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12 Dec 2005 : Column 1819W—continued

Temporary Medical Staff (Costs)

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost to the NHS of (a) agency nurses, (b) agency doctors and (c) total agency staff in (i) England, (ii) each strategic health authority and (iii) each NHS trust have been in each year since 1997. [22118]

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the NHS spent on temporary (a) nurses and (b) doctors in each of the past five years. [25823]

Mr. Byrne: The Department collects expenditure information on non-national health service staff for primary care trusts (PCTs), NHS trusts and strategic health authorities (SHAs). Non-NHS staff expenditure figures include all agency staff and any other staff not directly employed by these bodies.

Expenditure on agency staff in the NHS in 2004–05 dropped to four per cent. of the NHS pay bill. This information with explanatory notes has been placed in the Library. The rise in agency staff spend over the years covered in the tables has tracked the rise in established posts over the period.

Reducing agency spend is part of the Department's contribution to the 6.5 billion Gershon Efficiency target and the 10 human resource high impact changes as highlighted in A workforce response to local delivery plans; a challenge for NHS Boards".

Waiting Lists/Times

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time in hospitals in (a) Staffordshire, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England has been in each year since 1997. [22155]

Mr. Byrne: The median waiting times for inpatient admission at hospitals in Shropshire and Staffordshire Strategic Health Authority, the West Midlands and England in each year since 1997 are shown in the table.
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Estimated average time patients have been waiting for elective admission, March 1997 to June 2005—Provider based

Median waiting time
Shropshire and Staffordshire SHA(60)West Midlands(61)England
March 199711.211.113.2
March 199814.112.614.8
March 199913.011.812.8
March 200013.811.812.9
March 200112.911.612.6
March 200212.411.412.7
March 200314.110.811.9
March 200411.19.810.2
March 20059.48.18.4
June 20059.07.88.0

(60)Shropshire HA, South Staffordshire HA and North Staffordshire HA merged to form Shropshire and Staffordshire Health Authority.
(61)Data for NHS providers within Shropshire and Staffordshire SHA, Birmingham and the Black Country SHA and West Midlands South SHA have been used to represent West Midlands.
Department of Health form KH07.

Strategic health authorities and corresponding health authorities

Q26Shropshire and Staffordshire SHA
QEFShropshire HA
QEHNorth Staffordshire HA
QEJSouth Staffordshire HA
Q27Birmingham and The Black Country SHA
QD9Birmingham HA
QECDudley HA
QEESandwell HA
QEGSolihull HA
QEKWalsall HA
QEMWolverhampton HA
Q28West Midlands South SHA
QEACoventry HA
QEDHerefordshire HA
QELWarwickshire HA
QENWorcestershire HA

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 2 November 2005, Official Report, column 1160W, on waiting lists/times, whether the statement on page 57 of the NHS Improvement Plan that there would be 100 per cent. e-booking by December ever had the status of a Government target. [29871]

Mr. Byrne: No, the statement never had the status of a Government target.

School Nurses

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many additional school nurses have been employed since the publication of the Public Health White Paper. [30785]

Mr. Byrne: School nurses were counted fully for the first time in the September 2004 national health service workforce census, two months before the 'Choosing Health' White Paper was published in November 2004.
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The census showed that there were 2,409 qualified nurses working in school nursing, the next count will be available from the September 2005 census which will bepublished in March 2006.

Western General Hospital

John Penrose: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will take steps to bring payment by results for emergency procedures at Western General hospital into
12 Dec 2005 : Column 1822W
force as soon as possible. [30935]

Mr. Byrne: Final decisions on the scope and structure of the tariff in 2006–07 have not yet been made. These will be made once Ministers have considered the recommendations of departmental advisory groups.

Providers will only be operating at full tariff by 2008–09. In the meantime, the introduction of the tariffwill be gradual, with transitional adjustments to provider's tariff income.