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Departmental Policies (Rochdale)

Health written question – answered on 1st March 2005.

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Photo of Ms Lorna Fitzsimons Ms Lorna Fitzsimons Labour, Rochdale

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will set out, with statistical information relating as closely as possible to the Rochdale constituency, the effect on Rochdale of his Department's policies and actions since 1997.

Photo of Miss Melanie Johnson Miss Melanie Johnson Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health

The Government has put in place a programme of national health service investment and reform since 1997 to improve service delivery in all parts of the United Kingdom. There is significant evidence that these policies have yielded considerable benefits for the Rochdale constituency.

For example in March 1997 1 , there were 431 patients waiting more than 12months for in-patient treatment and 2,283 waiting nine to 11months. Latest figures show 1,202 waiting six to eight months and nobody waiting more than nine months.

In March 1997 1 , there were 3,587 patients waiting more than 13weeks for out-patient treatment. Latest figures show 1,183 waiting more than 13 weeks.

The latest published figures show that 94.9 per cent. of patients spend less than four hours in the accident and emergency department. In September 2002, the figure was 78.3 per cent. and in September 2003, the figure was 92.3 per cent.

99.8 per cent. of urgent referrals for suspected cancer were seen by a specialist within two weeks.

A total of 811,000 has been provided from the cancer plan central capital allocation for a scanner, as part of the 50 extra scanners across England. This magnetic resonance imaging scanner will become operational for patients in summer 2005 at the Rochdale Infirmary and is expected to increase the annual number of scans from 7,800 to 11,000.

A new mobile catheter laboratory funded by the New Opportunity Fund will be based at Rochdale Infirmary from March 2005. The laboratory will expand the facilities available at the cardiology unit enabling an additional 1,800 angiograms to be carried out in a full year.

Work is commencing to convert a ward at Rochdale Infirmary to a 500,000 16-station renal dialysis unit which is due to open in May 2005.

1 Figures from 1997 are the sum of the figures for the preceding NHS trusts (Oldham NHS trust, Rochdale healthcare NHS trust, North Manchester healthcare NHS trust and Bury healthcare NHS trust) to their merger in 2002 to form the Pennine acute hospitals NHS trust.

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