|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps her Department is taking to ensure that health professionals understand the (a) symptoms, (b) effects and (c) treatment options. 
The Department has previously provided funding to ensure that women and general practitioners are more aware of the signs and symptoms of the condition and seek help at an early stage. We remain committed to working with the National Endometriosis Society and other relevant organisations to understand better the causes and to find ways to continue to raise awareness.
28 Mar 2006 : Column 962W
Endometriosis is a named condition in the core training of all gynaecologists, requiring knowledge of the condition and competence in diagnosis, investigation and management to complete the core logbook for training in obstetrics and gynaecology. The Department is aware that last year the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists issued a revised guideline on the investigation and management of endometriosis. The aim is to provide clinicians with up to date information about the diagnosis and treatment of the condition, based upon the best available evidence.
Jane Kennedy: This information is not held in the format requested. However, the table shows the number of qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff employed in the Hillingdon primary care trust who are full-time, part-time and bank staff.
Bank staff are a combination of substantive national health service employees who work additional hours and staff specifically employed on bank contracts who cover shifts on an ad-hoc and temporary basis.
|Qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff||258||128||90||476|
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make it her policy to provide financial assistance to hospitals which lose income as a result of the establishment of an Independent Sector Treatment Centre in their area. 
Mr. Byrne: At the end of 200506, the wave one independent sector treatment centre (ISTC) programme will deliver approximately 60,000 elective procedures against a projected total of six million national health service procedures. This equates to less than one per cent. of elective procedures carried out in the NHS.
However, these centres have introduced new working methods, reduced NHS waiting lists and provided more patient choice. It would be inappropriate to provide financial assistance to hospitals which lose income because patients chose to use an ISTC for their treatment.
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 27 March 2006]: NHS LIFT was announced in the NHS Plan which also identified LIFT, along side other existing primary care procurement routes, as a mechanism to support the delivery of the following:
There are no further national targets on LIFT because, in line with Shifting the Balance of Power", NHS LIFT is a mechanism to be used by primary care trusts locally to support the delivery of their service modernisation programme as detailed in their individual strategic service development plan.
[holding answer 27 March 2006]: Stakeholder investment in each of the 42 established local improvement finance trusts (LIFT) is 60 per cent. private sector, 20 per cent. Partnerships for Health and
28 Mar 2006 : Column 963W
20 per cent. local health economy. The local health economy investment is usually made by primary care trusts, but it could also include the local authority.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the possible risk of hormone-dependent malignancies from (a) synthetic pesticides and (b) organochlorines; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: Individual pesticides are approved for use following a full safety assessment and receipt of independent advice from the advisory Committee on pesticides. Organochlorine pesticides are no longer approved for use in the United Kingdom.
The Committee on carcinogenicity of chemicals in food, consumer products and the environment carried out a review in 1999 of breast cancer risk and exposure to the organochlorine insecticides dieldrin, dichlora-diphenyl trichloroethane (DDT) and certain hexachlorocyclohexane isomers. This was updated in 2004. Statements on both reviews are available on the Department's website at: www.advisorybodies.doh.gov.uk/coc/statements.htm.
In 2004, the Committee considered the possible chemical causation of prostate cancer. It concluded that there was some limited evidence to suggest an association between farmers/farm workers, exposure to pesticides and increased risk of prostate cancer. The possibility of such an association being causal could not be discounted and the published literature should continue to be monitored for further studies. The Committee commented on the need for improved measures of exposure to pesticides, and in particular herbicides. It was considered that the potential association between herbicide use by farmers and farm workers should be kept under review. The full statement is also available on the Department's website at www.advisorybodies.doh.gov.uk/coc/prostate.htm.
The Medicines Act 1968 came into operation in 1971. Since then some provisions have been amended or disapplied by regulations implementing European legislation. The Act, and secondary legislation made under it, currently govern the manufacturing and wholesale distribution of medicines, licensing for medicines falling outside the European regulatory regime, the retail sale and supply of medicines, medicines advertising, control of pharmacies, preparation of the British Pharmacopoeia and enforcement of medicines legislation. The Act also establishes the system of medicines advisory bodies. Since 30 October 2005, the Act applies only to medicines for human use. The
28 Mar 2006 : Column 964W
provisions of the Act are implemented and enforced by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, which is an Executive agency of the Department. The legislation is kept under constant review.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether discussions have been held between the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and (a) the General Medical Council and (b) other professional associations for pharmaceutical physicians to remind and advise pharmaceutical physicians and their managers of their obligations, with particular reference to the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998; 
(2) whether she has satisfied herself that the level of protection under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 offers sufficient protection to employees within the pharmaceutical sector; and whether she plans to review the working of the Act within the sector; 
(3) which Government Departments are responsible for investigating complaints of misconduct in the pharmaceutical industry; and what plans there are for making public the results of investigations, particularly when complaints are upheld; 
(4) how many pharmaceutical employees have contacted (a) the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and (b) a Government Department to report concerns about misconduct within the pharmaceutical sector since the implementation of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998; what proportion of such contacts led to an investigation; and in how many the complaints were justified and upheld; 
Jane Kennedy: The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 provides comprehensive protection for workers who responsibly blow the whistle on wrongdoing in the workplace and are victimised by their employer for doing so. The Act provides adequate protection to all workers, regardless of sector and places no obligations directly on employers. There are no imminent plans to review its working within any sector.
The Department does not collect or hold any information internally as regards to how many pharmaceutical employees have contacted them or other Government departments to report concerns about misconduct within the pharmaceutical sector.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) does not hold a central record of approaches made since the implementation of the Act as there is no legal requirement to do so. However, the MHRA has received disclosures, some justified as well as some bogus allegations. Some have led to administrative/criminal investigations. Others have led to no further action being taken. The MHRA has no obligation to remind or advise professional associations or other employers in the sector of their obligations
28 Mar 2006 : Column 965W
under the Act and therefore has had no discussions with General Medical Council or any other professional associations about their obligations under the Act.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|