The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) plans to publish its technology appraisal on bevacizumab and cetuximab
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for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer in November 2006. Further information on this appraisal can be found on NICE's website at www.nice.org.uk.
Ms Diana R. Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many delayed discharges there were in acute hospitals serving the Kingston-upon-Hull area in the last 12 months; and how many acute hospital bed nights these represented. 
|Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS
We do however have some provisional information that covers contracts. A contract may well be for more than one dentist so cannot be broken down further to individual dentist level. These management estimates show that 488 contracts were signed in dispute in the five London strategic health authorities and 2884 in England.
Peter Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the availability of NHS dental services in Gosport constituency; how many dentists are giving appointments for NHS treatment; what the average time patients waited for treatment was in the latest period for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to ensure that diabetes patients are provided with a fully informed choice of all available insulins and informed of their risks and benefits. 
The choice of insulin prescribed to a patient is a clinical decision made as a result of a joint decision-making process between the patient and their clinician taking into account all available evidence and the individual's specific clinical needs. From January 2006, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has required all primary care trusts to implement NICE guidance on patient education by
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providing all people with diabetes with high quality, structured education which should include information on insulin use.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when the consultation by the Food Standards Agency on natural mineral water, spring water and bottled drinking water will be completed; 
Caroline Flint: There is not yet a specification for United Kingdom natural mineral waters that would allow the claim that they are suitable for infant feeding. The Food Standards Agency has completed a consultation on draft criteria that would enable natural mineral water to carry such a claim. These criteria were based on advice from the committee on medical aspects of food and nutrition. The comments received during the consultation are being taken into account in the preparation of the final version of regulations.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research she has (a) assessed and (b) commissioned on the possible relationship between children drinking tap water with added fluoride and the risk of developing bone cancer as teenagers. 
Caroline Flint: A number of studies regarding water fluoridation and bone cancer have been published. The weight of the scientific evidence, as assessed by independent committees of experts, comprehensive systematic reviews, and review of the findings of individual studies, does not currently support any association between water fluoridated at levels optimal for oral health and the risk for cancer, including bone cancer, in children.
We are aware that an observed association between exposure to fluoride in drinking water and the incidence (new cases) of osteosarcoma in young males has recently been reported in a paper in the United States (Age-specific fluoride exposure in drinking water and Osteosarcom (United States) Bassin et al., Cancer causes control (2006) 17: 421428). No apparent association was observed in females. The author has described this research as an exploratory analysis and has acknowledged that further research is required to confirm or refute the observed association.
In 2000, the Government commissioned a systematic review of public water fluoridation from the University of York. In this study, no clear association between osteosarcoma and fluoridation was found. In 2002, the Medical Research Council (MRC), commissioned by the Government to consider further research requirements on water fluoridation, agreed with the York findings that overall, the evidence does not suggest that artificially fluoridated water increases the risk of cancer. The Department will keep any further publications from the recent United States study under review and is committed to a continuing programme of research in line with the MRCs recommendations.
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