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Mr. Lammy: Information on research into antimicrobial resistance is not collated centrally. The table below shows the estimated spend on drug resistant bacteria for the main Government funding organisations for 200203. This research will be carried out by a variety of organisations including university departments, the Public Health Laboratory Service and the Royal Veterinary College. The research councils also support basic research, which underpins work on drug resistance.
|Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council||#998,000|
|Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs||#1,630,000|
|Department of Health||#408,000|
|Food Standards Agency||#305,000|
|Medical Research Council||#1,200,000|
|Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department||#233,404|
|Scottish Executive Health Department||#106,000|
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of his Department's ability to counter the risks and effects of bioterrorism (a) with the existing Public Health Laboratory Service arrangements, (b) after completion of the reorganisation of the Public Health Laboratory Service and (c) during the transitional period whilst new arrangements settle down; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Blears: The Department works closely with the Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) and with the National Health Service to ensure that biological threats are rapidly identified and dealt with. We are confident that the United Kingdom is as well prepared as any country could be to protect the health of its citizens in the event of bioterrorism.
The transfer of most PHLS general microbiology services to the NHS will strengthen the public health outputs of the NHS. It will also improve surveillance and linkages between human, veterinary, food, water, and environmental surveillance systems, which are essential to identify new events and monitor the effectiveness of interventions.
In considering the transfer of the PHLS laboratories to the NHS, the Department is ensuring that there will be dedicated public health microbiology support at local and regional levels to make sure that incident response and public health surveillance continues.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements will be put in place to require local public health laboratories to respond to requests for information and samples from the central Public Health Laboratory Service after reorganisation; and if he will make a statement. 
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information and samples from one central public health laboratory. These arrangements will be a continuation of the current system.
Ms Blears: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has no current plans to visit the Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS). The then Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health (Yvette Cooper) visited the PHLS on 6 November 2000 and I plan to visit on 28 October 2002.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the impact on the National Vaccination Campaign of the proposals to reorganize the Public Health Laboratory Service; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Blears: We do not anticipate any negative impact and hopefully there will be positive impact from the incorporation of Public Health Laboratory Service into the proposed new Health Protection Agency. It is clear that the immunisation priorities will remain priorities of the Agency.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements he has made to consult trade unions and professional bodies over the reorganisation of Public Health Laboratory Service. 
Ms Blears: A consultation document on the proposed establishment of the Health Protection Agency (HPA), which would assume many of the functions of the Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) and a discussion document about proposals to transfer a number of PHLS laboratories to the National Health Service was issued in June 2002. Both were sent to relevant trades unions and professional bodies.
A trades union liaison group has been established between the relevant trades unions, officials and the current employing organisations to co-ordinate consultation and discussion about the proposed HPA. There are regular meetings with trades unions or professional bodies on a range of relevant issues.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what representations his Department has received concerning the efficiency of systems in place to report results from radiotherapy and X-rays; 
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(3) what representations his Department has received concerning (a) the failure of radiology departments to record all results of diagnostic tests leading to investigations being unnecessarily repeated and (b) the risks associated with increasing the radiation exposure of the patient due to the unneccessary repetition of diagnostic tests. 
Ms Blears: The Department has received no representations concerning the efficiency of systems to report results from radiotherapy, X-rays and other diagnostic tests using ionising radiation. The use of ionising radiation in healthcare is governed by legislation.
The Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2000, which came into force on 1 January 2001, require that all exposures to ionising radiation are justified and that a clinical evaluation of each exposure is recorded. A major intention of the legislation is to minimise the inappropriate use of ionising radiation in patients' exposures.
The regulations also require that where an employer, such as a trust, believes that a person may have been exposed to a dose of radiation greater than intended, from a repeat diagnostic test or other error, it must report such an incident to the appropriate authority. In England this authority is the Secretary of State's Inspectorate for the Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2000.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of child patients receive treatment for (a) testicular cancer and (b) acute leukaemia within one month of initial GP referral. 
