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Pharmaceuticals

Mr. Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the cost of pharmaceuticals in the United Kingdom, the United States of America and other European Union countries; and if he will make a statement. [150666]

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Ms Stuart: Regular comparisons are made between the prices of medicines in these countries and the results published in "The Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme: Report to Parliament". The most recent edition of this (the fourth report) was published in December 2000. Copies are in the Library and the text is also on the Department of Health website at www.doh.gov.uk/pprs/ pprs-reports.htm.

The medicines compared (which are those with the highest sales to the National Health Service) are branded rather than generic, because in many countries unbranded generic medicines are not available.

Haemophilia

Dr. Naysmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will estimate the additional cost to the NHS of treating all adults with haemophilia in England who are receiving plasma treatment products with recombinant genetically engineered products; [150862]

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Mr. Denham: Based on figures provided by the United Kingdom Haemophilia Centre Doctors Organisation, we estimate that approximately 13 per cent. of adult haemophilia A patients and 4 per cent. of haemophilia B patients in England are currently receiving recombinant clotting factors. We estimate the additional cost of providing all adult haemophilia patients with recombinant clotting factors at around £50 million per annum.

Dr. Naysmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what differences there are between the provision of recombinant genetically engineered haemophilia treatment products for (a) adults and (b) children in (i) England, (ii) Scotland, (iii) Wales and (iv) Northern Ireland. [150865]

Mr. Denham: In England, all new haemophilia patients and children under 16 are treated with recombinant clotting factors. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland provide, or are in the process of providing, recombinant clotting factors for all haemophilia patients.

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Dr. Naysmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what counselling and advice his Department has made available to haemophilia patients who have received treatment products which are traced to a blood donor who has died of vCJD. [150861]

Mr. Denham: The United Kingdom Haemophilia Centre Doctors Organisation, in consultation with the Department, has agreed a policy of giving all haemophilia patients information about such incidents and offering them a choice to know if they or their children received implicated clotting factors. Counselling and advice to patients will be provided by haemophilia centres.

Departmental IT Projects

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the IT projects currently undertaken in his Department; and if he will state the (a) expected completion date and (b) cost of each project. [151506]

Ms Stuart [holding answer 26 February 2001]: The information requested is shown in the table.

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Project NameExpected Completion DateEstimated Cost (£000)
Children In Need 3 August-2001174
Children Looked After 4April-2001182
DH Communications Unit Resource Management SystemMarch-2002393
Care and Health Information Portfolio 4May-2001289
Computer Aided Facilities Management SystemJune-2001122
Computerisation of Medical Benefits SystemJune-2001380
Food Standards Agency (IT Infrastructure set-up & Relocation)May-20011952
Financial Infromation Management System (Phase 1)October-2001870
Interim NHS Benchmarking SystemFebruary-2001301
Internet Data Collection for Local AuthoritiesMarch-2001114
NHS Estates Knowledge DatabaseFebruary-2001206
NHS Estates Business SystemsApril-2001720
Research and Development Programme Management SystemApril-2002426
Management of Electronic Documents StrategyApril-20032500
Regional Office Historic Data ProjectNovember-2001234
Remote Working Improvements ProjectDecember-2001150
National Care Standards Commission IS InfrastructureApril-200219600
National Care Standards Commission Registration and Inspection PackageApril-20021500
National Care Standards Commission Finance PackageApril-20021000
National Care Standards Commission Pay and Personnel SystemApril-2002250
Medical Devices Agency Integrated System for Information SharingMarch-2001191
NHS Pension Agency E-Pensions ZoneJune-2001493
Public Health Laboratory Service CoSurv/lablinkMarch-2002112

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There are many smaller projects where the total project costs are less than £100,000. A full-list of these could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the IT projects his Department plans to undertake in the next year; and if he will state in each case the (a) expected date of commencement and completion and (b) cost. [151478]

Ms Stuart [holding answer 26 February 2001]: The Department's programme for 2001-02 has not yet been finalised but priority will be given to projects that support the NHS Plan.

Child Abuse

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance is issued to nurses about

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reporting to the police cases where, in the course of their duty, a nurse strongly suspects a child of being a victim of sexual abuse. [151355]

Mr. Hutton: Nurses are well placed to identify when a child may be suffering, or be at risk of significant harm. Like any other professional, a nurse must take appropriate action in accordance with locally agreed procedures, if he or she believes that a child is at such risk. This may involve a referral to local child protection services, which may include the police who then inquire as appropriate into the circumstances of the case.

The "Working Together to Safeguard Children" guidance, published by the Government in 1999, and "Child Protection--Guidance for Senior Nurses, Health Visitors and Midwives and their Managers", a report of the Standing Nursing and Midwifery Advisory Committee, published in 1997, together set out in detail the crucial role that nurses play in child protection.

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We are currently developing supplementary guidance to "Working Together" which will focus on the role of all health professionals in child protection.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if full multidisciplinary investigations are carried out in accident and emergency departments of all cases where babies have been shaken. [151374]

Mr. Hutton: If a member of staff working in a hospital accident and emergency department believes that a child may be suffering, or may be at risk of suffering, significant harm appropriate action must be taken immediately in accordance with local procedures. This may involve a referral to local child protection services, which may include the police who then inquire as appropriate into the circumstances of the case.

The "Working Together to Safeguard Children" guidance, published by the Government in 1999, sets out how all agencies with child protection responsibilities should work together to safeguard children and promote their welfare. We are currently developing supplementary guidance to "Working Together" which will focus on the role of all health professionals in child protection.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information on specific treatment services provided to children at risk of abusing other children within the Quality Protects Programme is available. [151378]

Mr. Hutton: The Department does not seek from local authorities specific information on what services are made available under the Quality Protects Programme to children at risk of abusing other children.

However, children at risk of abusing other children are likely to have considerable, and often complex, needs. Local authorities are expected to work closely with their partner agencies to ensure that such children receive support and treatment based on their assessed needs.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the future programme for research into the incidence and prevalence of child maltreatment in the UK. [151380]

Mr. Hutton: We are committed to researching into the nature and extent of child abuse and its causes. Development of policy aimed at tackling child maltreatment is informed and influenced by published research in this complex field such as that carried out by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. The revised "Working Together to Safeguard Children" (1999) guidance on child protection reflects the key messages from a programme of research studies into child protection issues commissioned by the Department of Health, "Child Protection: messages from research" (1995).

We regularly commission research into the needs of children and the impact of services which aim to promote and safeguard the welfare of children. The total cost of this programme for the current financial year is approximately £2.5 million. Projects considering the causes, directly or in part, of child abuse include: a study of the onset of sexually abusive behaviour in boys who were sexually abused in early childhood; a study aimed at advancing knowledge about the psychological maltreatment of a specific group of children: those singled

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out from their siblings and rejected by their birth parents and the comparative costs and outcomes of different interventions for sexually abused children.


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