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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) 200304 and (ii) 200405. 
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 200304 is shown in the table. However, the figures for the number of patients treated in 200405 are not available as they have not yet been published.
|Finished consultant episodes||Patient counts|
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. 
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.
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. 
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.
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. 
|Total number of bodies in existence||Total number in deficit||Total net (deficit)/surplus (£ million)|
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.
17 Nov 2005 : Column 1458W
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.
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. 
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: www.adss.org.uk/eyes.shtml
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. 
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