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Mr. Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to assist medical research charities in getting access to patients to ask them if they would like to participate in research studies; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Denham: Medical research charities fund many research studies in the National Health Service, and it is for the clinical research investigators undertaking such studies to obtain informed consent from patients as potential research participants. On 1 March 2001 the Department published a "Research Governance Framework for Health and Social Care". This sets out the standards expected in the relationship between participants, researchers, funders and sponsors of research including the medical research charities. Through the NHS research and development funding system, the Department provides an estimated £90 million a year, which underpins research funded by medical research charities in the NHS, and which--among other things--facilitates access to patients as potential research participants.
Mr. Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the average cost of screening new-born babies for cystic fibrosis is; and what estimate he has made of the medical costs incurred by late diagnosis of cystic fibrosis; 
Mr. Denham: At present, it is not national policy to screen new-born babies for cystic fibrosis. This decision was based on a review of the available evidence of benefit by the United Kingdom national screening committee and
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supported by the findings of national experts. This decision is being actively reviewed in the light of new evidence of effectiveness, published in 2001.
The authors of the Health Technology Assessment Report on Screening for Cystic Fibrosis estimated the cost to range from £4,400 per case detected to £6,400 per case (excluding those who would have been detected early without screening). There has been no recent assessment of the additional medical costs of late diagnosis.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he last met the representatives of the respective royal colleges to discuss the new consultants' contract; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Denham: The Government's proposals for a new consultant contract were published on 21 February and made widely available. The proposals will be the subject of negotiation with the British Medical Association. Ministers meet regularly with representatives of the medical royal colleges and we anticipate that this will allow opportunities to discuss the proposals.
Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many vacancies there are nationally for radiographers. 
Mr. Denham: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave on 8 March 2001, Official Report, columns 324-27W.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many people are registered as suffering from age-related macular degeneration; 
Mr. Denham: The Department does not routinely collect statistics on individual conditions. However, hospital episode statistics show that there were 2,466 finished consultant episodes for macular degeneration and posterior pole at National Health Service hospitals in England in 1999-2000.
We fund research into vision related conditions through the Medical Research Council. This includes a clinical trial at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast: Radiotherapy in the treatment of subfoveal neovascular membranes in age-related macular degeneration of the eye for which they provided a grant of £61,571. They have also provided a £1.5 million grant to look at Genetic Susceptibility to Age Related Macular Degeneration, which is due to commence shortly.
Mr. Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance has been issued to health authorities to help them develop policies for promoting physical activity as required by the National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease. 
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Yvette Cooper [holding answer 6 March 2001]: The National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease and the NHS Plan require local action to tackle obesity and physical activity. The Department of Health commissioned the Health Development Agency to produce "Coronary Heart Disease: Guidance for implementing the preventive aspects of the National Health Service Framework" to help develop action plans. This document, published on 13 November 2000, provides evidence-based examples of effective interventions for dealing with all the primary risk factors for heart disease--smoking, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, overweight and obesity. Copies are available in the Library. It is also available at: http://www.hda-online.org.uk/publications.htm.
Mr. Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many angiographies were performed by each health authority in descending order of (a) total number and (b) the number of angiographers per 10,000 population in the latest year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Denham: The number of angiography procedures carried out by health authority in 1999-2000 is shown in the table.
Angiographies are carried out under the direction of consultant cardiologists, assisted by cardiac technicians and nurses. The number of cardiologists is shown in the table.
|Date||Number of cardiologists||Percentage increase||Total percentage increase over five years|
The figures for 2000 are equivalent to 0.1 cardiologists per 10,000 population in England.
|Health authority of residence||FCEs||Per 10,000 population|
|QAM East Sussex, Brighton and Hove||2,527||33.50|
|QAV Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow||2,021||29.53|
|QAH Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham||1,837||24.36|
|QAF West Kent||1,782||18.22|
|QAX North Essex||1,663||18.37|
|QAR Brent and Harrow||1,635||35.16|
|QAJ Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth||1,580||24.94|
|QAN West Sussex||1,578||20.75|
|QD6 South and West Devon||1,496||25.27|
|QAY South Essex||1,464||20.55|
|QAE East Kent||1,333||21.89|
|QCY North West Lancashire||1,332||28.58|
|QAW East London and The City||1,320||21.10|
|QDR North Yorkshire||1,263||16.89|
|QAL West Surrey||1,257||19.33|
|QDV Cornwall and Isles of Scilly||1,212||24.50|
|QEP East and North Hertfordshire||1,182||23.48|
|QDE County Durham||1,181||19.46|
|QD3 Southampton and South West Hampshire||1,168||21.37|
|Portsmouth and South East Hampshire||1,123||20.63|
|Calderdale and Kirklees||1,058||18.08|
|Redbridge and Waltham Forest||1,049||23.19|
|Bexley and Greenwich||1,047||24.10|
|North and Mid Hampshire||1,005||17.89|
|Wigan and Bolton||940||16.24|
|Newcastle and North Tyneside||908||19.47|
|Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster||906||22.06|
|Enfield and Haringey||848||17.25|
|North and East Devon||844||17.48|
|Camden and Islington||786||21.12|
|QC9 West Pennine||786||16.70|
|Gateshead and South Tyneside||749||21.31|
|Bury and Rochdale||734||18.72|
|Salford and Trafford||722||16.22|
|St. Helens and Knowsley||702||21.14|
|Barking and Havering||667||17.25|
|Kingston and Richmond||587||17.15|
|Isle of Wight||35||2.73|
|England residents total||95,129||19.12|
|Total treated in UK||97,356||--|
1. An FCE is defined as a period of patient care under one consultant in one health care provider. The figures do not represent the number of patients, as one person may have several episodes within the year.
2. Figures in this table are provisional (version 2) and have not yet been adjusted for shortfalls in data.
Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), Department of Health
9 Mar 2001 : Column: 377W
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