§ Mr. Alex Carlile
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients failed to attend out-patient appointments in England in each year since 1992; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Malone
The information requested is given in the table. Guidance on reducing non-attendance has already been issued to the national health service. This will be supported by further guidance on reducing waiting times. We expect the introduction of the new patients charter standard for out-patient appointments will further encourage purchasers and providers to tackle the problem of non-attenders.
(2) what mechanisms will exist under the amended regulations governing hostels for people aged 16 to 24 years for (a) checking the suitability of those running hostels and (b) checking the suitability of the premises.