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21 Mar 2006 : Column 251W—continued

Agency Nurses

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many agency nurses were employed by the NHS in (a) Peterborough, (b) the Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk Strategic Health Authority area and (c) England in each of the past five years; and at what cost. [48667]

Mr. Byrne: Information about the numbers of agency nurses employed locally is not collected centrally.

Alcohol Dependency

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how her Department's £15 million funding for alcohol dependency projects in 2007–08 will be allocated between treatment and preventative care. [58356]

Caroline Flint: Primary care trusts (PCTs) have been notified that £15 million per annum will be included within the PCTs general allocation from 2007–08 onwards to help PCTs improve their local arrangements for commissioning and delivering alcohol interventions.

It is for each PCT to decide how best to allocate the funds made available to them from central Government.

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what Government funding is available to organisations helping people to overcome alcohol addiction; and if she will make a statement. [57530]

Caroline Flint: The national health service spends an estimated £217 million on alcohol treatment services (alcohol needs assessment research project). Primary care trusts (PCTs) have been notified that £15 million per annum will be included within the PCTs' general allocation from 2007–08 onwards to help PCTs improve their local arrangements for commissioning and delivering alcohol interventions. PCTs may commission treatment from a range of provides, including voluntary bodies.

Alcohol-related Illness

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many incidences of alcohol-related illness have been treated within the NHS in Suffolk in each year since 1997. [58508]

Caroline Flint: The information in the table provides the number of finished consultant episodes and patients where there was a primary diagnosis of alcohol related
 
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diseases from 1997–98 to 2004–05 for the strategic health authority of residence for Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire national health service hospitals.
Counts of finished consultant episodes and patients where there was a primary diagnosis code for selected alcohol related diseases(25) in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Strategic Health Authority, national health service hospitals, England 1997–98 to 2004–05

YearFinished consultant episodes
1997–981,340
1998–991,501
1999–20001,719
2000–011,872
2001–021,893
2002–032,001
2003–042,387
2004–052,902


(25)Alcohol related diseases defined as following ICD-10 codes recorded in primary diagnosis.
F10: Mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol.
K70: Alcoholic liver disease.
T51: Toxic effect of alcohol.



Ambulance Services (Sussex)

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the cost of restructuring ambulance services in Sussex; and what representations she has received about this. [45675]

Caroline Flint: The purpose of the proposed changes to configuration is to ensure that ambulance trusts have the capacity and the capability to fully realise the strategic vision for ambulance trusts set out in the recent review of ambulance services, Taking Healthcare to the Patient-Transforming NHS Ambulance Services". Taking Healthcare to the Patient" set out how the range and quality of services provided to patients by ambulance services should be improved, for example through the provision of quality call handling and advice, a wider range of services such as diagnostics and the management of long term conditions and even better care for patients with life-threatening conditions.

While the purposes of these proposed changes are not to deliver cost-savings, we do expect efficiencies to be generated. Any efficiency savings that are made will, in the short-term, be set against the costs of transition, and in the longer-term be available for re-investment by the trust into improving patient care.

Examples of areas in which efficiencies may be realised are management and administrative positions, headquarters and estates, and better use of resources. However, these decisions are a local matter and it is not for us to pre-empt them.

The consultation for the proposed configuration of national health service ambulance trusts in England is being led by strategic health authorities (SHAs). SHAs will co-ordinate consultation locally and ensure that relevant authorities and interested parties are able to express their views. A full analysis of the responses received by the SHAs and the Department will be undertaken at the end of the consultation. The consultation will conclude on 22 March 2006.
 
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Arthritis

Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding the Government have provided for research into treatments for those suffering from arthritis in the last five years; and if she will make a statement. [58548]

Mr. Byrne: The main agency through which the Government support medical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council (MRC). The MRC is an independent body funded by the Department of Trade and Industry via the Office of Science and Technology.

MRC expenditure on arthritis and rheumatism research in the last five years for which figures are available has been as follows:
Expenditure on research
(£ million)
1999–20004.8
2000–013.9
2001–024.2
2002–036.8
2003–046.8

The Department funds research to support policy and to provide the evidence needed to underpin quality improvement and service development in the national health service. The Department's national research programme spend on projects related to arthritis in the period from 1999 to 2005 was £1.7 million.

The main part of the Department's expenditure on health research is allocated to and managed by NHS organisations. Details of individual projects supported in the NHS, including a large number concerned with arthritis, can be found on the national research register at www.dh.gov.uk/research.

Audiology

Mr. Truswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were training to become audiologists in the last period for which figures are available. [46364]

Mr. Byrne: The table shows the number of people training to become audiologists in 2004–05.
2004–05
Grade A training for clinical scientists in audiology22
BSC in audiology180
Training for audiology technicians33
Diploma in hearing therapy6

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time is for (a) children's, (b) adults' and (c) all hearing tests for each NHS trust in (i) the county of Lancashire and (ii) West Lancashire constituency; and if she will make a statement. [58456]

Mr. Byrne: The information requested is not held centrally.
 
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Autism

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people are diagnosed with autism; and how many people were diagnosed in each year since 1997. [57658]

Mr. Byrne: The information requested is not held centrally. Diagnoses of autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) in hospitals is shown in the table.
Number of finished consultant episodes involving a diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorders, by age at end of episode, England, 1997–98 to 2004–05

Age at end of episode
Year16 and underAged
over 16
UnknownAll diagnoses
2004–056,1703,00009,170
2003–045,7702,39008,160
2002–035,6302,32007,950
2001–025,1802,10007,280
2000–014,9801,750106,730
1999–20004,2001,49005,680
1998–994,0301,470105,510
1997–983,1001,110101,220




Source:
Hospital Episode Statistics, NHS Health & Social Care Information Centre
ASDs include childhood Autism, atypical Autism, Asperger's syndrome, Rett's syndrome, and other less common ASDs.




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