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21 Jul 2005 : Column 2167W—continued

Genito-urinary Infections

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the number of cases of (a) gonorrhoea, (b) Chlamydia and (c) syphilis which were diagnosed in primary care or elsewhere in 2004–05 but were not reported by genito-urinary medicine clinics or not included in their statistics; and if she will make a statement. [12924]

Caroline Flint: Data on the diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in not collected centrally. The Department, however, is currently funding a project to develop a common data set for sexual health with the aim of it being approved as a national health service information standard by August 2006. The project is being overseen by a project board including
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representatives of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, the Faculty of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care and other clinicians, including general practitioners. The common data set will be collected through the systems being put in place by the National Programme for IT and the data, including information from primary care, will be made available for surveillance, performance monitoring and other national purposes through the secondary uses service.

Graduate Fast-track Medical Places

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many graduate fast track medical places there werein the latest year for which figures are available;
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how many applicants there were for each place; and what plans she has to increase the number of places available. [8094]

Mr. Byrne: The planned number of graduate entry four-year course places in England in academic year 2004–05 was 593. Information from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service shows that the number of applicants for such places totalled 4,211 and the number of accepted applicants was 665. Information from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), which records the number of students on the first year of these courses, including students who have deferred entry from a previous year and students repeating the year due to examination failure of ill health, shows that intake to these courses in 2004–05 was 691.

The Department and HEFCE will shortly be considering the potential for further expansion of medical student numbers.

Health Authorities/Trusts

Frank Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 11 July 2005, reference10011, when her Department ceased to collect information informally on the current financial position of health authorities and trusts which might be in deficit. [12148]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 14 July 2005]: The Department does collect monitoring information on the financial position of the national health service but does not publish information on individual NHS bodies until audited information is available because information changes during the financial year.

The latest year for which audited data on the financial position of NHS organisations is available is 2003–04.

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much health authorities have spent on the (a) purchase, (b) leasing and (c) refurbishment of new offices in the past two years for which figures are available, broken down by authority. [10674]

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

Health Service Job Losses

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment her Department has made of the planned job losses in Leeds hospitals; and if she will take steps to ensure the standard of health care provision will not change as a consequence of these proposals; [13800]

(2) if she will meet representatives of the hospital staff unions to discuss proposed health service job losses in Leeds. [13798]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 20 July 2005]: National health service trusts have a statutory responsibility to ensure financial balance. Leeds teaching hospitals NHS trust is working with its primary care trust partners and the west Yorkshire strategic health authority (SHA) to ensure that it achieves financial balance. The trust has put in place a service improvement plan that will redesign services to offer better treatment for patients
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with a greater emphasis on an increased use of community-based services. The strategic health authority is confident that the trust will deliver financial balance while maintaining levels of service to patients.

I have no plans to meet with representatives of the hospital staff unions.

Healthcare Commission Inspection Reports

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what response her Department plans to make to the findings of the local inspection reports published by theHealthcare Commission as part of its review of the National Service Framework for Older People. [12569]

Mr. Byrne: The Department will wait until the national conclusions of the Healthcare Commission's work are available before deciding what its response might be.

The Healthcare Commission has recently been sharing the individual local inspections with the Department, but the only comments sought on these have been on factual accuracy.

Herbal Medicinal Products

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1)what assessment she has made of the consistency between the proposed implementation of the traditional herbal medicinal products directive and World Health Organisation policies for the promotion of traditional and complementary medicine as a way of improving public health; [13030]

(2) what the basis was for the statement in the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency's consultation document MLX 325 on the traditional herbal medicinal products directive that small and medium-sized enterprises typically manufacture simpler products requiring less sophisticated quality control; [13027]

(3) what assessment she has made of the total number of herbal products that may require registering under the provisions of the traditional herbal medicinal products directive; how many of those products she estimates will be based on (a) a single active herbal ingredient, (b) a mixture of two herbal ingredients and (c) a more complex mixture of several herbal ingredients; what estimate she has made of the likely registration fees for each of those categories of products in England; and if she will make a statement. [13028]

David Tredinnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment she has made of the effect of legislation and regulation on small and medium-sized manufacturers of herbal medicines; what assessment she has made of whether any manufacturers will cease to trade as a result of regulatory burdens; whether she has discussed sector regulation with (a) the Health Food Manufacturers Association and (b) the Herbal Forum; and if she will make a statement; [13104]

(2) what assessment she has made of the effect on (a) new product innovation and development and (b) business profitability and employment potential of the (i) registration fees, (ii) testing costs and (iii) quality procedures proposed by the Medicines and Healthcare
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Products Regulatory Agency in connection with implementation of the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive. [13128]

Jane Kennedy: We believe that the implementation of the directive on traditional herbal medicinal products is fully consistent with the World Health Organisation's (WHO) policies on traditional and complementary medicine. The WHO has noted that unregulated or inappropriate use of such medicines can have dangerous effects and has said that it is important for governments to establish regulatory mechanisms to control the safety and quality of products. The directive is designed to give the consumer assurance as to standards of safety, quality and patient information in relation to traditional herbal medicines.

Hospital Episode Statistics

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of maternity services comply with the requirement to submit maternity tail data as part of the Hospital Episode Statistics; and what measures she is taking to ensure that all NHS trusts return the Hospital Episode Statistics maternity tail data. [10432]

Mr. Byrne: Information is not available in the form requested. In 2003–04, about 72 per cent, of delivery records in the hospital episode statistics (HES) included usable maternity tail data.

Completion of the maternity tail is included in regular assessments of HES data quality.

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