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Medway Primary Care Trust

Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients from (a) Sheppey and (b) Sittingbourne were treated by Medway Primary Care Trust in Medway hospitals in (i) 2003–04 and (ii) 2004–05. [24837]

Caroline Flint [holding answer 7 November 2005]: The number of patients from Sheppey and Sittingbourne who were treated by Medway Primary Care Trust (PCT) in Medway Hospitals in 2003–04 is shown in the table. However, the figures for the number of patients treated in 2004–05 are not available as they have not yet been published.
Finished consultant episodes and patients treated in Medway NHS Trust 2003–04

Finished consultant episodesPatient counts

Finished Consultant Episode (FCE)
A FCE is defined as a period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. Please note that the figures do not represent the number of patients, as a person may have more than one episode of care within the year.
Patient Counts
Patient counts are based on the unique patient identifier HESID. This identifier is derived based on patient's date of birth, postcode, sex, local patient identifier and NHS number, using an agreed algorithm. Where data are incomplete, HESID might erroneously link episodes or fail to recognise episodes for the same patient. Care is therefore needed, especially where duplicate records persist in the data. The patient count cannot be summed across a table where patients may have episodes in more than one cell.
Ungrossed Data
Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in date, that is the data are ungrossed.
Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES), NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre

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Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many vacant positions there are for midwives in the NHS; what plans her Department has to recruit more midwives into the NHS; what recent estimate she has made of the effect on NHS budgets of extended stays in hospital caused by shortage of midwives; and if she will make a statement. [15533]

Mr. Byrne: The national health service work force vacancy survey collects information on the number of vacancies for midwives lasting three months or more; which represent those vacancies NHS organisations are finding hard to fill. As at March 2005, there were 348 three month vacancies for midwives, which represents a rate of 1.8 per cent., which is a fall from 3.3 per cent. the previous year.

The Department has issued a six point action plan to address midwifery work force issues, which includes; increasing training places for midwives, improving working lives, filling vacancies in hard to fill areas and raising the profile of midwifery. Information is not collected on the establishment of NHS organisations, however, as at September 2004, there were 24,844 midwives employed in the NHS, which is an increase of almost 2,300 since 1997. We recognise that there are still shortages of midwives in some areas of the country and expect that numbers employed in the NHS will increase as a result of increased numbers entering training and better retention.

No estimate has been made of the cost to the NHS of extended stays in hospital.

Morecambe Bay Hospital Trust

Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many nurses have been employed by Morecambe Bay hospital trust in each year since 1997. [26334]

Mr. Byrne: The information requested is shown in the table.
National health service hospital and community health services: qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff(27) in the Morecambe Bay Hospitals NHS Trust as at 30 September each specified year


(27) Figures exclude bank staff. The number of nursing bank staff returned by the Trust for the 2004 census was incorrect, and bank staff numbers have been excluded in order to be consistent.
Health and Social Care Information Centre Non-Medical Workforce Census.

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National Service Framework for Older People

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many integrated continence services have been set up in England; how many are planned to be established; and when she expects to meet the target for continence services set out in the National Service Framework for Older People. [26503]

Mr. Byrne: The Healthcare Commission, Commission for Social Care Inspection, the Audit Commission and Kings College London are working together to produce a national report on progress in England on implementation of the national service framework for older people. It is planned to publish the report in December 2005.

NHS Employers

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people are employed by NHS Employers; and what its annual budget has been since establishment. [23072]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 28 October 2005]: NHS Employers was established from 1 November 2004.

For 2005–06, the budget from the Department of Health is £14.8 million. This is for a mixture of running costs including salaries for 106.5 staff and programme expenditure.

NHS Finance

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her oral answer to the hon. Member for Wimbledon (Stephen Hammond) of 25 October 2005, Official Report, column 156, on NHS finance, how many NHS organisations were in deficit in each year since 1997; and what the level of deficit was in each year. [23458]

Ms Hewitt: The information requested is provided in the table. This shows the number of national health service organisations reporting a deficit between 1996–97 and 2004–05.
Total number of bodies in existenceTotal number in deficitTotal net (deficit)/surplus (£ million)

1. Please note these may not sum due to rounding.
2. The figures in the table are from the audited summarisation schedules from 1996–97 to 2004–05.
3. The figures for 2004–05 include NHS foundation trusts.

I regret that on 25 October at column 156, I stated that three quarters of NHS organisations were in deficit, eight years ago. On further reflection, it would have been clearer and more helpful to have said that it was three quarters of health authorities that were in deficit eight years ago.
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I have written to the hon. Member concerned, the Member for Wimbledon (Stephen Hammond) to apologise.


Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what financial provision is available for nurses returning to the profession after a break. [26576]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 8 November 2005]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend, the former Minister of State for Health (Mr. Hutton) on 24 March 2005, Official Report, column 1066W.

Primary Care Trust (Funding)

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the funding per capita was for each primary care trust in each of the last three years; and if she will make a statement. [14984]

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


Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent estimate she has made of the average waiting times for (a) radical and (b) palliative radiotherapy in the area covered by West Hertfordshire hospital trust. [25755]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is not held centrally.

Rehabilitation Services

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what national standards there are for rehabilitation services for blind and partially-sighted people. [26856]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 10 November 2005]: Rehabilitation services for blind and partially sighted people are predominantly provided by local authorities and to some extent national health service trusts.

The Association of Directors of Social Services published national standards of social care for visually impaired adults in October 2002. The Department funded the Improving Lives Coalition, from 2003 to 2005, to help them to raise awareness and to publicise the standards. The final report is available at:

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what terms of reference have been given to the Department's scoping of the provision of rehabilitation services in the NHS and social services; and when she expects this work to be completed. [26857]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 10 November 2005]: The Department's scoping study is looking at rehabilitation services currently provided by the national health service and social care, with the aim of

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Ministers will be considering the results of the study in December.

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