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Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated relating to the side effects of chlorpromazine. [134395]

Ms Stuart: The Medicines Control Agency (MCA) and the expert advisory committee, the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM), have evaluated adverse reactions associated with chlorpromazine including involuntary movement disorders, abnormalities of the blood, sedation, muscle rigidity and the sensitivity of patients with underlying dementia to side effects. The MCA/CSM published advice on these reactions in the bulletin

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"Current Problems in Pharmacovigilance", which is received by all registered medical practitioners, in April 1979 September 1986, November 1993, November 1994, November 1995 and March 1996.

The MCA continuously monitors the safety of chlorpromazine, as with all medicines, from the United Kingdom spontaneous reporting scheme (the Yellow Card Scheme), and other sources including the published medical literature. A recently published study 1 suggesting an increased risk of first-time idiopathic venous thromboembolism in current users of antipsychotics including chlorpromazine compared with non-users, is currently under evaluation.

The Department has also funded research to the value of £1.4 million into antipsychotic drugs, including chlorpromazine. One project is a multi-centre randomised controlled trial in severe schizophrenia. This will compare conventional anti-psychotics with newer agents to assess relative effectiveness and differences in quality of life. A second project is a systematic review of comparative studies of depot and oral antipsychotics: quality of life, patient satisfaction and adverse effects will be among the outcomes studied.

Doctors (Overseas Recruitment)

Sir Nicholas Lyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is his policy in relation to the recruitment of doctors from abroad; to what extent he proposes to seek to recruit consultants from abroad; whether the established regulations for the appointment of consultant will apply; and what financial incentives will be offered to such recruits from abroad to accept posts within the National Health Service. [135084]

Mr. Denham: International recruitment has made a valuable contribution to the National Health Service throughout its history, and is a two-way process in view of the increasing globalisation of the world's medical work force.

In the short term, until we benefit from the increased investment in training, we will be increasing the recruitment of trained doctors from abroad. The consultant appointment regulations will apply to all appointments to that grade.

The reward package offered to doctors from abroad will be consistent with that offered to United Kingdom trained doctors.

NHS Services (Complaints)

Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many complaints have been made about NHS services from residents of the Borough of Kingston upon Thames in each year from 1992 to 2000. [135779]

Ms Stuart: Information on complaints about the National Health Service is not collated in the format requested. Data are compiled by the health authority or NHS trust rather than by complainant's district of residence. Information on written complaints in England is published in, "Handling Complaints: Monitoring the NHS Complaints Procedures", copies of which are

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available in the Library. The latest figures are for 1998-99. The data held prior to 1996-97 are not directly comparable.

NHS General Practitioners

Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many practising NHS GPs there were per head of population in each constituency in each year between 1987 and 1999; [135782]

Mr. Denham: Statistics collected in the Department are largely by health authority, local authority or National Health Service trust, reflecting local lines of responsibility and accountability. The Department publishes a wide range of detail at these levels. Comprehensive information at constituency level could be collected and published only at disproportionate cost.

Unrestricted Principals and Equivalents (UPEs)(1) per 10,000, patients of UPEs and residential population(2) by health authority--1996 to 1998(3)

UPEs per 10,000 popAverage list size

(1) UPEs include Unrestricted Principals, PMS Contracted GPs and PMS Salaried GPs

(2) ONS mid year population estimates

(3) General Medical Practitioner data as at 1 October each year

(4) Comparative detailed data is not available before 1996


1. Based on ONS mid year population estimates

2. Based on patients of UPEs

3. Health authority level data is available in the annual "General and Personal Medical Services Statistics"


Department of Health General & Personal Medical Services Statistics & ONS population census

Larval Therapy

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which conventional treatments have been tested in the West Cumberland hospital study comparing larval therapy to modern conventional therapy; what conclusions the study has reached concerning the cost efficiency of (a) conventional treatment and (b) larval therapy; and if he will make a statement. [135812]

Mr. Denham: The conventional treatment tested in the West Cumberland Hospital study comparing larval therapy to modern conventional therapy was standard Hydrogel dressings (Intrasite gel: Smith and Nephew Medical Ltd.). The study found that the median cost of the cases using conventional treatment was £136.23 whereas the median cost of the cases using larval therapy was £78.64.

NHS Staff

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans the Government have to improve working conditions and morale of staff of the NHS; and if he will make a statement. [135703]

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Mr. Denham: We are committed to improving the working conditions and moral of staff in the National Health Service by becoming a better employer. We recognise that a well motivated work force, able to manage a healthy work-life balance and fairly rewarded, will provide a better service to patients. For the last two years pay awards recommended by the independent review bodies have been implemented in full. Since 1997 nurses have had a 15 per cent. pay rise.

On 4 October, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State published the human resources performance framework which will measure for the first time the way in which NHS employers treat their staff, and which will link their performance to the resources they receive. An integral part of the framework is the new improving working lives standard. This introduces a kite-marking system for NHS employers to demonstrate how they are improving the working lives of all their staff. By April 2003, all NHS employers are expected to be accredited as putting the IWL standard into practice.

In September this year each NHS trust received £25,000 to improve the working environment for staff. A further £30 million has been allocated to expand child care provisions so that by 2004 there will be provision for around 100 on-site nurseries. An additional £6 million in 2001-02, rising to £8 million in 2003-04, is being invested to extend occupational health services for staff in the NHS. An extra £140 million is being invested by 2003-04 in personal development and training, to provide access to learning for all NHS staff. There were 10,000 more nurses in September 1999 than in September 1997, indicating that moral is improving.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will introduce the market forces supplement for NHS staff; and how it will be allocated. [135844]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 1 November 2000]: The National Health Service Plan set out our plans to invest in staff working in the National Health Service. This includes the introduction of a new market forces supplement to top up the pay of staff in areas where there are labour market shortages. We will be publishing our proposals in due course.

Down's Syndrome

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on access to NHS services by people with Down's syndrome. [135885]

Mr. Hutton: The National Health Service Plan makes clear our commitment to challenging discrimination in the NHS on any grounds, including disability. Anyone who has a learning disability, including everyone who has Down's syndrome, has the same rights of access to NHS services to NHS services as everyone else. This fundamental principle will be re-inforced in our learning disability strategy which is to be published as a White Paper in the early months of next year.

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