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Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if the survey into toxoplasmosis in pregnancy will be a material factor in determining whether or not a United Kingdom wide screening programme for toxoplasmosis in pregnancy is to be undertaken ;
(2) what are the terms of reference of the survey being undertaken by the public health laboratory service into toxoplasmosis in pregnancy ; what is the extent of the survey ; how many pregnant women are involved ; how the service is funded ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Sackville : This survey began as a study of antenatal sera for the presence of antibodies to toxoplasmosis, but since 1992 has followed up the level of compliance with antenatal screening offered to pregnant women. The survey invites reports from other public health laboratories. The public health laboratory service is funded by the Department of Health.
Results from the survey will not alone determine whether a United Kingdom- wide screening programme for toxoplasmosis in pregnancy should be introduced, but they will help to provide some of the information required in assessing whether such a programme might be appropriate. Other factors are important and are subject to a reliable screening test being developed.
Mr. Rowlands : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate has been made of the number of children suffering from Down's syndrome who have applied for a supplementary voucher for the fitting of specially made spectacle frames.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the sum paid to Sir James Ackers, following his resignation as chairman of the West Midlands regional health authority, was subject to the deduction of tax.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how often the national health service and Health Education Authority monitor (a) the intake and (b) the knowledge of the need to take in folic acid before and during pregnancy.
Mr. Sackville : National average intakes of folic acid have been monitored routinely by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food as part of the national food survey since the late 1970s. In addition the 1986 -87 Dietary and Nutritional Survey of British Adults provided detailed estimates of folic acid intakes by women based on records of actual food consumption. Copies of these surveys are available in the Library. Trends in folic intake for women are expected to be measured again in 1998 as part of the next national diet and nutrition survey covering adults.
The Health Education Authority, which has incorporated advice on folic acid and neural tube defects in its public and professional educational materials covering nutrition and pregnancy, regularly monitors the effectiveness of its publications.
Mr. Forman : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement giving details of the implications for south-west London hospital facilities, in particular the St. Helier NHS trust and its renal unit, of her statement to the House of 10 February, Official Report, columns 458-72, on the health service in London.
Dr. Mawhinney : As indicated in my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's statement, it will now be for those locally charged with assessing and meeting health needs to take into consideration the effects, over time, of proposed changes in central London and the views of those living in the area served, before deciding whether local service changes should be proposed for public consultation.
Dr. Mawhinney : The latest available information is for 1992. In that year an estimated 53 per cent. of all prescribed items had a total cost to the national health service of less than £4.75 ; 51 per cent. cost less than £4.50.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make it her policy to require the model claim form for general practitioners night visit fees to be amended to show the time the patient requested care in addition to the time of the visit.
Mr. Sackville : This information is not held centrally. However, all regional health authorities have been asked to consider the special needs of families affected by HIV when carrying out their needs assessments for service developments.
Mr. Sackville : Figures for HIV infection are not kept by all European Union countries. However, the number of AIDS cases resulting from transmission of HIV from mother to baby are reported and up to 31 March 1993 the cumulative numbers are as follows :
Country |Number ------------------------------- Belgium |58 Denmark |10 France |345 Germany |66 Greece |7 Ireland |9 Italy |321 Luxembourg |0 Netherlands |11 Portugal |18 Spain |412 United Kingdom |83
Mr. Sackville : Bristol and district health authority purchases, for its resident population, a range of services for the investigation and treatment of sub-fertility. The outline of the services are :
United Bristol Health Care Trust :--
St. Michael's hospital :--
seven consultant-led sub-fertility clinics each week and five nurse-led clinics each week.
Southmead Health Services Trust :--
five consultant-led sub-fertility clinics each week and one nurse-led clinic each week.
A limited number of in-vitro fertilisation and gamete intra-fallopian transfer procedures are undertaken at Southmead hospital. Other follow up in-patient or day case work is undertaken as part of the general gynaecology service at both hospitals.
Mr. Sackville : District health authorities and general practitioner fundholders have the freedom to purchase services from any health authority, from national health service trusts or from the private sector. They are encouraged to seek provision of services from those who can best ensure that quality and value for money are achieved, irrespective of whether they are in the public or the private sector.
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will now publish the Government's response to the fundamental review of dental remuneration and the oral health strategy for England.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dental practitioners there are currently offering dental treatment on the NHS in England to new patients seeking to be registered with them for NHS dental purposes ; and what was the corresponding figure in October 1990.
Dr. Mawhinney : Dentists are independent contractors and free to choose whether or not to accept any individual patient, or category of patients, for national health service treatment and to review their decisions at any time.
At 30 September 1993 there were 15,773 dentists, including principals, assistants and vocational trainees, in contract with family health services authorities. The corresponding number at 30 September 1990 was 15,480.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists in England have left the national health service since October 1990, but who are continuing to offer dental services on a private basis.
Dr. Mawhinney : During the period 1 October 1990 to 30 November 1993 there were 50.9 million registrations and 21.7 million deletions from the dental register. The number of patients registered at 30 November 1994 was therefore 29.2 million.
