Previous Section Home Page

Column 206




Equatorial Guinea
















Korea (North)












Column 207










Sao Tome e Principe

Saudi Arabia


Sierra Leone


Sri Lanka
















The territories formerly comprising the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia, excluding Croatia and Slovenia


Administration and Policy Formulation

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how much money was spent on central administration and policy formulation by his Department in 1993 94; what are the projections for (a) 1994 95 and (b) 1995 96; and if he will make a statement.      [14239]

Mr. John M. Taylor: Details of my Department's running costs and administrative spending for the years 1989 90 to 1997 98 are contained in table 4 of my Department's annual report, Cm 2809, copies of which are available in the Members' Library.


Birth Defects

Mr. Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what studies her Department has made of the side-effects of chorion villus sampling for Down's syndrome; and if she will take steps to ensure that all prospective parents are provided with information on the possibility of abnormalities resulting from the tests;      [14455] (2) how many CVS tests were provided under the NHS in each of the past five years and at what cost; and if she will list the manufacturers of these tests.      [14457]

Column 208

Mr. Sackville: The results of a major Government-funded Medical Research Council clinical trial conducted in a number of international centres and examining the use of chorion villus sampling were published in 1991 and the findings published in The Lancet , copies of which are available in the Library. This also highlighted the possibility of a risk of limb reduction deformities associated with the procedure. Health professionals involved in conducting CVS would be aware of these findings and therefore in a position to advise parents of the potential risks involved, including that of miscarriage.

Information is not available centrally about the number or cost of the tests. The procedure involves tests undertaken usually in national health service laboratories, on placental tissue taken from the woman by CVS. There are therefore no manufacturers of these tests.

Medical Research Council European Trial of Chorion Villus Sampling, The Lancet , vol 337: 1491 1499, 22 June 1991.

Mr. Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children with Down's syndrome were born in each of the past 10 years.      [14456]

Mr. Sackville: This information is shown in the table.

Notification of babies  

born with Downs         

Syndrome in England and 

Wales, 1984-1993        

Year    |Numbers        


1984    |505            

1985    |442            

1986    |445            

1987    |459            

1988    |428            

1989    |487            

1990    |415            

1991    |440            

1992    |394            

1993    |311            

Data were obtained from the national congenital malformation notification scheme. For the years given, the data were collected for live and stillbirths where the malformation was identified at or within 10 days of birth.

Independent Living

Mr. Alan Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the Government will continue to identify an element for support of independent living within the revenue support grant for local authorities from 1996 97; and if she will make a statement.      [15053]

Mr. Bowis: Currently, an element of the special transitional grant for community care is identified as relating to the former independent living fund. It is not separately ring-fenced and local authorities are free to use it for any community care service. Whether former independent living fund resources will continue to be separately identified after the special transitional grant ends has not yet been determined.


Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will encourage and fund research into the therapeutic use of cannabis with double blind trials designed to established the efficacy or otherwise of this form of treatment.      [15069]

Column 209

Mr. Bowis: The main agency through which the Government support medical and related biological research is the Medical Research Council, which receives its grant in aid from the office of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. It is always willing to consider scientifically sound proposals. As for any other unlicensed product, a sponsor seeking a product licence for cannabis would need to present supporting data to the Medicines Control Agency, which would evaluate any application made to it in the normal way.

Nursing Homes

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the adequacy of the provision of nursing homes for poor elderly people; and what information she has on the equivalent provision in each of the other European Union states.      [14914]

Mr. Bowis: Matters of quality and quantity of local nursing homes, irrespective of the income levels of residents, are for local commissioning authorities. We do not hold information on nursing homes in other European countries centrally.

Prescription Charges

Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has for granting prescription charge exemptions to people with splenectomies who require prophylactic doses of penicillin.      [15372]

Mr. Malone: None.

General Practitioner Trainees

Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many applicants there were per GP trainee post (a) nationally, (b) regionally and (c) broken down by each FHSA in the current year and for each of the last 10 years.      [15364]

Mr. Malone: This information is not available centrally.


Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action her Department is taking to reduce levels of cigarette smoking among people on low incomes.      [15380]

Mr. Sackville: The White Paper "The Health of the Nation" sets a target of 20 per cent. for adults smoking by the year 2000. In view of their higher smoking rates, it is clearly essential to reach people on low incomes if this is to be achieved.

This will be done through the comprehensive programme set out in the White Paper and the action plan "Smoke Free for Health" including health education, action on price, advice from general practitioners and other health professionals and proper controls on advertising and promotion.

Copies of both documents are available in the Library.

Column 210

Consultation on Changes to Health Services

Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to reduce the requirement on health boards for formal consultation when major changes to health services are planned.      [15362]

Mr. Malone: None.

Sight Tests

Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects consultations with representatives of the Association of Optometrists on the GOS sight test fee for 1995 96 to begin.      [15873]

Mr. Malone: Consultations on the 1995 96 national health service sight test fee will begin shortly with the Optometric Fees Review Committee, which represents the optometric profession.

Births, Marriages and Deaths

Mr. John Fraser: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what response she intends to make to the representations to her from the London borough of Lambeth in relation to the reform of the system for registering births, marriages and deaths.      [15137]

Mr. Sackville: The London borough of Lambeth has been advised that the Government intend to introduce legislation to implement the proposals in the White Paper entitled "Registration: proposals for change", Cm 939, when parliamentary time allows.

Emergency Services, Carshalton and Wallington

Mr. Forman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the provision of accident and emergency services at hospitals serving the constituency of Carshalton and Wallington.      [15268]

Mr. Sackville: Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth health authority is responsible for purchasing accident and emergency services for Carshalton and Wallington residents. My hon. Friend may wish to contact Mr. Harry Cowd, chairman of the health authority, for details.

Complaints Procedures

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to publish her response of the Wilson report on patients' complaints.      [15829]

Mr. Malone: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health published today the Department of Health's response to the report of the review committee on the national health service complaints procedures, chaired by Professor Wilson, vice-chancellor of Leeds university, in a document "Acting on Complaints". Copies of this document will be placed in the Library.

Measles Rubella Immunisation Campaign

Mr. Thurnham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what level of immunisation coverage has been achieved by the measles rubella campaign; and what impact this has had on the number of cases of measles.      [15853]

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley: Very high immunisation coverage has been achieved by the campaign so far, and efforts are still being made to reach those children who have not yet been immunised. Coverage in England is 92

Next Section

  Home Page