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Public Analysts Laboratories

Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many public analysts' laboratories there were in England and Wales checking foodstuffs in 1996; and how many there are in 2003. [130961]

There were 26 public analysts' laboratories in England and Wales checking foodstuffs in 1996 and there are currently 23 public analysts' laboratories doing such work.

Black and Ethnic Minority517.510.612.312.911.510.5
1 Includes figures for non-departmental public bodies.

However it also pointed to areas where improvements needed to be made, for example:

the provision of written information;
being informed about support/self help groups.

The results of the survey were shared with, among others, cancer networks and NHS Trusts who should have studied their local results and taken action to respond to them.

Responsibility for the national survey programme has now moved to the Commission for Health Improvement.

In September 2002, the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) published improving outcomes guidance for urological cancers, including prostate cancer. This guidance included the need for providers to carry out surveys of patients experience to assess the adequacy of each component of patient-centred care. This guidance is informing the development of urological cancer standards for inclusion in the Manual of Cancer Services Standards against which cancer networks will be peer reviewed.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) urologists, (b) pathologists, (c) radiologists and (d) prostate cancer nurses have been working in the NHS on prostate cancer cases in each of the last five years. [130040]

[holding answer 16 September 2003]: The total number of urologists, pathologists and radiologists working in the National Health Service in each of the last five years is shown in the table. The data collected by the Department does not specify in which area of care these staff are employed. The Department does not collect the number of prostate nurses working in the NHS.