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7 Nov 2002 : Column 541W—continued

Organ Retention

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many organs are retained at Leicestershire hospitals from deceased persons. [77962]

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Ms Blears: pursuant to her reply 4 November 2002, I regret the previous reply is incorrect. The first sentence should read:-


Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many formal and official inter-ministerial meetings his Department has held with the Scottish Executive since May 1999, broken down by (a) Scottish Executive department, (b) subject and (c) date. [72716]

Ms Blears [holding answer 24 July 2002]: Information is not available in the form requested. Ministers from my Department have frequent meetings with Ministers from the Scottish Executive, both formal and informal, covering a broad range of topics.

General Chiropractic Council

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff were employed in the General Chiropractic Council at 1st April; and what proportion of those staff have clinical contact with NHS patients. [56873]

Ms Blears: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him by my hon. Friend the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health (Yvette Cooper) on Thursday 23 May 2002, Official Report, volume 836, columns 588–89W.

Public Health Laboratories

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements will be in place to require local laboratories (a) to report to and (b) respond to requests from the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre after reorganisation of the service to create the Health Protection Agency; and if he will make a statement. [74819]

Ms Blears: All National Health Service laboratories as well as laboratories in the proposed health protection agency will be able to report to communicable disease surveillance centre (CDSC). These arrangements will be a continuation of the current system.

As at present, the CDSC will work with laboratories in the NHS and non-departmental public bodies on the appropriate reporting to meet local, regional and national requirements.

Departmental Initiatives

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the schemes and initiatives sponsored by his Department and its agencies which are not the subject of national roll out, showing (a) the authorities or areas covered by the scheme and (b) the budget of the scheme in the last year for which information is available. [75671]

Mr. Hutton: The answer can only be provided at a disproportionate cost.

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Commission for Health Improvement

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many (a) NHS trusts and (b) health authorities have failed service reviews conducted by the Commission for Health Improvement; and if he will make a statement; [76004]

Mr. Hutton: The Commission for Health Improvement (CHI) has power to undertake special investigations into particular areas of concern in the delivery of health care. To date, the CHI has completed seven investigations:

A further three investigations are underway.

The CHI was set up on 1 November 1999 to meet our aim of improving the quality of patient care in the National Health Service. An important aspect of this

7 Nov 2002 : Column 544W

work is a rolling programme to complete a clinical governance review of 500 NHS organisations by 2004. As at 1 October 2002, CHI has completed 175 clinical governance reviews across a range of NHS bodies of which 173 are NHS trusts and two health authorities.


Mr. Soley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the incidence of asthma in West London is including percentage change over the last five years; and if he will make a statement on the latest information on causation. [76097]

Mr. Hutton: Prevalence data—the percentage of the population affected with asthma at a given time—is not available for specific areas such as west London, but figures for the United Kingdom are held.

An estimated 5.1 million people in the UK— 1.4 million adults and 3.7 million children, one in 13 and one in eight respectively—are currently receiving treatment for asthma. An estimated eight million people in the UK have been diagnosed with asthma at some stage in their lives.

Information on admissions to hospital for asthma* in west London is detailed in the table.

Health Authority of residence1996–971997–981998–991999–002000–01
QA2 Hillingdon HA353347357356362
QA3 Kensington, Chelsea & Westminster HA471454425355384
QAG Kingston & Richmond HA433300419361303
QAJ Merton, Sutton & Wandsworth HA1,1171,033976832756
QAR Brent & Harrow HA684538491507647
QAV Ealing, Hammersmith & Hounslow HA1,4581,3351,4241,1431,035


* ICD-10 (diagnosis) codes used are as follows:

J45 Asthma

J46 Status asthmaticus

The Health Authorities in this table are all of those which cover West, North West and South West London. Some HAs may also include eastern parts of London (such as Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth HA).

Data in this table are grossed for both coverage and unknown/invalid clinical data


Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), Department of Health

Asthma has a genetic element. The predisposition to develop asthma is inherited with an increased risk if one or both parents have asthma. In addition environmental factors interact with the genetic predisposition to cause asthma to develop as a symptomatic condition.

Many different genes have been shown to be associated with allergy and asthma susceptibility, and different environmental factors are likely to influence outcomes in different ways depending on the underlying genotype.

Interaction between genes and environment in asthma is therefore a major focus of research in the asthma field. To this end, the national asthma campaign is making a large investment over the next two years funding a task force to address issues of causation. The task force will review the current evidence in this area and assess the feasibility of large scale, definitive studies to answer these questions.

Voluntary Organisations and Charities

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which voluntary organisations and charities departmental Ministers have met since the beginning of June. [78093]

Mr. Hutton: The Department's Ministers have met the following voluntary organisations and charities since the beginning of June:

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Ambulance Services

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what central Government targets have been set for ambulance services; and what assessment has been made of whether they are being met. [78097]

Jacqui Smith: Ambulance National Health Service trusts are aiming to respond to 75 per cent. of category A calls within eight minutes. All other emergency calls that are not life threatening should be responded to 95 per cent. of the time within 14 minutes in urban areas and 19 minutes in rural areas.

Information about ambulance services response times to emergency calls are collected each year by the Department and published annually. The latest information is contained in the Department of Health statistical bulletin Ambulance Services, England 2001–02. A copy is available in the Library and also on the Department's website at

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