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Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when the Minister of State for Housing and Planning expects to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire of 11 January. 
Keith Hill: No data are available to calculate the exact average length of time a council or a housing association property is vacant. However, figures for various vacant periods are available and are tabled as follows:
|Local authorities||Registered social landlords|
|Length of vacant at 1 April 2004||Number of dwellings||Number of dwellings/bedspaces|
|Three weeks or less||12,200||9,100|
|Between three weeks and six weeks||8,900||6,000|
|Between six weeks and six months||15,700||11,200|
|Between six months and one year||6,500||5,800|
|Over one year||14,200||12,600|
Sarah Teather: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many (a) interim and (b) final empty property management orders have been issued in London since the Housing Act 2004 entered into force, broken down by local authority. 
It is currently the intention of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to commence the provisions on empty dwelling management orders in October 2005 following public consultation and the making of secondary legislation.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister in respect of how many parks and green spaces (a) successful and (b) unsuccessful applications were made for the Green Flag Award scheme in each year since 1997; and how many parks and green spaces there are in England. 
|successful applicants||unsuccessful applicants|
Dr. Stoate: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make low-height base stations with wall-mounted antennae subject to normal planning and public consultation requirements; and if he will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: The permitted development rights for electronic communications code system operators are set out in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2001 (SI 2001 No. 2718). These permit some wall mounted antenna and exclude others. Those excluded will require planning permission.
Dr. Stoate: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will subject the planning process associated with the erection of mobile phone base stations to independent review as recommended by the National Radiological Protection Board Report, "Mobile Phones and Health 2004". 
Sickness absence is managed as part of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's objective of continually seeking ways to improve the health and welfare of its staff in a sensitive and supportive way.
24 Feb 2005 : Column 786W
While recognising that staff should return to work only when they are fit and ready to do so, we are committed to managing sickness absence effectively.
To improve the effective management of sickness absence in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, we are improving the mechanism used for collecting, analysing and monitoring sickness absences. Workshops for staff have commenced so that they can better understand the sickness absence procedures. In addition, we will promulgate the recommendations identified by the Ministerial Taskforce in their "Managing Attendance in the Public Sector Delivery Plan". A copy of the report can be found at www.hse-databases.co.uk/gse/sickness.pdf
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the rates of telephone charges for patients using bedside telephones in NHS hospitals; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hutton: Bedside television and telephone services are now provided at around 75,000 beds in 155 national health service hospitals. Typically, the cost for an outgoing call made by the patient from the bedside is around 10 pence per minute (minimum 20 pence).
Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children in England are diagnosed as suffering from Crohn's disease; what treatment provision is available to them; and what the average cost of treatment is per child. 
Dr. Ladyman: Information on the numbers of children diagnosed with Crohn's disease and the average cost of treatment is not available. There were 2,491 admissions involving children and young people up to the age of 18 with a primary diagnosis of Crohn's disease to hospitals in England in 200304. Most patients will be treated with drugs, including steroids, to reduce inflammation or by means of special liquid feeds to rest the bowel. Surgery may be required to remove narrowed or damaged parts of the intestine. The cost of treatment will vary according to the severity of the condition and any complications. Examples of costs of selected hospital inpatient elective treatments for people with Crohn's disease are shown in the table.
|Healthcare resource group||National average cost per elective (£)||Number of in-patient finished admission episodes (all ages)||Number of in-patient finished admission episodes (018 years)|
|P12Major gastrointestinal or metabolic disorders||1,815||1,540||1,540|
|F54Inflammatory bowel diseaseendoscopic or intermediate procedures in people under age 70 without complications||1,068||4,888||392|
|F06Diagnostic procedures; oesophagus and stomach||605||362||151|
|F56Inflammatory bowel disease in people under age 70 without complications||1,079||7,126||99|
|F32Large intestinevery major procedures||4,587||789||74|
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