§ Mr. Burstow
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many general practitioner practices in(a) England and (b) each strategic health authority have premises below a minimum standard; and what his Department defines as a minimum standard for practice premises. 
§ Mr. Hutton
The most recent figures available (2002–03) indicate that the number of general practitioner practice premises below minimum standards are as shown in the table. The figure of 700 represents only 6 to 7 per cent., of all primary care premises in England. The Government are supporting one of the largest and most sustained programmes of modernisation of primary care premises in the history of the national health service and this is likely to have a significant impact on these numbers.
Practices with premises below a minimum standard by strategic health authority in England—2002–03 Practices with premises below a minimum standard England 700 Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire 4 Bedford and Hertfordshire 25 Essex 91 North-west London 31 North-central London 149 North-east London 160 South-east London 55 South-west London 0 Northumberland, Tyne and Wear 3 County Durham and Tees Valley 6 North and East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire 4 West Yorkshire 4 Cumbria and Lancashire 1 Greater Manchester 18 Cheshire and Merseyside 11 Thames Valley 4 Hampshire and Isle of Wight 3 Kent and Medway 15 Surrey and Sussex 26 Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire 16 South-west Peninsula 2 Somerset and Dorset 2 South Yorkshire 31 Trent 11
Practices with premises below a minimum standard by strategic health authority in England—2002–03 Practices with premises below a minimum standard Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland 0 Shropshire and Staffordshire 4 Birmingham and the Black Country 24 West Midlands South 0
The definition on which these figures are based was contained in paragraph 51 of the "Statement of Fees and Allowances", a copy of which is available in the Library.
§ Mr. Hutton
The table shows the number of single-handed general practitioner surgeries there were in each of the last five years.
Single-handed partnerships of unrestricted principals and equivalents (UPEs)1 1997–2003 England Numbers (headcount) UPEs Partnerships of UPEs Single-handed UPEs 1999 27,591 8,944 2,631 2000 27,704 8,878 2,575 2001 27,843 8,817 2,534 2002 28,031 8,748 2,482 2003 28,568 8,757 2,504 1UPEs include general medical service unrestricted principals, personal medical service (PMS) contracted GPs and PMS salaried GPs. Data as at 1 October 1997–98 and 30 September 2000–03. Source: Department of Health general and personal medical services statistics.