|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Jane Kennedy: Levonelle-2(c) is a prescription-only medicine licensed for emergency contraception that is available only under medical supervision. The licence does not specify a lower age limit for women but health care professionals are expected to satisfy themselves that treatment is in the patient's best interests and that she understands the advice she is receiving.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will require the Barts and the London NHS Trust to report to her (a) why the London air ambulance service is advertising for charitable donations, (b) what the cost was of the London air ambulance service in each of the last three years, (c) how many helicopters the service has, (d) how many staff are required to man the service and (e) whether the service operates 24 hours a day; and if she will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: Air ambulances are provided through charitable organisations and therefore financial relationships between individual national health service trusts and charities will vary. The information requested is not held centrally.
The Department informed ambulance services and their commissioners in January 2002 that the cost of clinical staff on air ambulances should, from 1 April 2002, be met by the NHS on a continuing basis.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if her Department will issue guidance to the NHS that antenatal and maternity services, including HIV treatment to prevent mother-to-child transmission, must be made available to all women, regardless of their immigration status or ability to fund the treatment. 
Mr. Byrne: A person who has formally applied for asylum is entitled to national health service treatment without charge for as long as their application (including appeals) is under consideration, including treatment for HIV and antenatal and maternity services.
Guidance on how to handle the provision of maternity services to women not ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom is contained in the document, Implementing the Overseas Visitors Hospital Charging Regulations: Guidance for NHS Trust Hospitals in England", issued to all trusts in April 2004.
In response to a recommendation from the HealthSelect Committee in its recent report, New Developments in Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Policy", the existing guidance was re-issued to trust overseas visitors managers on 16 May 2005. This confirmed that, because of the seriousness of potential risks to mother and baby, maternity services should be treated as immediately necessary treatments and provided without delay. This could include HIV treatment if considered clinically appropriate.
6 Jun 2005 : Column 434W
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of the total number of people detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 (a) aged under 16 years and (b) aged between 16 years and 18 years, have been detained on adult psychiatric wards in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The information is not centrally available. Placing adolescents on adult psychiatric wards is sometimes necessary and acceptable for clinical and practical reasons. The children's national service framework (NSF) sets a standard that:
It advises that if a bed in an adolescent unit cannot be located for a young person, but that admission is essential for the safety and welfare of the user or others, then care may be provided on an adult ward for a short period.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions she has had with multiple sclerosis therapy centres about the cost of Healthcare Commission inspections; and if she will make a statement. 
John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the availability of treatments for myeloma; and what steps her Department is taking to ensure equal provision of drugs and other treatments for myeloma. 
When a patient is being treated by a hospital, the consultant can arrange for the supply of any drug or substance, even one not normally available on a national health service prescription, provided the primary care trust (PCT) or NHS trust agrees to supply it at NHS expense.
In the case of recently licensed treatments, the Department has made it clear that funding should not be withheld because guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is unavailable. In these circumstances, the Department expects PCTs to take full account of the available evidence when reaching funding decisions.
The Government are committed to providing high-quality cancer services across the country, irrespective of cancer type. NICE has been commissioned to continue the Improving Outcomes" series of guidance to ensure there is a comprehensive package of cancer services guidance covering all cancers.
6 Jun 2005 : Column 435W
Mr. Havard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment she has made of the consequences for cancer patients of the delays to the scheduled appraisal programme for 2006 of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence; 
Jane Kennedy: The Department has made no specific assessment. It is sometimes necessary for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to reschedule its appraisals for a variety of reasons. In August 1999, the Department issued Health Service Circular 1999/176, which asks national health service bodies to continue with local arrangements for the managed introduction of new technologies where guidance from NICE is not available at the time the technology first becomes available. These arrangements should involve an assessment of the available evidence.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans her Department has to introduce a fast track National Institute for Clinical Excellence appraisal process to ensure cancer patients no longer have to wait for long periods before those treatments have been appraised; 
(2) what plans her Department has to reduce the time it takes for National Institute for Clinical Excellence to appraise treatments that have shown to be safe and effective in clinical trials and licensed for use in the UK; and if she will make a statement; 
Jane Kennedy: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is an independent organisation, which develops its guidance after careful consideration of the available evidence and in consultation with stakeholders. The process by which it develops its guidance is a matter for NICE. Its processes have been developed through wide consultation, are transparent and have been endorsed by the World Health Organisation. NICE reviews its processes regularly in order to identify opportunities for efficiencies in the way they are applied.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|