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SCOTLAND

Hogmanay Celebrations

Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment she has made of the impact on economic activity in regions beyond Lothian of Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations. [25912]

Mrs. Liddell: The Scotland Office makes no assessment of the economic impact of Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations. However, the latest figures available from Edinburgh city council state that the economic impact for Hogmanay 2000 was £28 million

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for the local economy and an additional £10 million for Scotland as a whole. This was generated by approximately 500,000 visitors and participants.

NHS Resources

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions she (a) has held and (b) plans to hold in the current financial year on the resources available to the NHS in Scotland with (i) the Scottish Executive and First Minister, (ii) the Secretary of State for Health and (iii) Treasury Ministers; if she will list the (A) items discussed and (B) dates of the meetings held; and if she will make a statement. [26202]

Mrs. Liddell: I have frequent discussions with UK Ministers and the Scottish Ministers on a wide range of issues. Expenditure on the NHS in Scotland is a devolved matter for the Scottish Executive. Scottish Ministers are free, within the Scottish Assigned Budget, to determine their own spending priorities.

Eurozone

Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment she has made of the impact on Scottish business of United Kingdom membership of the eurozone. [26704]

Mrs. Liddell: The Government have stated that the Treasury will complete an assessment of the five economic tests within two years of the start of this Parliament.

Scottish Executive (Representation)

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she will agree to formal representation of the Scottish Executive in Dover house. [27735]

Mrs. Liddell: The Executive have since devolution had an agreement with the Scotland Office enabling Scottish Ministers and officials to use Dover house.

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps she is taking to encourage greater participation by Ministers of the Scottish Executive in European Council of Ministers meetings on matters of policy which are devolved. [27734]

Mrs. Liddell: Government policy on these matters is set out in the Memorandum of Understanding, and the concordats on International Relations and Co-ordination of European Policy Issues, agreed between the Government and the devolved Administrations.

In accordance with these agreements, the Scottish Executive are involved in formulating the UK policy position on issues which touch on matters within their responsibility. They may also form part of the UK delegation at Council of Ministers meetings where matters with a significant impact on their devolved responsibilities are to be discussed, and speak for the UK in appropriate cases, with the agreement of the lead UK Minister.

It is for the Scottish Executive to agree with the lead UK Minister on those occasions where they wish to attend. They have done so on a regular basis.

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HEALTH

Painkillers and Antidepressants

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is his most recent assessment of (a) deaths and (b) other side effects resulting from the misuse, over-use or inappropriate prescription of (i) painkillers and (ii) antidepressants. [26029]

Jacqui Smith: As with all medicines, the safety of painkillers and antidepressants, including adverse effects associated with inappropriate use and overuse, is closely monitored by the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) and the Committee on Safety of Medicines.

We introduced specific measures in September 1998 reducing pack sizes of the commonly used painkillers, paracetamol and aspirin, aimed at reducing the toxicity from impulsive overdose. New warnings on the packaging emphasised the risks and action to take in the event of an overdose. Recently published papers provide growing evidence that these measures are having an important public health impact.

The MCA is continuing to monitor the impact of these measures by examining a range of data, including hospital admissions, liver transplants and deaths from self- poisoning.

Bristol Royal Infirmary

Valerie Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action has been taken in response to the named civil servant in his Department, Dr. Peter Doyle, who was criticised in the report of the public inquiry into children's heart surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, 1984 to 1995. [29079]

Mr. Milburn: The Department commissioned independent assessors to lead a review of the inquiry report and other relevant information and make recommendations on whether or not any action should be initiated in respect of Dr. Doyle. The assessors were Lesley James, former Vice President of the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development and Sir David Carter, Vice Principal of Edinburgh university. Their overall conclusion was that Dr. Doyle responded appropriately to the information he was given by Dr. Bolsin on 19 July 1994 about poor results following paediatric cardiac surgery in the Bristol unit, taking into account the context in which he was operating at the time. They concluded that while it is possible with hindsight to question Dr. Doyle's decision not to examine the detailed data he was given by Dr. Bolsin, any criticism has to be balanced both against the prompt and positive action he did take in writing to Professor Angelini at the trust, raising the concerns that had been drawn to his attention and seeking reassurances, and against the subsequent assurances he was given. The Chief Executive of the Department of Health, Nigel Crisp, has accepted their conclusions, including the recommendation that no disciplinary action is warranted and that Dr. Doyle should resume his current duties in the Department, working as the senior medical officer providing advice on renal services and transplant services—which he has done.

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Valerie Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will publish the response to the report of the public inquiry into children's heart surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, 1984 to 1995. [29078]

Mr. Milburn: I have today published our response to the Kennedy report (Learning from Bristol: The Department of Health's Response to the Report of the Public Inquiry into children's heart surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary 1984–1995—Cm 5363) and copies are available in the Library and the Vote Office.

Lung Cancer

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the survival rates for lung cancer are in (a) the UK and (b) other countries in Europe and the USA. [27457]

Ruth Kelly: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from John Kidgell to Dr. Jenny Tonge, dated 17 January 2002:



Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of lung cancer were reported between 1980 and 2000 in the UK. [27458]

Ruth Kelly: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from John Kidgell to Dr. Jenny Tonge, dated 17 January 2002:




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