|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the possibility of compensation claims arising from complications in the use of unlicensed Mantoux-strength purified protein derivative. 
Caroline Flint: Mantoux testing is now the internationally recognised standard for determining immunity to tuberculosis, and in line with this and in the absence of any further supplies of Heaf strength tuberculin purified protein derivative (PPD), the Department now recommends that Mantoux testing replace Heaf testing.
Although Statens Serum Institut PPD is unlicensed, the manufacturer still retains the responsibility for safety of the product, subject to it being used and stored correctly. If a patient suffers injury or illness as a result of a defect in the product, the manufacturer may be liable under the Consumer Protection Act 1987. Similarly, individual doctors prescribe or administer unlicensed medicines to their patients on their own
13 Feb 2006 : Column 1794W
direct responsibility. A claim can be brought against a doctor who prescribes or administers any medicine, whether licensed or unlicensed, if the patient can show the doctor acted negligently. Doctors are required to have in place appropriate professional negligence insurance cover in respect of such claims. Should there be claims for negligence, the court is unlikely to find that the doctor acted negligently if use of the product was supported by a responsible body of medical opinion and the patient consented to treatment. Although each case would depend on its own facts, the fact that the product is licensed in other European Union states and that its use is supported by the Department, means that it is unlikely that any claim for damages against an individual doctor would be successful.
Caroline Flint: The drugs used to treat rickets are calcium supplements, Hypercalcaemia and hypercalciuria, phosphate supplements, phosphate binding agents and vitamin D. However, these drugs are also used to treat other diseases. We are unable to provide a breakdown of the expenditure by the disease it was used to treat.
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence takes into account the rule of rescue when evaluating (a) drug treatments for brain cancer and (b) other drug treatments; and if she will make a statement. 
In December 2005, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) launched its Social Value Judgements" document
13 Feb 2006 : Column 1795W
setting out principles for the development of NICE guidance. At this time, NICE anticipated the later inclusion of additional areas.
In order to inform this ongoing work, NICE asked a meeting of its Citizens Council in late January 2006 for its views on the rule of rescue. The Citizens Council heard evidence from a variety of experts and organisations active in this field to inform their discussions. I understand that the Citizens Council will in due course submit a report to the board of NICE setting out its findings.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment her Department has made of the impact on waiting lists of scanners being used on a part-time basis because of staff shortages; and if she will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: No specific assessment has been made. However, this Government recognise the immediate need for additional workforce and imaging capacity. This is why additional diagnostic scanning activity is being procured from the independent sector to treat national health service patients and deliver a maximum wait of 18 weeks from referral to hospital treatment by 2008.
However, the Government acknowledge that the NHS needs to recruit more radiographers and has taken action to address this. The latest data shows that there are now 18 per cent. more NHS radiographers than in 1997 and the number of students entering training to become a radiographer has more than doubled since 199697.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the adequacy of provision of qualified rehabilitation officers for blind and partially-sighted people in London; and if she will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: Rehabilitation services for blind and partially sighted people are provided by local health and social care bodies. It is for those organisations to commission appropriate services based on local need. This would include the number and training of teams available to provide rehabilitation for blind and partially sighted people.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many responses were received to the consultation on the provision of stoma appliances and other services; and if she will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: The consultation document on the arrangements for the provision of dressings, incontinence appliances, stoma appliances, chemical reagents and other appliances to primary and secondary care was published on 24 October 2005 and closed on 23 January 2006.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to report on the consultation on stoma care and incontinence products; and if she will publish a summary of responses at the end of the consultation period. 
Jane Kennedy: The consultation on the arrangements for the provision of dressings, incontinence appliances, stoma appliances, chemical reagents and other appliances to primary and secondary care closed on Monday, 23 January 2006.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the (a) financial, (b) operational and (c) accountability consequences of the abolition of strategic health authorities. 
Mr. Byrne: Strategic health authorities (SHAs) are not being abolished. They are being reconfigured and any changes are still subject to a full three-month consultation. Reconfiguration will reduce the running costs of SHAs but a full assessment of the financial, operational and accountability consequences of reconfiguration will happen after the consultation is completed.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|