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Clinical Depression

Volume 301: debated on Wednesday 24 September 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans his Department has to include consideration of targets for the diagnosis of clinical depression in a future review of health policy. [17196]

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost of treating clinical depression, broken down into costs (a) of actual treatment, (b) associated with sickness benefit, (c) of working days lost to illness resulting in lost income revenue and (d) of community care. [17198]

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he last had meetings within the Department of Social Security, the Treasury and the Department for Education and Employment to discuss policy on the treatment of clinical depression. [17194]

Treatment of clinical depression is a matter for the relevant bodies. We hold meetings with other Government departments as and when appropriate.In recent months, officials have had discussions with colleagues at both the Department of Social Security and the Department for Education and Employment on the problems mentally ill people face on securing employment.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to set up a task force to examine the diagnosis and treatment of clinical depression. [17195]

We have no such plans. The Clinical Standards Advisory Group, a statutory body that advises United Kingdom Health Ministers on standards of clinical care, began work in March this year to review the clinical management of depression in primary and secondary care. We expect to receive its report early in 1998.