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Health Technology Assessment

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the National Institute for Clinical Excellence will announce the topics for its health technology assessment programme for the 11th wave; and whether it will include adjuvant use of taxotere. [221787]

Ms Rosie Winterton: An announcement will be made shortly on the 11th wave of topics referred to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.
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Human Eggs

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many human eggs were donated for (a) fertility treatment and (b) research purposes in each year from 1991 to 2004. [222949]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has informed me that information on human eggs donated by in vitro fertilisation (IVF) patients for the treatment of others is only available from 1999. The number of eggs donated is as shown in the table.
Human eggs donated for fertility treatment between1999 and 2004


(35) Information not collected prior to 1 April 1999.
Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

Data on human eggs donated for research purposes are not collected routinely by the HFEA. However, information obtained by the HFEA from licensed centres suggests that approximately 1,500 human eggs have been donated for research purposes since 1991.

Data on the HFEA's register are currently being audited to improve the accuracy of the information available. It may therefore be subject to future amendment following the completion of the modernisation programme in March 2006.

Intermediate Care

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his Answer of 17 January 2005, Official Report, column 799W, on intermediate care, what further plans his Department has to increase access to intermediate care services on top of the NHS Plan targets for extra beds and care places; and what steps he expects local primary care trusts to take further to expand intermediate care services at a local level. [222612]

Dr. Ladyman [holding answer 18 March 2005]: The key priorities of the Department are designed to ensure that local health and social care systems continue to invest in and develop the concept of intermediate care alongside mainstream primary, community and social care services.

In addition, we are investing £60 million over the years 2006–07 and 2007–08 to set up joint projects between councils, their national health service and other partners to test and evaluate innovative ways of establishing sustainable arrangements for prevention work including intermediate care services that will provide early and better targeted interventions for older people; which will maintain and enhance their independence and quality of life; and avoid the need for hospital or other high intensity care.

Medical Treatment (Coventry)

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients living in the Coventry
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area have had (a) operations and (b) other medical treatments funded by the NHS in European countries in each of the last three years. [223068]

Dr. Ladyman: This information is not collected centrally.

Mental Health Care (Suffolk)

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many mental health beds were available in Suffolk in each year since 1997. [223499]

Dr. Ladyman: The number of mental health beds available in Suffolk, local health partnership national health service trust is only held centrally for 2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03 and 2003–04. The figures are shown in the following table.
Number of beds

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many Suffolk residents were placed in mental health beds outside the county of Suffolk in each year since 1997. [223502]

Dr. Ladyman: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Multiple Sclerosis

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the cost-sharing agreement in ensuring the provision of therapies for people with multiple sclerosis; and what assessment he has made of whether a similar model could be applied in the provision of treatments for Alzheimer's disease. [221868]

Dr. Ladyman: Currently over 9,000 people are being treated with disease modifying drugs under the multiple sclerosis (MS) risk sharing scheme. This exceeds the number, 7,500 to 9,000 or 12.5 to 15 per cent. of the estimated MS population, whom it was estimated would benefit at the start of the scheme in May 2002.

No assessment has been made of the feasibility of introducing similar arrangements for the provision of treatments for Alzheimer's disease.

Myasthenia Gravis

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he will take to increase the number of NHS (a) nurses and (b) consultants qualified to diagnose and treat myasthenia gravis. [222130]

Mr. Hutton: Post-registration training needs for national health service staff are determined against local NHS priorities, through appraisal processes and training needs analyses informed by local delivery plans and the needs of the service.
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Access to training is affected by a number of factors, such as the availability of funding, whether staff can be released, the availability of appropriate training interventions, mentors and assessors. It would not be practical for the centre to be prescriptive on this.

National Programme for IT

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made on the national programme for IT as it affects community pharmacists; and if he will make a statement. [222325]

Mr. Hutton: Within the national health service national programme for information technology (NPfIT) a system for the electronic transmission of prescriptions (ETP) will make it easier for general practitioners (GPs) or other prescribers to issue prescriptions and more convenient for patients to collect their medicines. Prescriptions will be transferred electronically to a pharmacist or other dispensing contractor and to the Prescription Pricing Authority to authorise payment. Following development work, the ETP service went live successfully at an initial GP practice and community pharmacy in Keighley, West Yorkshire, on 21 February 2005.

Discussions with other potential initial implementer sites are underway. The purpose of the initial implementer sites is to prove the system, and to look at local prescribing and dispensing processes in light of the introduction of the new service. This will ensure that the benefits of the new service are maximised and lessons learned before a wider roll out.

The national programme has brought together GP and community pharmacy user groups to provide advice and guidance during the development and implementation of the service. For the time being patients will continue to get a paper prescription.

A wider roll out of the service will commence later in the year, with full implementation expected by 2007.

Neonatal Care

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will list the neonatal special care units which are operational; and how many cots are available in each; [222024]

(2) which hospitals with neonatal units (a) offer free on-site accommodation for parents and (b) make accommodation available but charge for it; [222026]

(3) if he will list the (a) neonatal intensive care units and (b) high dependency care neonatal units, which are operational; and how many cots are available in each; [222064]

(4) what the average stay of babies in (a) special care, (b) high dependency and (c) intensive neonatal units was in the last period for which figures are available; [222080]

(5) what his plans are for funding neonatal care over the next five years. [222081]

Dr. Ladyman: Information on the average daily number of cots available in wards classified as 'Intensive Care: Neonates' during 2003–04 has been placed in the Library.
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Information on parental accommodation at neonatal units is not collected centrally, nor are data on the average length of stay for babies admitted to units.

An extra £20 million has been provided yearly to national health service primary care trusts (PCTs) for neonatal intensive care. This is in addition to the PCTs' general funding allocation, which is set to increase over the next five years and which may also

be used to increase neonatal capacity where needed.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the nurse to baby ratio is in each neonatal unit in NHS hospitals; [222027]

(2) when he expects to achieve British Association of Perinatal Medicine Standards for nursing levels. [222689]

Dr. Ladyman: Information on the nurse-to-baby ratio in each neonatal unit is not collected centrally.

It is for local hospital trusts to ensure that there are appropriate nursing levels within neonatal units relative to the number and criticality of the infants on the unit, as set out in the report of the neonatal intensive care services review group, which was published in April 2003.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) whole time equivalent and (b) head count specialist neonatal (i) nurses and (ii) doctors have been employed in the NHS in each of the last 10 years. [222063]

Mr. Hutton: Information is not collected on the number of specialist neonatal nurses or doctors.

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