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31 Oct 2005 : Column 839W—continued

Meniere's Disease

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she has taken to help sufferers of Meniere's disease. [17093]

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Mr. Byrne: The national health service and social services provide a range of health and social care services tailored to the varying individual needs of patients with Meniere's disease, allowing them to manage their condition, maintain independence and achieve the best quality of life.

The NHS improvement plan has set out the Government's commitment to improve care for people with long-term conditions by moving from reactive care towards a patient-centred approach. Strategic health authorities and primary care trusts have all received the national service framework (NSF) for long-term conditions. While the NSF is principally concerned with improving health and social care services for people with a long-term neurological condition, it will address some of the generic issues that are important to people living with other long-term conditions. The principles in the NSF apply equally to improving quality of life and promoting independent living for anyone living with a long-term condition.

Mental Health Services

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate has been made of how many child psychiatrists need to be trained before each mentally ill child under the age of 18 years can be treated by a specialist qualified to work specifically with children. [18804]

Mr. Byrne: It is not routine practice for every child with a mental illness to be seen by a psychiatrist. Many children are treated by professionals such as a psychologist, mental health nurse or primary mental health worker, often as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Individual trusts are responsible for determining their workforce needs in the light of the mix of skills of all members of the agencies and services in their area, not just child psychiatrists.

The work force review team hosted by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Workforce Development Confederation and in partnership with the Severn and Wessex Deanery makes recommendations on the future of the healthcare work force on an annual basis. These recommendations inform local commissioning decisions, alongside local knowledge of work force demand.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many children with mental illness are being treated in adult wards; [18827]

(2) how many children in acute hospitals for mental illness problems are in (a) adult wards and (b) specialist children's wards. [19009]

Mr. Byrne: The information is not available in the form requested.

In the period from 1 April to 30 June 2005 in England, there were 589 hospital occupied bed days spent by patients aged under 16 on admission on adult psychiatric wards. The equivalent figure for patients aged 16 or 17 on admission was 10,269.
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In the same period there were 38,761 hospital occupied bed days spent by patients aged under 18 in specialist wards for child and adolescent mental health services.

In the long-term our objective is as set out in the National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services (September 2004) which states that,

In the majority of cases with only a few exceptions this means that adult wards would not be appropriate and the national health service should work towards reducing the use of adult psychiatric wards for children and young people under 18.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children have been treated in each of the last five years for mental disorders linked to cannabis use. [19008]

Mr. Byrne: Information on the number of finished consultant episodes for mental disorders linked to cannabis use for those aged 16 and under is shown in the table.
Finished consultant episodes (FCEs)(43) with a primary psychiatric diagnosis of a mental or behavioural disorder due to the use of cannabinoids (ICD-10 code F12), by age and gender, England, 1999–2000 to 2003–04(44)

Aged 16 or under at end of episode
Data yearMaleFemaleAll FCEs

(43) A FCE is defined as a period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. The figures do not represent the number of patients, as a person may have more than one episode of care within the year.
(44) Data has not been adjusted for shortfalls in data, that is, the data is ungrossed. Disclosure rules apply due to the sensitive nature of the data; therefore, figures have been rounded to the nearest ten. Figures may not add up due to rounding.
Hospital episode statistics, National Health Service Health and Social Care Information Centre.

Modernising Medical Careers Initiative

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will meet the British Medical Association to discuss the Modernising Medical Careers initiative. [18532]

Mr. Byrne: However, Departmental officials and the modernising medical careers implementation team work closely with the British Medical Association (BMA) in taking this initiative forward and Ministers involve themselves when the need arises or the BMA seeks a meeting.

Neonatal Care

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the average daily number of cots
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available in wards classified as intensive care neonates or equivalent was in (a) England and (b) each strategic health authority for each year since 1996–97; [18767]

(2) which national health service trusts provide neonatal (a) intensive, (b) high dependence and (c) special care in England; [18769]

(3) what the average occupancy rate for neonatal units was in each year since 1997. [18770]

Mr. Byrne: The information requested has been placed in the Library.

The number and location of neonatal intensive care cots is for the national health service neonatal networks to determine, taking account of local demand. Strategic health authority areas will increase or decrease cots to reflect demand.

Netcare UK

Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the profit made by Netcare UK at the Trafford Diagnostic and Treatment Centre in the first three months of its operation. [20299]

Mr. Byrne: [holding answer 24 October 2005]: An estimate has not been made centrally.

Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average cost of an operation at the Trafford Diagnostic and Treatment Centre has been since it opened. [20300]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 24 October 2005]: The case mix at the Trafford surgical centre is varied. As the contract is procured according to the total service (staff, building, clinical supplies), it is not possible to provide this figure.

Mr. Wareing: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many complaints she has received in respect of the role played by Netcare within the national health service in each of the last three years; and if she will make a statement. [17526]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 17 October 2005]: The responsibility for handling complaints rests with the appropriate national health service primary care trust or acute trust that referred the patients to the independent treatment centre. Such complaints are handled through the NHS complaints process. The Department is not involved in the resolution of such complaints.

Under contract terms, the Department is required to be notified by an independent treatment centre of any complaints in relation to treatment they provide to NHS patients. To date, the Department has been notified of nine such cases since the service commenced in February 2004 and since then over 18,000 patients have been treated.

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