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Mesothelioma: Research

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has spent on research into mesothelioma in each of the last five years; and how much it plans to spend on such research in each of the next three years. [256979]

Dawn Primarolo: Over the last 10 years, the main part of the Department’s research and development budget has been allocated to and managed by national health service organisations. Those organisations have accounted for their use of the allocations they have received from the Department in an annual research and development report. The reports identify total, aggregated expenditure on national priority areas, including cancer. They do not provide details of research into particular cancer sites.

The National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI), a UK-wide partnership between Government, charities and industry, makes cancer research information available online via the international cancer research portfolio database at:

Details of current departmental and Medical Research Council (MRC) site-specific cancer research can be found through this database.

The MRC is one of the main agencies through which the Government support biomedical research. The MRC is an independent body funded by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

MRC expenditure over the last 10 years on lung cancer research, including research relating to mesothelioma, has been as follows:

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£ million





















These figures include funding to the MRC Clinical Trials Unit for the clinical trials in lung cancer programme which included support for the MS01 trial (active symptom control with or without chemotherapy for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma).

The usual practice of the Department’s National Institute for Health Research and of the MRC is not to ring-fence funds for expenditure on particular topics: research proposals in all areas compete for the funding available. Future levels of expenditure on lung cancer research will be determined by the success of relevant bids for funding.

Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has spent on MRSA prevention research in the last 12 months. [257309]

Ann Keen: The Department's policy research programme invested some £1.04 million on health care acquired infection research in 2007-08. A large part of this expenditure was on projects concerned specifically with methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is one of the main agencies through which the Government supports biomedical research. The MRC is an independent body funded by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

The MRC spent £3.6 million on research into hospital-acquired infections, including MRSA, in 2007-08.

MMR Vaccine

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he plans to take to increase measles, mumps and rubella vaccination rates amongst children under 16 years of age. [256920]

Dawn Primarolo: In August 2008, the Department announced the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine catch-up programme aimed at any child up to the age of 18 who has never been vaccinated with the MMR vaccine and any child who has had only one of the two MMR vaccine doses.

To support the campaign the Department has provided extra funding to primary care trusts (PCTs) with PCTs outside London having their funding limits increased by £30,000 and London PCTs’ funding limits increased by £60,000. The Department has also sourced additional supplies of vaccine, provided technical support to general practitioners to help them identify children who have not received the MMR vaccine and provided additional online reports to PCTs to help them monitor the effectiveness their catch-up programmes.

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The Department held meetings with both strategic health authorities and PCT immunisation co-ordinators, Regional Directors of Public Health and Directors of Performance to emphasise the importance of reducing measles cases through improving vaccination uptake.

A public relations campaign is planned to be implemented and rolled out shortly. Key messages will include how serious and infectious measles is and how it's never too late to have the MMR vaccine. A measles leaflet has already been placed in the Library and is available at:

NHS Direct

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his Answer of 3 February 2009, Official Report, column 1109W, on NHS Direct, what the average cost to his Department of a NHS Direct call is; and what proportion of this cost relates to (a) staffing and (b) infrastructure. [257499]

Mr. Bradshaw: The average cost of a call to NHS Direct’s 0845 46 47 line was £25.53 for 2007-08. Of this cost, staffing accounts for 63 per cent. (£15.96) and other costs account for 37 per cent. (£9.37).

The breakdown of these other costs is provided in the following table:

Service Proportion (percentage) Value (£)










Establishment expenses



Consultancy services









These figures do not account for other calls to services provided to national and local commissioners, e.g. calls to The Appointments Line (formerly the Choose and Book Appointments Line) and locally commissioned services.
NHS Direct

NHS Treatment Centres: Private Sector

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department have issued guidance to primary care trusts on the procedures to be followed in the establishment of an independent sector treatment centre. [256867]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department led centrally on the national independent sector treatment centre (ISTC) programme. The procurement process was designed to allow the independent sector to work in partnership with local healthcare economies to provide solutions to meet local requirements and work effectively alongside national health service provided services.

The Department published the following guidance:

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Copies of the guidance have been placed in the Library.

The Department has stated that it has no plans to run a third wave of ISTC procurement and will instead move towards greater local determination.

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether people may be recruited to work in independent sector treatment centres if they have been employed in the NHS during the previous six months; and if he will make a statement. [256870]

Ann Keen: All independent sector treatment centre (ISTC) providers can employ any clinician regardless of their previous national health service engagement with the exception of a six-month restriction on those occupations listed on the Shortage Professions List.

However, ISTC providers can employ NHS clinicians (including those on the Shortage Professions List) during their non-contracted hours, provided they obtain the agreement of the NHS employer body.

NHS: Data Protection

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which private sector companies have access to (a) NHS databases and (b) patient information. [256702]

Mr. Bradshaw: Access to national health service patient information is permitted, with patient consent, to approved private sector organisations involved in providing services to NHS patients. Companies which provide technical support and maintenance for NHS databases may be given controlled access to databases and information for essential work. In both cases, companies will operate under contractual terms that require NHS information governance standards covering confidentiality, security and record retention to be complied with in full.

NHS: Drugs

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of prescription items dispensed in the community have been dispensed by (a) community pharmacists, (b) dispensing GPs and (c) others in each year since 1997. [255455]

Phil Hope: The available information for the percentages of prescription items dispensed by dispenser type is provided in the following table.

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Percentage of prescription items prescribed in the community in England and dispensed in the UK, by dispenser type, based on a 1 in 20 sample of all prescriptions dispensed 2001 to 2007

Community pharmacists and appliance contractors Dispensing doctors Personally administered items





























1. Figures for community pharmacist dispensing are not available separately.
2. Figures for dispensing GPs are available only from 2001.
Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA)

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many medicines use reviews have been conducted by pharmacies in each year since 2005-06; what estimate he has made of the average cost of conducting a medicines use review; and if he will make a statement. [255670]

Phil Hope: The number of medicines use reviews (MURs) provided by accredited pharmacists are published in table 8 (table 10 in 1996-97 to 2005-06) of the annual bulletins “General Pharmaceutical Services in England and Wales” published by the Information Centre for health and social care.

Copies of the bulletins for 1996-97 to 2005-06, 1997-98 to 2006-07 and 1998-99 to 2007-08 have been placed in the Library.

Under the community pharmacy contractual framework, a fee per MUR is payable to contractors providing the service up to a maximum of 400 MURs per pharmacy in any financial year (except for pharmacies which have not made arrangements before 1 October, in which case payment will be made to a maximum of 200 MURs per pharmacy in the first year). The fee payable per MUR since the introduction of the service is as follows:

Fee payable per MUR (£)

From April 2005


From October 2007


From October 2008


NHS: Energy

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans to reduce energy consumption in the NHS are in place; [256936]

(2) what target he has set for the reduction of energy consumption in the NHS. [256937]

Phil Hope: Under the requirements of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Climate Change Programme, the Department set mandatory energy/carbon efficiency targets on the national health service in England to:

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