|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
17 Jul 2000 : Column: 77W
Mrs. Roe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will reply to the letters dated 7 April, 10 May, 8 June and 6 July from the hon. Member for Broxbourne relating to Miss Sue Burr, a paediatric nurse adviser at the Royal College of Nursing. 
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the answer of 6 July 2000, Official Report, column 283W, on Source Informatics, for what reasons it was not in the public interest to pursue the case against Source Informatics. 
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the shortfall in the number of local authority psychotherapists by authority; what proposals he has to increase the number of psychotherapists; and what estimate he has made of the cost to local authorities in each of the last five years of employing psychotherapists in private practice. 
Mr. Hutton: Separate figures for the number of specialised psychotherapists employed in health and local authorities are not collected centrally and no estimate has been made of the cost of employing the skills of psychotherapists working in private practice.
We have given a high priority to improving service quality in general in the National Health Service and social care services and to strengthening the work force. The National Service Framework set out how effective psychotherapy forms an important component of mental health care and treatment. The Workforce Action Team under the chairmanship of Sue Hunt is taking forward what education and training of staff is required to deliver the standards set out in the National Service Framework for Mental Health.
The Workforce Action Team will focus not only on specialised psychotherapists but also those professionals with training and responsibility to deliver effective psychotherapies as a component of their role in health and social care.
Mr. Denham: Since 1 April 1999 patients are always treated under service agreements. Emergencies and other situations which preclude the use of specific pre-arranged service agreements are covered by arrangements termed Out of Area Treatments (OATs).
17 Jul 2000 : Column: 78W
The Patients Charter states that patients have a right to be referred to a consultant who is acceptable to them when their general practitioner thinks it is necessary, and to be referred for a second opinion if the patient and GP agree it is desirable. The OATs arrangements do not alter this.
Mr. Hutton: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence is currently developing a guideline on the treatment of early schizophrenia, which will include an evaluation of the use of clozapine and other atypical anti-psychotics.
Ms Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of Creutzfeldt Jakob disease have occurred in Leicestershire; if this represents an unexpectedly high rate of disease incidence; and if he will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: We are currently aware of four confirmed cases and one probable case of variant Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (vCJD) having occurred in Leicestershire. This compares with 75 known confirmed and probable cases of vCJD throughout the United Kingdom. Statistical experts advise it is unlikely that the higher number of cases in Leicestershire will have occurred by chance.
A locally based investigation is now under way to look into the circumstances of this apparent cluster. To that end, the Department, through its Regional Office of the National Health Service Executive, will be working closely with the Local Health Authority and its Public Health Department as well as with experts from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the National CJD Surveillance Unit, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the Communicable Diseases Surveillance Centre of the Public Health Laboratory Service.
It is important to recognise that the cases we have identified will have been exposed to the infective agent many years ago. Control measures to protect public health from risk of exposure to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy have been in place for many years and progressively strengthened over recent years, and the Government will continue to take whatever steps the experts recommend. The Food Standards Agency stands ready to assist with the investigation as necessary and will in particular wish to be satisfied that no new factor is involved in these cases which requires further action to ensure the safety of food.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what general practitioner prescriptions of (a) tranquillisers and (b) anti-depressants in each health authority in England (i) in total and (ii) as a ratio per 1,000 of resident population of each health authority there were in (A) 1997, (B) 1998 and (C) 1999; and what was their value. 
17 Jul 2000 : Column: 79W
Ms Stuart: A major catering awareness campaign was carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in November 1997. I am advised that officials in the Food Standards Agency have recently met interested parties to explore what more could be done to increase awareness of nut allergies.
Ms Stuart: I am advised by the Food Standards Agency that it has entered into dialogue with representatives of the food industry to consider what can be done to minimise problems of food allergy. Initial discussions have focused on the need to strengthen food labelling rules and to encourage good manufacturing practice.
Ms Stuart: The number of prescription items dispensed in the community in England in 1999 for Epi Pens was 50,300. The associated net ingredient cost was £1,754,900. Information is not available on the numbers used or on the number of items dispensed in hospitals.
Guidance on anaphylaxis and its treatment appears in the British National Formulary (BNF) which is issued twice a year to doctors, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals by the Department. It is a joint publication of the British Medical Association and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. The BNF aims to provide doctors, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals with up to date information about the use of medicines.
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many deaths were associated with volatile substance abuse in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
17 Jul 2000 : Column: 80W
Ms Stuart: Statistics collected by St. George's Hospital Medical School and published on 13 July show that there were 70 deaths in the United Kingdom in 1998 associated with Volatile Substance Abuse (VSA). Deaths in 1998 were less than half the number recorded at their peak in 1990. We take any death associated with VSA very seriously and are committed to continuing action to address this problem.
It is particularly important that young people should know about the dangers of abusing volatile substances. We are supporting a programme that will enable general practitioners and other healthcare professionals to assist teachers in communicating health messages about the dangers of drugs and solvents. Other measures to address this issue include a campaign to inform retailers about the risks of volatile substance abuse, and their responsibilities under the law. The Department is also working with voluntary organisations to develop training packages for professionals working with young people at risk of abusing volatile substances.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|