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Heart Disease

Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list in descending order the 10 parliamentary constituencies which had (a) the highest rate of heart disease and (b) the highest rates of death due to heart disease indicating the reasons for major discrepancies in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [158746]

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Yvette Cooper: We recognise the importance of better information, not least to ensure that we are able to identify, treat and prevent heart disease. That is why one of the early priorities for the National Service Framework for coronary heart disease (CHD) is the systematic development and maintenance of practice-based CHD registers.

Data for the 25 health authorities with the highest rates of mortality from all circulatory disease, which includes all forms of heart disease, for men and women, for the latest available year are shown in the table. Information at parliamentary constituency level on rates of death from specific causes is not collected centrally.

Standardised Mortality Ratio (SMR) for all circulatory disease (ICD9 390-459), 1997-99--25 health authorities with highest (worst) mortality rates

Health authorityNumber
West Pennine130
Wigan and Bolton122
St. Helens and Knowsley122
East Lancashire121
County Durham119
Bury and Rochdale118
Gateshead and South Tyneside114
North Staffordshire114
Salford and Trafford113
East London and the City112
North Cheshire110
West Pennine128
East Lancashire126
Bury and Rochdale123
County Durham123
Wigan and Bolton120
North Cumbria119
St. Helens and Knowsley116
Gateshead and South Tyneside116
North Cheshire116
North Derbyshire113
Morecambe Bay111
South Lancashire111
North Staffordshire111
South Staffordshire110


Department of Health Compendium of Clinical and Health Indicators 2000.

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New Hospital (Worcester)

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy not to approve a name for the new hospital under construction in Worcester before conducting a local consultation on the issue; and if he will make a statement. [158482]

Yvette Cooper: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has a duty to consult in regard to significant changes to services, and will take account of all representations made to him regarding any such issues. However, in most circumstances the naming of a hospital is not generally viewed as a significant change, and is therefore usually a matter for local management.

Where the proposed name of the hospital includes a royal name or title, including the title "Royal", sovereign approval must be received. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary is responsible for offering advice to Her Majesty The Queen in this regard, taking account of views and information received from other appropriate Government Departments, as well as all other representations made to him.

Mental Health Service

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of the money allocated for mental health services for the years 1999-2000 to 2001-02 has been allocated for the pilot assessment projects for those with dangerous severe personality disorder. [159159]

Mr. Hutton: Money allocated to fund pilot assessment projects for those with dangerous severe personality disorder in the years 1999-2000 to 2001-02 is as follows:


(8) Allocation will take place during 2001-02

Food Supplements

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the action being taken by the EU Commission to harmonise regulations on food supplements in member states. [159180]

Ms Stuart: The European Commission published an amended draft directive 1 on food supplements on 19 March which takes into account a number of amendments proposed by the European Parliament. The directive would establish a framework for harmonised legislation covering the composition (vitamins and minerals which can be used and levels of use) and labelling of food supplements sold under food law. It would have no effect on products classified as medicines.

Our view is that, in the interests of consumer choice, the market should be open to all food supplements which are safe and properly labelled. It also believes that the law should not prevent provision of true information unless it might mislead consumers. The Food Standards Agency, which is representing the Government in discussions on the proposal, is pressing this case in negotiations.

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Council of Europe Public Health Committee

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the proposed agenda for the meeting of the public health committee of the Council of Europe scheduled for 30 and 31 May on the subject of nutrition, food safety and consumer health; and if he will be represented at those meetings. [159178]

Mr. Hutton: The next meeting of the Council of Europe's committee of experts on nutrition, food safety and consumer health will take place on 30 and 31 May 2001. The agenda indicates that functional food, energy drinks, food supplements, nutrition in hospitals, stored product protection, new food processing technologies and food quality management are among the subjects that will be discussed. The representation from the United Kingdom will be decided once subject papers have been circulated and in the light of other priorities.

Domestic Violence

Ms Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the measures he has taken to tackle domestic violence since May 1997. [159419]

Mr. Hutton: We are committed to raising awareness of domestic violence and its impact on children, to tackling domestic violence on every front, and to ensuring that women and children are safeguarded and protected from abuse.

In March 2000 we launched the "Domestic violence: A resource manual for health care professionals", and we are providing funding (from 2000-01 to 2002-03) under the Section 64 Scheme to the women's aid federation of England for their health and domestic violence awareness project to help implement the resource manual.

Our NHS Direct East Midlands domestic violence pilot project aims to produce protocols for good practice, and train staff to be able to deal with victims of domestic abuse sensitively and refer them to appropriate agencies.

We have also held preliminary discussions with representatives of the Royal Colleges to discuss a programme of education and training on aspects of domestic violence for health professionals.

Recent work by the Department in relation to child protection in the context of domestic violence includes the "Making an impact--children and domestic violence training pack" which we published in 1998 to raise awareness about the impact on children of domestic violence and to develop professional understanding of how best to offer help and support.

There is an undertaking in "Working together to safeguard children" our revised inter-agency guidance to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, published in 1999, to commission overview reports at least every two years, drawing out key findings of case reviews and their implications for policy and practice. The first overview report will have child protection in the context of domestic violence as its central theme. We have commissioned this report and it will be published later this year.

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In addition, we have provided Section 64 funding to a number of voluntary organisations for a range of projects designed to assist survivors of domestic violence and children caught up in such violence.

TB Vaccine

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the effect of shortages of the TB vaccine on the number of cases of TB; and if he will make a statement. [158972]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 26 April 2001]: Our recommendation for the use of BCG vaccine is based on the advice of an independent expert advisory committee, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). They have advised that the degree of delay in children receiving their BCG would not be accompanied by significant public health risk.

The recent outbreak in Leicester is one such example. Nearly all the children involved in this outbreak had been immunised with BCG as babies or later. Unimmunised children in Years 10 and 11 had also been vaccinated in 1998 and 1999 before the national schools immunisation programme was interrupted. The temporary suspension of the schools BCG immunisation programme has not therefore been a factor.

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