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18 Apr 2006 : Column 386W—continued

Clinical Negligence

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of the legally-aided clinical negligence cases that were closed in the last year with payment of compensation were settled for reasons of the health service defendant seeking to (a) avoid and (b) limit irrecoverable legal costs. [63814]

Jane Kennedy: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Clinical Trials

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions her Department has had with (a) hon. Members, (b) members of the House of Lords, (c) the British Medical Association, (d) members of the public and (e) the Royal College of Surgeons on clinical trials in hospitals; and if she will make a statement. [60928]

Jane Kennedy: Together with ministerial colleagues and departmental officials, the Secretary of State is in constant dialogue with hon. Members, Members of the
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House of Lords, professional bodies, and members of the public on all aspects of the Department's responsibilities.

The consultation document Best Research for Best Health: a new national health research strategy" that the Department published last year included proposals for the creation of world-class support to the national health service organisations, staff and patients involved in the health research that forms an integral part of high-quality patient care in England. Some 500 organisations and individuals, including the Royal College of Surgeons and the British Medical Association, responded to an invitation to comment. Their response is available on the Department's web site at The final Government NHS research strategy Best Research for Best Health" has been strengthened by this input.

The Department funds INVOLVE, an organisation that supports and promotes public involvement in NHS, public health and social care research and development. INVOLVE deals regularly with inquiries about public involvement in such research from patients and members of the public.

The UK Clinical Research Collaboration and the UK Clinical Research Network have brought together a number of organisations that are active in patient and public involvement in research, to discuss issues concerned with that involvement and to develop a shared agenda that maximises the impact of individual organisations' activities and minimises unnecessary duplication. One of the first products of this collaborative working will be the production of a guide to understanding clinical trials for patients and the public.


Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what criteria she uses to decide whether potential contractors are a bad financial risk. [60580]

Jane Kennedy: It is Departmental procurement policy to consider the assessment of a potential contractor's financial status at the supplier selection or tender evaluation stage and that the assessment is proportional to the financial risks associated with each individual contract.

Financial capability assessments are routinely sought using information obtained through pre-qualification questionnaires or through a Dun and Bradstreet financial report.

A judgment on the financial capability of a company will be made on a case by case basis taking into account factors such as the maturity of the company, changes in turnover and length of time trading.

The Department uses ICC Juniper to provide various levels of financial evaluation. We have also used OGC to carry out financial appraisals. Where more detailed financial analysis is felt to be required, then use of an internal or external financial advisor would be considered.
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Coronary Heart Disease/Stroke

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the rates of mortality from (a) coronary heart disease and (b) stroke were in each year since 1997. [62410]

John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 18 April 2006:

Age-standardised death rate(170) in persons of all ages, by underlying cause of death. England and Wales, 1997 to 2004(171)

(a) Coronary heart disease(172)(b) Stroke(173)

(170) Rate per 100,000 population standardised to the European standard population.
(171) Data are for deaths occurring in each calendar year.
(172) Selected using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes 410–414 for the years 1997 to 2000, and the Tenth Revision (JCD-10) codes 120–125 for 2001 onwards.
(173) Selected using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes 430–438 for the years 1997 to 2000, and the Tenth Revision (1CD-10) codes 160–169 for 2001 onwards.
(174) The introduction of ICD-10 for coding cause of death in 2001 means that figures are not completely comparable with data for years before this date. The data should therefore be interpreted with caution. The effect of the change in classification in 2001 on mortality is described in an article published in Health Statistics Quarterly Summer 2002 on 23 May 2002. More information about these changes can be found on the NS website at


Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many specialist centres for diabetes have had their responsibilities for podiatry and retinal screening devolved to GPs by the primary care trust. [63644]

Ms Rosie Winterton: This information is not held centrally.

It is for primary care trusts, in partnership with strategic health authorities and other stakeholders, to determine how best to use their funds to meet national and local priorities for improving health, tackling health inequalities and modernising services. This process provides the means for addressing local needs within the health community, including the provision of podiatry and retinal screening.
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Domiciliary Oxygen Supply Service

Ms Diana R. Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many complaints her Department received about the domiciliary oxygen supply service in Kingston-upon-Hull in (a) 2004, (b) 2005 and (c) 2006 to date. [64090]

Jane Kennedy: During the period in question, the Department received one complaint in March 2006 about the domiciliary oxygen service in the Kingston-upon-Hull area.

European Health Insurance Card

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her Department has done to publicise the new European health insurance card; and if she will make a statement. [63087]

Ms Rosie Winterton: A major publicity campaign ran from October 2004 to March 2006 to publicise both the withdrawal of Elll's and the introduction of the European health insurance card. Activities included the Department's press releases, information leaflets distributed through the travel trade pharmacies and general practitioner surgeries and to 17.5 million households through inserts in local free newspapers, national and local press advertising, a public information film, radio interviews and advertising on photo booths and at Heathrow airport.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of European Health Insurance Card forms have been processed within the 21 day target; and if she will make a statement. [63088]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The vast majority of applications are processed and delivery commenced within two to three days of receipt. Processing may take longer in a small number of cases where further information is required from the applicant.

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