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12 Mar 2007 : Column 114Wcontinued
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many girls (a) under the age of 15 and (b) aged 15 to 18 years had abortions in each year between 1999 and 2005. 
Caroline Flint: The available information is set out in the following table.
|Abortions under age 19, England and Wales residents, 1999-2005|
|Under 15 years||15 to 18 years|
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many attendances there were at type 1 accident and emergency departments in each quarter since the quarter ending June 1997; and how many patients were admitted to hospital through type 1 accident and emergency departments in each quarter. 
Andy Burnham: Full information is not available in the format requested. The information available is in the following table.
|Quarter||Attendances at all types of accident and emergency (A and E) department||Attendances at type 1 A and E departments||Admissions via type 1 A and E departments|
1. Prior to Q1 (April to June) 2001-02, A and E attendance data were only collected annually and as a total for types of A and E department. At this time, this did not include walk-in centres.
2. Attendances at A and E departments broken down by A and E type were first collected in Q1 (April to June) 2002-03.
3. From Q1 (April to June) 2003-04, attendances at walk-in centres were included in attendance information for all types of A and E department. Walk-in centres are considered to be a type 3 A and E service.
4. Admissions via A and E departments were first collected in Q2 2002-03, for type 1 A and E departments.
QMAE dataset, KH09 dataset, Department of Health
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many attendances at type 1 accident and emergency departments there were in each year since 1997, broken down by NHS organisation. 
Andy Burnham: The information is not available in the format requested.
The available information has been placed in the Library.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment she has made of the average cost of providing care for a patient who has been admitted to hospital via a type 1 accident and emergency department. 
Andy Burnham: Cost data collected from the national health service does not distinguish between different admission methods.
We are therefore unable to identify separately the costs of providing care for patients admitted to hospital via a type 1 accident and emergency department.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the emergency spell differential tariff rate in controlling levels of emergency admissions. 
Andy Burnham: There has not been an assessment of the emergency spell differential tariff rate in controlling levels of emergency admissions. The differential tariff is a method of managing financial risk to commissioners and providers associated with emergency admissions, and not a method of controlling emergency admission levels.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 2 February 2007, Official Report, column 543W, on accident and emergency departments, what measures she uses to assess the critical size of a hospital; using these methods, if she will define the critical size of a hospital; and what the evidential basis was for the statement that a consensus is emerging on the critical size of a hospital. 
Andy Burnham: There is no central criterion or measure of a critical size of hospital as it will depend on local circumstances. However, we would expect that population demographics are one factor that the local national health service would consider in ensuring the provision of appropriate services, including accident and emergency facilities, to meet peoples needs
The increasing consensus among professional bodies that a critical size of hospital is required to ensure that specialist facilities are available to treat all patients with emergency needs safely is evidenced through a number of publications that such bodies have produced in the past.
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent assessment she has made of medical developments allowing earlier identification of Alzheimer's disease; 
(2) what recent assessment she has made of research on the delays in the onset of dementia which may result from early identification of Alzheimer's disease; and how she plans for such research to inform NHS practice. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The NICE clinical guideline on Dementia: supporting people with dementia and their carers in health and social care, published in November 2006, recommends that as part of their role, primary health care staff should consider referring people who show signs of mild cognitive impairment for assessment by memory assessment services to aid early identification of dementia.
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. A number of national programme studies on Alzheimer's disease and on dementia currently under way are likely to provide evidence of relevance to our understanding of the onset and development of the condition.
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 number concerned with the identification, detection or progress of Alzheimer's disease, can be found on the national research register at:
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the letter to her from the Minister of State, Department of Health, responsible for delivery and reform, published on her Department's website on 31 January 2007, whether paramedics are expected to take all patients from 999 calls to accident and emergency. 
Andy Burnham: The Department has made clear that ambulance clinicians are not expected to take all patients from 999 calls to accident and emergency departments. Some calls may be resolved over the telephone, and some patients may be treated at the scene or in the community and therefore do not need to go to hospital. In 2005-06, national health service ambulance trusts in England received 5.96 million 999 calls, and attended 4.77 million incidents. Of those incidents attended, 73 per cent. resulted in an emergency patient journey. Guidance was issued in 2002, 2004 and 2005 to this effect.
My letter to the Secretary of State for Health expressed the need to build on the Department's action to date on this issue, and emphasised that more patients could be treated at the scene or in the community.
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