HC Deb 27 March 2003 vol 402 cc397-8W
Mr. Drew

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the average waiting time for MRI scanner appointments was on the latest date for which figures are available, broken down by hospital; [104900]

(2) what plans he has to reduce waiting time for MRI scanner appointments. [104901]

Ms Blears

[holding answers 25 March 2003]Data are not collected centrally on waiting times for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. The length of time that a patient may have to wait for any scan is dependent on their clinical condition. Emergency cases need to be seen immediately. Other cases will be carried out as quickly as possible, dependent on the clinical priority of all patients waiting to be scanned.

Where an MRI scan forms part of the diagnostic process for a patient urgently referred with suspected cancer, this will be covered by the target of a maximum two months wait from urgent referral to first treatment, which will be in place for all cancers by the end of 2005.

To increase the capacity of diagnostic services, funding has been made available for the provision of new and replacement scanners. The New Opportunities

The Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) collects information on the quantity of meat surrendered by the operators of licensed slaughterhouses and cutting plants as unfit for human consumption following MHS inspection. The in formation collected records the species, number of carcasses or weight of meat rejected, and the reason for rejection. The MHS keeps these receipts for a year but the information is not collated centrally.

Information about meat intended for human consumption that is condemned on farm is not collected. Under the Fresh Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1995 (as amended) the slaughter and dressing of animals intended for sale for human consumption must take place in a licensed slaughterhouse.