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Mr. Brake: I thank the Minister for giving way and, given the time, she may have to respond in writing to the questions that I want to ask. First, will she clarify whether the voluntary arrangement about reporting incidents requires patients' consent? Will personal details be stripped out of the information, so that an accurate picture can be built up about the problems associated with certain products?

Secondly, when will the Department complete the study using the register, and what will be its terms of reference?

Ms Stuart: I can tell the hon. Gentleman that the Royal College of Surgeons is reviewing the data consent form to ensure increased compliance. The terms of reference for the research based on that data have been framed to accommodate the fact that immunological data must be acquired over a period of 10 years.

I turn now to information available on the Department's website. The internet is a powerful tool, but it carries much unreliable information. The Department's website ensures that women have access to reliable information.

Finally, I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the Government's financial commitment to this matter is not inconsiderable. Since April 1997, we have spent in excess of £800,000 on the monitoring programme. That covers £450,000 for MDA staff time, £250,000 for the IRG, and £100,000 for the national breast implant registry.

The Government are determined that women should have access to reliable information, and to continue to research and monitor an issue that causes a lot of concern to women. Some of that concern may be unnecessary.

Question put and agreed to.

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