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21 Jul 2005 : Column 2159W—continued

Disability in Unborn Babies

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance her Department issues to women expecting a baby on the definition of disability. [10919]

Mr. Byrne: The Department does not issue such guidance to pregnant women. The Department does however produce the 'Pregnancy Book', which is given to all first time mothers. The book contains a very broad range of information, including what to do if you are worried about having a baby with an abnormality. The book encourages women to discuss any concerns that they may have during their pregnancy with an appropriate health professional, given that advice, support and counselling may be required by the woman.

The Government subscribes to the social model of disability; that disability is defined as the disadvantage experienced by an individual as a result of barriers that impact on people with impairments and ill health.
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Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) junior house officers and (b) senior house officers employed in the most recent year for which figures are available did not receive their degree in medicine from a UK higher education institution. [12633]

Mr. Byrne: The number of medically qualified pre-registration house officers and senior house officers and equivalents, employed in the national health service in England at 30 September 2004, whose primary medical qualification was from a higher education institution outside the United Kingdom, was 630 and 9,362 respectively.

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the likely impact of Article III-379 of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe on the implementation of a 48-hour week for doctors; and if she will make a statement. [9052]

Mr. Byrne: Article III-379 relates to the general powers of the Court of Justice of the European Union. It is not specific to the Working Time Directive. This Article replicates Article 242 of the Treaty of Rome and does not give rise to any new considerations.

Emergency Contraception

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many morning-after pills have been distributed by Oxford Primary Care Trust in each of the last 48 months. [12776]

Caroline Flint: The information requested is shown in the table.
British National Formulary name—Levonorgestrel

Period nameTotal itemsTotal act cost (£)
June 2001132676.61
July 200170353.85
August 200175377.95
September 200192469.83
October 20012131,072.47
November 2001201979.15
December 200194450.64
January 2002147705.03
February 2002166795.20
March 2002155785.05
April 200298479.84
May 2002176884.09
June 2002123579.85
July 2002108558.01
August 200267367.53
September 200284439.80
October 2002120619.12
November 20021941,156.24
December 2002109602.07
January 2003112700.08
February 2003167955.06
March 20031071,144.72
April 2003115697.73
May 20031781,032.09
June 2003163873.86
July 2003102630.91
August 200374414.22
September 2003150828.03
October 2003152924.92
November 2003157924.54
December 2003117632.91
January 2004138723.20
February 2004146783.14
March 2004144743.98
April 2004150813.48
May 2004149900.66
June 2004170907.13
July 200491476.12
August 200499522.68
September 200481457.55
October 20041801,000.29
November 20041841,076.72
December 2004150848.09
January 200596575.30
February 2005128658.32
March 2005135673.38
April 2005158823.84
May 2005155815.72

ePACT Data
1.This information was obtained from the Prescribing Analysis and Cost (PACT) system, which covers prescriptions prescribed by GP practices in England and dispensed in the community in the UK. Prescriptions written within a GP practice but dispensed outside the primary care trust will be included in the PCT in which the GP practice is based.
2.Prescriptions written in England but dispensed outside England are included. Prescriptions written in hospitals/clinics that are dispensed in the community, prescriptions dispensed in hospitals and private prescriptions are not included in PACT data. It is important to note this as some BNF sections have a high proportion of prescriptions written in hospitals that are dispensed in the community. For example, BNF chapter 4, Central Nervous System" has a fair proportion of items written in mental health clinics that are dispensed in the community—these prescriptions are not included in the PACT data.
Based on the Selections:
PCT Oxford City
for National at Summary Level Selected Organisations
for BNF at Summary Level Selected Drugs.
Date produced 13 July 2005.

21 Jul 2005 : Column 2161W

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much Oxford Primary Care Trust has spent training pharmacists in the use of the morning-after pill in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and how much they plan to spend in each of the next three years. [12777]

Caroline Flint: The Department does not collect these figures.

Oxford Primary Care Trust (PCT) organised a sponsored training event in 2004. Each pharmacy receives a set-up fee of £100 which includes attending a training event. The PCT has paid £400 to date as four pharmacies have taken part.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance her Department (a) has issued and (b) plans to issue to (i) general practitioners and (ii)pharmacists regarding the availability of emergency contraception over the counter without prescription from dispensing chemists. [12787]

Caroline Flint: The Department has not, and does not plan to issue guidance to general practitioners regarding the availability of emergency contraception over the counter without prescription from dispensing chemists.
21 Jul 2005 : Column 2162W

Guidance for pharmacists on emergency hormonal contraception is available in the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain's practice guidance, which is regularly reviewed and updated.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what measures are in place to ensure that a woman's medical history is known before she is prescribed the morning-after pill; [10572]

(2) what follow-up care is available to women prescribed the morning-after pill; and if she will make a statement; [10573]

(3) whether she defines the morning-after pill as an abortifacient; and if she will make a statement; [10574]

(4) what assessment she has made of the impact of the morning-after pill on the abortion rate; [10575]

(5) if she will consider the hearings and report from the United States Senate Judiciary Committee on the Human Life Bill of the 97th Congress; [10608]

(6) for what reasons her Department promotes the morning-after pill as a way to reduce the rate of teenage pregnancies. [10859]

Caroline Flint: The Faculty of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care published guidance on emergency contraception. Updated in June 2003, this includes information and recommendations on the aftercare and follow up required for women receiving emergency contraception, including Levonorgestrel, and the clinical examination and investigation needed before emergency contraception is provided. In addition, guidance about the possible side effects associated with taking emergency contraception is provided in the patient information leaflet included in the medicine pack. The possible side effects of the emergency contraceptive, Levenorgestrel, are also included in the information that is provided to health professionals (the summary of product characteristics), who are encouraged to discuss these side effects with the individual before treatment is provided. Pharmacists are supplied with a protocol that contains a checklist of advice that should be given to each individual when she is given Levenorgestrel, which includes the side effects which may occur.

I understand that the United States Senate Judiciary Committee on the Human Life Bill of the 97th Congress concerned the provision that human life shall be deemed to exist from conception. This issue was considered as part of the same High Court hearing which found that emergency hormonal contraception is not a method of abortion. This issue was considered in 2002 in the High Court, where it was found that the supply and use of emergency contraception is lawful and that the prevention of implantation, which is brought about by emergency contraception products, does not amount to procuring a miscarriage under the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act.

We are not aware of any research that has been undertaken which assesses the impact of the wider availability of emergency contraception, also known as the morning after pill, on the abortion rate. Variations in the abortion rate are subject to a number of different factors, including the conception rate.
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Improving access to a wide variety of contraceptive methods is an important part of the Government's strategy to reduce the numbers of unintended pregnancies, including teenage pregnancies. However, the Government does not promote any one method of contraception in preference to others. The type of method used should be chosen by the women, in consultation with a health care professional. Emergency contraception is not designed to be used as a regular method of contraception.

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