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Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidelines her Department issues on (a) the number of ultrasound scans which should take place during pregnancy and (b) the timings of such scans. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Guidance on the number of ultrasound scans which should be offered during pregnancy and the timings of such scans is contained in the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellences (NICE) clinical guidelines on antenatal care, which were issued in October 2003. The guidelines are available on the NICE website at www.nice.org.uk
|Number of patients waiting for admission||Patients waiting per 100,000 population|
Andy Burnham: As at the end of June 2006, there were 1,166,738 patients in England waiting for a first out-patient appointment following general practitioner referral. This equates to 2,339 people per 100,000 population.
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the (a) median and (b) average waiting times are for NHS (i) diagnostic tests, (ii) scans, (iii) internal examinations and (iv) hearing tests; 
Andy Burnham: I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement made on 12 July 2006, Official Report, columns 69-70WS. Data are collected on the number of patients waiting at the end of each month for 15 key diagnostic tests, by weekly time-band. To identify any other long diagnostic waits census of waiting times for other tests has also been introduced which identifies waits over six and 13 weeks. These data are available at www.performance.doh.gov.uk/diagnostics.
Median waiting times for the 15 key tests are shown in the table. Median waiting times for other tests cannot be calculated from the information collected through the census. Analysis of the data indicates the average expected wait for patients being referred for one of the 15 key tests is around seven weeks.
|Monthly diagnostic data collection - 30 April 2006|
|Diagnostic test||Median waiting time (weeks)||Average expected wait (weeks)|
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) median and (b) average waiting times are for genetic tests for women with a family history of breast cancer in each NHS trust area. 
So, to improve access and cut waiting times, the genetics White Paper Our Inheritance, Our Futurerealising the potential of genetics in the NHS, published in June 2003, committed up to £18 million for national health service genetics laboratories in England. This major investment is boosting capacity and supporting modernisation in genetics laboratories, thus helping them meet the rising demand for genetic tests.
within three days where the result is needed urgently (for example for prenatal diagnosis)within two weeks where the potential
genetic mutation is already known (for example because another family member has already been tested)
within eight weeks for unknown mutations in a large gene.
This money was allocated during the last two financial years (2004-06), and laboratories are working hard to get their new facilities up to speed to meet these standards. We are monitoring molecular genetics laboratories progress through the commissioners of genetic services. The laboratories in two of the eight specialised commissioning group areas are already meeting these standards for genetic tests for breast cancer. Five of the rest are on track to achieve them by the end of 2006 and the remaining one by early 2007.