|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Andy Burnham: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is currently conducting an appraisal of Alimta for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Alimta is licensed for this indication and there are currently no national restrictions on the prescribing of this drug.
In 2005, Alimta was prescribed in secondary care in 22 out of 28 strategic health authorities (SHAs). Details of the SHAs in which the drug has been prescribed cannot be provided due to contractual restrictions on how data on drugs issued in hospitals can be used. The information available to the Department may not capture prescribing as part of a clinical trial. Alimta has never been prescribed in primary care in England.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the timescale is for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence investigation into anti-cholinesterate drugs used to treat Alzheimers disease. 
Andy Burnham: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has received appeals against its final appraisal determination on these drugs. These appeals will be heard on 13 and 14 July. Subsequent timescales depend on the outcome of the appeals. Details of the appeals process are available in NICEs Guide to the Technology Appraisal Process which is available on its website at www.nice.org.uk. Until NICE issues its final guidance following appeals, the existing 2001 guidance continues to apply.
Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the impact of the proposed withdrawal of Ebixa on the treatment of people in the later stages of Alzheimers disease, with particular reference to the effect on behavioural symptoms. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: No such assessment has been made. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has not yet issued its final guidance to the national health service on the use of Aricept, Exelon, Reminyl and Ebixa in the treatment of Alzheimers disease.
Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the impact of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellences recommendations on the prescription of drugs for the treatment of Alzheimers disease on (a) people with dementia, (b) carers of people with dementia and (c) families of people with dementia. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has not yet issued final guidance to the national health service on the use of drugs for the treatment of Alzheimers disease. Until it does so NICEs original guidance issued in 2001 continues to apply.
Mr. Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the impact on families ability to look after mentally ill relatives of the recent National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellences decision on drugs for the treatment of dementia. 
Andy Burnham: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has not issued final guidance regarding its review of anti-cholinesterase inhibitors for the treatment of Alzheimers disease. NICE has received appeals against its final appraisal determination on these drugs, which will be heard on 13 and 14 July 2006. Until NICE issues its final guidance following appeals, the existing 2001 guidance continues to apply.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: It is for clinicians to decide in any particular case, the appropriate drug treatment, if any, for patients in the early or later stages of Alzheimers disease, in the light of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was (a) the average waiting time for a hearing aid and (b) the audiology budget for each primary care trust covering Portsmouth in each of the last three years; and what each is (i) for 2006-07 and (ii) for the next two years; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her response of 20 June 2006, Official Report, column 1789W to my hon. Friend to the hon. Member for Chorley (Mr. Hoyle), on audiology, within what average period new patients in (a) the Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley primary care trust (PCT) area and (b) each other PCT area in the new south east coast strategic health authority area have been fitted with digital hearing aids since they became available in each PCT. 
John Penrose: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting times from GP referral to fitting of digital hearing aids are for (a) new patients and (b) existing patients with an analogue hearing aid in the North Somerset primary care trust area. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department does not collect waiting time data for audiology services. However, since January 2006 we have been collecting waiting time and activity data for 15 diagnostic tests or procedures, including pure tone audiometry. This data has been shared with the national health service, for performance management purposes since 2 June 2006. This data will be published on 12 July 2006.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: In April 2001, the Department awarded a three-year grant to the National Autistic Society for their parenting skills project help!. This developed a training programme for parents of children of any age who have recently received a diagnosis of an autistic spectrum disorder. It provides essential, timely information and practical strategies to help parents understand and manage their childs condition and give them the knowledge and confidence to plan for their future.
Parents who are carers of children with autism are entitled to an assessment of their needs by local councils. Under the carers grant, worth £185 million in 2006-07, councils can provide carers with direct services, breaks and direct payments for carers services, according to their assessed level of need.
Andy Burnham: No. The Department funds research to support policy and to provide the evidence needed to underpin quality improvement and service development in the national health service. The main agency through which the Government supports medical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council (MRC). The MRC is an independent body funded by the Department of Trade and Industry via the Office of Science and Innovation.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether central funding is available for new hormonal treatments for early breast cancer as set out
in the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellences Appraisal Consultation Document. 
Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the time taken by local authorities in assessing the needs of those caring for disabled relatives; and what support her Department gives to local authorities to make such assessments. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000 gives carers the right to a carer's assessment. It is for councils to ensure that assessments are carried out in a timely manner to ensure that carers do not wait unnecessarily for a needs assessment or services.
Andy Burnham: To ensure robustness, the performance of the choose and book system was tested before implementation and is re-tested as changes are made. The test results have all been within agreed service levels.
The service was designed to be as user friendly as possible. Ease of use is regularly assessed in partnership with regional user groups as well as national groups such as the national clinical reference panel and the design steering group. Potential improvements are identified by these groups with changes delivered in subsequent releases of the software. Local benchmarking suggests that choose and book has excellent usability when the local configuration is correct.
Mr. Ivan Lewis:
As at 3 July 2006, 568,611 patients had been referred through choose and book, with the referral information available electronically to commissioners and providers. The Department receives regular feedback on the effects of the system through a range of channels, which suggests that patients who
receive the service welcome it. As with the implementation of any such system, change is required of those who administer it but we do not expect the choose and book service to increase the overall workload for general practitioner practices.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health by what date the choose and book system was expected to have achieved 100 per cent. roll-out when it was first announced; what targets have been issued since then; whether those targets have been met; and what percentage roll-out had been achieved on the last date for which figures are available. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The aim of the national health service improvement plan in 2004 was for 100 per cent., e-booking by the end of December 2005. This became unachievable due to subsequent developments in the technical requirements of the service and the greater implementation challenge that these represented. We now expect to reach a choose and book utilisation level of 90 per cent., of general practitioner referrals by the end of March 2007. As at 2 July 2006, utilisation stood at 20.4 per cent.
All eligible acute providers in England are now live and are accepting bookings through choose and book. Bookings are made through either an integrated patient admission system or indirectly bookable services functionality.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health which general practitioner practices (a)
have started then ceased to use the choose and book computer system to make appointments and (b) have decreased their use of the choose and book system in each week measured over the last six months; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: As at 25 June, 2,201 general practitioner (GP) practices had started to use the choose and book service in 2006. We have defined started to use as the GP practice making a minimum of twenty bookings. Of these practices, eight had not used the choose and book service to make a booking in the last thirty days. The central support team are working in areas of low utilisation to help improve the take up of choose and book.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) males and (b) females in (i) Southend-on-Sea, (ii) Essex and (iii) England and Wales were infected with clostridium difficile infections in each of the last three years, broken down by age. 
Andy Burnham: Data for Southend on Sea and Essex are not available. However, data from the voluntary reporting scheme run by the Health Protection Agency for Eastern England and England and Wales are shown in the following table.
|2003||2004||2005( 1)||2003||2004||2005( 1)||2003||2004||2005( 1)|
|(1)The data for 2005 are provisional and all data are subject to change due to late reporting.|
Notes: 1. The data on cases reported in babies (less than one year) should be treated with caution. They may not represent infections because asymptomatic carriage is common in babies. 2. The data were extracted on Tuesday 27 June 2006.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|