To ask the Secretary of State for Health why the hon. Member for West Chelmsford's written question No. 118905 received a holding answer when the information required was published by the Department of Health five days prior to the date for answer. 
The information requested was published as a Statistical Press Notice on 6 June 2003, as part of the Department's programme of publishing statistical information. However, the process of preparing replies to Parliamentary Questions does take a certain amount of time. I regret that, on this occasion, the hon. Member did not receive a timely reply to his question.