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22 Jun 2009 : Column 728W—continued

Hospitals: Weight Measurement

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information his Department holds on the number of hospitals with accurately calibrated (a) electronic measuring chairs, (b) beds and (c) hoist scales for weighing patients. [280489]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Information on the number of hospitals with these weight measuring items is not collected centrally.

Prescription Drugs

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many consultations have been conducted in respect of Part IX of the Drug Tariff; how much each consultation cost; what changes have been made to part IX of the drug tariff as a result; and what estimate he has made of changes to expenditure from the public purse as a result of the changes. [280859]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Six consultations were conducted in respect of part IX of the Drug Tariff, the last of which closed in September 2008.

It is not possible to provide a cost for each consultation. However, costs for the entire review (since it began in 2005) were around £3.7 million. These costs were for the services of professional advisers. The Department’s other costs are part of its ongoing operational budget.

When it began in 2005, the part IX review included not only arrangements for the provision of stoma and urology appliances, and related services, but also the provision of chemical reagents and some dressings in primary care.

The work was conducted in two phases:

The overall review of part IX has delivered significant savings to the national health service.

Phase 1 of the review, which involved the reduction in reimbursement prices for chemical reagents and some dressings, saved £45.5 million between October 2006 and November 2008.

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For phase 2 of the review, the reduction in reimbursement prices for part IXA (catheter), IXB and IXC appliances will deliver an estimated saving of £4.5 million in 2010-11. In addition, the suspension of the price increase mechanism to October 2010 for part IXA (catheter), IXB and IXC appliances will deliver an additional estimated saving of £10.9 million. Due to the new remuneration arrangements for part IX appliances, it is estimated that additional costs in 2010-11 will be £19.7 million. Exact costs and savings will depend on the number of items dispensed.

Prostate Cancer: Medical Treatments

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what information is provided in advance to men (a) considering and (b) starting hormone therapy for the treatment of prostate cancer; [280883]

(2) how many men have been treated for adverse affects from hormone therapy for the treatment of prostate cancer in each of the last five years; [280884]

(3) what support services his Department provides for men undergoing hormone therapy for the treatment of prostate cancer; and whether he plans to increase the level of those services. [280885]

Ann Keen: Information on the treatment of prostate cancer, including hormone therapy, is available on the NHS Choices website at:

This also provides links to a number of other useful websites, including the Prostate Cancer Charity, UK Prostate Link and Cancer Research UK, where more detailed information is available.

The Cancer Reform Strategy (2007) acknowledges the importance of all patients with cancer receiving information at each stage of the patient pathway. The National Cancer Action Team has been working with a number of cancer charities, the cancer networks and over 30 national health service trusts to develop national cancer patient information pathways, which make information available to health professionals to offer to patients at key points in their cancer journey.

Information for men considering or starting hormone therapy for prostate cancer is covered in the national cancer information pathway for prostate cancer, which
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has been developed with input from Cancer Backup, Cancer Research UK and the Prostate Cancer Charity. This information pathway currently offers over 70 publications covering a range of topics relating to prostate cancer, including hormone therapy. It includes information on why, how and when hormone therapy is given, the types of hormone therapy available and potential side effects. In addition, individual trusts may have local information on hormone therapy to offer to men.

The national cancer information pathways are currently being piloted in 71 sites, and national roll out of an electronic information delivery system is expected to take place in 2010.

Information on the number of men who have been treated for adverse effects of hormone therapy for prostate cancer is not collected centrally.

Primary care trusts are responsible for commissioning services to meet the health care needs of their local populations, including support services for patients.

In 2008, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published clinical guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. The guidelines recommend that men with prostate cancer should have the opportunity to make informed decisions about their care and treatment, in partnership with their healthcare professionals. This guidance also makes recommendations on the use of hormonal therapy in the treatment of prostate cancer, and the management of any complications. It is available on NICE's website at:


Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 10 March 2009, Official Report, columns 391-94W, on tranquillisers, for what reasons the number of prescriptions for the anti-epileptic drugs clobazam and clonazepam dispensed increased in 2008. [279384]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The data available do not include any information other than the volume and costs of the prescription items.

No additional analysis has been made of the reasons for these increases.

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