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Mr. Freeman : The test system most commonly used at present for the detection of HIV antibody has an estimated specificity well in excess of 99 per cent. However, any specimen reacting positively in initial testing should always be retested and referred for further testing with an alternative test system, before any result is issued. With these procedures, true false positives should not occur.

There have been a few recorded instances of people with confimed positive HIV antibody tests who later became seronegative. However, these people may be positive by more direct tests of viral infection suggesting that the explanation is not elimination of HIV, merely failure to produce antibodies.

Cancers (Liverpool)

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people have contracted (a) stomach cancer and (b) intestinal cancer in the Liverpool area for each of the last 15 years ; what are the national figures ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman ; The information is shown in the table. The latest available data year for cancer registration is 1984.

Column 585

|c|Number of newly diagnosed cases of malignant neoplasm of stomach and         

intestine, usual residents of Mersey regional health authority, England|c|      

|c|and Wales 1974-84.|c|                                                        

         ICD 151         ICD 152         ICD 153         ICD 154                

        |M      |E and W|M      |E and W|M      |E and W|M      |E and W        


1984    |575    |11,253 |17     |327    |732    |14,840 |489    |9,577          

1983    |615    |11,553 |20     |316    |642    |14,612 |417    |9,500          

1982    |617    |11,537 |13     |282    |629    |14,608 |482    |9,353          

1981    |<1>537 |11,687 |20     |323    |601    |14,671 |414    |9,419          

1980    |621    |11,731 |12     |285    |709    |13,843 |435    |9,280          

1979    |620    |11,904 |11     |340    |671    |13,891 |457    |9,249          

1978    |657    |12,242 |15     |329    |698    |14,144 |483    |9,104          

1977    |729    |12,430 |12     |341    |703    |14,115 |478    |9,056          

1976    |688    |12,235 |14     |345    |662    |13,997 |474    |8,870          

1975    |725    |12,610 |17     |339    |689    |13,759 |505    |8,932          

1974    |702    |12,417 |9      |304    |747    |13,580 |459    |8,711          

M=Mersey Regional Health Authority.                                             

E and W=England and Wales.                                                      

International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes:-                          

ICD 151 Maligant Neoplasm (MN) of Stomach.                                      

ICD 152 MN of Small intestine including Duodenum.                               

ICD 153 (8th Revision) 1974-78 MN of Large intestine except rectum. (9th        

Revision) 1979-84 MN of Colon.                                                  

ICD 154 MN of rectum rectosigmiod junction and anus.                            

<1>Approx 1,400 registrations for all forms of cancer were not available at the 

time of publication. Of these 1,000 were for Mersey RHA.                        

Cervical Cancer Screening

Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recommendations he makes to district health authorities about the interval between call-ups for cervical smears.

Mr. Freeman : I refer the hon. Member to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Romsey and Waterside (Mr. Colvin) on 21 February at column 608.

Cook-Chill Catering

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if, in view of concern about the suitability of cook-chill catering for hospital patients, he will require Wakefield health authority to ensure that patients are offered the choice of a conventional food alternative when cook-chill meals are introduced.

Mr. Freeman : No. I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. and learned Friend's reply to him on 27 February at column 68-9.

Prescription Certificates

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has on the number of (a) prescription certificates issued by general practitioners and (b) prescription certificates prescribed to pharmacists, in each of the last 10 years.

Mr. Mellor : Information about the number of prescriptions written by general practitioners is not available. The number of prescriptions dispensed by community pharmacists and appliance contractors in England in each of the last 10 years was as follows :



1978     |307.1            

1979     |304.6            

1980     |303.3            

1981     |300.0            

1982     |311.3            

1983     |315.3            

1984     |320.5            

1985     |318.7            

1986     |322.5            

1987     |335.3            

Ambulance Service (London)

Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library copies of each of the annual management reviews of the London ambulance service conducted by his Department since he assumed direct responsibility for determining its annual expenditure.

Mr. Freeman [holding answer 1 March 1989] : My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Health does not determine the budget of the London ambulance service, which is a matter that he has delegated to the South West Thames regional health authority. A copy of the ministerial review of the South West Thames RHA is placed in the Library. It is not, however, appropriate to place in the Library the annual management review of the LAS which is conducted by officials.

Kidney Transplants

Mr. Evennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many kidney transplants were carried out in the four Thames health regions in the last year for which figures are available ; and what was the corresponding figure in 1980.

Mr. Freeman [holding answer 21 February 1989] : The figures for cadaveric transplants are as follows :



1980    |236            

1988    |437            

They include transplants carried out by the London postgraduate special health authorities.


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