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Diabetes (Prescriptions)

Mr. Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what is the average cost per week of prescriptions for sufferers from diabetes; [73317]

Mr. Denham: In 1997 the net ingredient cost of drugs used in the treatment of diabetes and dispensed in the community in England was £142.6 million, an average of £2.7 million a week. The net ingredient cost is the basic cost of a drug and does not take account of discounts, dispensing costs, fees or any prescription charge income.

Diabetes sufferers are eligible for free prescriptions, except where treatment is by diet alone, as diabetes was identified in 1968 as one of a number of readily identifiable, permanent, life long conditions requiring regular or extensive medication.

Speech Therapists (Cumbria)

Mr. Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of speech therapists required in Cumbria; and how many were in post at the latest available date. [73480]

Mr. Denham: North Cumbria Health Authority has agreed with local National Health Service trusts and Cumbria Education Authority that the number of speech and language therapists should be increased by four. Recruitment to these posts is currently underway.

22 whole-time equivalent staff classed as therapists working in the speech and language therapy area of work were in post in North Cumbria on 30 September 1997.

    Department of Health Annual Non-Medical Workforce Census.

Health Services Accreditation

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to maintain the work and methodology of Health Services Accreditation for use by the NHS. [73894]

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Mr. Denham: The health authorities which sponsor the work of Health Services Accreditation will be discussing with a range of interested parties including the National Health Service Executive how the work and methodologies of that body might be of use to the NHS in the future.

Dental Services

Jackie Ballard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of dental contract holders in each health authority area have had (a) an increase in the number of registrations and (b) a decrease in the number of registrations in the most recent year for which figures are available. [74262]

Mr. Denham: Information on the percentage of dental contract holders having a National Health Service list which increased or decreased between January 1998 and January 1999 (the latest date for which information is available) has been placed in the Library. The percentage increases and decreases may not add to 100 because some dentists will have an unchanged list size. The comparisons are for dentists with contracts open at both January 1998 and January 1999 and exclude dentists with no registrations on both dates. Dentists with contracts in several health authorities are counted in each health authority in which they have a contract but only once in the England total. The comparisons between January 1998 and January 1999 are affected by the reduction in the registration period to 15 months.

Jackie Ballard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what is the average length of time taken to process grant applications under the Investing in Dentistry Scheme; [74260]

Mr. Denham: Each investing in dentistry funding request is dealt with as quickly as possible. The time taken to process a grant application depends on many factors, including the number of proposals received, the complexity of the request, and whether further information is required before a decision can be made.

To date, just over £7.5 million of investing in dentistry grants have been approved to enable over 600,000 patients to register with an National Health Service dentist, giving rise to treatment costs estimated to be around £2.5 million in 1998-99.

Tavistock Institute Research

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the NFM Tavistock Institute research project on mediation in public law and social services departments. [74680]

Mr. Hutton: In 1995 the Department funded a pilot project on child protection mediation. The report highlighted the advantages of effective dispute resolution as well as the difficulties of ensuring full inter-agency co-operation. The small number of cases involved suggest that further developmental work will be needed if advance dispute resolution is to make a major contribution in the handling of public law cases.

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Mr. Sawford: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many injuries resulting from accidents involving fireworks were reported in Great Britain for each year from 1990 to 1997, broken down by hospital casualty unit. [74635]

Dr. Howells: I have been asked to reply.

The DTI's annual census of fireworks injuries is conducted over a four week period taking in the run-up to 5 November and a few days afterwards. Details of injuries recorded at each NHS Trust are available only for the years 1996 and 1997. Information for the years 1992 to 1995 is recorded by regional and district health authorities but no information on a regional basis is recorded for 1991. Copies of the annual reports of firework injuries for each of these years were placed in the Library as soon as they were published. A breakdown of the injuries recorded by each A&E unit for the years 1992 to 1995 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

No reliable estimates of fireworks injuries outside the census period can be made because the numbers are too small to be extrapolated from data in the Home Accident Surveillance System.


Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list by region the appointments he has made since his appointment; and if he will list the known political affiliations of appointees. [75027]

Mr. Denham: Information on the political activity of those appointed to National Health Service boards is contained in the Department of Health's Public Appointments Annual Report. This Report is currently being prepared for all those in post at 1 March 1999 and will be published in June. Copies of last year's report, giving details of all those appointed at 1 March 1998, are available in the Library.

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the NHS trust and health authority appointments which were not made by the due date; and which remained outstanding on 1 March. [74833]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 5 March 1999]: The information requested is shown in the table.

List of Health Authority and National Health Service Trust Appointments which expired in 1998 and for which no appointment had been made by 1 March 1999

Region/bodyNumber of ChairsNumber of non- Executives
Essex Rivers Healthcare NHS Trust01
Horizon NHS Trust01
North West
Chester and Halton Community NHS Trust12
Christie Hospital NHS Trust12
Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology NHS Trust12
Liverpool Women's Hospital NHS Trust01
Manchester Health Authority01
Mancunian Community Health NHS Trust01
Tameside and Glossop Community and Priority Services NHS Trust01
Warrington Community NHS Trust02
Wirral Hospital NHS Trust01
Northern and Yorkshire
Calderdale and Kirklees Health Authority01
BHB Community Healthcare NHS Trust01
City and Hackney Community Services NHS Trust02
Croydon Community Health NHS Trust01
Enfield Community Care NHS Trust01
Hillingdon Hospital NHS Trust02
Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Trust01
North Middlesex Hospital NHS Trust01
Pathfinder Mental Health Services NHS Trust01
Central Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust01
Grantham and District Hospital NHS Trust01
South East
East Surrey Health Authority02
South West
Bath Mental Healthcare NHS Trust01
Gloucestershire Ambulance Service NHS Trust01
Gloucestershire Royal NHS Trust10
Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust01
West Midlands
Birmingham Heartlands and Solihull (Teaching) Hospitals NHS Trust01
Walsall Community Health NHS Trust01

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Human Vaccines (Bovine Material)

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how those human vaccines which contained bovine material prohibited for use in the human food chain were disposed of when a ban was introduced on the use of those vaccines; [75095]

Ms Jowell: Vaccines licensed for use in the United Kingdom do not contain, in the finished product, bovine materials prohibited for use in the human food chain. However, bovine material is used in the early stage of manufacture of some vaccines which are subject to rigorously controlled purification processes.

In March 1989, the Committee of the Safety of Medicines issued guidelines regarding the controls on the sourcing of bovine material used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals. These were superseded by 'Guidelines for Minimising the Risk of Transmitting Agents causing Spongiform Encephalopathies via Medicinal Products' from the Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products in 1992. The guidelines have been updated to reflect developments in scientific knowledge and require animal-derived materials to be sourced from countries with no reported cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

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