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12 Mar 2003 : Column 337W—continued



Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what restenosis rate was associated with the use of bare stents in diabetics in the last year for which figures are available. [102143]

Ms Blears: No information is held on restenosis levels among patients suffering from diabetes.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of how many diabetics with heart disease would benefit from the use of drug eluting stents in percutaneous coronary intervention. [102144]

Ms Blears: The current evaluation by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence of the clinical and cost effectiveness of drug eluting stents will consider, inter alia, the implications of patient co-morbidity. Publication of the evaluation's results is expected during August 2003.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will provide guidance to primary care trusts on the use of drug eluting stents in patients who are at high risk of having restenosis. [102145]

Ms Blears: Guidance to clinicians is currently in preparation by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence on the clinical effectiveness of drug eluting stents. Publication of this guidance is scheduled for August 2003. Pending publication, the national health service has standing guidance to take decisions locally on the best available evidence as to whether, and in what circumstances, to fund and deploy any particular intervention.

Worcestershire Acute Hospital NHS Trust

Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the costs to the Worcestershire Acute Hospital NHS Trust are of providing the off-site storage for patient records on the Hampton Lovett Industrial Estate; how many tenders were received for providing this service; and at what level the decision was made to accept the successful tender. [102149]

Mr. Lammy: The operating costs of the medical records storage facility at Hampton Lovett are approximately £140,000 per annum. The service itself is operated by staff of the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals National Health Service Trust in a leased warehouse. In line with normal NHS procedures for property leasing, the process followed was to identify storage of suitable size and location and to have the rent and rates negotiated and ratified by the district valuer. Competitive tendering was used to award contracts for the internal refurbishment of the building.


Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research the Government is carrying out on the link between acrylamide and (a) bowel, (b) bladder and (c) kidney cancer. [101385]

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Ms Blears: Acrylamide has been found to occur in a wide range of home-cooked and processed foods, including chips and crisps. It has not been found in uncooked or boiled foods, and appears to be formed during cooking by methods such as frying and baking.

Acrylamide has been shown to cause various types of cancer in laboratory animals, although not of the bowel, bladder and kidney. It is considered to have the potential to cause cancer in humans, but a link has not been proven.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) considers that exposure to acrylamide should be kept as low as reasonably practicable and is commissioning research and surveillance that will minimise the amounts occurring in food. Meanwhile the FSA advice remains that on the basis of current evidence people should eat a balanced diet including a variety of fruit and vegetables, and that as part of a balanced diet people should moderate their consumption of fried and fatty foods.

Care Homes

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many care home beds there are in Greater London; and how many there were in May 1997. [101250]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 6 March 2003]: The number of places in residential and nursing care homes in London is shown in the table as at 31 March for 1997 and 2001. Data for 2002 are not yet available.

Number of residential and nursing care home places(26) in London(27) at 31 March 1997 and 2001
Rounded numbers

As at 31 March 1997As at 31 March 2001

(26) Data includes places in dual registered homes.

(27) All residential homes in councils with social services responsibilities in inner and outer London and all nursing homes in health authorities within London.

(28) Nursing home places covers general and mental nursing homes, private hospitals and clinics.


Totals may not sum due to rounding.

Children's Services

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to publish his NSF for children's services; what his priorities are for improving children's health services; and how much NHS money has been spent on children's health services in each of the last six years. [89928]

Jacqui Smith: The publication date of the full children's national service framework has not been finalised yet. The NSF will cover children's health and social care services. The first module, covering standards for children in hospital, will be published shortly.

The health service has a particular contribution to make in ensuring that all children have the opportunity to achieve their full potential. The NSF will set out our plans for improving services for children based on the

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aims in the NHS Plan of developing services around the need of individuals and improving their experience of care.

The planning and priorities framework issued last year by the Department of Health set out a number of targets to improve services from the national health service for people of all ages. Specific areas for improvement for children included targets to reduce health inequalities, improve access to child and adolescent mental health services, tackle teenage pregnancy and improve the life chances of children in the care of local authorities.

The total cost of children's hospital services 1 in England for 2000–2001 is estimated to be £2.4 billion 2 . Data for other health services for children is not available.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether it is possible for a local authority to be rated excellent for its child and family social services division without the child and adolescent mental health services element being rated good or better; [100495]

Jacqui Smith: The Social Services Inspectorate (SSI) assess the child and family social services in each council and categorise this performance by rating whether they are "serving people well" as "no", "some", "most" or "yes". There is no separate, explicit categorisation for child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), but it is one of a number of service areas that feed into the overall children's services judgement. As a result, a council could receive the highest rated children's social services judgement ("serving people well", categorised as "yes"), without their CAMHS being considered good.

Inspections of child and family social services are carried out by SSI, with the results feeding into the overall assessment of performance. The most recent inspection standards, published in September 2002, state that there should be "effective joint working between agencies at the point of service delivery, which puts children's needs before the convenience of organisations".

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Flu Vaccines

Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether his Department is taking steps to monitor the long-term effects of flu vaccines on the mental health of those inoculated; and if he will make a statement; [100057]

Ms Blears: Influenza is a serious disease that can be fatal, particularly in the elderly, and influenza vaccines have a significant benefit in helping to reduce morbidity and mortality from the disease. As with any vaccine or medicine, influenza vaccines are not without possible side-effects in some recipients. The known side-effects of influenza vaccines are listed in the product information available to general practitioners and other health professionals and available in the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries compendium of data sheets and summaries of product characteristics and the electronic medicines compendium.

The Medicines Control Agency (MCA) and the Committee of Safety of Medicines keeps the safety of all vaccines under continual review. The MCA is not aware of any evidence to support reported claims that immunisation with influenza vaccines may lead to the development of Alzheimer's disease or other related mental health disorders.

Some neurological conditions have been rarely reported in association with influenza vaccines and these are listed in the product information. These are neuralgia, convulsions, encephalomyelitis, neuritis and Guillain-Barré syndrome. These rare risks are far outweighed by the benefits of influenza vaccine in protecting against influenza virus infection and its complications.

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