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29 Nov 2005 : Column 402W—continued

Health Finance (Manchester)

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which (a) primary care trusts, (b) health trusts and (c) acute trusts have overspent their budget in Greater Manchester in each of the last five years; and what the overspend was in each case. [28468]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 14 November 2005]: The position reported in the 2004–05 final accounts showed that the Greater Manchester strategic health authority (SHA) reported a surplus of £30 million. The latest financial year for which the audited financial information of all national health service organisations, SHAs, primary care trusts (PCTs) and NHS trusts, is available is 2004–05. For 2006–07, PCT allocations within the Greater Manchester SHA area total £3,602,273. For 2007–08, the total is £3,940,609. This represents a cash increase of £338,336 since 2006–07. The total cash increase over the two years—2006–07 and 2007–08—is £661,727.
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Those NHS trusts that overspent in the Greater Manchester area for 2000–01 to 2004–05 are shown in the table. No PCTs in Greater Manchester have recorded an overspend against their revenue resource limit in this period.
Deficits by NHS trusts in Greater Manchester SHA from 2000–01 to 2004–05

Trust typeTrust name(Deficit) £000Financial year
AmbulanceGreater Manchester Ambulance NHS Trust(109)2000–01
HealthWigan and Leigh Health Services NHS Trust(84)2000–01
AcuteSouth Manchester University Hospital NHS Trust(6,980)2002–03
AcuteTrafford Healthcare NHS Trust(744)2003–04
AcuteCental Manchester/Manchester Children's NHS Trust(7,727)2004–05
AcuteTrafford Healthcare NHS Trust(3,490)2004–05
AcuteBolton Hospitals NHS Trust(2,706)2004–05
AcuteWrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust(743)2004–05

The 2004–05 data is available in the Library. It is also available on the Department's website at:

Herbal Medicines Directive

David Tredinnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to address the concerns of small and medium-sized manufacturers about the cost of registering products under the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive. [32273]

Jane Kennedy: We are using the full transitional period, until 2011, permitted under European Directive 2004/24/EC to allow companies with unlicensed herbal medicines on the market at April 2004 the opportunity to spread over a number of years their applications to register products. Measures taken by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to contain the regulatory impact of the directive include meetings with individual companies to give regulatory advice free of charge on companies' provisional plans to register products; also the provision of guidance notes on a range of implementation issues. Discussions continue between the MHRA and the industry's herbal forum about the practical application of the European guidelines on the quality of herbal medicinal products.

Human Embryo Research

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the cures for diseases which have been developed as a result of human embryo research in each of the last 12 years; and if she will make a statement. [30413]

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Jane Kennedy: Embryo research has been vital in the development of treatment techniques for infertility, resulting in improved outcomes for patients. For treatments such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF), the United Kingdom's live birth rate per treatment cycle started has increased year on year.

Research with embryonic stem cells has been licensed to allow scientists to understand and develop treatments for conditions such as motor neuron disease, diabetes and cystic fibrosis. It is still too early to speak of cures, but scientific and medical opinion is that stem cell research will revolutionise medicine in the 21st century.

Independent Treatment Centres

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 5 October 2005, Official Report, column 2827W, on independent sector treatment centres, whether doctors working in independent sector treatment centres carrying out work equal to a consultant in the NHS are required to be on the GMC specialist register. [21605]

Mr. Byrne: Yes. All surgeons working in independent sector treatment centres are required to be registered with the General Medical Council and on the specialist register. This is the same registration standard as required in the national health service.

Internet Medicine Purchases

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to increase (a) men's and (b) women's awareness of possible risks of buying prescription-only medicines on the internet. [30722]

Jane Kennedy: The Medicines and Healthcare product Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued a general press release on 9 June to national print and broadcast media, ethnic press and trade publications, alerting people that some websites offering medicinal drugs belong to unscrupulous vendors. It mentioned that many of these vendors sell unlicensed and prescription-only medicines, and some sell counterfeit drugs that are harmful. This information was then targeted to specific segments of the population to assist consumers to make informed decisions about their health.

On 16 June, MHRA issued a press release to men's lifestyle magazines, warning them about buying lifestyle drugs such as erectile dysfunction medication, weight and hair loss products from the internet. This was followed on 27 June with the further release of two press releases. One was again targeted at men's lifestyle magazines, warning men to be careful when buying human growth hormone products from websites. The second was targeted at women's lifestyle magazines, warning women about purchasing slimming pills from the internet.

Since 9 June, the MHRA press office had 38 calls from the media about these issues and organised nine briefings with specific journalists.
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In addition, details of successful prosecutions brought by the enforcement group of the MHRA are made available by press releases which serve to reinforce the message that buying medicines via the internet can be dangerous.

Mental Health

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the forecast year-end deficit of Oxfordshire MentalHealth NHS Trust is in 2005–06; and what the year-end position of the trust has been in each year since 1997–98. [25104]

Caroline Flint: The Department does not currently publish unaudited information relating to the in-year financial position of national health service organisations. The following table shows the audited year-end financial position of Oxfordshire Mental Health Trust from 1997–98 to 2004–05.
Organisation: Oxfordshire Mental Healthcare NHS Trust

Over/(under) spend

Patient Safety

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will develop a single entry point for the reporting of patient safety incidents through the National Programme for Information Technology. [27929]

Jane Kennedy: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on 23 November 2005, Official Report, column 2118W.

PCT Commissioning (Oxfordshire)

Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions there were between her Department and the Thames Valley strategic health authority on the subject of putting primary care trust commissioning in Oxfordshire out to tender prior to its announcement. [32147]

Caroline Flint: [holding answer Monday 28 November 2005]: Discussions were held at official level with Thames Valley strategic health authority (SHA) regarding their proposals prior to their submissions.

We wanted SHAs, in partnership with local stakeholders, to identify various options for the reconfiguration of locally, which would then be assessed by the external panel against the criteria in Commissioning a Patient-led NHS". If the proposals are adjudged to meet these, they will be subject to full public consultation.

I regret that my previous response on this matter, to question 26170, on 14 November 2005, Official Report, column 971W, was incorrect.
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