Previous Section Index Home Page

18 Nov 2004 : Column 1966W—continued


Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research he has received on possible links between the use of insulin by type 2 diabetes patients and an increased risk of cancer. [197986]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department is not aware of any United Kingdom funded research in this area.
18 Nov 2004 : Column 1967W

A summary of the results of a single study into insulin therapy and colorectal cancer risk among type 2 diabetes patients conducted at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine can be found at

Details of a small number of current American studies, including research Investigating whether insulin-like growth factor-1 is associated with an increased risk of colorectal, breast and endometrial cancer, can be found on the International Cancer Research Portfolio website at

Drug Misuse Treatment

Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the impact of the closure of the Harbour Drug and Alcohol Service in Plymouth to new clients until April 2005 on the treatment of patients with addiction problems; [199108]

(2) what the waiting time is in Plymouth for a person suffering from drug or alcohol addiction to receive treatment; and if he will make a statement. [199109]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department has not made an assessment of the impact of the changes to the Harbour Drug and Alcohol Service. It is the responsibility of primary care trusts, working with the local drug and alcohol action teams, to plan and develop local drug and alcohol services and ensure that these meet local needs. The Harbour Drug and Alcohol Service is not closing, but I understand that a decision was made recently to temporarily suspend the specialist prescribing service on the ground of clinical safety.

The latest available information on waiting times for drug treatment in Plymouth is shown in the table. The Department does not hold information on waiting times for alcohol services.
Waiting time (weeks)
Residential rehabilitation2
Specialist prescribing0.2
General practitioner prescribing0.8
Day care1
Structured counselling0.2

National Treatment Agency.

Mr. Keith Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in Manchester, Withington were receiving treatment for drug misuse on the latest date for which figures are available. [199125]

Miss Melanie Johnson: In 2003–04, the number of people in Manchester receiving treatment from the Manchester Drug Action Team was 2,695. These are the latest data available, published by the National Treatment Agency on 30 September.

Drug Purchasing

Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what bulk discounts the national health service receives from drug companies. [199289]

Ms Rosie Winterton: In the case of branded medicines (that are generally patent protected) suppliers may or may not offer discount to the national health service
18 Nov 2004 : Column 1968W
trusts against their list prices. Where discounts are offered for these products, they may be available simply as a discount, or as a discount for bulk purchases or commitment to purchase specific volumes. Where discounts are not offered, more often than not, NHS trusts will have access to wholesaler discounts.

NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency aggregates NHS trust business for the supply of licensed medicinal products, competitively tenders this business and awards framework agreements on behalf of the NHS in England. It also awards commitment contracts on behalf of the Department.

Drug Treatment Centres

Tom Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on provision for residential drug treatment centres in England. [195789]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The current residential drug treatment sector consists of two main treatment types—in-patient treatment and residential rehabilitation. The extent of current provision is as follows:

Specific work to improve the efficiency of the system to access residential treatment, which includes: a national online database of current vacancies in residential rehab units (Bedvacs) to enable more efficient client placements; and guidance on regional commissioning models for residential drug treatment has been developed, to enable better commissioning of residential treatment places.

The NTA monitors waiting times for residential treatment. The waiting times for residential drug treatment have been reducing as shown in the following table.
Average waiting times in weeks: December 2001 to September 2004

In-patient treatment
Residential rehabilitation
NTA target23
December 200112.19.1
September 20033.84.5
June 20042.82.8
September 20043.82.7

The intensive drug interventions programme (DIP) is now in place in 66 areas with highest levels on drug-related crime. Waiting times for clients in DIP are less than the national average.
Average weighted waiting time in weeks: September 2004

NTA targetSeptember 2004
In-patient treatment22.73
Residential rehabilitation32.0

18 Nov 2004 : Column 1969W


Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps are being taken to improve (a) awareness of and (b) training on dyspraxia for health professionals; [190582]

(2) what research he has evaluated on the relationship between dyspraxia and (a) diet, (b) crime, (c) drug and alcohol abuse, (d) suicide and (e) homelessness; and if he will make a statement. [190597]

Ms Rosie Winterton: None. The main agency through which the Government support medical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council (MRC). The MRC is an independent body funded by the Department of Trade and Industry via the Office of Science and Technology.

The MRC does not directly commission research projects or earmark funds for particular research areas. Projects are normally funded on a competitive basis in response to proposals submitted across all areas of research relevant to human health. In addition, the MRC identifies priorities for medical research in a number of ways, including strategic reviews of specific areas of science and by responding to the Department's priorities.

We have no specific plans to raise awareness of dyspraxia among health professionals. The Department is not responsible for setting curricula for health professional training; that is the responsibility of the statutory and professional bodies. However, we do share a commitment with those bodies that all health professionals are trained so that they have the skills and knowledge to deliver a high quality health service to all groups of the population with whom they deal.

Fitness Trainers

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether those who currently pay membership of private health clubs will qualify for a fitness trainer on the national health service. [199256]

Miss Melanie Johnson: It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Flu Vaccine

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effects on funding for general practitioners shortages in supply of influenza vaccine. [197979]

Mr. Hutton: There is no shortage in the supply of the influenza vaccine. The Department purchased stock of the vaccine as part of its contingency measures and has over 19,000 doses available, and over 750,000 doses are still available.

Foundation Hospitals

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total population is from which public and patient membership can be drawn for each of the foundation hospitals where ballots have been held; how many were registered to vote; and how many voted. [197417]

18 Nov 2004 : Column 1970W

Mr. Hutton: Figures for the local resident population of the first wave of national health service foundation trusts are not collected centrally due to the nature of the commissioning of healthcare. The information provided would be duplicated for other local NHS trusts and would therefore be inaccurate.

Information on elections to the board of governors of NHS foundation trusts is a matter for Monitor, the statutory name of which is the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts. I am informed by the Chairman of Monitor that information on membership and turnout is contained in its publication: "NHS Foundation Trusts: Report on Elections and Membership (August 2004)" (IRREP 01/04), which is available on Monitor's website at Copies are available in the Library.

Next Section Index Home Page