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Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will place in the Library the guidance issued to round two street warden schemes whose funding ended in March on how such schemes should be funded once central Government support ended. 
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Government will implement the Science and Technology Recommendation No 77 in its report on human reproductive technologies and the law that there be a Joint Committee of both Houses set up to consider the scientific, medical and social changes in relation to abortion that have taken place since 1967. 
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions she has had with doctors about the use of Reminyl, Aricept and Exelan for treating Alzheimer's disease; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne: The Department's response to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's consultation on its review of the 2001 appraisal of Alzheimer's drugs was informed by advice from the Department's professional adviser on mental health services for older people. No other recent discussions between ministers and doctors have taken place on this issue.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether Reminyl, Aricept and Exelen are available on free prescription for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease; what plans she has to change the availability on free prescription of those drugs; and if she will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: We have no plans to extend the existing list of medical conditions that give exemption from prescription charges. The list has been reviewed on a number of occasions but no clear cut case for extending it has emerged. There is no consensus on what additional conditions might be included in any revised list of medical exemptions, or how distinctions could be drawn between one condition and another. Those Alzheimer's sufferers who are aged 60 or over are currently entitled to free prescriptions on grounds of age.
Mr. Byrne: Hearing tests have always been available free of charge for patients referred to a national health service audiology department. If a patient thinks they are hard of hearing and might need a hearing aid, they should go to their general practitioner who will either refer them to an ear nose and throat clinic or send them to the audiology department at their local hospital to have a hearing test.
Ms Rosie Winterton: At present, Herceptin is only licensed in the United Kingdom for the treatment of advanced breast cancer, which affects around 11,000 women in England each year. We are aware that two major trials have recently indicated that Herceptin may also have an important role to play in the adjuvant treatment of early breast cancer though this is not yet a licensed indication.
There is currently no national guidance about when in the patient pathway the HER2 test, which determines an individual breast cancer patient's suitability for treatment with the drug Herceptin, should be used. Decisions are made by clinicians, based on factors such as the extent of the disease, previous treatment experience, the patient's fitness and wishes and emerging evidence.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average time taken for a woman to receive the results of a cervical smear test was in each health authority in the last period for which figures are available. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 26 May 2005]:
The requested data are not collected centrally. We do
6 Jun 2005 : Column 417W
collect the breakdown of notification of screening results within four weeks, four to six weeks and six weeks or more by strategic health authority (SHA), as shown in the table.
6 Jun 2005 : Column 418W
|Percentage of results sent by primary care organisation|
where time from screening to notification was:
|SHA||Percentage of all results sent by primary care organisation||Less then or equal to four weeks||More than four weeks up to six weeks||Six weeks or more|
|County Durham and Tees Valley||98||59||34||7|
|Northumberland, Tyne and Wear||76||49||31||20|
|Cheshire and Merseyside||99||40||37||24|
|Cumbria and Lancashire||98||54||25||21|
|North and East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire||96||61||9||30|
|Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland||87||50||37||13|
|Birmingham and The Black Country||98||30||25||45|
|Shropshire and Staffordshire||99||48||37||15|
|West Midlands South||97||13||21||66|
|Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire||88||24||22||54|
|Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire||88||30||36||34|
|North Central London||64||25||32||43|
|North East London||96||36||33||31|
|North West London||92||11||16||73|
|South East London||44||47||29||25|
|South West London||92||27||23||49|
|Hampshire and Isle of Wight||75||28||43||29|
|Kent and Medway||88||49||39||12|
|Surrey and Sussex||92||38||22||40|
|Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire||68||66||19||15|
|Dorset and Somerset||71||37||31||32|
|South West Peninsula||31||21||38||41|
Jane Kennedy: The Government are committed to reducing waiting times for treatment. The national health service, including Barnet and Chase Farm NHS Trust, is working towards achieving a maximum six-month wait for in-patient treatment and three months for an out-patients appointment by December 2005. By 2008, no one will have to wait longer than 18 weeks from general practitioner referral to hospital treatment.
Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust plans to open a new £4 million surgi-centre at the end of June 2005. This will provide treatment to 3,000 patients a year and support the trust in achieving waiting time targets.
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