|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what evidence his Department presented to the National Audit Office report on the 2001 outbreak of foot and mouth disease concerning the risk assessment with regard to bovine DNA contained in imported frozen chicken breasts; 
(3) whether he informed the Inquiry into the lessons to be learned from the foot and mouth disease outbreak of 2001 of his Department's risk assessment with regard to bovine DNA contained in imported frozen chicken breasts. 
Ms Blears: As this is not an issue which comes under the remit of either the inquiry into the lessons to be learned from the foot and mouth disease outbreak of 2001, or the National Audit Office value for money examination into the 2001 outbreak of foot and mouth disease, or the Royal Society study into infectious diseases in livestock, neither the Food Standards Agency (FSA) nor the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has raised it with them.
The FSA's survey investigating composition and labelling of frozen chicken breasts sold in the United Kingdom catering sector, published in December 2001, found pork DNA in two samples, but no bovine DNA was detected in any of the samples. However, a recent Irish survey published by the Food Safety Authority (Ireland) this May, found samples showing the presence of either pork DNA or beef DNA or both.
11 Jul 2002 : Column 1219W
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will respond to the letter submitted by Mrs. Taylor of Stroud in November 2001, which was subsequently passed to the NHS Information Authority. 
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make a statement on the progress to the changes proposed to the definition of a medicinal product and the Government's position on these changes; 
(3) if he will make a statement on the proposals to extend the use of the centralised system for the authorisation of human medicines; 
(4) what assessment he has made of the impact the reduction in the amount of mutual recognition work concerning medicinal products will have on the relevant UK regulatory bodies. 
Mr. Lammy [holding answers 4 July 2002]: The European Commission published proposals for wide-ranging amendments to the regulatory regime for human and veterinary medicines in December 2001. Among the proposed changes were the mandatory use of the centralised system for the authorisation of human medicines containing a New Active Substance (NAS) and a new definition of a medicinal product.
The UK, together with a number of other member states, has strongly opposed the mandatory use of the Centralised Procedure in negotiations. We do not see any scientific justification for this proposal, as it is the regulatory bodies in the member states who possess the expertise to carry out the scientific work. Nor do we believe that the proposal will improve the competitiveness of the pharmaceutical industry, as it reduces business flexibility.
The UK has promoted this view in the Council of Ministers and in the European Parliament and we have the support of a number of other member states. Final decisions have not been taken in either institution and the UK will continue to argue its case strongly in the meantime.
11 Jul 2002 : Column 1220W
The Government agrees that there is a need to ensure that definition of a medicine is drafted in such a way that will allow new therapies to be appropriately regulated. However, the UK view is that the extension of the scope of the medicines legislation, particularly when linked to the new definition, is unwarranted and unacceptable, as it would capture many products already covered by other sectoral legislation. The Government sees no justification for this proposal and will continue to resist it. This position is shared by most other member states.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time is for an outpatient appointment in the Maxilla/Facial Orthodontic and Restorative Department at the Lister hospital, Stevenage. 
Mr. Lammy [holding answer 4 July 2002]: Figures are not available for the average waiting time for an outpatient appointment in the Maxilla/Facial Orthodontic and Restorative Department at the Lister hospital.
The table provides latest waiting time information for orthodontics and plastic surgery at East and North Hertfordshire NHS trust on how long the number of general practitioner referrals seen in quarter 4 200102 waited before they received their appointment.
|0 to 3 weeks||4 to 12 weeks||13 to 25 weeks||26 plus weeks|
|East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust|
Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) extra beds and (b) extra staff he estimates will be required at the Ashford & St Peter's Hospitals NHS Trust to enable the new chief executive to achieve the franchise plan that he has approved. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 5 July 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to my reply to him on 3 July 2002, Official Report, column 456W. The franchise plan for Ashford & St. Peter's Hospitals NHS Trust does not make any commitment to extra staff and beds. The Trust is assessing its capacity requirements in the longer term but plans have yet to be finalised.
Ms Blears [holding answer 5 July 2002]: I am advised by Ashford & St. Peter's Hospitals National Health Service Trust that the current funded establishment of midwives is 103 whole-time equivalents (WTE). There are currently 75 WTE staff in permanent positions. Therefore an additional 28 WTE staff are required to achieve full establishment.
11 Jul 2002 : Column 1221W
However, in addition to the current permanent WTE staff of 75, the Trust has informed me that it also has a dedicated team of midwives temporarily employed to cover the shortfall, under the new NHS Professionals initiative. This results in an overall vacancy rate of 14 per cent. at the current time.
Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the required reduction in expenditure arising from the merger of the Ashford Hospital NHS Trust and the St. Peter's Hospital NHS Trust was (a) in the year the merger took place and (b) in each subsequent year; 
Ms Blears [holding answer 5 July 2002]: In 199899, the year the hospitals merged, West Surrey Health Authority required strategic change savings of £300,000. As a result of the merger, the Ashford & St. Peter's Hospitals NHS Trust actually saved £1.4 million in management costs (£1.2 million in 199899 and £0.2 million in 19992000) and £0.6 million in support service costs. The benefits of the savings have been ongoing in subsequent years. The savings made met the strategic change target and helped fund cost pressures at the Trust.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|