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4 Jun 2003 : Column 496W—continued

Hospital Financing

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the difference in revenue implications for an NHS trust that accesses public capital through the Department and strategic health authorities and a foundation trust that accesses capital via loans they will be expected to repay. [116290]

Mr. Hutton: Borrowing by national health service foundation trusts will not affect the amount of total capital available to the NHS. The amount of total capital available is agreed through the Spending Review process.

Hospital Trusts

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to publish the results of star ratings for hospital trusts. [116456]

Mr. Hutton: The next set of national health service performance (star) ratings will be published by the Commission for Health Improvement, the independent regulator for NHS performance, later this summer.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which hospital trusts have appealed against their provisional star rating assessments. [116457]

Mr. Hutton: National health service trusts are not being given a provisional star rating assessment in advance of the NHS Performance Ratings publication.

In-patient Episodes

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hospital in-patient episodes lasted longer than (a) 6 weeks and (b) 13 weeks in the last year for which figures are available. [109941]

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Mr. Hutton: There were a total 12,357,320 finished hospital in-patient consultant episodes in National Health Service hospitals in England in 2001–02. Of these, 195,762 lasted more than six weeks of which 55,347 lasted more than 13 weeks.

Medical Students

Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the admission of students to medical schools can be restricted on the grounds of their views on (a) abortion and (b) euthanasia; and if he will make a statement. [115763]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 3 June 2003]: Whilst the Government sets the target intake to medical school, all aspects of selection and admission are the responsibility of individual universities and medical schools. The Department of Health supports the Council of Heads of Medical Schools' (CHMS) 1999 statement of nine "Guiding Principles for the Admission of Medical Students", in which it commends to all the United Kingdom's medical schools good practice in equal opportunities. The principles stress that selection procedures for medical students must be transparent and involve procedures that respect obligations under the Race Relations Act and offer equality of opportunity.

Medicines Control Agency

Mr. Tyler: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the purpose was in renaming the Medical Control Agency; and whether this represents a change in remit. [114519]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 20 May 2003]: The Secretary of State decided to merge the Medicines Control Agency and the Medical Devices Agency in June 2002. The merged agency is called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and came into being on 1 April 2003.

Most European Union member states have combined the competent authorities which manage the regulation of these sectors, as has the United States. An increasing number of products cross the borderline between medicines and devices.

The combined remit of the MHRA remains the regulation of medicines and medical devices and there has been no change in the legislation which underpins the regulation in these sectors as a result of the merger.

Mental Health

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the recent National Institute for Clinical Excellence reviews of schizophrenia and electro-convulsive therapy; and what impact the recommendations contained will have on policy towards mental health. [115138]

Ms Blears: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has within the last 12 months published technology appraisal guidance on the use of atypical anti-psychotics in schizophrenia and on the use of electro-convulsive therapy, as well as a clinical

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guideline on the treatment and management of schizophrenia in primary and secondary care. We welcome this guidance from NICE, which will assist in the on-going programme of mental health service modernisation.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the national health service plans to invest in research into the benefits of alternatives to medication in the treatment of mental ill health in the next five years. [115377]

Ms Blears: There are many different approaches to treatment and care for people with mental health problems, including approaches such as assertive outreach; self-help; individual and family approaches to psychological therapy. Information about the levels of investment in research in all these areas, and a list of future priorities is available on the Department of Health website at

MMR Vaccine

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children in England received the MMR vaccine in each of the last five years. [116345]

Ms Blears: Information about immunisation rates for MMR for children by their second birthday and by their fifth birthday for the last five years is shown in the table.

Percentage of children immunised against MMR

By their 5th birthday(35)
By their 2nd birthdayFirst doseFirst and second dose

(35) Information about uptake at age five was collected for the first time in 1999–2000.


Department of Health, Statistics Division SD3G, COVER data.

Mumps Vaccine

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children are on the waiting list to receive the mumps vaccine; and at the current rate of entry of the vaccine into the UK, how long he estimates it will take to clear the backlog. [115221]

Ms Blears: This vaccine is not recommended as a part of the childhood schedule, MMR is the licensed vaccine provided for this purpose. The only waiting lists are at private clinics and therefore the information is not collected by the Department of Health.

National Institute for Clinical Excellence

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list investigations undertaken by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence on (a) medicines and (b) good practice procedures. [116445]

Mr. Lammy: To date, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued 62 pieces of guidance on health technologies (including drugs, medical devices and diagnostic procedures) and eight

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clinical guidelines which contain recommendations for the treatment of specific conditions. A full list of publications can be obtained from the NICE website at

NHS Appointments

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on charging overseas applicants for NHS posts for conversion training to enable them to join the NHS. [113267]

Mr. Hutton: The code of practice for National Health Service employers involved in the international recruitment of healthcare professionals published in 2001 stipulates that no fee should be charged by NHS employers to international applicants undergoing a supervised practice placement.

Details of the code of practice can be found on the Department's website at

NHS Dentists

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of children of school age are registered with an NHS dentist in (a) North Shropshire, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England. [116341]

Mr. Lammy: The table shows the estimated percentages of children aged between five and 16 years who are registered with a general dental service (GDS) dentist at 13 April 2003 in Shropshire Primary Care Trust (PCT) areas, West Midlands Strategic Health Authority (SHA) areas and England.

General Dental Service: Percentage of children aged five to 16 registered with a GDS dentist, 13 April 2003

PCT/SHAPercentage of children aged five to 16 registered with a GDS dentist
Shropshire County PCT75.0
Telford and Wrekin PCT80.3
Shropshire and Staffordshire SHA72.2
Birmingham and the Black Country SHA64.2
Coventry, Warwickshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire SHA72.5


The population data for SHAs are based on ONS supplied local authority population. For PCTs the population data are based on GP registered patients constrained ONS resident populations. Estimates have been used for 15 and 16 year olds in PCTs.

Registrations lapse if patients do not return to their dentist within 15 months and so the registration figures exclude patients who have not been to their CDS dentist within the past 15 months. Also excluded from the figures are patients who receive dental treatment from other national health service dental services, including dental access centres.

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