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11 Nov 2005 : Column 810W—continued


Alcohol-related Hospital Admissions

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many alcohol-related admissions there were to Darent Valley hospital and its predecessor hospitals that served the Gravesham constituency in each year since 1997. [24135]

Caroline Flint: The information requested is not collected at hospital level. However, the following table shows the number of finished admission episodes for alcohol-related diseases for residents of Gravesham local authority, for which the Dartford and Gravesham national health service trust was the treatment provider.
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Counts of finished admission episodes where there was a primary diagnosis code for selected alcohol-related diseases(11). Local authority district of residence: Gravesham. Provider of treatment: RN7 Dartford and Gravesham NHS trust. NHS hospitals England, 1997–98 to 2003–04

Finished admission episodes

(11) Alcohol related diseases defined as following ICD-10 codes recorded in primary diagnosis:
F10: Mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol.
K70: Alcoholic liver disease.
T51: Toxic effect of alcohol.
1. A finished admission episode is the first period of in-patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. Please note that admissions do not represent the number of in-patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year.
2. The primary diagnosis is the first of up to 14, seven prior to 2002–03, diagnosis fields in the hospital episode statistics (HES) data set and provides the main reason why the patient was in hospital. Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in data, that is, the data is ungrossed.
HES, NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre.

Alzheimer's Disease

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the benefits of (a) Donepezil, (b) Galantamine, (c) Memantine and (d) Rivastigamine for people with Alzheimer's disease. [26395]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 8 November 2005]: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is currently assessing the clinical and cost-effectiveness of Donepezil, Galantamine, Memantine and Rivastigamine for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Information about NICE'S current work programme is available on the NICE'S website at


Mr. Barron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the Government's plan is for phasing out CFC asthma inhalers; and what the timetable is for that phase-out. [21521]

Jane Kennedy: The Government's plan for phasing out chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) asthma inhalers is set out in the "UK Transition Strategy for CFC-based MDIs", which was published by the Department and the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions in 1999. The strategy states that when an adequate number and range of CFC-free metered dose inhalers (MDIs) to meet patient needs are available for an individual drug, the use of CFCs will no longer be considered essential for that drug product.

Manufacturers are developing CFC-free alternatives for other products, and, in accordance with the transition strategy, the availability of these will determine the timescale for the phase out. The European Commission, with member states, is currently reviewing
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the scope for further declarations of non-essentiality in relation to a number of other drug products used in inhalers.

Avian Influenza

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions the Government have had with the Chinese authorities regarding the human health implications of recently reported outbreaks of avian influenza in central Hunan, Inner Mongolia and Anhui provinces. [23275]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The United Kingdom Government have not had any specific discussions with the Chinese authorities regarding the avian influenza outbreaks in central Hunan, Inner Mongolia and Anhui provinces. The World Health Organisation has been taking the lead on the worldwide response to avian influenza including discussion with affected countries.

I recently attended an international meeting of health ministers in Ottowa, which discussed avian and pandemic influenza issues. The Chinese Health Minister was also present.


Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether her Department plans to monitor the uptake of Herceptin among women with (a) advanced breast cancer and (b) early-stage breast cancer. [23971]

Jane Kennedy: The National Cancer Director, Professor Mike Richards, will be publishing a report in the new year on the uptake of National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) approved cancer drugs. This report will cover Herceptin for women with advanced breast cancer.

Herceptin for early breast cancer has not been approved by NICE so will not be covered by Professor Richard's report. However, if Herceptin for early breast cancer is approved by NICE, progress on its uptake will then be assessed by the Healthcare Commission who have responsibility for monitoring the implementation of NICE guidance.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information her Department holds on the United Kingdom morbidity and mortality rates for skin cancer in each year since 1979; and if she will make a statement. [20784]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The latest available figures for the incidence and mortality of melanoma skin cancer in England and Wales are for the year 2003. Age-standardised incidence and mortality rates by sex for the years 1979 to 2003 are shown in the table.
Age-standardised rates(12) of melanoma skin cancer(13) in England and Wales, by sex, 1979–2003
Rates per 100,000


(12) Directly age standardised using the European standard population.
(13) Melanoma skin cancer is defined as code 172 in the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD9) and as code C43 in the Tenth Revision (ICD10).
(14) Data is for registrations of death per calendar year from 1979 to 1992 and for occurrences of death per calendar year from 1993 onwards.
Office for National Statistics
Welsh cancer intelligence and surveillance unit.

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Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will make a statement on (a) prevention, (b) diagnosis and (c) treatment of skin cancer; [20810]

(2) what (a) guidance her Department has issued and (b) campaigns her Department is undertaking to raise awareness of skin cancer. [20814]

Caroline Flint: The Department and the other United Kingdom health Departments have commissioned Cancer Research UK to run SunSmart, which was launched in 2003, as the national skin cancer prevention and sun protection campaign. The SunSmart campaign includes raising both public and professional awareness of skin cancer through providing information about it and guidance on preventative measures to reduce the risks associated with skin cancer and exposure to sunlight. The campaign raises awareness through support for health promotion events, the provision of printed resources, media briefings and through the SunSmart website at http://cancerresearch SunSmart also supports schools in developing their own sun protection policies through school guidelines and curriculum resources.

SunSmart's printed resources and the website contain prevention messages on avoiding excess sunlight and ultraviolet rays and using protective screening methods including covering up in the sunlight and the use of
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effective sunscreen products. The campaign also provides information to help recognise the symptoms of the different types of skin cancer and on seeking medical advice if necessary.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recently issued updated referral guidelines for suspected cancer to assist general practitioners in determining those patients who need to be referred urgently to see a specialist within two weeks. The guidance addresses skin cancers.

The Department and the Welsh Assembly have also commissioned NICE to produce service guidance for skin tumours including melanoma. This guidance is due for publication in January 2006 and will address area such as diagnosis, treatment and follow up.

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