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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what updated information has been received from pesticide companies by the National Poisons Information Service for their pesticide product database since 31 March 1998; what toxicological details it contained; and if he will publish the information. [184450]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The National Poisons Information Service (NPIS) requests and receives several thousand safety data sheets annually from pesticide companies. These data sheets are circulated monthly to all NPIS centres as the pesticide product database. The pesticide product database contains only safety data sheets, which are in the public domain. The NPIS Birmingham centre regularly requests from companies additional and detailed toxicological information on specific formulations, some of which is commercially sensitive.

Policies (Environmental Impact)

Mr. Horam: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many new policy proposals or significant changes in policy were produced in (a) 2002–03 and (b) 2003–04; how many of these were screened for their environmental impacts; and how many were the subject of separate environmental appraisals. [185104]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department published 17 regulatory impact assessments (RIAs) in 2002–03 and 18 in 2003–04. In preparing RIAs, Cabinet Office guidance states that Departments should cover the full range of potential impacts on all stakeholders—including environmental impacts where relevant.

The Department's NHS Estates Agency has published a guidance document, "Sustainable Development in the NHS" (June 2001, updated February 2003), to help hospital trusts identify environmental impacts when they are setting their policies and procedures in key areas, such as waste, energy, transport, water and procurement.

In addition the Department's Purchasing and Supplies Agency carries out environmental appraisals of its major policies and activities.
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Portable Nebulisers

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is in respect of the supply of portable nebulisers by the NHS free of charge. [185778]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Portable nebulisers are not available on National Health Service prescription from general practitioners, but are available free of charge, on loan from primary care and NHS trusts.

We think that it is most appropriate for them to remain as NHS property to monitor their usage and ensure that NHS resources are used most effectively.

Prescription Drugs

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients are receiving prescriptions for (a) Donepezil (Aricept), (b) Rivastigmine (Exelon) and (c) Galantamine (Remings). [185415]

Dr. Ladyman: No information is available on the number of patients who receive prescriptions for donepezil, rivastigmine and galantamine. However, the number of prescription items that were dispensed in the community in 2003 in England were:
Donepezil Hydrochloride254,100

Primary Care Trust Mergers

Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is regarding the use of financial savings made in one component trust to offset excessive expenditure in another where the managements of previously autonomous primary care trusts are merged to form a trust cluster. [185980]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 22 July 2004]: There is no national policy regarding the use of financial savings by each component trust where the management arrangements of adjacent primary care trusts (PCTs) are shared. This is a local issue, for consideration by PCTs with support from their respective strategic health authority.

Where the management arrangements for PCTs are shared, PCTs will continue to be considered separate for financial management purposes and consequently underspends generated in one trust cannot be automatically used to offset overspends in another trust.


Ross Cranston: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether primary care trusts will be required to fund the post of prison healthcare officers; and if he will make a statement. [185135]

Dr. Ladyman: Within the framework set out in the NHS plan and the "Shifting the Balance of Power" initiative, decisions about funding for local health services, including those in prisons after the transfer of
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commissioning responsibility, are made by primary care trusts, in partnership with strategic health authorities and other local stakeholders.

Radiologists/Biomedical Scientists

Mr. Bill O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) radiologists and (b) biomedical scientists have been recruited into the NHS in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [183011]

Mr. Hutton: The data requested are shown in the table.
National health service hospital, public health medicine and community health services: biomedical scientists and medical and dental staff with a specialty in clinical radiology in England as at 30 September each year

Biomedical scientistsAll medical and dental staff with a specialty in clinical radiologyof which:

Department of Health Non-Medical Workforce Census.
Department of Health Medical and Dental Workforce Census.

Since 1999, the number of biomedical scientists employed in the national health service has increase by 184 or 1.4 per cent., the overall number of qualified staff working in pathology in the NHS has increased by 1,466 or 9 per cent. and the numbers working in support to these staff has increased by 2,221 or 25 per cent.

In terms of the medical work force, the number of clinical radiology staff has increased by 529 or 24 per cent. and the numbers of consultant clinical radiologists specifically have increased by 303 or 20 per cent. since 1999.

Furthermore, training places for biomedical scientists are being increased considerably to ensure increases in the work force in future years. Latest figures from strategic health authorities (SHAs) suggest that in 2003–04, around 200 or 74 per cent. more biomedical scientist students were supported by SHAs than were the previous year.

We are also ensuring that trained specialists are available in the future by investing in training places. We have centrally funded 186 additional specialist registrar places in clinical radiology between 2002–03 and 2005–06.

Reciprocal Health Care Arrangements

Mr. Ian Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what reciprocal health care arrangements are in place between the UK and other EU states; how many people were treated under these arrangements in the UK in each of the last five years, broken down by region; and what the cost of this arrangement to the UK was for each of the past five years, broken down by region. [184370]

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Mr. Hutton [holding answer 20 July 2004]: Regulations (EEC) 1408/71 and 574/72 co-ordinate the social security and health care schemes of the European economic area countries (EEA). These regulations apply to employed or self-employed people and pensioners who are insured for health care under the state health system of a member state. The regulations provide, among other things, for health care for persons temporarily visiting another member state, referrals of patients specifically for treatment in another member state and health care for pensioners who relocate to another member state. Non-employed persons are also covered but only for health care during temporary visits.

Member states reimburse each other for treatments given to each others people. The following table shows costs for the last four years. Numbers of patients treated are not available since claims may cover several episodes of care for a single individual. No data are available on patients' United Kingdom region of origin.
Table 1: UK obligation under the (EEC) Regulation 1408/71—Resource estimates

Member states claims against the United Kingdom UK claims against member states

1. Figures are based on latest available information and used in the 2002–03 Resource Accounting and Budgeting (RAB) outturn exercise. This information is compiled in line with the requirements of "Government Accounting 2000" and National Audit Office (NAO). Information for 1998–99 is not on a comparable basis.
2. Claims against UK are made in national currency and converted in sterling by using the quarterly mean exchange rates published by the Commission.

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