Ms Blears: The targets of a maximum one month wait from urgent general practitioner referral to first treatment for children's cancers, testicular cancer and acute leukaemia were introduced in December 2001. Central monitoring of the targets began in January 2002 and the table below shows performance for the three cancer sites in the last two quarters for which data are available. The table shows the proportion of patients treated within the target time.
|Quarter 4 200102||Quarter 1 200203|
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what representations his Department has received concerning the replacement linear accelerators that have been in service for 11 years or more; 
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(3) what linear accelerators are due for replacement within the next 12 months, broken down by health authority; and how many years they will have been in service when replaced; 
(4) what representations his Department has received concerning sub-standard radiotherapy equipment in the NHS; and what steps are being taken to ensure that radiotherapy equipment is (a) monitored and (b) maintained, and that machines identified for replacement are decommissioned and replaced when necessary; 
(5) what linear accelerators have been replaced since the introduction of the NHS Cancer Plan broken down by health authority; and how many years they had been in service when replaced; 
(6) if he will state, by health authority, the linear accelerators that (a) have been in service for more than 11 years, (b) the total number of years that they have been in service, and (c) the date that they are due for replacement; 
(7) what representations his Department has received concerning the state of radiotherapy equipment within the NHS; 
(8) what representations his Department has received concerning the number of linear accelerators in need of renewal within the NHS; and if he will list the NHS health authorities they belong to. 
Ms Blears: The age of each linear accelerator in service in the National Health Service in January 2001 was published at www.canceruk.net. This lists each linear accelerator installed in the NHS along with the dates when each machine was commissioned. This database is expected to be updated in the next few months and will provide comprehensive details of equipment installed since the introduction of the NHS Cancer Plan, including those provided under the new opportunities fund cancer initiative.
The criteria for replacement of radiotherapy equipment will take into account age and whether spare parts can still be supplied by the original equipment manufacturer. There is no formal recommended replacement age for linear accelerators within the NHS in England. Older equipment is capable of delivering safe and appropriate treatment to many cancer patients. Careful maintenance can ensure that radiotherapy equipment can remain in service for periods in excess of 11 years and this is reflected in the age of some machines identified in the survey. It is recognised however that equipment older than 11 years may not be capable of providing the latest treatment techniques.
Standards regarding maintenance and safety of equipment are high in the United Kingdom and these are met by a combination of local scientific and technical staff and manufacturers providing servicing and quality assurance systems.
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announced in September 1999, funded 42 replacement and 15 additional linear accelerators. The NHS Cancer Plan, published in September 2000, made a commitment for a further 20 replacement and 25 additional linear accelerators to be installed in the NHS by 2004. My
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right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced the location of these machines in July 2002. Others will be replaced through local means. The 20 replacement machines under the Cancer Plan have been allocated to the 17 trusts identified in the table.
|Strategic Health Authority||Trust||Installation date|
|Avon, Gloucestershire & Wiltshire||Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust||1993|
|Avon, Gloucestershire & Wiltshire||United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust||1998|
|Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire||West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust||1991|
|Birmingham & the Black Country||University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust||1991|
|Greater Manchester||Christie Hospital NHS Trust||1987|
|Hampshire & Isle of Wight||Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust||1990|
|Kent & Medway||Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust||1994|
|Norfolk, Suffolk & Cambridgeshire||Addenbrooke's NHS Trust||1994|
|North Central London||Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust||1990|
|North Central London||University College London Hospitals NHS Trust||1983|
|Northumberland, Tyne & Wear||The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust||1991|
|Northumberland, Tyne & Wear||The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust||1992|
|Northumberland, Tyne & Wear||The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust||1993|
|Shropshire & Staffordshire||North Staffordshire Hospital NHS Trust||1992|
|South East London||Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Trust||1990|
|South East London||Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Trust||1993|
|South Yorkshire||Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust||1990|
|Southern West Midlands South||University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust||1993|
|Thames Valley||Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust||1991|
|Trent||Nottingham City Hospital NHS Trust||1993|
Final equipment costs are dependent on local circumstances such as equipment specification and are subject to commercial confidentiality. It is therefore not possible to provide accurate costs by individual strategic health authority.
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