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Cancer Services

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many cancer units and cancer centres fully comply with the Calman-Hine cancer guidelines; [121643]

Yvette Cooper: The Calman/Hine report, "A Policy Framework for Cancer Care Services", recommended that networks of care should be developed encompassing primary care, cancer units and cancer centres. The report provided a broad framework for the development of cancer units and cancer centres, but it did not set explicit standards for their development. Early implementation of the Calman/Hine recommendations reflected the different starting points across the country and allowed an evaluation of services to fit local needs.

Regional cancer co-ordinators from six of the eight health regions have identified cancer networks based on geographical patches shown in the table.

Northern and Yorkshire
Northern Cancer Network
Cancer Care Alliance (Teesside)
Yorkshire Cancer Network
East Riding Cancer Services

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Norfolk and Waverney
Mid Anglia
Mount Vernon
South West
Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire
3 Counties Cancer Centre
The Peninsula
South East
Kent Cancer Network
South Solent Cancer Network
Sussex Cancer Network
4 Counties Cancer Network
Guildford Cancer Network
North East London
North Central London
North West London
South East London
South West London
North Trent Network
Mid Trent Network
South Derbyshire Cancer Centre
Leicestershire Cancer Centre.

In the North West Region three zones have been identified

North West
Greater Manchester
Merseyside and Cheshire
Lancashire and South Cumbria.

In West Midlands a somewhat different approach has been adopted, based on tumour-specific networks.

Regions have also adopted different approaches to the designation of cancer centres and cancer units, with joint cancer centres (encompassing two or more trusts) being designated in some regions.

The following hospital and trusts provide radiotherapy facilities:

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The National Cancer Director and regional offices are working with the National Health Service to develop this model on a more consistent basis, in line with best care set out in evidence based guidance. We intend to consult shortly on national standards for cancer which will permit a consistent approach to evaluation of cancer services.

Parkinson's Disease

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if implant surgery for people with Parkinson's Disease is available throughout the country; and what the waiting times for such surgery are in each health authority area. [120642]

Mr. Denham: Patients in England with severe Parkinson's disease are usually under the care of neurologists. If, in their neurologist's opinion, neurosurgery may improve their disease then they can refer to specialist neurosurgical centres dealing with Parkinson's disease.

There are at least eight centres in England carrying out implant surgery and a further eight at least doing neurosurgery for Parkinson's disease.

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Implant surgery for Parkinson's disease is complex and highly specialist and relatively new. It should be noted that the relative merits of implants in Parkinson's disease compared to drugs or more conventional surgery have not been thoroughly tested as yet. There are therefore sound reasons for limiting the number of centres where this service can be accessed until such time as its effectiveness is fully established.

Officials are currently working with health authorities to develop the most appropriate commissioning framework for this service.

Waiting times are as follows. As this is a rare operation not all health authorities have patients waiting.

Waiting time statistics from Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) are not the same as the published waiting list statistics. HES provides counts and waiting times for all patients admitted to hospital within a given period whereas the published waiting list statistics count those waiting for treatment at a given point in time and how long they have been on the waiting list. Also, HES calculates the waiting time as the difference between the admission and the decision to admit dates. Unlike published waiting list statistics, this is not adjusted for self-deferrals or periods of medical/social suspension.

Finished consultant episodes where the main diagnosis was Parkinson's disease and the main operation was implant of neurostimulator into brain (3), by waiting time (days) and health authority of residence--NHS hospitals England 1998-99

Days patients waited
Health authority1-9192-182183-365
QAA Bexley and Greenwich110
QAJ Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth100
QAW East London and the City100
QCA East Norfolk100
QCF Suffolk101
QCG Barnsley100
QCK Doncaster100
QCL Leicestershire020
QCW South Cheshire010
QD1 North and Mid Hampshire100
QD2 Portsmouth and South East Hampshire010
QD5 Somerset101
QD6 South and West Devon100
QD8 Avon100
QD9 Birmingham010
QDK North Cumbria100
QDL South Humber100
QEF Shropshire110
QEJ South Staffordshire100
QEN Worcestershire210
Not known001

(3) A09.1 Implantation of neurostimulator into the brain


Hospital Episode Statistics 1998-99 (the latest full year available)


EU Contract Compliance

Mr. Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what Government department is responsible for assessing the tendering of contracts within each European member country to ensure that each Government complies with EU law. [121620]

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Mr. Andrew Smith: It is the European Commission which monitors the tendering of public contracts in the European Union. Where appropriate, the Commission enforces compliance through proceedings against the member state in the European Court of Justice. Firms harmed by a breach of EC law can also seek remedies under national review systems which member states are required to establish. The Department of Trade and Industry's "Action Single Market" can assist UK firms who meet problems in other member states.

Insurance Industry (Gender Discrimination)

Mr. Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his policy on permitting discrimination between consumers by the insurance industry on the grounds of gender. [121510]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Government's view is that insurers can best service their customers by pricing policies selectively and competitively on the basis of an informed actuarial assessment of risk.

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