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Information is however available on the number of medically qualified senior house officers (SHO) and equivalents in post in each of the last eight years and this is shown in the table.
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Mrs. Riordan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) by what date she expects sufferers of obstructive sleep apnoea to be diagnosed within one month of referral by their general practitioner in accordance with the national service framework for long-term conditions quality requirement 2; 
(2) how many obstructive sleep apnoea patients have access to continuous positive airway pressure treatment within one month of diagnosis in accordance with the national service framework for long-term conditions quality requirement 7 for people with long-term conditions; 
(3) what proportion of suspected obstructive sleep apnoea sufferers wait for longer than one month to see a specialist after referral by their general practitioner; and how many of these have to travel for more than two hours to reach a specialist sleep centre for diagnosis and treatment; 
Data on the number of people with sleep apnoea is not available centrally but the British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association estimates that 4 per cent. of men and 2 per cent. of women are affected by the condition.
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Hospital episode statistics (HES) contains details of patients admitted to and treated in national health service hospitals in England. In 200304, there were 12,162 finished consultant episodes in NHS hospitals in England for people with a primary diagnosis of sleep apnoea. HES data does not reflect the number of patients with a particular condition as a person may have more than one finished consultant episode (FCE) in the year. A FCE is defined as the first period of in-patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider.
The national service framework (NSF) for long-term conditions is a 10-year programme intended to stimulate long term and sustained improvement in services principally for people with neurological conditions. It is for the NHS locally to set their own pace of change. Through the regular review and inspection processes the NHS and local authorities will need to demonstrate that they are making progress in planning and developing the level of service quality described in the NSF.
Information on waiting times for inpatient and outpatient treatment in England is collected by consultant speciality rather than for specific conditions. Depending on the clinical needs of the patient, a range of consultants can undertake the treatment of sleep disorders, including neurological and respiratory specialists. As specialty level data for relevant specialties would include data for a number of conditions it is not possible to determine what proportion of suspected obstructive sleep apnoea patients wait for longer than one month to see a specialist.
By the end of 2005, the maximum waiting time for first outpatient appointment with a consultant will fall to 13 weeks and the maximum waiting time for inpatient treatment will fall to six months. By 2008, patients will be admitted for treatment within a maximum of 18 weeks from referral by their general practitioner, and those with urgent conditions will be treated much faster.
Information on the percentage of NHS trusts commissioning specialist services for diagnosing and treating sleep disorders is not available centrally. It is for health professionals in primary care organisations, in consultation with other stakeholders, to determine which services their populations need and to ensure the appropriate level of provision. In terms of sleep disorders, this would include, where appropriate, the provision of continuous positive airway pressure equipment as well as other treatments and interventions such as advice to promote weight loss. It is for health professionals to decide what treatment to offer patients, in consultation with the patient and informed by the patient's medical history. The Department does not collect information on the number of sleep apnoea patients with access to continuous airway pressure treatment.
The Department has not undertaken any research into the medical status of individuals involved in sleep-related accidents. In 2002, the Department for Transport held an expert workshop into the medical causes of daytime sleepiness in respect of driving and, as a result, strengthened the advice it provides to doctors.
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Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what proportion of those (a) individuals and (b) organisations that took part in the consultation on the Health Bill favoured (i) the exemptions on the smoking ban as on the face of the Health Bill and (ii) a ban which excluded (A) private clubs and (B) pubs where food was not sold. 
Of those who responded, some 57,000 plus, around 90 per cent. supported legislation on smoke free premises. Of those 90 per cent., exact figures are not available. However, of the 41,833 responses on the specific proposals, the report notes that over 90 per cent. were against any exemptions for pubs not serving food".
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which (a) organisations and (b) individuals were consulted by her Department before publication of her Department's White Paper on smoking; and if she will make a statement. 
The Choosing Health" consultation was held between March 2004 and June 2004. A consultation on the smoke free proposals set out in the public health White Paper Choosing Health" was held between June 2005 and September 2005.
The Choosing Health" consultation analysis final report was published on 9 March 2005. Chapter three of the report gives information on the responses received by organisation type, not named organisations nor individuals. A copy is available in the Library.
A list of organisations and individuals in England, who were sent the consultation on the smoke free elements of the Health Bill, will be placed in the Library. The results of the consultation, including a summary of the types of organisations responding, was published recently and a copy is available in the Library.
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