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27 Oct 2003 : Column 103W—continued

Pharmaceutical Products (Embryos)

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans the Government has to require manufacturers of pharmaceutical products derived from human embryos or foetuses to label their products. [133145]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The statutory labelling particulars are set out in Title V of Council Directive 2001/83/EEC. These apply across all member states of the European Union. The unilateral imposition of additional labelling requirements by the United Kingdom would constitute a breach of EU and international law. To include a statement of the type proposed would therefore require amendment to all EU Directives that regulate labelling and packaging, plus amendments to any international agreements on labelling and packaging.

The Government have no plans to introduce additional labelling requirements.

Post-operative Deaths

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the research undertaken by University College, London, and Columbia University, New York, into the relative death rates between the Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, and Mount Sinai Hospital, Manhattan. [129653]

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Mr. Hutton [holding answer 15 September 2003]: The research study reported that a comparison between two cohorts of patients undergoing major surgery between August 1996 and May 1998 showed 'risk-adjusted' death rates for major surgery in Portsmouth Hospitals that were approximately four times higher than Mount Sinai Hospital in the United States.

Considerable caution should be exercised over these findings. There is insufficient information in the research paper to be sure that the two hospitals (in Portsmouth and New York) are truly comparable in terms of their patient mix. As the researchers acknowledge, conclusions about national differences cannot be properly based on a comparison between just one hospital in each country. Also, the number of critical care beds in the national health service has significantly increased since these patients were studied during 1996–98 and this is likely to mean that the mortality rates for Portsmouth found in the study would not be applicable today. For example, the Commission for Health Improvement 2002 performance ratings for Portsmouth had a 28 day post surgical death rate of 4.5 per cent., for patients admitted as emergencies. However, we recognise that there may be some lessons to be learned from this research, despite its limitations.

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Proton Therapy (Clatterbridge Hospital)

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on investment in proton therapy at Clatterbridge hospital. [132279]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The cost of cyclotron equipment was approximately £5 million and originally installed by the Medical Research Council. The facilities to provide proton therapy for eye tumours were funded by the Imperial Cancer Research Fund at a cost of approximately £1 million.

The cyclotron and the proton therapy facility were donated as a charitable gift to the Clatterbridge hospital, part of the Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology National Health Service Trust. The equipment is not subject to capital charges arrangements, with its running costs met through income generated from the treatment of NHS and overseas patients. Income is also generated from the supply of radioactive isotopes to Christie hospital. The cyclotron equipment has also attracted charitable funding, which is used in part to re-develop parts of the equipment and to fund some of the research activities.

Shropshire Central Services (Staffing)

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff worked in Central Services for Shropshire County Council in each year since 1997. [132292]

Mr. Raynsford: I have been asked to reply.

The number of staff working in Central Services for Shropshire County Council in each year since 1997 is tabled:

YearCentral Service
1997(30)
1998(30)
1999412
2000414
2001418
2002403
2003415

(30) Comparable figures for 1997/98 are not readily available. Significant changes arose at that time because of Local Government re-organisation, when some 35 percentage of the Council's staffing transferred to Telford & Wrekin Council.


Public Interest Disclosure Act

Mr. Pickthall: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on his Department's obligations under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998; how many complaints were made concerning his Department in the last 12 months; and how long it took to resolve each complaint. [132324]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 16 October 2003]: The Department has no record of any complaints under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.

Strategic Health Authorities

Jonathan Shaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Kent and Medway strategic health

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authority will be required to passport to hospices in Kent all of the £1.5 million funding which he recently announced for palliative care; and if he will instruct the strategic health authority to consult with hospice managers on how that funding should be spent. [134323]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The additional £50 million per annum central budget, the allocation of which was recently announced by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Health, is for specialist palliative care services in their entirety and not for voluntary hospices alone. The level of funding for hospices, both from local allocation from the additional £50 million and from local resources, is a matter for local discussion and agreement.

All 34 cancer networks were asked to submit their proposed investment plans for the use of their allocation from the £50 million to the National Partnership Group (NPG) for palliative care which is made up of representatives from the voluntary sector (including hospices), the national health service and the Department. The NPG set out clear criteria for the use of the funding, which included evidence of local consultation and partnership working between all stakeholders in deciding how the additional funding should be invested.

Stroke

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of specialised stroke units are (a) acute care units, (b) rehabilitation stroke units and (c) both acute care and rehabilitation stroke units. [133010]

Dr. Ladyman: The most comprehensive source of information on stroke is the national sentinel stroke audit, carried out by the Royal College of Physicians. 235 hospitals, 95 per cent. of those caring for patients after a stroke in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, took part in the third round of the audit in 2002. The audit shows that 73 per cent. of trusts who participated in the audit had a stroke unit. Of those, 46 per cent. only had rehabilitation stroke beds and three per cent. only had acute stroke beds. The remainder had both rehabilitation and acute stroke beds.

Vehicle Emissions

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the common carcinogens emitted from petrol and diesel vehicles in the UK; and the tonnages of each emitted in the latest available year. [132759]

Mr. Bradshaw: I have been asked to reply.

Emissions from petrol and diesel vehicles are included in the National Atmospheric Emission Inventory. This inventory, available on-line (http://www.naei.org.uk/) compiles air pollutant emissions for the United Kingdom. The air pollutants emitted in 2001 from road transport that are known carcinogens or potential carcinogens are listed below, including the total emission and the percentage of the total UK emission from road transport for each pollutant.

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PollutantSectorEmissions in 2001 in KilotonnesProportionof total (percentage)
1,3-ButadieneRoad Transport—Petrol2.3352
Road Transport—Diesel1.1526
Total (All sources)4.48
BenzeneRoad Transport—Petrol5.3134
Road Transport—Diesel0.221
Total (All sources)15.39
Dioxins &FuransRoad Transport—Petrol3.791.1
Road Transport—DieselJ0.420.1
(Total (All sources)(31)341.28
16 PolycyclicAromatic Hydrocarbons(32)Road Transport—Petrol0.021
Road Transport—Diesel1.1052
Total (All sources)2.10

(31) Total excludes natural fires and vehicle fires)

(32) Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a large group of chemical compounds with a similar structure, although individual PAHs differ in their capacity to damage human cells. This data provides emissions of the 16 PAHs commonly found in ambient air. They include emissions of benzo[a]pyrene, benz[a]anthracene and dibenz[a]janthracene, which are the three potent animal carcinogens that are classified as 'probably carcinogenic to humans'.



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