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Mr. Borrow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations his Department has received on the regulations governing the provision of pharmacies; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Stuart: The Department regularly receives representations and suggestions from individuals and organisations about the regulations which govern the provision of National Health Service pharmaceutical services.
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Government's target of reducing admissions to hospitals of people suffering from asthma on the health of asthma sufferers; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Denham: The total number of hospital admissions where asthma was the cause has declined over the last seven years. In 1993-94 a total of 92,820 episodes were recorded for asthma, compared with 69,824 admissions in 1998-99. This reduction has taken place during a period when the total number of emergency admissions for other conditions has continued to increase.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the surplus or deficit in the (a) Suffolk health authority and (b) West Suffolk NHS Trust for health care in each of the financial years (i) 1997-98, (ii) 1998-99 and (iii) 1999-2000. 
|Financial year||Suffolk health authority||West Suffolk Hospitals National Health Service Trust|
|1997-98||178,000 (deficit)||32,000 (deficit)|
|1998-99||964,000 (deficit)||28,000 (surplus)|
|1999-2000||Information will be available when the audited annual accounts are received in the autumn|
Suffolk Health Authority Accounts 1997-98 and 1998-99
West Suffolk Hospitals National Health Service trust summarisation schedules 1997-98 and 1998-99
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which district health authorities prescribe clozapine for schizophrenia; and how many schizophrenics receive the drug, broken down by health authority, in the United Kingdom. 
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 17 July 2000]: The list shows the health authorities in England where clozapine was prescribed by general practitioners and dispensed in the community in 1999. We do not hold equivalent information for hospitals.
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Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he has agreed to the release of conventionally financed capital expenditure to prepare the way for the Newcastle Hospitals Trust Private Finance Initiative scheme. 
Mr. Denham [holding answer 17 July 2000]: The consultation draft of a business case relating to the enabling works was received by the National Health Service Executive on 3 July 2000 and is now under assessment alongside the business cases for the later private finance initiative schemes. The National Health Service Executive needs to undertake a full and proper review of the documents in accordance with established procedure to ensure that appropriate approval standards are met. I cannot of course pre-determine the outcome of that review.
The National Health Service Executive has consistently reported its strong support for this scheme, most notably during the approval of the original strategic outline case during 1998, and when the strategic outline case needed approval reconfirmed in 1999 following the increase in the capital cost of the scheme. The National Health Service Executive is well aware of the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals National Health Service Trust's recommendation publicly to fund elements of this scheme, and its justification for that approach. However, final confirmation of public funding will be determined following the assessment of the business cases, and taking into consideration the relative priority of all bids upon the capital programme.
The National Health Service Executive is in dialogue with the trust and the Newcastle and North Tyneside health authority on this scheme, and a great deal of work is being undertaken to bring this phase of the process to a conclusion as soon as possible.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the average waiting time was for children requiring tests to determine whether they suffer from nut allergies in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) how many children are waiting to be tested to determine whether they suffer from nut allergies; and if he will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 17 July 2000]: Patients who are suspected of having a nut allergy are normally referred to a clinical immunology and allergy clinic. The outpatient waiting times data do not differentiate between reasons for referral nor between adults and children. During the year 1999-2000 there were 4,304 referrals from general practitioners and 965 from other sources. At the time of their first outpatient attendance 1,923 patients had waited less than 13 weeks; 1,069 patients waited between 13 and 25 weeks; and 508 patients waited more than 26 weeks.
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Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many children were diagnosed with (a) asthma, (b) nut allergies and (c) other allergies in (i) the UK, (ii) Teesside Region and (iii) the constituency of Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East in each year from 1990 to 2000; and if he will make a statement; 
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 17 July 2000]: Data are not collected centrally to show the number of people who are tested and diagnosed with an allergy. Patients with suspected allergies are often referred to clinical immunology and allergy outpatient clinics where they are tested for allergy. The figures indicate the number of patients attending a clinic in England for the first time.
DH form KH09
These figures do not show all allergy testing as some takes place in other specialities or in primary care. Age groups are not specified. Clinical Immunology and Allergy was only recognised as a medical speciality in June last year. Consequently, detailed statistical information for allergy is only now being collated and is not yet available.Key health statistics for general practice database published in 1996, demonstrated the incidence of diagnosed asthma in children aged 0-15 years per 10,000 population.
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