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Jane Kennedy: This information is not held by the Department. The Health Development Agency was an independent body and was abolished on 31 March 2005. On 1 April 2005 its functions were transferred to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence who should be contacted directly for this information.
[holding answer 23 June 2005]: There are currently no plans to re-organise primary care trusts (PCTs) in Gloucestershire. PCTs are central to improving the health of their populations by commissioning high quality care. As we implement the next stage of the national health service reforms, including practice based commissioning and streamlining NHS management, PCTs will need to change and develop. These changes need to reflect local circumstances and form part of a structured programme for the NHS as a whole.
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(3) what the cost, including the instrument, overhead charges and staff cost is for the NHS to fit a digital hearing aid for a patient with hearing loss in Hornsey and Wood Green; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: The Department launched a hepatitis C awareness campaign for health care professionals in June 2004 and, following that, a public awareness campaign in December 2004; both are on-going.
The Hepatitis C Strategy for England" proposed the development of managed clinical networks for the assessment and treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C infection to enable co-ordinated pathways of care. In line with Shifting the Balance of Power", decisions about networks and their funding are for local determination.
Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what representations she has received from Roche relating to the licensing of herceptin for non-terminal breast cancer patients; 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
Roche has written to the Department to make Ministers aware of recent trial results for herceptin as an adjuvant treatment for early breast cancer. They have informed us that they are working closely with the regulatory authorities about licensing.
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The licensing procedure is a confidential matter between the regulatory bodies, European Medicine Agency and United Kingdom Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, and the pharmaceutical company concerned. It involves the detailed evaluation of the application and supporting evidence by experts, known as "rapporteurs". It would not be appropriate for the Department to intervene in this process.
When applying for a licence a company can ask the regulatory bodies for an expedited assessment if there is an urgent need in patients which is unmet by any other treatments. Information regarding the progress of individual applications for license is commercially sensitive and, as such, is not available to the Department.
Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the number of breast cancer patients who would benefit from herceptin but for whom it cannot be prescribed until the product is licensed for non-terminal patients. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department has not yet made any firm estimates of the number of breast cancer patients who would benefit from herceptin but for whom it cannot be prescribed until the product is licensed for non-terminal patients.
The Department has asked Professor Mike Richards, the national cancer director, to consider the issues surrounding the introduction of herceptin for the treatment of early breast cancer across the national health service, including the number of patients who would benefit.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the Government are taking to support the fast-tracking of National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence appraisal for the use of Herceptin to treat early-stage breast cancer HER2-positive women. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 20 June 2005]: Herceptin is not yet licensed for early-stage breast cancer in England and cannot be considered by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence until it receives its license.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to publish data collected under the MRSA bacteraemia mandatory surveillance scheme broken down by (a) hospital department and (b) specialism when the enhanced surveillance scheme becomes operational. 
An enhanced surveillance system for methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteraemias is being piloted and this includes recording the department or specialism within the trust where the patient was being treated when the infection was
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identified. If successful, this system will be rolled out to all acute trusts and these data will form part of our routine publication.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the rules that govern the reporting, collating and publishing of information from hospital trusts about cases of Clostridium difficile. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 16 June 2005]: The Department introduced mandatory surveillance for Clostridium difficile associated diarrhoea in 2004. The first results from this will be published in the summer. The Health Protection Agency also has a voluntary reporting system and the data from this is already routinely published on their website.
Jane Kennedy: The results of the user survey of the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus MRSA bacteraemia mandatory surveillance scheme are expected to be published in a peer reviewed journal in the summer.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) cases of MRSA there were and (b) deaths were caused by MRSA in care homes in each of the last three years for which figures are available. 
The number of death certificates mentioning MRSA by place of death is published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) 1 . The latest year for which figures are available is 2003. Care homes are not separately identified at death registration. The table shows the numbers of deaths which occurred in nursing and residential homes in England and Wales where MRSA was mentioned on the death certificate for the calendar years 2001 to 2003.
1 Identified using the methodology described in Griffiths C., Lamagni T.L., Crowcroft N.S., Duckworth G. and Rooney C. (2004) Trends in MRSA in England and Wales: analysis of morbidity and mortality data for 19932002. Health Statistics Quarterly 21, 1522.
|Nursing homes||Residential homes||Nursing and residential homes|
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she will publish the results of the mandatory surveillance scheme for MRSA bacteraemia for the period between October 2004 and March 2005. 
Jane Kennedy: The results of the full fourth year from the mandatory surveillance scheme, for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemias, were published by individual named trusts on the Department's website on the 23 June 2005 at: www.dh.gov.uk/assetRoot/04/11/40/15/04114015.pdf.
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