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Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on her Department's (a) facilities and (b) funding in 200506 for rehabilitation of illegal drug users in the Hemel Hempstead constituency. 
Drug-link. Non-statutory service, providing a range of interventions, including tier two interventions, a structured day programme and a residential rehabilitation service. Drug-link also has satellite services around Hemel Hempstead.
Hertfordshire's adult pooled drug treatment budget allocation in 200506 is £3,787,000. The 200506 young people's pooled drug treatment budget allocation of £334,000, a total allocation of £4,121,000.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions she has had with the Royal College of Paediatricians about establishing an accreditation scheme for expert witnesses; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne: The former Secretary of State for Health, my right hon. Friend John Reid, met with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) in October 2004, when I understand the subject of the supply and quality of medical expert witnesses was discussed. I expect to meet with the president of the RCPCH on 14 November to discuss a range of issues, during which this subject may arise. I am also awaiting the imminent arrival of the Chief Medical Officer's report on the supply and quality of medical expert witnesses. I anticipate his report will address the issues concerning an accreditation scheme, and suggest a way forward.
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many residents in the Kettering constituency were registered with (a) a general practitioner and (b) an NHS dentist in each year since 1997. 
|Leicestershire Northamptonshire and Rutland Strategic Health Authority||Northamptonshire Heartlands Primary Care Trust (PCT)|
Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether people who have already been diagnosed with breast cancer will be eligible for the test to see whether their tumours are susceptible to treatment with Herceptin. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Secretary of State for Heath recently announced that from early October 2005 the HER2 test, which identifies whether someone with breast cancer will benefit from Herceptin, will be made available to everyone newly diagnosed with early breast cancer.
For those patients who have already been diagnosed with breast cancer, it will be for the clinicians concerned to decide whether to use the HER2 test, based on factors such as the extent of the disease, previous treatment experience, the patient's fitness and what the patient wants.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether NHS trusts have the option of funding (a) Herceptin and (b) Velcade pending the appraisal by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 10 October 2005]: Herceptin is not yet licensed for early breast cancer. It is a matter for local decision between the clinician and funding authorities concerned whether Herceptin for early breast cancer should be prescribed for an individual patient.
Velcade is licensed for the treatment of adults with cancer of the bone marrow, or multiple myeloma, who have received at least one prior treatment and whose disease is worsening on their last treatment.
In July, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State announced that Velcade would be referred to NICE in advance of its next programme. In the interim, there are no national restrictions on prescribing Velcade on the national health service for patients who fit the licensed indication. It is a matter for local decision.
Funding for licensed treatments should not be withheld because guidance from NICE is unavailable. In these circumstances, we expect primary care trusts (PCTs) to take full account of available evidence when reaching funding decisions. This is confirmed in "Health Service Circular 1999/176", which asks NHS bodies to continue with local arrangements for the managed introduction of new technologies where guidance from NICE is not available at the time the treatment or technology first became available.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the ratio was of trained paediatric nursing staff to patients in hospitals in the Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust in the last year for which figures are available. 
Jane Kennedy: The ratio of trained paediatric nursing staff to patients is not held. However, the table shows the number of qualified nursing staff in Barking, Havering and Redbridge National Health Service Trust as at 30 September 2004 which is the latest data available.
|RF4Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals NHS Trust|
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what budget provisions have been made for the employment of (a) doctors, (b) nurses and (c) other staff at the New Oldchurch Hospital, Romford for the 200607 financial year. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
The information requested is not held centrally. It is for primary care trusts to determine how they spend their revenue allocations based on the needs of the local population.
21 Oct 2005 : Column 1274W
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