HC Deb 19 September 2002 vol 390 cc375-6W
Mr. Gale

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to reduce the waiting lists for podiatric surgery. [70376]

Mr. Hutton

[holding answer 17 July 2002]: The number of patients waiting for podiatric surgery are not collected centrally.

Report, column 846W, on doctors (suspensions), what data is available for the four years preceding 1 January 2000; what conclusions he has drawn as to the reasons for the increase in costs between the first quarter of 2000 and the first quarter of 2002; and what the total cumulative costs of suspensions lasting over six months was for each quarter of (a) 2000, (b) 2001 and (c) 2002 in (i) England and (ii) each region. [70725]

Mr. Hutton

The data collected prior to January 2000 is not considered comparable or reliable. The way in which information was collected regionally varied and often the data was incomplete or inaccurate. Following the publication of the documentSupporting Doctors, Protecting Patients in 1999 we have improved the accuracy and reliability of information on suspensions.

The quarterly figures include the cumulative costs of individual cases that may span a number of quarters. When a doctor is no longer suspended, the next quarterly report will cease to reflect the cost of that case. Where the suspension was prolonged, the reduction from one quarter to the next may be quite substantial.

The reported cumulative costs, per region, of suspensions lasting over six months in England for each quarter of 2000, 2001 and 2002 are as follows:

Dr. Evan Harris

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the total cost to the NHS of suspended doctors in the last year for which figures are available. [68658]

Mr. Hutton

[holding answer 11 July 2002]: The Department routinely collects information on hospital doctors and community dentists who have been suspended for over six months.

The estimated total cost of hospital medical and community dental staff suspended for more than six months for the year 2001 is £5 million. This is based on costs reported as part of the Department's quarterly data collection exercise. The figure includes some legal and locum fees as well as salary costs.

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