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14 Nov 2005 : Column 968W—continued

Hospital Closures

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hospitals are proposed for closure in England; and if she will make a statement. [17744]

Mr. Byrne: It is for local national health service organisations to decide on hospital closures. This Government has given local authority overview and scrutiny committees the power to review and scrutinise health services from the perspective of their local populations. NHS bodies are under a duty to consult overview and scrutiny committees on any plans to make substantial variation to NHS services. Those committees have the powers to refer any proposal to the Secretary of State if they believe the plans are not in the interests of the health service.

Hospital Restaurants

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients have been offered a hospital subsidy to visit the hospital restaurant in each year since 1997; and how many of these patients were waiting in the accident and emergency department. [25877]

Jane Kennedy: The information requested is not collected by the Department. It is for local determination to decide if, and when, it is appropriate to offer patients the means to purchase food from the hospital restaurant. Clinical advice will influence any decisions taken with regard to patients within accident and emergency departments.

Literacy and Numeracy

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what methods of assessment of (a) literacy and (b) numeracy skills are used as part of the recruitment process by employees of her Department. [23789]

Jane Kennedy: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 7 November 2005, Official Report, column 250W. Where a numeracy test is carried out, it usually takes the form of a written paper comprising a set of numerical questions. Where literacy tests are carried out, they usually comprise a spelling test, a word usage test, a drafting test and an English comprehension test.

Locum Doctors

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the number of locum doctors working in the NHS in each year since 1997. [18356]

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Mr. Byrne: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 22 February 2005, Official Report, column 131W to the Member for North Southwark and Bermondsey (Simon Hughes).

Lyons Review

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in her Department (a) were relocated in 2004–05 and (b) are expected to be relocated in 2005–06 as a result of the Lyons review of public sector relocation; to which place they have been relocated; and if she will make a statement. [24330]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 3 November 2005]: The Department has committed to relocate at least 1,110 posts by March 2010, with 80 from the core Department and 1,030 from arms length bodies.

No Departmental staff were relocated from London to Leeds during 2004–05 as a result of the Lyons Review and none are expected to relocate during 2005–06. However, the following posts have been relocated, or are expected to relocate, from our arms length bodies in those periods, which is shown in the table.
Posts relocated from arm's length bodies

Healthcare Commission165
General Social Care Council88
NHS Connecting for Health75
Health and Social Care Information Centre76
NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement170
NHS Professionals40

Malnourishment (Portsmouth)

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent research she has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the number of people suffering from malnourishment in Portsmouth; and if she will make a statement. [26134]

Caroline Flint: There has been no specifically commissioned research into malnourishment in Portsmouth or the number of people affected by this. However, there is a strong local awareness of this issue and a range of initiatives has been introduced in the city accordingly. Work is in progress to evaluate a fruit and vegetable delivery scheme in one of the city's target regeneration areas. Work is also under way, again in targeted regeneration areas, to increase cookery skills through schools and community centres.

NHS Direct

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the effects of NHS Direct on recruitment in accident and emergency. [18314]

Mr. Byrne: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to her on 28 June 2005, Official Report, column 1521W.
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NHS Property

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total value is of property owned by the NHS which is allocated for sale but has not yet been sold; and what the total cost is per month of retaining this property in (a) England and (b) each strategic health authority. [26288]

Jane Kennedy: The information requested is not held centrally by the Department.

NICE (Drug Approvals)

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) can undertake before final market authorisation has been granted to a drug by the European Medicines Evaluation Agency in order that final approval by NICE can be accelerated. [19912]

Jane Kennedy: Information about the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's (NICE) processes is available on their website at Once a drug is formally referred to NICE, the Institute can begin the initial stages of the appraisal process before United Kingdom approval is given. However, I understand that NICE is not able to produce guidance or release consultation documents on any drug that has not received UK regulatory approval.

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to ensure that appraisals of new drugs are carried out in a timely and expeditious manner. [26581]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 9 November 2005]: I refer my hon. Friend to the Written Ministerial Statement I gave on 3 November 2005, Official Report, columns 51–52SW.

Obesity Clinics

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many specialist obesity clinics are operated by the national health service in England, broken down by region; what the (a) address and (b) contact details of each are; whether contact information will be included within the forthcoming Weight Loss Guide; and what steps she intends to take to encourage the development of further clinics. [26683]

Caroline Flint: Details of national health service operated obesity clinics for children and adults are shown in the tables.

Health professionals are made aware of these clinics by their primary care trusts (PCTs). It is also up to PCTs as local commissioners and providers of services to determine the most appropriate methods to deliver health care to their populations, based on clinical need and effectiveness, as well as local circumstance, drawing on the available evidence.
Obesity clinics for children in England

Government regionClinicAddress/Contact
LondonThe Royal London HospitalNutrition and Dietetic Department 59 Philpot Street London El
LondonGreat Ormond Street HospitalGreat Ormond Street, London WC1N 3JH
South EastSurrey Hampshire Borders NHS TrustJarvis Centre 60 Stoughton Road Guilford Surrey GUI 1U
South WestRoyal Hospital for Sick ChildrenSt. Michael's Hill Bristol BS2 8BJ
West MidlandsBirmingham Heartlands HospitalDepartment of Paediatrics Bordersley Green East Birmingham B95SS
North WestAlder Hey HospitalEaton Road Liverpool L12 2AP
Yorkshire/HumberUniversity of LeedsBelmont House 3–5 Belmont Grove Leeds LS2 9DE

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NHS operated obesity clinics for adults in England

North WestUniversity Hospital AintreeUniversity Clinical Department Longmoor Lane Liverpool L97AL
Yorkshire/HumberLeeds General InfirmaryGreat George Street Leeds LSI BEX
West MidlandsBirmingham Heartlands HospitalDepartment of Medicine, Diabetes and Endocrinology Bordersley Green East Birmingham B9 5SS
East MidlandsQueens Medical CentreThe Clinical Nutrition Unit Nottingham NG2 7HU
LondonThe Royal Hospitals NHS TrustMedical Unit Whitechapel London El 1BB
East of EnglandLuton and Dunstable HospitalCentre for Obesity Research Lewsey Road Luton LU4 ODZ
East of EnglandAddenbrooke's HospitalHills Road Cambridge CB2 2QQ

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