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Drug-related Incidents (Weekends)

Mr. Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what data his Department collates on the number of people currently treated on average on (a) Friday and (b) Saturday nights at accident and emergency units for (i) ecstasy, (ii) cocaine and (iii) heroin-related incidents; [20354]

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Mr. Burns: The Department of Health does not collect information by day of the week on drug-related incidents in accident and emergency units, but anecdotal evidence from a number of hospitals suggests that incidents related to the drug known as ecstasy are common at weekends. It is not possible, because of its clandestine nature, to determine accurately the level of ecstary misuse, but surveys suggest that about 1 per cent. of 16 to 29-year-olds take the drug on a regular basis.

Information on the number of patients treated for ecstasy-related health problems is not collected.

The Department of Health has commissioned a literature review to evaluate existing research on both the short-term side effects and long-term health risks of taking ecstasy and has received advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs on these issues, which was the subject of a question tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Colchester, North (Mr. Jenkin) on 28 February 1997, Official Report, columns 441-42. The Department of Health is considering, in the light of this work, what further research may be necessary on the health risks of this drug.

Figures for the number of deaths from ecstasy in 1996 are not yet available, but there were 10 deaths in 1994 attributed solely to the misuse of ecstasy.

Oral Contraceptives

Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will require the Medicines Commission to review the operation of the Committee on Safety of Medicines in October 1995; [20481]

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Mr. Malone: The hon. Member, and the hon. Member for Gordon (Mr. Bruce) have already pursued these matters in great detail. I refer the hon. Member to the statement to the House by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health on 23 October 1995 at columns 701-10 and to the replies I gave on 12 June 1996 at columns 250-71, 7 November 1995 at columns 679-80, 11 December 1995 at columns 522-23, 19 December 1995 at columns 1148-50 and 1152-54, 8 February 1996 at columns 343-48, 7 March 1996 at column 321, 14 March 1996 at column 752, 21 March 1996 at columns 317-18, 25 March 1996 at column 428, 28 March 1996 at column 748, 1 April 1996 at column 53, 2 April 1996 at columns 184-86, 24 April 1996 at columns 172-74, 25 April 1996 at column 281, 30 April 1996 at columns 497-99, 9 May 1996 at columns 243-44, 10 May 1996 at columns 280-82, 5 June 1996 at columns 447-49, 13 June 1996 at columns 245-247, 17 June 1996 at column 358, 20 June 1996 at columns 570-71, 21 June 1996 at columns 667-68.

Blister Packs

Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health in what ways British standards covering the strength of blister packs for pharmaceutical products differ from those applying in other European Union countries. [20541]

Mr. Malone: The information requested is not available centrally.

Medical Personnel (Voluntary Work Overseas)

Mr. Orme: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made since the NHS executive letter of 28 June 1995 in facilitating the release of medical personnel for voluntary work overseas, with special reference to Medical Emergency Relief International; what new proposals he has to facilitate their release; and if he will make a statement. [19610]

Mr. Malone: Executive letter (95)69 makes plain that decisions on whether to release staff to work overseas are matters for local national health service employers. I understand that a number of trusts have made

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agreements with Voluntary Services Overseas about releasing health professionals to work in developing countries.

Treatment Costs

Sir David Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the average cost per patient treated in each NHS trust in England. [19718]

Mr. Horam: The information available, in the form of average cost per finished consultant episode, has been placed in the Library.

Health Service Chairmen (West Yorkshire)

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the chairman of each NHS trust and health authority in west Yorkshire; when each was appointed; and when their current period of office comes to an end.[20108]

Mr. Malone: The information requested is listed in the table.

Health authorityChairmanAppointed fromAppointed to
BradfordZahida Manzoor1 April 199631 March 1998
Calderdale and KirkleesAllan Templeton1 April 199631 March 2000
LeedsClive Leach1 April 199631 March 2000
WakefieldAnne Bolter1 April 199631 March 2000

NHS trustChairmanAppointed fromAppointed to
AiredalePeter Bell1 December 199330 November 1997
Bradford Community HealthJohn Watson2 December 199630 November 2000
Bradford HospitalsLinda Pollard15 July 199631 October 1999
Calderdale HealthcareIan Hughes15 July 199631 October 1999
Dewsbury HealthcareJohn Hemingway1 November 199531 October 1999
Huddersfield HealthcareGarrick Graham1 November 199431 October 1998
Leeds Community and Mental Health ServicesBill Kilgallon1 November 199431 October 1998
Pinderfields Hospitals(33)Vacancy
Pontefract Hospitals(33)Christine Searby1 November 199631 October 1997
St. James's and Seacroft University HospitalTony Hughes1 April 199530 November 1998
United Leeds Teaching HospitalsDavid Hall1 April 199530 November 1998
Wakefield and Pontefract Community HealthRoy Widdowson1 November 199631 October 2000
West Yorkshire Metropolitan AmbulanceAlan Titterington1 November 199631 October 1998

(33) Applications are currently being considered for the chairmanship of the merged Pinderfields and Pontefract Hospitals trust.

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Ambulance Trusts

Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) emergency vehicles and (b) vehicles for non-emergency services were in service with each NHS ambulance trust in each of the last three years. [20128]

Mr. Horam: The information requested is not collected centrally. The second report of the Health Committee in Session 1994-95, copies of which are available in the Library, provides some information about the number of emergency ambulances in service at that time.

Mr. Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many vehicles and of what type are (i) owned and (ii) leased by each NHS ambulance trust; and, for each type, how many are (a) less than one year old, (b) between one and three years old, (c) between four and seven years old and (d) eight or more years old. [20129]

Mr. Horam: The information requested is not available centrally.

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