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Mr. Lammy: Staffordshire Ambulance Service National Health Service Trust has consistently been one of the best performers for "Category A" response times in the United Kingdom. In 200102, they not only exceeded the national target of 75 per cent. of calls responded to within eight minutes, but also exceeded the target for 200203 of 80 per cent of calls responded to within eight minutes. Their response rate was listed by the National Audit office in figures published recently as achieving an average of 87.5 per cent., the top performer in the UK. The trust is to be commended on their continuing excellent response rates.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) adverse incidents and (b) deaths have been reported under the yellow card scheme since 1997 involving (i) proprietary analgesics, (ii) aspirin- based products, (iii) paracetamol-based products, (iv) non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug-based products and (v) anti-histamines. 
Mr. Lammy: Reports of suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs) to medicines are collected by the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) and the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM) through the spontaneous reporting scheme, the yellow card scheme.
The number of suspected ADR reports including reports with a fatal outcome received via the yellow card scheme from 1 January 1997 to 4 July 2002 for aspirin-based products, paracetamol-based products, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) based products and anti-histamines are provided in the following table.
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|No. of ADR reports||No. of reports with a fatal outcome|
Proprietary analgesics are difficult to define as a group and include aspirin-based, paracetamol-based and NSAID based products, the data for which are provided in the table above. These data should be seen in the context of the very wide usage of these drugs with millions of patients being treated every year in the United Kingdom.
It is important to note that submission of a suspected ADR report does not necessarily mean that it was caused by the drug. Many factors have to be taken into account in assessing causal relationships including temporal association, the possible contribution of concomitant medication and the underlying disease.
Data from the yellow card scheme cannot be used to measure the frequency of an adverse reaction as it is associated with a degree of underreporting which varies between different medicines.
The MCA/CSM has provided guidance on safe prescribing of NSAIDs to health professionals in 1994 and most recently in April 2002.
Ms Blears: Total Department and National Health Service expenditure in England for cancer research was £77.4 million in 19992000 and £83.8 million in 200001. Figures for 200102 are not yet available.
Ms Blears: The Datamonitor survey was based on survival rates for cancer patients diagnosed over a decade ago. These figures showed that survival rates in this country were lower than for comparable European countries. That is why, in September 2000, we published the NHS Cancer Plan which sets out a programme of action to improve cancer prevention, detection, treatment and research which are intended to bring our survival rates in line with the rest of Europe.
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Ms Blears: The Department has funded a number of epidemiology studies on specific cancer clusters. The following studies were commissioned from the Small Area Health Statistics Unit at Imperial College and all are published in the scientific literature:
The RPRP is also funding a study into the possible association between childhood cancer, electromagnetic fields (emf) and powerlines. The Department also contributes to the Electromagnetic Field project, which is examining possible associations between emf and general disease patterns (including cancer).
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many women have been diagnosed with breast cancer in the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and South East Hampshire Health Authority in each of the last five years; what the local survival rate is; how much funding has been given to breast cancer treatment in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
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South East Hampshire Health Authority area is shown in the table.
|QD2 Portsmouth & South East Hampshire HA||471||558||531||494||836|
|QD4 Isle of Wight HA||451||498||508||548||249|
1. An FCE is defined as a period of patient care under one consultant in one health care provider. The figures do not represent the number of patients, as one person may have several episodes within the year.
2. The main diagnosis is the first of seven diagnosis fields in the HES data set, and provides the main reason why the patient was in hospital.
3. Data in this table are adjusted for both coverage and unknown/invalid clinical data, except for 200001 which are not yet adjusted for shortfalls.
Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), Department of Health.
Additional information on registrations and survival rates can be found in the Compendium of Clinical and Health Indicators 2001, which is available on national centre for health outcomes website. Information on breast cancer is also available on the National Statistics website.
The mortality rates for the former health authority area have decreased over the last decade but do remain high compared to the rest of the country, as do the average life years lost for women under 75 years. The breast cancer group of the central south coast cancer network is to examine in more detail the apparent variations and to review all treatment protocols to ensure they follow best practice.
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