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EC Decisions

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will list those organisations (a) within and (b) without the UK that will receive information under Commission Decision 2002/253/EC; [57854]

Ms Blears: Commission Decision 2002/253/EC merely establishes the case definitions to be used to compare national surveillance data from the member states. It does not establish systems for collecting or disseminating information.

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the criteria for the selection of communicable diseases under Commission Decision 2002/253/EC. [57859]

Ms Blears: The criteria for selection of disease or special areas to be covered by epidemiological surveillance within the European network for communicable diseases surveillance and control are laid down in annexe II of the Commission Decision of 22 December 1999, supported by all the member states on the diseases to be covered by the community network.

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Decision 2002/253/EC fulfilled the requirement of Article 3(c) of Decision 2119/98/EC setting up the Community network to determine case definitions.

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the post-analysis action to follow the sharing of data under Commission Decision 2002/253/EC. [57858]

Ms Blears: Data for some of the diseases listed in Commission Decision 2002/253/EC establishing case definitions are already covered by disease specific surveillance networks which publish their analyses. A generic system to compare routine data on other diseases has not yet been established.

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has (a) received and (b) called for, with respect to Commission Decision 2002/253/EC, from civil rights organisations; and if he will make a statement. [57855]

Ms Blears: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has neither received nor called for representations from civil rights organisations in respect of Commission Decision 2002/253/EC.

Health Care

Gareth Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when he expects to produce proposals for reform of the complaints procedure used in the NHS when adverse medical events occur; [58143]

Ms Blears: We are looking to introduce reforms to the national health service complaints system from 2002. As part of the reform process, we are considering how complaints can promote learning to help reduce risk to future patients and in this way improve quality of care and patient safety where relevant. We are also exploring how appropriate links can be made between complaints and the work of the national patient safety agency.

Gareth Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proposals he has to amend the way in which provision for clinical negligence cases is made in the NHS accounts for England. [58144]

Ms Blears: National health service summarised accounts are prepared to comply with accounting standards, United Kingdom Government accounting and procedures, resource accounting manual and Companies Acts. There are no changes planned to these standards and regulations that will affect the disclosure of clinical negligence liabilities in NHS accounts.

Organ Donation

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Baillieston (Mr. Wray) of 25 February 2002, Official Report, column 963W, on organ donation, when the consultation paper on the review of the law governing the taking, removal and use of human tissue will be published. [58263]

Jacqui Smith: A consultative report has been completed and will be published very shortly.

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Coronary Care

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hospitals have specialist heart treatment units; and what proposals he has to increase this amount. [57815]

Ms Blears: 29 national health service trusts in England have specialist heart units, undertaking heart operations. A further specialist centre is being built in Wolverhampton, which will come into service in 2003. Eight existing centres are being modernised and expanded, at a cost of £170 million, providing 12 additional cardiac operating theatres and 380 extra beds in some of the areas with the highest rates of heart disease.

All acute NHS trusts provide a cardiology service, referring to a specialist heart unit when appropriate.

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has gone into research of drugs to aid in the treatment of heart failure; and which of these drugs have become available since 1997. [57816]

Ms Blears: Pharmaceutical companies fund the large majority of research into new drugs. Information on their research for drugs to aid the treatment of heart failure is not collected by the Department.

No drugs are licensed solely for the treatment of heart failure. A range of drugs originally developed for the treatment of coronary heart disease and hypertension have been found to be beneficial in the treatment of heart failure. The evidence for new indications usually arises over a period of time as research emerges from different trials.

Most of the drugs used in the treatment of heart failure were available before 1997.

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures have been taken since 1997 to address the incidence of heart failure; and if he will make a statement. [57814]

Ms Blears: Since 1997 we have made coronary heart disease, the commonest cause of heart failure in this country, a major focus of health policy. Prevention, treatment and care are addressed in "Saving Lives: Our Healthier Nation" (June 1999), The national service framework (NSF) for coronary heart disease (March

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2000) and the NHS Plan (July 2000). The NSF establishes the standard of care the national health service will provide for patients with heart failure and outlines the strategy to tackle this over the next 10 years. Chapter six of the NSF sets out how the NHS and others can help people with heart failure live longer and achieve a better quality of life.

