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Teenage Pregnancy

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what policies have followed fulfilment of the Public Service Agreement target to complete and publish reports on teenage pregnancy for 16 to 18-year-olds not in education. [21260]

Yvette Cooper: There is no Public Service Agreement to complete and publish reports on teenage pregnancy for 16 to 18-year-olds not in education.

Our teenage pregnancy strategy aims to help more teenage parents into education, training or employment. 20 Sure Start Plus pilots are under way, providing personal support for pregnant teenagers and teenage parents on health, education, benefits and housing issues. Nine further pilots are testing how best to provide for child care for teenage parents, to help them access education or work. Teenage parents are also eligible for the education maintenance allowance in areas where this is being piloted, two of which (Cornwall and Stoke) are testing additional flexibilities to meet the needs of teenage parents, including a longer period of eligibility for the allowance. Every local area in England has in place a 10-year multi-agency strategy to tackle teenage pregnancy, including action to improve support for teenage parents. Between 1997 and 2001, the percentage of teenage mothers aged between 16 and 19 in education, training or employment increased from 16 per cent. to 29 per cent.

Aspergillus Fumigatus Infection

Dr. Naysmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans there are to increase funding available for research into Aspergillus fumigatus infection; [22456]

Yvette Cooper: The Department is not funding specific research into the prevention and treatment of Aspergillus fumigatus infections.

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 Department of Health funds research to support policy and the delivery of effective practice in the national health service.

The Department of Health provides support for research commissioned by charities and the research councils that takes place in the NHS. Details of on-going and recently completed research projects are available on the National Research Register (NRR) at nrr.htm.

There are two on-going projects regarding Aspergillus infection:

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The NRR also details 14 completed projects related to Aspergillus fumigatus, one of which was directly supported through the Department of Health's North West Regional Research Programme on DNA fingerprinting of Aspergillus.

The Public Health Laboratory Service, which receives funding from the Department of Health, recently reviewed all reports of Aspergillus infection between 1990 and 1999. Their findings were reported in the Journal of Epidemiology and Infection 2001, Volume 126, at pages 397 to 414.

The Department has no plans to increase funding available for research into Aspergillus fumigatus infection.

The Department keeps its priorities for research under review. Priorities for departmental research for the development of the policy are determined through discussion with policy colleagues, the Departmental Research Committee and Ministers. In the NHS, priorities are identified through widespread consultation with those using, delivering and managing services. They take account of the burden of disease, potential benefits and departmental objectives, as well as the responsibilities and work of other funders.


Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will break down by (a) interventions and (b) drugs for clinical condition and tumour type, the money announced on 5 December; and how many patients will be treated in each category. [22765]

Yvette Cooper: The revenue allocations announced on 6 December represent the latest stage in the Government's programme of sustained investment and reform in the national health service set out in the NHS Plan last year. There is only limited earmarking of funds within allocations so that the NHS locally can flexibly manage all the resources available. This means it is not possible to break down the allocations by interventions or by drugs.

£76 million will be earmarked for cancer services in 2002–03 to ensure that investment gets through to the front line to be spent on the priorities identified by doctors, nurses and other frontline staff. The priorities for action in 2002–03 on cancer were set out in the Priorities and Planning Framework published on 6 December.

Solihull Hospital

Mr. John Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a further statement on the future of accident and emergency provisions at Solihull hospital. [22914]

Yvette Cooper: The service review of the accident and emergency department at Solihull hospital is continuing.

The Service Review Group will report to Solihull health authority on its recommendations, with a view to the health authority then launching a public consultation on its preferred option. The review was originally due to report back by the end September, but this has now been extended until early this year.

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Food Supplements

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the implications of omission from the proposed Annexe to the Food Supplements Directive on the future availability of products currently on sale in the UK. [23375]

Yvette Cooper: The implications of omission of substances currently used in products sold on the United Kingdom market from the proposed lists depend on future developments in updating these lists. The proposed directive would establish a seven year transitional period during which member states could allow continued use of all these substances. The annexes would then be amended to include additional substances cleared by the European Union Scientific Committee on Foods.

MMR Vaccine

Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with (a) drug companies and (b) medical organisations on MMR-C; and what plans he has to introduce MMR-C into England and Wales. [24276]

Yvette Cooper: None.

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of eligible children in Cheshire have been vaccinated with the MMR vaccine in (a) 2001–02, (b) 2000–01 and (c) 1999–2000; and if he will fund a public campaign to promote the use of the MMR vaccine throughout the north-west of England. [26633]

Yvette Cooper: The percentage of children in Cheshire immunised against measles, mumps and rubella by their second birthday and fifth birthday is shown in the table. An England wide MMR information campaign was launched last summer, which provided a range of new material for parents and health professionals including posters, factsheets, videos and leaflets. The materials were also launched onto the national immunisation website The aim of this campaign is to meet parents wishes for clear, factual and accurate information about MMR.

Percentage of children immunised against MMR

By their fifth birthday(25)
At 31 MarchBy their second birthdayFirst doseFirst and second dose
North Cheshire
South Cheshire

(25) Information about uptake of MMR immunisation at age five was collected for the first time in 1999–2000


Department of Health, Statistics Division SD2B

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Cancer Nurses

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cancer nurse specialists there were in each year since 1997, broken down by type of cancer. [24597]

Yvette Cooper: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Cancer-related Illnesses

Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients treated for cancer-related illnesses within the last 12 months were prescribed courses of treatment (a) approved and (b) awaiting approval by NICE. [25877]

Yvette Cooper: Over the last 12 months the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) have published appraisals on the use of new chemotherapy drugs to treat ovarian, brain, pancreatic, lung and breast cancers as well as leukaemia. Around 19,000 patients each year should now be benefiting from chemotherapy treatments appraised by NICE.

NICE is currently appraising further treatments for advanced ovarian, breast and colorectal cancers and chronic myeloid leukaemia.

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