Previous Section Index Home Page

13 Feb 2006 : Column 1796W—continued


Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the cancer drug Tarceva (erlotinib) has been licensed in the UK. [49492]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 7 February 2006]: Tarceva was granted a marketing authorisation valid throughout the European Union on 19 September 2005.

Tarceva is currently licensed for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer after failure of at least one prior chemotherapy regimen.
13 Feb 2006 : Column 1797W


Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons Chapter 33 of the Department of Health Immunisation against Infectious Diseases 2006, published in November 2005, does not include reference to the unlicensed nature of the purified protein derivative used in the Mantoux test for tuberculosis and the need for this product to be issued under a patient specific direction. [43528]

Caroline Flint: Guidance regarding the supply and administration of any unlicensed vaccine, including Tuberculin purified protein derivative by patient specific directions is covered in the draft chapter 6, Immunisation by nurses and other healthcare professionals", of the Department's Immunisation against Infectious Diseases 2006", published in November 2005, which is available on the Department's website at:


Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what mechanisms her Department has in place for recovering VAT from the Treasury. [49677]

Mr. Byrne: The Department follows HM Revenue and Customs' value added tax rules for Government Departments. For its non-business work, the Department recovers value added tax paid on inputs that feature in the Treasury (Contracting-out) Direction. If the Department carries out business activities, it recovers input tax under the same rules that apply to the private sector. Value added tax returns are made quarterly to HM Revenue and Customs.

Waiting Lists/Times

Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions she has had with the Health Minister in the National Assembly for Wales about differences in the ways waiting lists are compiled in England and Wales. [39265]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 20 December 2005]: Discussions have not taken place at ministerial level although we have worked closely with Welsh Assembly officials to determine the differences in the content and definition of waiting list statistics in each country.

These discussions will continue.

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when data will be made available to measure the total waiting time from a patient's first visit to their GP to an operation being carried out. [44295]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 20 January 2006]: The Department is pioneering total waiting time measurement in chosen national health service sites this spring. The intention is to measure the total pathway, from referral to start of treatment, across England from April 2007 in order to have the data to support delivery of the 18 weeks pathway in 2008.
13 Feb 2006 : Column 1798W

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the clinical and surgical procedures included in the formula used by the NHS to calculate average waiting list times. [46295]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 30 January 2006]: In-patient waiting lists statistics include all patients waiting to be admitted to national health service hospitals in England either as a day case or ordinary admission. They do not include the following:

Winter Deaths

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the effects on the NHS of more than 40,000 excess winter deaths in a year taking place. [32861]

Jane Kennedy: The pressure on health services from those needing unscheduled care is greater in the winter months. This is planned for, and other types of care scheduled accordingly throughout the year. This winter pressure comes largely from an increase in the numbers of elderly people requiring admission to hospital. As winter progresses, the age and length of stay of those admitted tends to increase as a result.

The excess in the number of deaths is only a partial marker for this increase in pressure—for two main reasons. Firstly, many of the deaths are relatively sudden, and may not give rise to a hospital admission. Secondly, hospitals tend to have very high occupancy during winter anyway, irrespective of how many excess deaths there are in the community. For primary care services, there is an undoubted increase in the workload originating from older people living at home during the winter.

Working Party on Respiratory Services

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to publish the report of the Working Party on Respiratory Services in England. [37296]

Mr. Byrne: Following the Chief Medical Officer's annual report published in July 2005, the Department has been considering the evidence relating to respiratory disease. Although there has been no working party, we have sought the advice of a number of stakeholders in a number of ways. Work collating the epidemiological and clinical evidence associated with a wide range of respiratory diseases will then be peer reviewed. We expect that process to be completed shortly in the new year when we will consider how to make it more widely available.