Mr. Lammy: The possibility of a doctor being fined for refusing to disclose information on ethical grounds was a concern voiced during the affirmative procedure debates on the regulations. While the imposition of such a fine cannot be ruled out, circumstances where it would be the appropriate response are difficult to imagine. It is more likely that the involvement of appropriate bodies such as the General Medical Council would be the appropriate response.
Ms Blears: The Department continues to provide resources in the national health service (NHS) to secure research funded through the dual support system. In March 2000, my noble Friend the Lord Hunt of Kings Heath announced the development programme for NHS research and development (R&D) funding set out in "Research and Development for a First Class Service: R&D funding in the new NHS". This includes transparent and accountable arrangements for targeting NHS funding on providing the NHS base for high quality science and
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Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time for results of cervical smear tests in each of the London health authorities was in (a) March 2001 and (b) March 2002. 
Ms Blears: The information is not available in the format requested. Information on waiting times for screening test results is only available for those areas where the result letters are sent to women directly by the health authorities (around two thirds of health authorities do this).
In 200001, 60 per cent. of women in these health authorities received their written cervical screening test result within six weeks (54 per cent. in London). 91 per cent. (84 per cent. in London) received their written result within 10 weeks. It is likely that even where a letter is sent, general practitioners will notify their patients by more rapid means as soon as they have a result.
Guidance from the national health service cervical screening programme states that women should have to wait no longer than six weeks for the written results of their cervical smear test. It is regrettable when delays occur and we look to the relevant trust and health authority to work together to address the reasons for any delay.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the trends in the incidence of TB in England in the last five years; and if he will make a statement on the reasons for changes. 
Ms Blears: Data taken from five-yearly surveys of tuberculosis undertaken in 1988, 1993 and 1998 show that the incidences of TB are multi-factorial taking into consideration geographic distribution, ethnic distribution, age, place of birth and other risk factors of developing TB.
Mr. Plaskitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in the UK are known to be infected by toxoplasma gondii; how many reported deaths from toxoplasma gondii infection there have been in each of the last five years; and what research is being sponsored by the Department into the causes and treatment of toxoplasma gondii. 
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Ms Blears: There is no current data available on the number of people known to be infected with toxoplasma gondii, as toxoplasmosis, the infection associated with toxoplasma gondii, is not a disease reportable under the Public Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations 1988. However, the Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) has received the following confirmed laboratory reports for Toxoplasma gondii in England and Wales for the years 1999 to 2001:
GENET-EMSCOT: A study of genetic susceptibility in congenital toxoplasmosis. Dr. R. E. Gilbert, Great Ormond Street Hospital, London.
|Finished consultant episode
1. Admissions are defined as the first period of patient care under one consultant within one health care provider. Admissions do not represent the number of patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year.
2. Figures are only given for NHS hospital in-patient admissions; there are no figures available for patients diagnosed or treated elsewhere. The figures are the latest available.
3. The figures for 199899 to 19992000 are grossed for both coverage and invalid/unknown clinical data, but the figures for 200001 have not yet been adjusted for shortfalls in data (ie it is ungrossed).
Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), Department of Health
The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) code used: 180.2
Mr. John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the estimated time is between the formation of blood clots in the lower limbs of air travellers and the development of a deep vein thrombosis. 
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lower limbs may or may not have symptoms. In those who do have symptoms, these may occur soon after and any time up to several weeks after the blood clot/ thrombosis occurred.
We do not yet have sufficient scientific understanding of whether there are elements specific to the aircraft cabin environment that can increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis. For this reason the UK Government fully support the World Health Organisation's research into air travel and venous thromboembolism and has agreed to provide up to £1.2 million in funding for this work. The two-year project will start in June 2002.
Ms Blears: The national health service does not currently record the travel history of patients with thromboembolic disease as a matter of routine. However, we recognise the importance of improving the understanding of any link between air travel and deep vein thrombosis. The United Kingdom Government therefore fully support the aims of the World Health Organisation's research into air travel and venous thromboembolism and have agreed to provide up to £1.2 million in funding for this work. The two-year project will start in June 2002.