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10 Dec 2003 : Column 507W—continued

NHS Live 2004

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which Minister in his Department has responsibility for NHS Live 2004. [141569]

Ms Rosie Winterton: My right hon. Friend the Member for Barrow and Furness (Mr. Hutton), the Minister of State, Department of Health, has responsibility for NHS Live 2004.

Pharmaceutical Trade

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what inspection mechanisms are in place in the United Kingdom for short line wholesalers in the parallel pharmaceutical trade. [141700]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Short line wholesalers distribute a limited range of medicinal products and often specialise in parallel traded pharmaceuticals known as "parallel imports". They are licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and are inspected for compliance with good distribution practice at regular intervals.

Wholesalers who assemble parallel imported products are also required to hold assembly licences granted by the MHRA and are inspected for compliance with good manufacturing practice at regular intervals.

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has had from, and what discussions he has had with, patients' groups concerning the repackaging of medicines from the parallel trade in pharmaceutical products. [141701]

Miss Melanie Johnson: To date, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has not received any representations from, nor had any discussions with, patient groups about the repackaging of medicines from the parallel trade in pharmaceuticals.

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The MHRA has received some letters from patients, patient carers and health professionals on this matter. In these cases the product labelling has been reviewed and, where appropriate, the parallel importer asked to address the concerns raised.

In licensing parallel imports, the MHRA ensures the products comply with the appropriate regulations.

Dr. Jenny Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent action he has taken to maintain safeguards for patients taking medicines emanating from short line wholesalers. [142200]

Ms Rosie Winterton: In order to assure the quality of medicines stored and distributed by wholesalers and safeguard patients, the Inspection and Enforcement Division of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), on behalf of the Secretary of State for Health, licences all pharmaceutical wholesalers in the United Kingdom and inspects their premises and procedures for compliance with good distribution practice.

The same standards of licensing and inspection are applied to full-line wholesalers, who deal in the full range of medicinal products available in the United Kingdom and short-line wholesalers, who deal in a more limited range of products. MHRA inspectors in the financial year 2003–04 have, to date, inspected over 250 wholesale sites. The inspections have confirmed compliance by these wholesalers with good distribution practice. There has been no recent necessity for additional action to maintain the safeguards to patients taking medicines emanating from short-line, or full-line wholesalers.

Research

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to ensure that all public funded research is recorded and made freely available to (a) patients, (b) health professionals, (c) the public and (d) members of the scientific community. [142505]

Miss Melanie Johnson: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave him on 8 September 2003, Official Report, column 256W.

Stroke

Mr. Truswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when a specialist stroke service will be established in Leeds; and whether it will include (a) a rapid access neurovascular clinic, (b) an acute stroke unit, (c) a stroke rehabilitation unit and (d) community rehabilitation, including (i) voluntary support groups and (ii) intermediate care, (e) specialist community stroke teams and (f) stroke clubs. [143180]

Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 9 December 2003]: A specialist stroke unit will be fully established in Leeds by April 2004. It will include all the elements outlined in the question, many of which already exist in the city, with the exception of specialist community stroke teams, which will initially be on a pilot basis.

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Mr. Truswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many stroke patients were treated in Leeds in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [143181]

Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 9 December 2003]: The information requested is shown in the table.

Admissions
1998–991,469
1999–20001,303
2000–011,242
2001–021,962
2002–032,468

Notes:

1. Primary Diagnosis (ICD-10 I60—I64) Selected Cerebrovascular Diseases ("Stroke")—Health Authority of Treatment QDH Leeds—Count of Finished In year Admission Episodes NHS Hospitals, England 1998–99 to 2002–03.

2. Admissions—admissions are defined as the first period of in-patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. Please note that admissions do not represent the number of in-patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year.

3. Diagnosis—the primary diagnosis is the first of up to 14 (seven prior to 2002–03) diagnosis fields in the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data set and provides the main reason why the patient was in hospital.

4. Grossing—figures are grossed for both coverage and missing/invalid clinical data, except for 2001–02 and 2002–03, which are not yet adjusted for shortfalls.

Source:

Hospital Episode Statistics (HS), Department of Health.


Mr. Truswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in Leeds died from strokes in the last five years for which figures are available. [143182]

Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 9 December 2003]: The information requested is shown in the table.

Deaths from strokes(8), Leeds(9)1998 to 2002(10)

Number
1998759
1999721
2000663
2001(11)751
2002(11)783

(8) Strokes defined as deaths with an underlying cause of cerebrovascular disease. These were defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes 430–438 for the years 1998 to 2000 and, for the years 2001 and 2002, the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes 160–169.

(9) Deaths of usual residents of Leeds local authority.

(10) Figures are for deaths which occurred in each calendar year.

(11) The introduction of ICD-10 for coding cause of death in 2001 means that data for strokes in this year and 2002 are not comparable with data for earlier years. The interpretation of international coding rules in ICD-10, compared with the rules used in ICD-9, has led to an apparent increase in the number of deaths coded to strokes of 13 per cent. for males and 9 per cent. for females. The figures should therefore be interpreted with caution. The effect of the major changes to mortality statistics in ICD-10 compared with ICD-9 were described in a report published in May 2002*.

*Office for National Statistics. Results of the ICD-10 bridge coding study, England and Wales, 1999. "Health Statistics Quarterly" 14 (2002), 75–83.

Source:

Office for National Statistics.


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Therapeutic Cloning

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the safety of therapeutic cloning. [141564]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has not yet issued any licence for human therapeutic cloning research.

One of the aims of therapeutic cloning research will be to explore new means of deriving stem cells and tissues which may, in future, be used in treatment of serious disease. As with any cell or tissue based therapy, they will undergo comprehensive assessment of safety.

Work-related Stress

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made towards the creation of a central register for cases of work-related stress in the Department. [141693]

Ms Rosie Winterton: While the Department collects data on sickness absence, which includes stress as a master code description, it is not possible to identify whether the cause of stress-related illness or anxiety was work related. It is not possible, therefore, for the Department to create a central register for cases of work-related stress.

The Department has a number of procedures in place to help managers and staff to be aware of and to reduce work-related stress.


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