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Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 10 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his Department’s policy on the treatment of thalassaemia is. (253735)

The Government support the availability of treatment services for thalassaemia that fit the model outlined in “High Quality Care for All”, that care should be fair, personalised, effective and safe.

Key to this is the development of clinical networks of specialist care and the concept that every patient should have access to optimal specialist management and care, as well as routine care provided conveniently close to home. Clinical networks for Haemoglobinopathy disorders (thalassaemia and sickle cell) have now been established and initial meetings of stakeholders have taken place.

We are also currently undertaking a peer review of service provision and commissioning arrangements for haemoglobinopathies. This will inform a programme of supportive action later in the year, in partnership with the national health service and stakeholders.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment his Department has made of the variation in funding of oral iron chelation drugs for the treatment of thalassaemia patients between primary care trusts. (253740)