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Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of slots on the Choose and Book system were reported to be unavailable when requested by patients in the last 12 weeks for which figures are available. 
The Department does collect the number of instances of slot unavailability as reported by The Choose and Book Appointments Line (TAL), expressed as a ratio of all successful direct bookings. This is presented for the last 12 weeks for which figures are available covering the period week ending 9 November 2008 to week ending 25 January 2009 in the following table.
|Slot unavailability||Total weekly directly bookable service outpatient bookings||Slot issues as percentage of bookings|
1. The weekly report expresses the percentage as a percentage of successful directly bookable service bookings.
2. Individual national health service trusts are responsible for ensuring that enough appointments slots for first outpatient appointments are made available through the Choose and Book system to ensure patients and general practitioners can book into them electronically.
Choose and book weekly report as recorded by the Choose and Book Appointments Line (TAL)
Dawn Primarolo: Reducing smoking among young people is a priority for the Government. Much has already been achieved in this area, including raising the age of sale of tobacco products, legislation to strengthen sanctions available against retailers who persistently sell tobacco to children and young people, and smoking is addressed in the National Curriculum and through the Healthy Schools Programme.
Protecting children and young people from smoking was one of four key aspects of the Departments Consultation on the future of tobacco control published on 31 May 2008. A copy has already been placed in the Library. Responses to the consultation are informing the development of a new strategy on tobacco control, which will include action to continue to tackle the uptake of smoking by young people.
The Government this year are taking forward tobacco control legislation intended to protect and support young people in the Health Bill. The Health Bill includes a prohibition on the display of tobacco products, which will help to eliminate the marketing of tobacco products, to which young people are susceptible. The Bill will also provide powers to restrict or ban the sale of tobacco from vending machines, removing a major source of tobacco for young people.
Local stop smoking services are able to provide a range of support options to anyone wanting to quit smoking, including young people. Resources are also available that can be accessed by smokers direct on smoking cessation, these include the NHS gosmokefree website and from the general NHS Smoking Helpline (0800 169 0 169).
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money has been recovered by the NHS under the provisions of the Social Security (Recovery of Benefits) Act 1997 in each year since it entered into force. 
The Department for Work and Pensions administers recoveries on behalf of the NHS. However those recoveries are not under the Social Security (Recovery of Benefits) Act 1997, but the Road Traffic (NHS Charges) Act 1999, and The Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003.
|(1) This figure is up to and including December 2008|
Mr. Bradshaw: The information is not available in the format requested. The following table shows the count of finished admission episodes by time waited with a primary diagnosis of spinal cord injury, for hospitals in the north-east of England from 2002-03 to 2006-07.
|All admission episodes||Up to 1 week||1 up to 2 weeks||2 up to 3 weeks||3 up to 4 weeks||4 up to 5 weeks||Unknown Time Waited|
1. Finished admission episodes: A finished admission episode is the first period of inpatient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. Finished admission episodes are counted against the year in which the admission episode finishes. However, admissions do not represent the number of inpatients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year.
2. Primary diagnosis: The primary diagnosis is the first of up to 20 (14 from 2002-03 to 2006-07 and seven prior to 2002-03) diagnosis fields in the HES dataset and provides the main reason why the patient was admitted to hospital.
3. Time waited (days): Time waited statistics from HES are not the same as the published waiting list statistics. HES provides counts and time waited for all patients admitted to hospital within a given period, whereas the published waiting list statistics count those waiting for treatment on a specific date and how long they have been on the waiting list. Also, HES calculates the time waited as the difference between the admission and decision to admit dates. Unlike published waiting list statistics, this is not adjusted for self-deferrals or periods of medical/social suspension.
4. Spinal cord injury is defined as one of the following ICD-10 codes recorded in primary diagnosis field:
5140 Concussion and oedema of cervical spinal cord;
5141 Other and unspecified injuries of cervical spinal cord;
5142 Injury of nerve root of cervical spine;
5143 Injury of brachial plexus;
5240 Concussion and oedema of thoracic spinal cord;
5241 other and unspecified injuries of thoracic spinal cord;
5242 Injury of nerve root of thoracic spine;
5340 Concussion and oedema of lumbar spinal cord;
5341 Other injury of lumbar spinal cord;
5342 Injury of nerve root of lumbar and sacral spine;
5343 Injury of cauda equina;
5344 Injury of lumbosacral plexus;
T060 Injuries of brain and cranial nerves with injuries of nerves and spinal cord at neck level;
T061 Injuries of nerves and spinal cord involving other multiple body regions;
T093 Injury of spinal cord, level unspecified;
T094 Injury of unspecified nerve, spinal nerve root and plexus of trunk.
Hospital Episode Statistics (HES). The NHS Information Centre for health and social care
Ann Keen: The Government support the availability of treatment services for thalassaemia that fit the model outlined in High Quality Care for All, that care should be fair, personalised, effective and safe.
Key to this is the development of clinical networks of specialist care and the concept that every patient should have access to optimal specialist management and care, as well as routine care provided conveniently close to home. Clinical networks for Haemoglobinopathy disorders (thalassaemia and sickle cell) have now been established and initial meetings of stakeholders have taken place.
We are also currently undertaking a peer review of service provision and commissioning arrangements for haemoglobinopathies. This will inform a programme of supportive action later in the year, in partnership with the national health service and stakeholders.
Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment his Department has made of the variation in funding of oral iron chelation drugs for the treatment of thalassaemia patients between primary care trusts. 
John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions the Healthcare Commission has had with the Care Quality Commission on including risk assessment for venous thromboembolism as a clinical audit indicator. 
John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to include risk assessment for venous thromboembolism in hospitalised patients as an indicator in the 2009-10 Care Quality Commission periodic review of NHS providers. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We expect indicators to be included in periodic reviews of NHS providers to reflect the existing commitments and tier 1 and 2 vital signs that were set out in the 2009-10 operating framework.
John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to include risk assessment for venous thromboembolism in hospitalised patients as a topic for special review by the Care Quality Commission in 2009-10. 
Mr. Bradshaw: In addition to its core statutory functions, the Care Quality Commission also has the power to carry out special reviews into specific or general issues to do with health or adult social care provision.
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