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Jane Kennedy: For 200506 month six, the NHS is forecasting a gross deficit of around £948 million. Some NHS organisations have generated surpluses of around £325 million. Therefore, the NHS at 200506 month six, is forecasting a net deficit of around £620 million.
Jane Kennedy: The Secretary of State and her ministerial team have regular meetings with strategic health authorities, primary care trusts and acute trusts. This includes meetings with NHS organisations that are overspending and underspending. These meetings will continue to take place in the future.
Jane Kennedy: For 200506 month six, the NHS is forecasting a net deficit of around £620 million. This forecast deficit amounts to less than 1 per cent. of the funding available. The latest unaudited data for the mid-year point shows that two-thirds of the forecast deficit is in around 7 per cent. of organisations.
Jane Kennedy: The cost and configuration of the scheme is currently being reviewed by the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS trust, as it recognises that all investments in the NHS have to be affordable to the local health economy and sustainable in the long term.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps the Government is taking in the light of the report in the Journal of Applied Toxicology of 1 March 2006 on a possible link between aluminium used in deodorants and the incidence of breast cancer; 
Caroline Flint: The EU Cosmetics Directive, implemented in the United Kingdom by the Department of Trade and Industry's Cosmetics Products Safety Regulations, covers the safety of cosmetics. Currently aluminium zirconium chloride hydroxide complexes are specifically allowed as antiperspirants (up to 20 per cent.) but with the labelling requirement: Do not apply to irritated or damaged skin".
The European Commission's expert advisory committee, established to advise on the safety of consumer products including cosmetics, the scientific committee on consumer products (SCCP) has recently considered the hypothesis that chemicals in underarm deodorants are a risk factor in breast cancer due to their potential oestrogenicity. They concluded that there was no evidence of any demonstrable risk of the development of breast cancer caused by the use of underarm cosmetics. The recent paper in the Journal of Applied Toxicology claiming oestrogenic activity for a large range of metals, including aluminium, which is used as an anti-perspirant in underarm deodorants, provides very limited data from in vitro studies. No conclusions can be drawn regarding the biological significance of these data. We are advised by the Health Protection Agency that the paper does not provide any information that would suggest that the recent SCCP opinion on this hypothesis should be reconsidered. There is no justification for government supporting research in this area.
Since the introduction of the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) schools programme in 1953 the epidemiology of tuberculosis has changed from a disease of the general population to one predominantly affecting high risk groups. The new recommendations are based on the advice of the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation and are aimed at delivering an improved targeted risk based programme. The widespread introduction of targeted BCG vaccination means that the majority of children at high risk of tuberculosis will now be vaccinated in early life.
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Ms Rosie Winterton: It is important to be clear about the differences between seasonal influenza, avian influenza and pandemic influenza. Avian (bird) influenza is a disease which mainly affects birds. Seasonal flu refers to the viruses that circulate in the human population and cause widespread illness each winter. Pandemic flu will only occur after an avian virus has mutated into a different strain which can spread easily between humans, and to which they do not have immunity.
The UK Influenza Pandemic Contingency Plan" outlines what the Department is doing to protect the public from pandemic influenza. The plan is available on the Department's website at www.dh.gov.uk/pandemicflu.
Experts are concerned that the H5N1 strain may emerge to form a pandemic. On 20 July 2005, the Department invited manufacturers to tender for a limited supply of H5N1 vaccine. The move is part of the work to prepare for and reduce the impact of a possible flu pandemic. We have awarded contracts to Baxter and Chiron for supplies of 3.7 million doses of H5N1 vaccine and expect to receive stocks by October 2006.
Caroline Flint: In 2004, in England and Wales, there were 639,721 live births and 185,415 abortions (abortions performed on residents of England and Wales). Publication of the live births data for 2005 is scheduled for May 2006 and July 2006 for the 2005 abortion data.
Hepatitis B vaccine is not currently recommended for universal childhood immunisation in the United Kingdom. This is because the UK is a low incidence country for hepatitis B and has one of the lowest level of chronic hepatitis B infection in the world. The UK hepatitis B vaccination programme is under ongoing review by the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation.
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Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what mechanisms are in place to enable clinical experts not included on a National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence clinical guideline development group to contribute to the development of a guideline; 
(2) whether National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence clinical guideline development groups can contact other relevant clinical experts to assess evidence as part of the development of a clinical guideline; 
(3) what steps she is taking to ensure that there is appropriate clinical expertise on each of the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence's clinical guideline development groups to assess evidence provided for the development of a clinical guideline; 
Jane Kennedy: The mechanisms for ensuring that there is appropriate expert input into the development of National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) clinical guidelines are a matter for the Institute. Information on NICE's guideline development processes and methods is available on the NICE website at www.nice.org.uk. I understand that;
All members of NICE guideline development groups are selected by the relevant national collaborating centre based on their particular expertise, either through formal stakeholder nominations or through informal networks. A NICE guideline development group will typically have around 12 to 15 members.
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