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11 Jan 2006 : Column 726W—continued

Health Services (Northamptonshire)

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health to which NHS organisations in Northamptonshire her Department intends to send turnaround teams. [36142]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department does not intend to send turnaround teams to any organisations in the Northamptonshire area.

Health Staff (Early Retirement)

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) general practitioners, (b) consultants and (c) nurses have retired early in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [34600]

Mr. Byrne: The information requested is currently unavailable. The NHS Pensions Agency however expects the information to be available from April 2006 and will write to the hon. Member to provide it in the format requested.

Hepatitis C

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment her Department has made of the effectiveness of the hepatitis C FaCe it campaign. [34659]

11 Jan 2006 : Column 727W

Caroline Flint: Qualitative research of hepatitis C awareness among general practitioners and practice nurses has been carried out this year. This research, which repeats a baseline study carried out in 2001, indicates that awareness of hepatitis C is much improved compared to 2001 and that hepatitis C testing is being offered to those known to be at risk.

The Health Protection Agency has been monitoring the number of reported laboratory diagnoses of hepatitis C, which is a national outcome indicator for implementation of the Hepatitis C Action Plan for England". There has been a noticeable upward trend in hepatitis C diagnoses since 2000 from just under 5,000 reports to around 8,000 in 2004.

Injecting drug users are the group currently at greatest risk of hepatitis C infection in this country. The unlinked anonymous prevalence monitoring programme's survey of injecting drug users in contact with specialist services showed that 67 per cent. had had a voluntary confidential test for hepatitis C in 2004 compared to 49 per cent. in 2000.

There has also been qualitative research this year into format and design of the hepatitis C Face Your Past" leaflet, which is being widely distributed as the hepatitis C awareness photography exhibition tours regional cities. This research suggested that the design, content and tone were effective at gaining attention and giving a clear message without causing panic.

Research into public awareness of hepatitis C will be carried out in 2006. This will repeat a survey of awareness among the general public and groups at increased risk of infection in 2003.

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Heroin Addicts

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the use of (a) buphrenorphine and (b) suboxone in tackling heroin addiction among prisoners. [40688]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 9 January 2006]: People in prison are prescribed buphrenorphine in line with national treatment guidelines. Suboxone is not licenced for use in the United Kingdom for the treatment of heroin addiction.


Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were recorded as HIV positive in (a) Northamptonshire and (b) England in each of the last 10 years. [34874]

Caroline Flint: HIV data are not available by county; they are available by strategic health authority (SHA) or by region. The data for Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland SHA and England are available on the Health Protection Agency's website at: ables.htm.

Hospital Beds

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many hospital beds there were per capita in each strategic health authority in England in each of the last 10 years; [35156]

(2) what was the average bed occupancy rate in each strategic health authority area in England in each of the last 10 years. [35158]

Mr. Byrne: Data for the years 2002–03, 2003–04 and 2004–05 are shown in the table. Strategic health authorities (SHAs) were established in 2002 and, therefore, data prior to 2002–03 are not available on an SHA basis.
Beds available in wards open overnight per 1,000 people and occupancy rate, strategic health authorities in England: 2002–03 to 2004–05

Beds per 1,000 people
Occupancy rate(percentage)
Org IDName2002–032003–042004–052002–032003–042004–05
Q01Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire HA3.83.83.785.385.785.2
Q02Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire HA2.72.62.682.781.083.1
Q03Essex HA3.
Q04North West London HA3.83.73.789.290.288.9
Q05North Central London HA4.74.84.788.488.388.5
Q06North East London HA4.04.03.989.489.491.9
Q07South East London HA3.83.83.887.887.887.3
Q08South West London HA3.43.73.686.686.285.5
Q09Northumberland, Tyne and Wear HA5.05.14.979.882.181.5
Q10County Durham and Tees Valley HA4.
Q11North and East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolns3.
Q12West Yorkshire HA4.14.13.983.783.881.6
Q13Cumbria and Lancashire HA4.03.93.782.483.683.3
Q14Greater Manchester HA4.
Q15Cheshire and Merseyside HA4.14.14.385.586.685.9
Q16Thames Valley HA2.92.92.887.586.286.3
Q17Hampshire and Isle of Wight HA3.
Q18Kent and Medway HA3.03.02.990.189.789.7
Q19Surrey and Sussex HA3.
Q20Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire HA3.83.73.685.885.483.9
Q21South West Peninsula HA3.63.83.783.285.282.7
Q22Somerset and Dorset HA4.04.03.985.185.285.0
Q23South Yorkshire HA4.74.64.685.385.476.1
Q24Trent HA3.33.53.484.684.484.7
Q25Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland HA3.43.43.383.483.883.5
Q26Shropshire and Staffordshire HA3.23.33.385.187.186.7
Q27Birmingham and the Black Country HA4.
Q28West Midlands South HA3.

Department of Health form KH03. ONS Mid Year population Estimates

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Hospital Re-admissions

Mr. David Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were re-admitted to hospital in 2005 after being discharged. [35260]

Mr. Byrne: Information on the total number of people re-admitted is not currently available. Information on England's readmissions, calculated using the star ratings re-admission rate definition, emergency re-admissions to hospitals within 28 days of discharge to hospitals", is available at The latest year available there is 2003–04. A full definition of the indicator is given in the guidance notes.


Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will lower the age at which the routine winter influenza vaccination becomes available to 50; [23037]

(2) whether she plans to extend the routine seasonal influenza immunisation programme to all aged 50 years and over. [33269]

Caroline Flint: Department of Health funded research is being carried out on the potential benefits of routinely immunising people aged 50 years and over. The results of this research will be considered by the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation (JCVI) which advises us on all issues regarding immunisation.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people of retirement age have sought but not received influenza vaccinations in each London borough in 2005; and if she will make a statement. [40614]

Jane Kennedy: The information requested is not collected centrally.

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