Linear Accelerators

Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the recommended number of linear accelerators per one million population is. [58640]

Ms Blears: There is no formal Department recommendation on the number of linear accelerator treatment machines which serve each million population. The Department is aware of the advice given by the Royal College of Radiologists that four linear accelerator treatment machines should serve each million population. Following two central initiatives, this target is expected to be achieved by 2004.

Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which NHS health authorities provide treatment through linear accelerators; how many linear accelerators are operational within those trusts; and how old each linear accelerator is. [58639]

Ms Blears: All strategic health authorities commission radiotherapy services for patients at radiotherapy centres, which may be located within its boundaries. The following health authorities provided radiotherapy treatment using linear accelerators (linacs) at the trusts indicated at January 2001.

From a survey carried out in 2001 155 linacs were identified to be operational in the national health service. The commissioning dates for each linac is published at Since that survey it is estimated that 47 new machines have been delivered by central initiatives alone. Information concerning the numbers and ages of such machines in Wales is also available at the same web address.

The Royal College of Radiologists is about to embark on its own survey of radiotherapy facilities, from which information will be made available on the same web-address in the forthcoming few months.

Health authorities with radiotherapy centres located within its boundaries. Also given is the number of operational linacs at January 2001

Health authority Radiotherapy centreNumber of operational linacs
CambridgeshireAddenbrooke's NHST4
NorfolkNorfolk and Norwich university hospital NHST3
North EssexEssex rivers health care NHST2
South EssexSouthend hospital NHST2
SuffolkIpswich hospital NHST2
HertfordshireWest Hertfordshire hospitals NHST4
Barking and HaveringBarking Havering and Redbridge hospitals NHST2
Barnet Enfield and HaringeyNorth Middlesex university hospital NHST2
Camden and Islington(90)    Royal Free Hampstead NHST University College London hospitals NHST2 5
Ealing Hammersmith and HounslowHammersmith hospitals NHST5
East London and the CityBarts and the London NHST4
Kensington Chelsea and WestminsterRoyal Marsden NHST8
Lambeth Southwark and LewishamGuys and St. Thomas' hospital trust3
ManchesterChristie's hospital NHST8
North West LancashirePreston Acute hospitals NHST3
WirralClatterbridge Centre for Oncology NHST7
East Riding and HullHull and East Yorkshire hospitals NHST1
LeedsLeeds Teaching hospitals NHST7
Newcastle and North TynesideThe Newcastle upon Tyne hospitals NHST6
North CumbriaNorth Cumbria Acute hospitals NHST1
TeesSouth Tees hospitals NHST4
BerkshireRoyal Berks and Battle hospitals NHST2
East Sussex, Brighton and HoveBrighton health care NHST2
Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and South East HampshirePortsmouth health care NHST2
NorthamptonshireNorthampton general hospital NHST2
OxfordshireOxford Radcliffe hospitals NHST4
Southampton and South West HampshireSouthampton university hospitals NHST3
West KentMaidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHST5
West SurreyRoyal Surrey county hospital NHST4
Avon(90)    United Bristol health care NHST Royal United hospital Bath NHST5 2
Cornwall and Isle of ScillyRoyal Cornwall hospitals trust0
DorsetPoole hospitals NHST3
GloucestershireGloucestershire hospitals NHST3
North and East DevonRoyal Devon and Exeter health care NHST2
South and West Devon(90)    Plymouth hospitals NHST South Devon health care NHST3 1
LeicestershireUniversity hospitals of Leicester NHST3
LincolnshireUnited Lincolnshire hospitals NHST2
NottinghamNottingham City hospital NHST3
SheffieldSheffield Teaching hospitals NHST4
Southern DerbyshireSouthern Derbyshire Acute hospitals NHST2
BirminghamUniversity hospital Birmingham NHST5
CoventryUniversity hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire NHST3
North StaffordshireNorth Staffordshire hospital NHST2
ShropshireRoyal Shrewsbury hospitals NHST1
WolverhamptonThe Royal Wolverhampton hospitals NHST2

(90) X 2 radiotherapy centres

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Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the recommended replacement age of linear accelerators is; and how old each linear accelerator in service within each NHS health authority that provide radiotherapy treatment is. [58641]

Ms Blears: There is no formal recommended replacement age for linear accelerators (linacs) within the national health service in England.

The age of each linac in service following a survey carried out in 2001 is published at This lists each linear accelerator in use along with the dates when each machine was commissioned.

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