Previous Section Index Home Page

Wycombe General Hospital

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) on how many days since 1 December 2000 Wycombe General Hospital has been on red alert; [145596]

Ms Stuart: This is day to day management information and, as such, is not collected centrally.

I understand that the medical assessment unit at Wycombe General Hospital did not open until 5 January 2001.

22 Jan 2001 : Column: 433W

Breast Cancer

Mr. Hurst: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average cost to the National Health Service is of a full course of chemotherapy to treat breast cancer. [145599]

Yvette Cooper: No comprehensive national data are currently held on the costs of chemotherapy to treat breast cancer.

It is expected that reference cost data (unit cost data on a range of hospital and community based health services) will include the costs of chemotherapy based around the drug regimens currently in use. The data for the 2000-01 financial year will be available in autumn of 2001.

Mr. Hurst: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average cost is to the National Health Service of a full course of radiotherapy to treat breast cancer following a mastectomy. [145597]

Yvette Cooper: The length and time for a course of radiotherapy can vary dependent on the size and classification of the type of cancer involved. A particularly virulent form of the disease may require a higher dose of a certain type of radiotherapy in a relatively short period of time, while another form may require a lower dose over a longer period of time. Therefore there is no 'standard course' of radiotherapy to treat breast cancer following a mastectomy.

Within reference costs, we hold information on the national average cost of the different types of radiotherapy based on the number of fractions (doses) given to a patient. Examples of these for 1999-2000 are shown in the table.


HRG code/Health resource group labelMean average
Complex Teletherapy, More than 12, Less than 24 Fractions845
Complex Teletherapy with Imaging and Multiple Planning, More than 23 Fractions831

In total, there are 35 such categories and full details of these are contained in the reference cost 2000 publication available in hard copy or on the Department of Health website. Copies of the publication are available in the Library.

Waste Incineration

Mr. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will seek medical and scientific evidence from the World Health Organisation and the European Union on the use of incinerators to burn waste in other countries; and if he will make a statement. [145843]

Ms Stuart: Incinerators emit a variety of pollutants of potential concern on health grounds, as indeed do many industrial processes. Our regulation of incinerators therefore requires emissions to be tightly controlled, at a minimum consistent with the limit values prescribed in European Union legislation. These regulatory decisions, and the limit values themselves, are based on the best evidence from the scientific and medical community on the effects of air pollutants, including World Health

22 Jan 2001 : Column: 434W

Organisation and EU sources, (which commissioned work explicitly for the recent adopted Waste Incineration Directive).

Any new information from the WHO or the EU, and any substantial scientific studies of the health impacts of waste incinerators to be published in the scientific literature are kept under review by officials, and if necessary can be referred for consideration by expert advisory committees such as the Committee on Medical Effects of Air Pollutants.

Digital Hearing Aids

Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to add NHS trusts in Northumberland and Tyneside to the list of trusts providing digital hearing aids. [146008]

Mr. Hutton: The Department will study the results of the modernising National Health Service hearing aid services project at the 20 participating NHS trusts to determine how changes to hearing aid services are rolled out to the NHS. Pending the outcome of the project, other hospitals are able to access the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency contract for digital hearing aids where the service criteria are met.

Medical Training (North-East)

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received concerning proposals for a York-Hull Medical School; and what assessment he has made of them. [146034]

Mr. Hutton: I am aware that the Universities of Hull and York have submitted a proposal for the establishment of a joint medical school. This is one of 22 proposals submitted by higher education institutions in England to provide the extra medical school places indicated in the NHS Plan in December 2000. Responsibility for the allocation of medical student places in England lies with the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and I am unable to comment on the individual proposals that have been submitted.

A joint implementation group of officials from the Department of Health, HEFCE and the General Medical Council, which is jointly chaired by Professor Liam Donaldson, Chief Medical Officer and Sir Brian Fender, Chief Executive of HEFCE, will be considering these proposals and making recommendations to HEFCE about where the extra places should be allocated. The group is currently considering the proposals and will make their recommendations later this year.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what provision there is for medical training in the North East. [146033]

Mr. Hutton: There are medical schools at Newcastle University and Leeds University which come within the Northern and Yorkshire region of the National Health Service Executive.


Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what distinction he has made between human embryos

22 Jan 2001 : Column: 435W

described as (a) poly-nucleate embryos, (b) pre-embryos, (c) pre-implantation embryos and (d) early embryos in the Ninth Annual report of the HFEA. [146117]

Yvette Cooper: Research using human embryos cannot be conducted without a licence issued by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and is subject to strict conditions laid down in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. The HFEA publishes an annual report which includes details of all licensed research projects. These terms appear in the titles of research applications as submitted by researchers.

A poly-nucleate embryo is an embryo which contains cells with more than one nucleus. "Pre-embryos" and "early embryos" are not terms found in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, which refers to "embryos". A pre-implantation embryo describes an embryo before it is implanted into the womb.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on recent events concerning the handling of frozen embryos at the Hampshire Clinic; and what other IVF clinics are under investigation by the HFEA. [146116]

Yvette Cooper: The police are investigating recent events at the Hampshire Clinic and the North Hampshire Hospital Trust. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has suspended treatments at these clinics. No other IVF clinic is under investigation by the authority although all licensed centres have been asked to carry out a special audit of embryos and gametes in storage. We expect to receive the results of this audit shortly. All licensed centres are also subject to annual inspection.

Child Protection (London)

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children were on the Social Services Department's at risk list in each London borough council as at 1 January; and if he will make a statement. [146119]

Mr. Hutton: The number of children on the child protection register of each London Borough Council as at 31 March 2000 is shown in the table.

London boroughNumber of children as at 31 March 2000
Barking and Dagenham110
City of London1
Hammersmith and Fulham153
Kensington and Chelsea70
Kingston upon Thames37
Richmond upon Thames83
Tower Hamlets130
Waltham Forest86
London total4,809

22 Jan 2001 : Column: 436W

Next Section Index Home Page