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20 Jul 2005 : Column 1918W—continued

Primary Care Trusts

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the budget deficits of London primary care trusts were in 2004–05; and what the projected budget deficits are for 2005–06. [12232]

Jane Kennedy: The latest year for which audited data on the financial position of national health service organisations is available is 2003–04. The Department does not currently publish unaudited information.

Audited information in respect of the 2004–05 financial position of all strategic health authorities, primary care trusts and NHS trusts will be published in their individual annual accounts, and will be available centrally in autumn 2005.


Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her estimate is of the number of children currently being prescribed Ritalin. [11704]

Jane Kennedy: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Wealden (Charles Hendry) on 6 June 2005, Official Report, column 438W.
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Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to publish the findings of its investigation of pharmaceutical companies withholding information about Seroxat. [12474]

Jane Kennedy: This is a criminal investigation and therefore its results will not be published. At the conclusion of the investigation the evidence gathered will be supplied to Government prosecutors instructed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and they will apply the tests set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors in order to decide whether a prosecution would be appropriate, as with other potential prosecution cases supplied to them by the MHRA.

It should be noted that the investigation is only concerned with alleged non disclosures of information by GlaxoSmithKline Public Limited Company and its predecessor companies, no other pharmaceutical companies are under investigation.

The investigation is ongoing and it is not possible to provide an accurate estimate of how long it will take to conclude, as this will depend upon the nature, volume and complexity of the evidence uncovered in the course of the investigation. The investigation is being treated as a high priority by the MHRA and substantial additional resources have been applied by the MHRA with a view to expediting its progress.

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to alleviate the financial deficit of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust. [11313]

Mr. Byrne: It is the responsibility of strategic health authorities to deliver both overall financial balance for their local health communities and to ensure each and every body achieves financial balance.

Officials from the Department have been in discussion with Shropshire and Staffordshire SHA to ensure it is taking appropriate action in relation to the financial position of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital National Health Service Trust.

Single Assessment Process/Supporting People Programme

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what work is being undertaken by her Department to ensure that the Single Assessment Process and the Supporting People programme complement each other in terms of assessment for eligibility and quality assurance framework. [10175]

Mr. Byrne: Following the publication of Independence, Well-being and Choice, and Opportunity Age" in March 2005, the Department is working closely with both the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Department for Work and Pensions to determine the extent to which different assessment processes used to determine eligibility for a range of services, can be streamlined and complement each other.
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Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the number of people who fell ill as a result of second hand smoke in (a) Huddersfield, (b) the West Yorkshire primary care trust area and (c) England in the last period for which figures are available; and what estimate she has made of the cost to the NHS in each of these areas of treating people with diseases caused by second hand smoke in that period. [5638]

Caroline Flint: Information on the number of people who became ill as a result of second hand smoke in Huddersfield and the West Yorkshire primary care trust area and the cost of treating them is not held centrally.

The most recent estimate of the number of workplace deaths caused by second hand smoke was published in the British Medical Journal" on 2 March 2005, in a report by Professor Konrad Jamrozik. This gave an estimate of 617 deaths a year in the United Kingdom.

The report went onto estimate that second hand smoke in the home accounts for a further 2,700 deaths in persons aged 20–64 years and 8,000 deaths among people aged 65 years. The author acknowledges that the results are distinctly sensitive" to some of the underlying assumptions.

A copy of the paper is available in the Library.

The cost to the national health service of treating disease and illness caused by smoking is between £1.4 billion and £1.7 billion a year.

Social Care

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average length of time taken is to process an application for registration with the General Social Care Council. [13536]

Mr. Byrne: The information requested is not held centrally by the Department. Information requested needs to be sought direct from the General Social Care Council.

Stroke Services

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what definition her Department uses for data collection purposes of specialist stroke service. [8010]

Mr. Byrne: Acute trusts that have hospitals dealing with stroke patients have been asked whether they now provide specialist stroke services according to the definition set out in standard five of the national service framework for older people.


Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she takes to control taxi use by officials in her Department. [12627]

Jane Kennedy: The Department requires that staff use taxis only if their use is cost effective and no suitable public transport is available.

Staff in the Department will soon be reminded of the need to follow these requirements.