogenicity of chemicals in food consumer products and the environment (COC) will assess the recent publication from Professor E. G. Knox (University of Birmingham) on childhood cancers and atmospheric carcinogens, which was based on data from the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory, at its next meeting on 21 April 2005. This will be part of an ongoing review the COC is undertaking into chemicals and childhood cancers.

Congestion Charge

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been spent on congestion (a) charges and (b) penalty charge notices by the Department since the commencement of the congestion charging scheme. [213816]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department's expenses guide allows staff to claim for the reasonable cost of additional motoring expenses, such as car parking, tolls, ferries and the congestion charge. The guide prohibits the payment of any penalties such as parking fines, speeding tickets and penalty charge notices incurred on official business.

Expenditure on the congestion charge is not separately identifiable within the Department's accounting records.

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