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Diabetes Treatment

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the European Medicines Evaluation Agency's call for more clinical trials on analogues used in diabetes treatment; [210222]

(2) what assessment he has made of the possible carcinogenic effect of analogues prescribed for diabetes; [210223]

(3 what his policy is on the mitogenic potency of insulin analogues. [210225]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Insulins are known to have a weak mitogenic effect on some cells in cell culture. Before any licence is granted, a full and thorough review of all the available data takes place to ensure that the product is of appropriate standards of safety, quality and efficacy. The European regulatory guidelines Points to Consider", a document on the non-clinical assessment of the carcinogenic potential of insulin analogues provides guidance to industry on the general approach to the assessment of new insulin analogues, and these points need to be addressed before a licence would be granted. For any application, the documentation, including clinical trial details and results, accompanying the formal application for the product licence should be consistent with current European and national legal requirements and guidelines relating to applications for marketing authorisations.

As with all new medicines, several insulin analogues are currently under intensive monitoring by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and the committee on safety of medicines. We are not aware of any clinical evidence to suggest that diabetic patients who receive either human insulins, insulin analogues or animal insulins are at an increased risk of developing cancer. Any further clinical trial data would always be considered to be of benefit and welcomed.

Faye Emily Brandon

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the Health Care Commission will report on the death of Faye Emily Brandon, of Loddiswell, who died at Derriford hospital, Plymouth on 14 April 2004 (case ref: C200409 0409). [214075]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 7 February 2005]: I understand from the Chairman of the Healthcare Commission that it has received a complaint concerning the issues surrounding the death of Faye Emily Brandon. It expects to reply to the complainant by the middle of the month.

Food Standards Agency

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the Food Standards Agency spent on inspecting and auditing the performance of local authorities in the most recent year for which figures are available. [211945]

Miss Melanie Johnson: In the 2003–04 financial year the Food Standards Agency spent £505,135 on the auditing of the performance of United Kingdom local authorities with regard to food standards, food hygiene and feeding stuffs law enforcement. This figure includes
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staffing costs for the agency's audit teams and other additional costs associated with the operation of the audit scheme.

Health Promotion

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much was spent on health promotion among black and minority ethnic communities in England in each year since 2000; [213893]

(2) how much was spent on health promotion in each year from 2000. [213894]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Information on expenditure in the national health service under the general heading of health promotion is not held centrally nor is central departmental expenditure accounted for under that heading. It is not therefore possible to identify such expenditure that is aimed at particular groups.


Tom Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hospitals in the United Kingdom have resources to treat HIV/AIDS. [214386]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Information on the number of hospitals treating people with HIV in England is not available centrally. Information relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is a matter for the devolved administrations.

Since 2002–03, funding for HIV treatment care and prevention has been incorporated into unified allocations. These allocations are weighted in accordance with the number of diagnosed HIV infected persons by primary care trust of residence.

Kidney Disease (Children)

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment has been made of the likelihood of developing kidney disease of children under the age of six years consuming more than three grams of salt per day; [213513]

(2) what assessment has been made of the likelihood of developing kidney disease of children under the age of (a) seven and (b) 12 months consuming more than one gram of salt per day. [213516]

Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 3 February 2005]: The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) assessed the effect of salt on health in their report published in 2003 and made recommendations for salt intake in children for the first time. SACN did not specifically consider salt intake and its relationship to kidney disease in children.

Lancashire Teaching Hospital Trust

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the financial position of the Lancashire Teaching Hospital Trust. [212042]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Cumbria and Lancashire strategic health authority reports that the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is forecasting a deficit of £3.0 million for the current financial year.
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Maternity Care

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department has taken to ensure that women in the north-west receive appropriate (a) pre-natal and (b) maternity medical care. [213556]

Miss Melanie Johnson: We are committed to the principles of good quality women-centred maternity care and expect the national health service to provide a range of maternity services. Decisions about patterns of service provision and delivery are matters for individual health authorities and trusts to determine locally, taking into account local population needs, priorities and resources.

The Government, in the maternity standard of the national service framework (NSF) for children, young people and maternity, published in September 2004, have set out their 10-year vision for maternity services. The standard advocates that NHS maternity care providers and primary care trusts, which will be at the centre of service delivery, should plan and provide maternity services based upon an up-to-date assessment of the needs of the local population.

Mental Health (Lancashire)

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the average waiting time for a mental health appointment in Lancashire is; [213910]

(2) how many people consulted an NHS mental health doctor in Lancashire in each of the last three years. [213911]

Miss Melanie Johnson: This information is not collated centrally.


Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to raise public awareness of MRSA and potential safeguards against contracting infections. [208808]

Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 17 January 2005]: I regard it as a high priority for the Department and the national health service to ensure that the public have reliable and useful information about Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the source of blood infections and measures to reduce the risk of infection. There are a number of ways in which the public are informed.

The Department publishes the details of MRSA rates in every acute trust in England, and in December published A Simple Guide to MRSA" by Professor Brian Duerden, the inspector of microbiology and infection control. This is available at

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has produced a patient information leaflet, MRSA: Information for patients", which is available from NHS hospitals or on the HPA website at

The NHS Direct online health encyclopaedia has comprehensive information on MRSA available at or by telephoning NHS Direct.
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Individual trusts are responsible for informing future and current patients about their stay in hospital, including infection control measures.

One of the most important ways of reduce the risk of transmission of MRSA is by maintaining high standards of hand hygiene, and an important hand hygiene initiative is currently being rolled out through NHS hospitals. This is the cleanyourhands" campaign, which includes the provision of patient information leaflets and posters. The patient information leaflet for a patient entering a Clean Hands Partner hospital invites patients to be a partner in maintaining high hand hygiene standards. The leaflet is also available on the National Patient Safety Agency website at I expect all NHS acute trusts in England either to participate in this campaign or to have equivalent hand hygiene measures already in place.

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