Mr. Bowis : The draft guidance was issued for consultation on 12 January with a request for comments by 25 February. We shall issue the substantive guidance when we have considered and taken account of the comments received.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what standard is set by her Department for colostomy bags ; what work is being undertaken to improve the standard of such bags ; and what consideration has been given to the need for an expiry date for their use.
Mr. Sackville : Colostomy bags should conform to British standard 7127, although some older products on the market will pre-date this standard. The Department contributed to the drafting of this standard, which was published in 1991. Discussions are proceeding with several independent testing laboratories, with the objective of increasing the number of facilities for compliance testing.
The standard stipulates that products which have a shelf life of less than five years shoud be labelled with the expiry date.
Mr. Bowis : I have today informed the chief executive of the youth treatment service of my decision that the service should continue to operate from the existing two sites, Glenthorne in Birmingham and St. Charles at Brentwood, Essex, for at least the next four years. I have told the chief executive that consideration will be given to capital expenditure to carry out necessary work at the two centres. I hope that this decision will remove some of the obstacles to short-term planning which have faced the youth treatment service for so long as a result of the uncertainties surrounding the site issue.
Miss Lestor : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children's organisations were consulted on the draft first report from the United Kingdom on implementation of the United Nations convention on the rights of the child ; on what date consultation documents were posted ; what was the deadline for receipt of comments by his Department ; and how many of those organisations responded within his deadline.
Mr. Bowis : Consultation on reports of this kind is not normal practice, however, in the circumstances a short consultation exercise was undertaken. Of 65 organisations given the opportunity to comment on the draft report, some
Column 104435 were children's organisations. Copies of the report went out from 13 December and comments were requested by 31 December. Nine organisations responded before the deadline, but we did offer to extend this slightly.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) is she will publish the evidence upon which she based her decision that the St. Thomas's site offers a better location and environment than Guy's hospital ;
(2) if she will place in the Library all the information which informed her decision to concentrate acute and specialist services at St. Thomas's hospital ;
(3) what evidence she has that Guy's hospital is more efficient or cost- effective than St. Thomas's.
Dr. Mawhinney : The Guy's and St. Thomas's national health service trust has been asked to pursue proposals that will concentrate patient services, over time, at the St. Thomas's site. The decision to ask the trust to do so was based upon an assessment of its outline business case. The documentation forms management information and includes operational and financial detail about the trust's business which it would not be appropriate to release. All information necessary for statutory public consultation will be made available before a final decision is made on any significant service changes.
Ms Lynne : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what replies she has received to the questions she posed to chairmen of purchasing health authorities concerning wide consultation and the provision of health care ; and if she will list the replies she has received according to district.
Mr. Sackville : The terms of appointment of the members of the independent scientific committee on smoking and health expired at the end of 1991. In the light of the strategy for health then being developed, and the fact that some of the functions of the committee had been superseded by the adoption of European Community directives on tar yield of cigarettes and the labelling of tobacco products, it was decided to review the range of scientific advice required on smoking issues. As a result of that assessment, a new scientific committee on tobacco and health was announced on 7 February 1994.
Membership--Scientific Committee on Smoking and Health-- Chairman Professor David Poswillo, CBE DDS DSc MDhc FRC Path
Formerly Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery,
Guy's Hospital, London
Professor Richard Carter, MA DM DSc FRCPath
Department of Histopathology,
Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton, Surrey
Dr. Godfrey Fowler, OBE BM FRCGP DCH DRCOG
Clinical Reader in General Practice and Honorary Director, Imperial Cancer Research Fund General Practice Research Group, Department of Public Health and Primary Care,
University of Oxford
Professor Roger Greenhalgh, MA MD MChir FRCS
Department of Surgery,
Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, London
Dr. Marion Hall, MD FRCOG
Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist,
Aberdeen Royal Hospitals,
Aberdeen Maternity Hospital
Mr. Martin Jarvis, MPhil
Imperial Cancer Research Fund Health Behaviour Unit,
National Addiction Centre,
Maudsley Hospital, London
Dr. Aidan Macfarlane, FRCP
Consultant Community Paediatrician,
Consultant in Public Health Medicine,
Clinical Lecturer in Paediatrics,
Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford
Professor David Marks, BSc PhD CPsychol FBPsS
Director of Health Research Centre,
Faculty of Social Science,
Professor Anthony Newman-Taylor, OBE FRCP FFOM
Royal Brompton National Heart and Lung Hospital,
Professor Richard Peto, FRS
Clinical Trial Service Unit and ICRF Cancer Studies Unit, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford
Professor Nicholas Wald, MBBS DSc FRCP FFPHM FRCOG
Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine,
Department of Environmental and Preventive Medicine,
St. Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College, London
Dr. Eileen D. Rubery MB ChB PhD FRCR MRCPath
Head of Health Promotion (Medical) Division,
Department of Health, London