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South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) which areas of funding South Tees Hospitals
 
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NHS Trust is expected to reduce over the next three years; and what changes in staffing levels she expects as a result; [6683]

(2) if she will ensure (a) that the Friarage hospital in Northallerton is not closed and (b) that the accident and emergency ward at the Friarage hospital in Northallerton is not (i) reduced in size and (ii) closed as a result of the funding settlement for South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust over the next three years; [6684]

(3) what measures she has put in place to ensure that reductions in funding by South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust do not impact negatively on the standard of care provided to the people of North Yorkshire. [6685]

Mr. Byrne: The South Tees Hospitals National Health Service Trust savings plan for 2005–06 was made public at a board meeting on 7 June 2005. The trust is conducting a major review of the costs of all its services to see where efficiencies can be achieved. Any proposals will be subject to full consultation. Of course, throughout this time patient care and safety remains paramount.

Both the South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust and Hambleton and Richmondshire Primary Care Trust (PCT) are committed to securing the Friarage hospital's services for the future.

Professor Ara Darzi's report on the Tees services review and its implications for the wider health economy, including the Friarage hospital, is due to be published shortly.

Stem Cell Research

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what financial commitment her Department plans to make to stem cell research in each year from 2005 to 2008. [6633]

Jane Kennedy: The Department funds stem cell research through allocations made annually to national health service providers for research and development to meet the priorities and needs of the NHS and to meet the costs to the NHS of hosting research supported by external funders. The total amount allocated to NHS providers in 2005–06 for research and development is £500 million.

In the 2005 Budget, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the launch of the United Kingdom stem cell initiative. This high-level review will report by the time of the 2005 pre-Budget report and inform future investment by the Department in stem cell research.

Thimerosal

Dr. Tony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether thimerosal is used in vaccines in the NHS; and what assessment she has made of whether there are health risks associated with it. [5979]

Jane Kennedy: The only licensed vaccines currently in routine use in the United Kingdom which contain in their formulation thiomersal, also known as thimerosal, are some influenza and some hepatitis A and B vaccines.
 
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As with all medicinal products, vaccine safety is continually monitored by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) with advice from the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM). The CSM and/or its expert working group on vaccine safety have thoroughly reviewed the safety of thiomersal-containing vaccines, including alleged links with neurodevelopmental disorders, and keep this under close review.

Several large studies have found no evidence of a link between thiomersal-containing vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders. The advice of CSM remains that there is no evidence of harm from the very small quantities of thiomersal contained in some vaccines, with the exception of possible allergic reactions, typically skin rashes or local swelling at the site of injection. This view concurs with that of the World Health Organisation, the United States Institute of Medicine and the European Medicines Agency (EMEA).

Treatment Overseas (E111 Form)

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures the Government have taken to alert British citizens to the fact that E111 forms issued before August 2004 have been invalid since 31 December 2004; how much has been spent on (a) television advertising, (b) radio advertising, (c) newspaper advertising, (d) leaflets, (e) campaigns involving airlines and (f) other campaigns; and if she will make a statement. [2357]

Ms Rosie Winterton: A marketing campaign to inform the public about the changes to the E111 arrangements and the forthcoming introduction of the European Health Insurance Card is under way. This includes public information films and messages on television and radio using free airtime, press advertising, leaflets and other activities. Costs to date are:
£
Television advertising113,288
Radio advertising19,897
Press advertising677,836
Leaflets280,411
Other activities143,437

Tuberculosis

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of tuberculosis were diagnosed (a) in England and (b) in each region in each year since 1997. [6567]

Caroline Flint: The number of notifications of tuberculosis made to the Health Protection Agency by region since 1997 are shown in the table.
 
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Tuberculosis notifications by region, England, 1997–2004

Region19971998199920002001200220032004(50)
East Midlands384428442440464502337423
East of England232268228254326333341417
London2,4112,4442,4932,8342,8862,8392,7452,569
North East178167149143194161154173
North West631690720671672636610636
South East425437418487528590601609
South West212213209226198239226267
West Midlands610673712723692789797870
Yorkshire and the Humber581595567601611538572616
Total5,6645,9155,9386,3796,5716,6276,3836,580


(50)Provisional figures.
Source:
Statutory notifications of infectious diseases.




Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people have received (a) BCG immunisations and (b) related skin tests in each of the last 24 months. [6568]

Caroline Flint: The number of people who have received bacillus calmette-guerin (BCG) vaccination and related skin tests are published annually in the Department's statistical bulletin, NHS Immunisation Statistics, England".

The number of BCG vaccinations and skin tests given in 2002–03 can be found in NHS Immunisation Statistics, England: 2002–03". Copies are available in the Library, and on the Department's website at: www.doh.gov.uk/public/sb0316.htm.

The number of BCG vaccinations and skin tests given in 2003–04 can be found in NHS Immunisation Statistics, England: 2003–04". Copies are available in the Library, and on the Department's website at: www.publications.doh.gov.uk/public/sb0416.htm.

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the availability is of (a) magnetic Heaf heads and (b) purified protein derivative solution required to carry out skin tests prior to BCG vaccinations; and if she will make a statement. [6569]


 
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Caroline Flint: Due to manufacturing constraints adult and paediatric heaf test heads are available on a limited basis.

Mantoux strength purified protein derivative for skin testing prior to receiving bacillus calmette-guerin (BCG) vaccination is available.

Vacancies (Accident and Emergency)

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff vacancies there are in Accident and Emergency departments in each NHS trust; and what percentage of the complement this represents in each case. [6284]

Mr. Byrne: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Work Placements

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether she plans to make payments to students while on work placements within the NHS. [7516]

Mr. Byrne: A national health service bursary is provided for students on NHS funded courses. The bursary covers the living costs and provides other allowances for students during their course, which includes periods on clinical placement.