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Tissue Banks

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if tissue banks will be permitted to include foetal tissues and immature gametes. [146115]

Yvette Cooper: With the explicit consent of the donor to its subsequent use, it is permissible to take and store any human tissue.

Banks storing foetal tissues and immature gametes intended for therapeutic use are included in the scope of the Code of Practice for Banks Providing Tissues of Human Origin for Therapeutic Purposes which has been developed by the Department of Health in consultation with the Royal Colleges and relevant professional bodies.

National Health Service hospitals and independent sector places, approved by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, for the termination of pregnancy, may supply foetal tissue for research purposes. Premises supplying foetal tissue for research purposes are expected to comply with the "Polkinghorne Code of Practice on the Use of Fetuses and Fetal Material in Research and Treatment".


Dr. Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the investment in smoking cessation services set up following the White Paper, Smoking Kills. [153440]

Yvette Cooper: £10 million was invested in 1999-2000 in the 26 Health Action Zones to develop National Health Service smoking cessation services. During the first year 5,800 clients had successfully quit at

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four-week follow up. This represented 39 per cent. of clients setting a quit date, as against our target based on research evidence of an achievable average rate of 26 per cent.

In 2000-01 all health authorities in England were funded to provide smoking cessation services. In the first two quarters of the year there were 12,900 clients who had successfully quit at four-week follow-up. This represented 40 per cent. of those setting a quit date.

We are also making smoking cessation aids available on the NHS to help smokers to quit. The new smoking cessation aid, Zyban, has been available on NHS prescription since June 2000, and we have recently announced that nicotine replacement therapy will also be available on NHS prescription in April 2001. Both these aids to smoking cessation are proven to be effective and cost effective in helping smokers to quit.

We have commissioned research into the effectiveness of the NHS smoking cessation services to inform future developments in this area.

Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) nurses, (b) doctors and (c) consultants were employed by the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (i) on 1 May 1997 and (ii) for the latest date for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [154654]

Yvette Cooper: Data are not collected centrally in the format requested. The table shows the latest available data, which indicate an increase in staffing at the trust in each of the groups identified.

National Health Service Hospital and Community Health Services (HCHS): Hospital medical staff and nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff working for the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital National Health Service Trust, as at 30 September each year.

All hospital medical staff190220
Of which:
HCHS nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff900920


Figures are rounded to the nearest 10


Department of Health medical and dental workforce census

Department of Health non-medical workforce census

General Practitioners

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the additional £10,000 allocated to general practitioner surgeries in England will be incorporated into general practitioners' contracts and terms of service. [155629]

Mr. Denham: The additional resources are to be used by primary care groups and primary care trusts to develop primary care in ways that improve services to patients. On average £10,000 per practice is available. The additional resources are to be used by PCG/Ts to develop primary care in ways that improve services to patients. On average £10,000 per practice is available. The money will be in addition to existing funding to practices.

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Speech and Language Therapists

Ms Perham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to increase recruitment and improve retention of speech and language therapists. [155420]

Mr. Denham: We are implementing a range of measures to improve recruitment and retention for all staff, including speech and language therapists. Examples include investing in fair pay, encouraging the National Health Service to become a better employer, increasing training commissions, attracting former staff back to the NHS, encouraging flexible retirement, and supporting more effective, collaborative international recruitment where appropriate. The Department is working with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists to implement these measures.

The Secretary of State recently announced that allied health professionals deciding to return to the NHS, including speech and language therapists, will be eligible for free refresher training, a payment of £1,000 to support them while undertaking refresher training and assistance with childcare, travel and books.

Oral Tobacco Products

Mr. Pickthall: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress is being made on controlling the import of oral tobacco products with particular reference to gutkha. [155883]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer sent 28 March 2001]: So long as oral tobacco from overseas sources does not fall within a banned category, complies with United Kingdom Customs duty regulations and carries health warnings, their import into the UK is not illegal.

However, we wish to ensure that people have information about health risks. We are, therefore, seeking to develop greater awareness of the health risks associated with oral tobacco as part of our tobacco information strategy. We are working on a dedicated campaign, focused on high risk ethnic minority populations, to address the health risks of smoking and the use of oral tobacco in order to decrease demand for these products. We have funded a training pack for trading standards officers on oral tobacco.

Aintree Hospitals NHS Trust

Mr. Benton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will take steps to ensure the early appointment of a new chief executive at University Hospital Aintree, Aintree Hospitals NHS Trust. [156150]

Mr. Denham: Unfortunately, this post had to be re-advertised because of a lack of suitable candidates. I am pleased to report a good response to the re-advertisement, from which a short list of suitable candidates will be drawn. It is expected that interviews will be held before the end of April. In the meantime, the trust's Medical Director is fulfilling the responsibilities of the post in an acting capacity.


Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will respond to the letter dated 8 February from the hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale, West regarding the case of Josh Galloway, a constituent. [156098]

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Mr. Denham [holding answer 29 March 2001]: A reply to the hon. Member's letter was sent on 4 April.

Mrs. Roe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the hon. Member for Broxbourne will receive a reply to her letters of 3 January, 1 February, 1 March and 28 March relating to her constituent, Mrs. I. Wildish of Cheshunt, Hertfordshire. [156697]

Ms Stuart [holding answer 2 April 2001]: A reply to the hon. Member's letters was sent on 4 April 2001.

Child Protection

Mr. Rowe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has carry out research at regular intervals into the prevalence of child maltreatment. [156145]

Mr. Hutton: One of our stated objectives for children's social services (published in 1999) is to ensure that children are protected from emotional, physical and sexual abuse and neglect (significant harm). Within this objective, we have made clear our determination to reduce the incidence of both child abuse (significant harm) and repeated child abuse (significant harm).

The Department's policy research programme is mounting a new research and development initiative to contribute to the evaluation of the "Quality Protects" programme. The initiative will examine how the objectives of the programme are being translated into practice. The research and dissemination budget for the initiative will be £2 million over a period of four years.

In March this year, we invited tenders for this research initiative. There are four main areas of focus identified in the briefing paper for tenders, including "Children's protection from significant harm". The briefing paper invites proposals for a pilot study on the incidence of significant harm and repeated significant harm.

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