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Health Statistics

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on the basis of the findings of the high level performance indicators and clinical indicators, what the (a) death rate, (b) death rate for cancer, (c) rate of admissions for serious injury and (d) teenage conception rate was (i) in each former health authority or present primary care trust area in the Government office north east area and (ii) on average in England; and if differences are widening in each case. [62202]

Mr. Lammy: The death rate, death rate for cancer, rate of admissions for serious injury and teenage conception rates can be found in the "Compendium of Clinical and Health Indicators 2001" in the Library.

In addition for teenage conception, new data for the year 2000 were published by the Office for National Statistics in Health Statistics Quarterly 13 (February 2002). This is also available in the Library.

These sources contain the rates for England, Government office regions (GOR) and at former health authority level. Data are not currently available for primary care trusts.

The data show that:

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Ministerial Meetings

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which Ministers and officials had meetings with representatives of (a) the Confederation of British Industry, (b) the Engineering Employees Federation, and (c) the Engineering Marine Training Authority during the last year; who they met; and what the subjects and outcomes of their discussions were. [62209]

Mr. Lammy: Ministers and civil servants have meetings with a wide range of organisations and individuals as part of the process of policy development and analysis.

As with previous Administrations it is not this Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings. All such contacts are conducted in accordance with the Ministerial Code, the Civil Service Code and Guidance for Civil Servants: Contacts with Lobbyists.

Members of Parliament (Personal Data)

Mr. Forth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information is held by his Department on each hon. Member in relation to (a) personal relationships, both current and past, (b) financial status and dealings, (c) connections with companies and interest groups, (d) connections with Governments and (e) published works; and what was held in January 2002. [61827]

Mr. Lammy: Ministers and officials in this Department have access to published reference sources, as well as to the information about hon. Members made publicly available by the House authorities, for the purpose of parliamentary business.

EEA Doctors

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what period of training doctors from the EEA are required to complete before being eligible for consultant positions in the NHS; and if he will make a statement. [62673]

Mr. Hutton: Doctors with European Economic Area (EEA) free movement rights who hold qualifications listed in the European Specialist Medical Qualifications

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Order (1995) are automatically entitled to entry to the specialist register. No further training is required. Doctors on the specialist register are entitled to apply for consultant posts in the United Kingdom, in open competition. There is no automatic entitlement to a consultant post in the national health service for UK or EEA doctors.

Doctors from EEA states who do not hold recognised qualifications would otherwise have to obtain a certificate showing they have fully completed training in the UK.

Nationals of EEA member states undertaking medical training in the UK, leading to the award of a certificate of completion of specialist training, are subject to the same conditions and standards as UK medical trainees.

UK Biobank

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the ownership of patent rights following the identification of individual gene sequences from blood samples donated to the project Biobank UK. [62276]

Ms Blears: The UK Biobank represents a database that can be used to investigate the combined effects of genotype, lifestyle and environmental exposures on the risk of developing the common multi-factorial diseases of later life. Policies on the ownership of intellectual property arising from research using the data contained within the UK Biobank have yet to be finalised, and are the subject of on-going consultation. Current thinking is that ownership of such intellectual property will reside with the organisation that hosts the workers undertaking the research. A key issue to be resolved is whether either the funding bodies or the hub should seek to retain any control over the intellectual property and whether this would be acceptable to the organisations hosting such research. A condition of using the UK Biobank is that, after a short period of time to allow for the preparation of publications or filing of patent applications, all results generated from analysis of the samples or data held must be added to the central databases and hence be made available to other researchers.

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to allow the disclosure of personal genetic information from Biobank UK and NHS sources to third parties. [62274]

Ms Blears: Only anonymised genetic information and linked clinical data from the UK Biobank will be released to third parties. An independent monitoring body, separate from the UK Biobank funders, will be established to develop the detailed policies regarding access to anonymised samples and data. These proposals are in accord with the recommendations made by the Human Genetics Commission in their report on the use of personal genetic data. All proposals to use the information contained within the UK Biobank will also have ethics committee approval and will be reviewed by the scientific management committee. Arrangements for any commercial use of the samples or data will be explained to participants when their consent is sought.

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to commission an independent review of value-for-money of the genetic record project Biobank UK. [62275]

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Ms Blears: International scientific peer review of the protocol for the UK Biobank project was used to inform the recent funding decisions of the Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust and the Department. It is anticipated that recruitment to the UK Biobank will not begin until at least the middle of 2003 and it will then be several years before the first outputs are obtained. The work of the UK Biobank will be subject to at least annual review by the funding partners. It is too early to consider commissioning an independent value-for-money review of this initiative.


Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent grants the Government have made available to treating and finding a cure for myeloma; [62687]

Ms Blears: The main Government agency for research into the causes and treatments for disease is the Medical Research Council (MRC) which receives its funding via the Department funds research to support policy and the delivery of effective practice in the national health service.

The MRC is currently funding a clinical trial directly aimed at the treatment of multiple myeloma. The project is entitled 'Myeloma IX Trial' and is being carried out at the university of Leeds by Dr. J. A. Child, at a total cost of £1.5 million over eight years.

The Department is funding a project entitled targeted treatment of multiple myeloma using gene and protein expression profiling. This is being carried out at the university of Leeds by Dr. F. E. Davies at a total cost of £463,000 over five years.

Other research projects into the causes and treatment of cancer may also be relevant to myeloma. There have been no Government grants for the treatment of myeloma, other than in national health service allocations, and these are not separately identified.

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