§ Mr. Andrew Turner
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many purchasing health authorities regularly purchase heart services from(a) private providers and (b) the King Edward VII Hospital, Midhurst. 
§ Mr. Hutton
[holding answer 5 March 2002]: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
The Department has recently conducted a survey of national health service bodies on the levels of activity being commissioned in the independent sector and the accompanying cost. Findings from the survey will be published shortly. The published results are likely to include details on the number of NHS organisations within the returning sample that commissioned specific heart procedures during the survey period. It is not our intention to publish information in respect of individual hospitals, since it was not collected for that purpose.
§ Mr. Andrew Turner
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the capacity is for tertiary heart surgery in the south-east region; and what the average waiting times were at each centre in the last 12 month period. 463W
§ Ms Blears
[holding answer 5 March 2002]: Our aim is that in time the national health service should be able to offer all heart patients fair access to the surgical and other specialist services they need in a local unit and within an acceptable time. This is why we have developed a national strategy to expand the capacity to perform heart operations. The capital investment programme means that we are investing £230 million in 12 schemes to provide new and bigger heart surgery facilities.
Currently, cardiac surgery is carried out in Brighton, Southampton and Oxford. Capacity is flexible as it depends on a number of factors, including availability of staff, Intensive Treatment Unit beds and hours of theatre usage. Approximately half of the tertiary cardiac procedures for South-east residents are carried out in London centres.
Average waiting times, by month, for south-east centres over the last 12 months are shown in the table.
Datayear 2000–01—Mean waiting time (days)—Revascualisations by operation type CABG RGU Brighton health care NHS Trust1 RHM Southampton University hospital RTH Oxford Radcliffe hospital NHS Month of admission April 60 319 157 May 63 292 102 June 96 282 152 July 112 258 163 August 101 221 131 September 128 282 113 November 91 147 161 October 143 205 113 December 82 177 123
Datayear 2000–01—Mean waiting time (days)—Revascualisations by operation type CABG RGU Brighton health care NHS Trust1 RHM Southampton University hospital RTH Oxford Radcliffe hospital NHS January 126 219 146 February 118 156 141 March 140 171 241 1 Activity was building up from April 2000