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28 Nov 2005 : Column 284W—continued

Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much it costs to treat patients resident in Wales at the Royal Shrewsbury hospital; and how many were treated in each year since 2002. [29164]

Mr. Byrne: Information relating to the costs of treating patients resident in Wales at the Royal Shrewsbury hospital is not held by the Department. However, information relating to the number of finished consultant episodes at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals National Health Service Trust and the predecessor organisation is shown in the table.

Count of finished consultant episodes for the Royal Shrewsbury Hospitals Trust and Shropshire and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust where patient region of residence is Wales.

1. Finished Consultant Episode (FCE).
2. An FCE is defined as the period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one health care provider. However, it should be noted that the figures do not represent the number of patients, as a person may have more than one episode of care within the year.
Data Quality:
Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) are compiled from data sent by over 300 NHS Trusts and PCTs in England. The Health and Social Care Information Centre liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies and the effect of missing and invalid data via HES processes. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain.
Ungrossed Data:
Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in the data (i.e. the data are ungrossed).
Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), Health and Social Care Information Centre.

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Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS staff are seconded to her Department; whether their (a) salaries and (b) pension contributions are paid by (i) her Department and (ii) NHS trusts; and whether they are counted in the civil service staff headcount. [25981]

Jane Kennedy: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr. Mitchell) on 23 October 2005, Official Report, column 2108W.


Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research she has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on whether the proposed ban on smoking in public places will displace smoking from pubs to domestic environments. [28639]

Caroline Flint: The evidence available from those countries with legislation for smokefree public places and bars is that there is no significant displacement to domestic environments.

Smokefree legislation has been shown to result in reduced prevalence of smoking, which in turn means reduced prevalence of smoking in domestic environments as well as public places.

Recent research on the ban in Ireland reported in the publication Going Smokefree" by the Royal College of Physicians pointed to a

(Page 74).

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research her Department has evaluated on the displacement effect of workplace smoking bans on smoking at home; and if she will make a statement. [29752]

Caroline Flint: The Royal College of Physicians July 2005 report, Going Smokefree" reviewed the evidence and concluded:

A study of changes in Ireland published in the journal Tobacco Control in October 2005 reported from a survey of smokers before and after the March 2004 ban came in:

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Speech and Language Therapists

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 7 November 2005, Official Report, column 276W, if she will break down the number of speech and language therapists employed by the NHS in (a) 1997 and (b) 2004 by (i) full-time and (ii) part-time workers; and what the full-time equivalent figures were in each year. [27257]

Mr. Byrne: The information requested is shown in the table.
NHS hospital and community health services: Qualified speech and language therapists by nature of contract as at 30 September in each specified year

Full-time equivalent
Qualified speech and language therapists3,7424,9734,8716,556

Full-time equivalent figures are rounded to the nearest whole number.
Health and Social Care Information Centre Non-Medical Workforce Census.

Staff Sickness Absence

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the staff sickness absence rate has been in the NHS in each financial year since 1997–98; [26297]

(2) what steps she is taking to reduce the staff absence due to illness rate in the NHS, with particular reference to steps to reduce levels of stress among staff. [26012]

Mr. Byrne: Information on rates of sickness absence in the national health service is only available from 1999 by calendar year. The rates for sickness absence between 1999 and 2004 for NHS Hospital and Community Health Services staff in England are shown in the table.
Sickness absence rates in the NHS (England)


1. Sickness absence rate is defined as the amount of time lost through absences as a percentage of staff time available.
2. This does not cover maternity leave, carers leave or any periods of absence agreed under family friendly/flexible working policies.
3. General practitioners and their staff are not included in the figures.
4. The figures are estimates as some organisations in the NHS did not provide figures for sickness absence.
NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre Sickness and Absence Surveys, 1999–2004

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NHS employers launched a stress campaign to coincide with national stress awareness day on 2 November. As part of the campaign, all trusts will be supplied with a series of posters and booklets to raise awareness. They will also direct both staff and employers to online toolkits and support networks to help tackle stress.

Unum Provident

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether her Department has entered into a contract with Unum Provident. [25931]

Jane Kennedy: Unum Provident is not found on the Department's supplier database and has not been paid any money.

Your Health, Your Care, Your Say

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons a regional meeting was chosen as the forum for those selected to apply for involvement in the
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Your Health, Your Care, Your Say" consultation programme; what other consultative forms were considered; what the cost of the consultation exercise has been (a) per stakeholder engaged and (b) in total; and if she will make a statement. [26384]

Mr. Byrne: Four regional deliberative consultation events were held as part of the overall consultation which also included a citizens' summit and events co-ordinated by local health and social care organisations, including the voluntary sector. We produced an online questionnaire, copies of which were available in hard copy, an assortment of languages, braille and easy read. An abbreviated questionnaire was published in the magazine Take-a-Break" and in the national health service publications, Prime" and Fit". Five policy taskforces of key stakeholders have been established to make recommendations on the policy options associated with the public's view and five academic seminars were organised.

The overall cost is estimated at £1.2 million. Cost per stakeholder will not be known until the feedback from all sources has been analysed fully.