§ Virginia Bottomley
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures he has taken to publicise the fact that accident and emergency departments do not give advice over the phone. 
§ Mr. Lammy
The Department has taken no specific measures to publicise the fact the accident and emergency departments do not give advice over the phone.
Patients can obtain telephone advice on medical emergencies from NHS Direct, a nurse-led telephone helpline providing health information and advice 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
§ Mr. Wiggin
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time is in accident and emergency departments by region, before a patient gets treated in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
§ Mr. Lammy
The Department does not routinely collect information on average waiting times in accident and emergency departments (A and E).398W
Information on total time in A and E from arrival to transfer, admission or discharge has been collected by the Department since August 2001. We have reliable data from October 2001.
The table below shows the number of people spending four hours or less in A and E by region from October 2001 to March 2002.
Percentage of patients spending less than four hours in A and E from arrival to transfer, admission or discharge. Organisation Number of A and E attendances Number of patients spending under 4 hours in A and E Patients spending under 4 hours in A and E per cent. Eastern 488,915 365,871 75 London 1,015,261 653,043 64 North West 861,612 665,217 77 North Yorkshire 779,716 680,503 87 South East 822,514 612,993 75 South West 443,697 357,123 80 Trent 500,379 406,254 81 West Midlands 641,729 536,635 84 England 5,553,823 4,277,639 77
§ Brian Cotter
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he is taking to deal with increased accident and emergency admissions in the south-west area