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Dr. Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much he has allocated for (a) nicotine replacement therapies and (b) bupropion (Zyban) for (i) 2000-01 and (ii) 2001-02. [153441]

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Yvette Cooper: The provision for nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and bupropion (Zyban) has been made within the uplift made for the drugs bill within unified allocations for 2001-02, an increase of 8.9 per cent. In 2000-01, £20 million was allocated to fund specialist smoking cessation services, including the provision of free NRT to poorer smokers. £20 million has been allocated to specialist cessation services in 2001-02; this excludes drug costs.

Cancer Research

Mr. Rowlands: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent on cancer research in England in (a) 1997-98, (b) 1998-99 and (c) 1999-2000; and what estimate he has of expenditure for 2000-01. [153153]

Yvette Cooper: Funding for cancer research in the United Kingdom is provided from a number of different sources, including the Government, charities and industry. The Department does not routinely collect information on all cancer research expenditure in England.

We provide funding for cancer research through the Department, the research councils and the higher education funding councils (HEFC). The main Government agency for research into the causes of and treatments for disease is the Medical Research Council (MRC), which receives its funding via the Department of Trade and Industry. The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council also supports basic research relevant to health. The research councils operate on a UK-wide basis. The Department provides support funding for research commissioned by the research councils and charities that takes place in the National Health Service as well as commissioning research directly to support policy and service priorities. The HEFC provides funds for research infrastructure in medical schools and other relevant research groups in higher education institutes.

The Department's expenditure on cancer research was approximately £53 million in 1997-98; £75.4 million in 1998-99 and an estimated £77.4 million in 1999-2000. Figures for total Department expenditure in 2000-01 are not yet available.

We have made a commitment to increasing funding for cancer research. The NHS Cancer Plan confirmed that by 2003 we will be investing an additional £20 million each year in the infrastructure for cancer research and an extra £4 million will be invested in prostate cancer research.

Mental Health Bill

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to present a mental health Bill to Parliament. [153486]

Mr. Hutton: We have set out our plans to reform the Mental Health Act 1983 in a White Paper, "Reforming the Mental Health Act", published in December 2000. We are committed to modernising mental health legislation and will introduce a Bill as soon as parliamentary time allows.

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Ophthalmic Dispensing

Mr. David Heath: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent discussions he has had with representatives of optometrists and ophthalmic dispensers on the implications of changes in HM Customs and Excise regulations; [153805]

Mr. Hutton: On 15 February Her Majesty's Customs and Excise issued a business brief on how they intend to apply a recent judgment in the House of Lords on what, for value added tax purposes, comprises a single supply. At the same time they wrote to opticians' representative bodies explaining that the effect of the judgment would be to make the dispensing and supply of spectacles and contact lenses a single supply. The Department continues its discussion with the optical professions.

Cervical Screening

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the reasons for the further delay in reaching a decision on the approval of the Thin Prep Pap test. [154057]

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Yvette Cooper: The pilot study to assess the feasibility of using Liquid Based Cytology (LBC) in the National Health Service cervical screening programme is being progressed in line with the overall guidance published by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence in June 2000. LBC is being piloted in conjunction with Human Papilloma Virus testing.

The three sites for the pilot study have been selected and training and installation of equipment is under way. The study will become operational in spring 2001 as planned.

Coalmining Communities

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what specific support his Department has provided to coalmining communities since 1997 by (a) region and (b) health authority area. [154303]

Mr. Denham: There are 11 health authorities classified as coalfield communities by the Office for National Statistics. They receive general allocations to commission health care for their population.

In addition, seven out of the 11 health authorities are in health action zones (HAZ). They have received additional funding for this since 1998-99.

Details are given in the table.

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1997-98 1998-99 1999-2000 2000-01 2001-02
Total allocationTotal allocationHAZ funding(9)Total allocation(10)HAZ funding(9)Total allocationHAZ funding(9)Total allocationHAZ funding
County Durham282,889298,927--411,001--452,736--493,021--
Northern and Yorkshire region683,308720,35040993,4442,9161,090,4134,0401,184,9693,329
North Staffordshire210,721221,77120304,4581,251335,0371,581363,6681,275
West Midlands region210,721221,77120304,4581,251335,0371,581363,6681,275
St. Helens and153,596162,21820237,2104,183258,2065,735279,8574,418
Wigan and Bolton258,518273,219--373,322--410,052--446,516--
North West region557,375587,27320812,1164,183885,9185,735962,9014,418

(9) Figures for Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster health authorities are for South Yorkshire Coalfields HAZ. Figures for St. Helens and Knowsley health authority are for Merseyside HAZ, which also includes Liverpool, Sefton and Wirral health authorities. County Durham, South Humber, North Cheshire, and Wigan and Bolton health authorities are not in HAZs.

(10) Figures for 1999-2000 onwards are for unified allocations which cover hospital and community health services, prescribing and discretionary family health services. They are not strictly comparable with those for previous years which cover hospital and community health services only.


Allocations for smoking cessation and drugs prevention are still to be made.

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Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the funding will be provided for the medical assessment unit at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital; what the expected completion date is, and if he will make a statement. [154461]

Yvette Cooper: Funding has been made available for a £1.1 million Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital National Health Service Trust 1 .

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In December 2000 the West Midlands Regional Office of the NHS Executive gave approval to the strategic outline case to vacate Royal Shrewsbury Hospital Copthorne South site, leading to replacement of the poor ward accommodation and education facilities with newer facilities on Copthorne North. This is a recognised priority for the trust.

The MAU, which will be based on Copthorne North, is also a priority for the trust, but needs to be considered within the context of the wider development of facilities

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on Copthorne North. The timetable for this can be established more clearly once the outline business case has been received from the trust and approval given.

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