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Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the cost to the NHS of the disposal of patients' regular prescribed medication when they are admitted to hospital. 
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the cost of providing mental health services for adults who have previously been in care in the last year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information she has received regarding adverse effects associated with mifepristone; what discussions (a) Ministers and (b) officials in her Department have had with (i) the United States Food and Drug Administration about mifepristone and (ii) the manufacturers of mifepristone about possible adverse effects of the drug; and if she will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: Mifepristone (Mifegyne) is an antiprogestogenic steroid that is licensed for the medical termination of intra-uterine pregnancy of up to nine weeks, for softening and dilating the cervix prior to mechanical termination of pregnancy and, in combination with gemeprost, for terminating pregnancies of 1320 weeks gestation.
The United Kingdom Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM) receive reports of suspected adverse drug reactions to medicinal products via the yellow card scheme. Since marketing authorisation for mifepristone was first granted in 1991, the MHRA and CSM have received 47 reports of 79 suspected adverse drug reactions in association with its use. The reporting of a suspected adverse drug reaction does not necessarily mean that the drug was responsible for that event. Many factors, such as the medical condition that is being treated, other pre-existing illnesses or other medications may play a contributing role.
The MHRA has carefully evaluated the yellow card reports of suspected adverse reactions associated with the use of Mifegyne use in the UK and has concluded that they do not affect the balance of risks and benefits of mifepristone and that the safety profile of this
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medicine is adequately described in the summary of product characteristics provided to health professionals and in the patient information leaflet.
The MHRA is aware of recent regulatory action taken in the United States (US) following reports of suspected adverse drug reactions in association with the use of mifepristone in a manner that is not consistent with the approved labelling. However, serious adverse reactions associated with mifepristone have been recently reviewed by the regulatory authorities within Europe and an expert group of the CSM advised that since birth, menstruation and abortion create conditions that are conducive to an increased risk of infection there was currently insufficient data to warrant regulatory action. There has been no contact with the Food and Drug Administration or the manufacturer on this specific issue.
The manufacturer has a legal obligation to provide the MHRA with reports of serious adverse reactions to mifepristone within 15 days of their receipt, including the US/irrespective of the country of origin. Similarly, reports received by the MHRA are sent to the manufacturer within 15 days of receipt. This ensures that both the MHRA and the manufacturer have access to all the available information with which to monitor the safety of mifepristone.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures are in place to ensure that National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence decisions are sufficiently resourced to ensure rapid uptake of recommendations. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is not collected centrally. It is up to local national health service organisations to identify local priorities and decide on the distribution of their overall funding allocation across the range of services to be provided in the context of local need.
Mr. Byrne: Capacity requirements are assessed by each strategic health authority as part of its local delivery planning responsibilities. The Department has not commissioned specific research in this area but encouraged the necessary increase in capacity to improve patient access to services and reduce waiting periods.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many consultant posts were vacant in the NHS in England on 31 March in each of the past five years; and what assessment she has made of (a) trends in levels of and (b) reasons for consultant vacancies. 
The recent fall in vacancy rates consolidates last year's downward trend and comes at the same time as a considerable increase in consultants. There are 9,389, or 44 per cent. more consultants employed in the national health service than there were in 1997. Overall, the picture is one of growth and reducing vacancies.
|Three month vacancy rate percentage||Three month vacancy number||Staff in post (full-time equivalent)||Staff in post (headcount)|
The information requested is collected as total qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff in London government office
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region (GOR) by strategic health authority (SHA). The table shows the latest figures available as at 30 September 2004.
|Qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff||Of which:|
|London GOR Total||65,333||3,950||10,266|
|North Central London SHA|
|North East London SHA||12,067||927||1,787|
|North West London SHA||15,774||844||2,756|
|South East London SHA||14,136||861||3,216|
|South West London SHA||10,241||629||826|
Ms Rosie Winterton: Information on the number of nurses in the Essex Strategic Health Authority (SHA) area is not available in the format requested. However, the table shows the number of qualified nurses in the Essex SHA area and the number of bank nurses.
|Total qualified nurses||of which Bank nurses|
|Essex SHA total||8,926||954|
|Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals|
NHS Foundation Trust
|Billericay, Brentwood and Wickford PCT||5GP||118||0|
|Castle Point and Rochford PCT||5JP||152||6|
|Epping Forest PCT||5AJ||140||6|
|Essex Ambulance Service NHS Trust||RB4||1||0|
|Essex Rivers Healthcare NHS Trust||RDE||1,092||0|
|Maldon and South Chelmsford PCT||5GL||142||0|
|Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust||RQ8||1,454||295|
|North Essex Mental Health Partnership|
|Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust||RQW||739||46|
|South Essex Partnership NHS Trust||RWN||641||149|
|Southend Hospital NHS Trust||RAJ||1,119||49|
|Southend on Sea PCT||5AK||193||19|
|Witham Braintree and Halstead Care Trust||TAG||179||19|
Ms Rosie Winterton:
The number of nursing vacancies in the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire strategic health authority area are shown in the
10 Oct 2005 : Column 228W
following table. All vacancy rates are calculated on full-time equivalent vacancy numbers.
|March 2005||September 2004|
|Three month vacancy rate (percentage)||Three month vacancy number||(Staff in post) full-time equivalent||(Staff in post) headcount|
|Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire strategic health authority|
|Bedford hospitals NHS trust||RC1||1 .5||11||702||1,156|
|Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire ambulance and paramedic|
service NHS trust
|Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire SHA||Q02||(71)||0||0||0|
|Bedfordshire and Luton community NHS trust||RV7||13.3||75||488||591|
|Bedfordshire Heartlands PCT||5GE||3.0||6||202||269|
|East and North Hertfordshire NHS trust||RWH||4.0||58||1,410||2,557|
|Hertfordshire Partnership NHS trust||RWR||7.7||70||834||974|
|Luton and Dunstable hospital NHS trust||RC9||0.1||1||819||1,021|
|North Hertfordshire and Stevenage PCT||5GH||1 3||3||201||274|
|Royston, Buntingford and Bishop's Stortford PCT||5GK||1.0||1||95||118|
|South East Hertfordshire PCT||5GJ||1 9||3||132||204|
|St. Albans and Harpenden PCT||5GX||0.3||0||124||163|
|Watford and Three Rivers PCT||5GV||7.3||9||116||145|
|Welwyn Hatfield PCT||5GG||7.3||6||76||108|
|West Hertfordshire hospitals NHS trust||RWG||7.3||103||1,321||1,647|
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