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14 May 2007 : Column 567W—continued

Professional bodies and other stakeholders


14 May 2007 : Column 568W

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to publish the annual abortion statistics 2006; and if she will make a statement. [134459]

Caroline Flint: The annual 2006 abortion statistics will be published by the Department in June 2007. Provisional abortion data for January to September 2006 are available in the Office for National Statistics publication Health Statistics Quarterly 33, copies of which are available in the Library.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions her Department has had with West Midlands Perinatal Institute on its recent study of the abortion of foetuses on grounds of disability; and if she will make a statement. [135710]

Caroline Flint: The Department has not had any discussions with West Midlands Perinatal Institute on its recent study on abortions for foetal abnormality.

We are aware that some babies are born showing signs of life following an abortion for foetal abnormality. The management of these cases rests with the clinical team involved, taking into account all the relevant factors and circumstances. The British Medical Association, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the British Association of Perinatal Medicine have issued guidance to clinicians on this sensitive issue.

While there continues to be medical advances in caring for premature babies, it is very rare for babies born at 22 weeks gestation or under to survive. The RCOG recommends that for all terminations at gestational age of more than 21 weeks and six days, the method chosen should ensure that the foetus is born dead.

The guidance goes on to say that where the patient chooses not to have feticide in the presence of a lethal abnormality, discussion must take place within the appropriate team, and the patient’s wishes and agreement sought on the management of the foetus after birth.

Accident and Emergency Departments

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance her Department issues to primary care trusts and strategic health authorities on the (a) minimum and (b) maximum catchment population for each accident and emergency department when planning the reconfiguration of services. [137076]

Andy Burnham: It is a matter for the local national health service to ensure that there is appropriate provision of urgent and emergency services that are responsive to people's needs.


14 May 2007 : Column 569W

Alcoholic Drinks: Consumption

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent estimate she has made of the proportion of (a) men and (b) women who drink more than the recommended weekly amounts of alcohol; and what assessment she has made of trends in alcohol consumption since 1992. [131918]

Caroline Flint: In 2005, 24 per cent. of men and 13 per cent. of women drank more than 21 units and 14 units respectively each week.

The table show average weekly alcohol consumption between 1992 and 2005. During the 1990s and up to
14 May 2007 : Column 570W
2001, the data show an increase in average weekly consumption; the figure for 2005 shows a reduction.

It is important to note that as a result of an inter-departmental review (Sensible Drinking; Department of Health 1995) Government advice on sensible drinking was changed from a weekly to a daily benchmark. This was to recognise the dangers of excessive drinking in a single session. Data on maximum daily amount drunk last week have only been collected by the General Household Survey from 1998 onwards and therefore trend information back to 1992 is not available on that measure.

Persons aged 16 and over, average weekly alcohol consumption by units
Unweighted Weighted
1992 1994 1996 1998 1998 2000 2001 2002 2005 Weighted base 2005 (000’s) = 100 per cent. Unweighted sample 2005

Total

10.2

10.0

10.7

11.0

11.5

12.0

12.1

12.1

10.8

41,744

19,956

Note:
In 2000, the decision was made to weight the data to compensate for under-representation of people in some groups. This table shows weighted and unweighted data for 1998 to give an indication of the effect of weighting. Caution should be exercised when comparing weighted and unweighted data.
Source:
General Household Survey 2005, Smoking and Drinking Among Adults; Office for National Statistics

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the 2004 Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy since the introduction of extended licensing hours. [136776]

Caroline Flint: The Licensing Act 2003 came into force on 24 November 2005 and introduced a number of measures including removing the fixed closing hours which contributed to large concentrations of customers, provoking disorder and nuisance. Evaluation of the Act formed part of the Government’s Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy, which is currently being reviewed. We will be publishing a renewed strategy shortly.

Ambulance Services: West Midlands

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Health by what mechanism and to what extent public opinion has been taken into account in the review of ambulance control rooms by the West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust. [135184]

Andy Burnham: Section 242 of the National Health Service Act 2006 requires NHS organisations, including ambulance trusts, to involve and consult patients and the public in the planning of services, in developments of proposals for changes in services, and in decisions affecting the operation of services. In addition, the Department issued policy and practice guidance to the NHS in respect of this matter in 2003 and we would expect this to be adhered to.

It is for the NHS locally to determine whether or not a particular issue constitutes a service change. NHS West Midlands reports that the West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust has decided to undertake a public consultation in relation to its review of control rooms. However, the details of this consultation have yet to be determined.

Antibiotics

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the number of courses of antibiotics that were prescribed in England in each of the last 30 years. [129883]

Caroline Flint: Data held by the Department only readily identify antibiotic prescription items dispensed in the community, more than one of which could constitute a course of treatment. A full 30 years of community prescribing data are not available, only from 1980 onwards:


14 May 2007 : Column 571W
Prescription items dispensed in the community in England
M illion

1980

32.8

1981

31.3

1982

34.7

1983

34.0

1984

34.7

1985

37.9

1986

37.0

1987

37.9

1988

39.8

1989

39.4

1990

39.7

1991

43.7

1992

43.4

1993

47.7

1994

45.8

1995

49.4

1996

46.6

1997

46.4

1998

42.6

1999

38.6

2000

36.9

2001

37.9

2002

37.0

2003

37.6

2004

36.5

2005

37.2

Note:
Data from 1980 to 1990 are only partial and not consistent with data from 1991 onwards. Figures up to 1990 are based on fees and a sample of one in 200 prescriptions dispensed by community pharmacists and appliance contractors. Figures for 1991 onwards are based on items and cover all prescriptions dispensed by community pharmacists, appliance contractors dispensing doctors and prescriptions submitted by prescribing doctors for items personally administered.

Avian Influenza

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 20 April 2007, Official Report, column 805W, on avian influenza, what information her Department holds on the percentage fatality rates for the pandemic influenza outbreaks of (a) 1918-19 (H1N1), (b) 1957 (N2N2) and (c) 1968 (H3N2). [134474]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 10 May 2007]: Contemporary Ministry of Health estimates of deaths were as detailed in the table. These should be taken as indicative only. In particular, it is difficult to establish case fatality rates with certainty as many cases of influenza would not have been recorded.

Deaths (England and Wales) Mortality rate (rounded) ( percentage ) Case fatality rate (rounded estimate) ( percentage )

1918-19

200,000

0.5

2

1957

30,000

0.06

0.2

1968-69

80,000

0.15

0.4


Blood

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much her Department spent on BPL Elstree in (a) 1977, (b) 1978 and (c) 1979; and if she will make a statement; [134900]

(2) how much her Department spent on the Lister Institute's (a) Chelsea and (b) Elstree laboratories in (i) 1980, (ii) 1981, (iii) 1982, (iv) 1983 and (v) 1984; and if she will make a statement; [134904]

(3) how much her Department spent on the Lister Institute's (a) Chelsea and (b) Elstree laboratories in each year since 1977; and if she will make a statement. [135278]

Caroline Flint: This information can be provided only at a disproportionate cost.


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