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Asian Women

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what statistics he collates on the rates of depression, self-harm and suicide amongst Asian women; and what services and resources have been made available to tackle this issue in the last three years. [42407]

Jacqui Smith: No national statistics are routinely collected centrally on suicide or self-harm of Asian women.

We are developing a national suicide prevention strategy, which we will launch for public consultation in spring 2002. The strategy will consider the commissioning of further research into suicides amongst Asian women. We will also be looking at this issue further in the Black and Ethnic Minority Mental Health Strategy being developed this year.

Rates of depression in people from black and minority ethnic groups are being established through a national survey of ethnic minority psychiatric illness rates in the community (EMPIRIC). The results of this survey will be published in April 2002.

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The Department commissioned a study from the Institute of Psychiatry on XDeliberate self-harm in Asian women: An intervention study". The findings of which have been fed into information leaflets.

There are several projects in England addressing suicide and self-harm amongst Asian women, such as the Newham Asian Women's Project highlighted in the national Service Framework for Mental Health.

The Department has also provided the FPA with funding through the Section 64 scheme for their XJINNA" Sexuality and Self-harm project to identify the causes and develop effective preventative interventions for suicide and self-harm among young Asian women.

Mental Health

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent Government research (a) has been planned and (b) has been conducted into (i) existing mental health services, (ii) take up of existing mental health services by members of Asian, black and ethnic minority communities in the UK and (iii) the future of mental health services. [42394]

Jacqui Smith: The Department has undertaken a number of exercises to inform its future research programme in mental health, in particular to support the National Service Framework (NSF) in mental health. A XScoping Review of the Effectiveness of Mental Health Services" was conducted by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination at York University. A thematic review of the National Health Service Research and Development funded mental health research in relation to the NSF for Mental Health was undertaken by the Institute of Psychiatry. The outputs from these reviews will be considered alongside the Strategic Review of NHS R&D on mental health, which is looking at current research in the NHS on this area, to determine future research priorities in mental health.

Further work on mental health services is being commissioned and includes: literature reviews and primary research concerning the effectiveness of post qualification mental health training; occupational outcomes (social inclusion); self help interventions; early intervention in psychosis; services for women;

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assertive outreach (particularly for black and ethnic minority groups); suicide prevention; models of services to support carers; rehabilitation of people with severe personality disorder and delivery of forensic services.

Future research priorities include: evaluation of alternative models for the introduction of primary care mental health workers; suicide prevention strategy; evidence based management of people with dual diagnosis; development of prison mental health services and a randomised controlled trial for effective management of sex offenders.

Ongoing research on mental health services funded via the Department's Policy Research Programme includes:

The Department's Health Technology Assessment and Service Delivery and Organisation Programmes are also funding a number of projects in mental health, including:

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In July 2001 the National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) was launched and presents a unique opportunity to reshape services and practice in line with the evidence base. The Institute will bring together the research, development and dissemination functions of the full range of mental health services. NIMHE will be concerned with primary, specialist and tertiary care organisations in both health and social care and recognise the need to integrate service development and mental health legislation. One of the standing programmes of NIMHE will be a mental health research network designed to increase the number of multi-centre research projects in mental health.

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 MRC are funding a number of research projects looking at mental health services and one project looking specifically at people of Asian origin.

Yellow Card Scheme

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what support his Department has given to Mind in the promotion, operation and analysis of its yellow card scheme. [42393]

Ms Blears: In 1997, the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) performed a detailed analysis of reports received through the Mind patient reporting scheme. Expert advice on this analysis was sought from the Committee on Safety of Medicines. No new drug safety signals were identified, although the results highlighted that patients considered that insufficient information was available to them about their medicines. There was an ongoing programme at that time to ensure that Patient Information Leaflets were authorised for all products and this programme was completed by January 1999.

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In March 2001 officials at the MCA met with representatives from Mind to discuss the relaunch of their reporting scheme. MCA will be reviewing the results of Mind's analysis of the reports received through this scheme.


Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many drugs are being assessed by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence; what the timescale is for publishing these assessments; and if he will make a statement. [41599]

Ms Blears: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has completed 32 technology appraisals (covering drugs, devices and treatments) and NICE has a further 43 technology appraisals on its work programme. Where NICE has established timescales for individual appraisals, details are given on its website at

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