HC Deb 11 December 1984 vol 69 cc472-3W
Rev. Martin Smyth

asked the Secretary of State for Social Service (1) if he will list those National Health Service hospitals and private nursing homes which supply the foetal tissue bank at the Royal Marsden hospital, London, with dead foetal material; whether the Royal Marsden Hospital pays for this service; and whether it is the sole purchaser of material from these sources;

(2) if officials from his Department carried out an investigation in 1983 into allegations of a trade in dead foetal material between British abortion clinics and French cosmetic companies;

(3) if he will list those establishments approved by his Department or by the Medical Research Council to store dead foetal material and those establishments licensed to use such material for experimentation; and if he will make a statement;

(4) what safeguards exist to prevent the sale of dead foetal material from abortions to commercial concerns; whether any National Health Service hospital or private nursing home receives income from selling foetal material to commercial concerns; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

The use and disposal of foetal material in England is very closely controlled in accordance with the code of practice recommended in the Report of the advisory group on the use of foetuses and foetal material for research (the Peel report 1972). Within the National Health Service control is the responsibility of health authorities and details of such arrangements are not held centrally. The supply of material from approved nursing homes is monitored by our Department. We approved the supply of foetal material by nursing homes as follows. No charge is made for the supply.

Blackdown Nursing Home

  • Birmingham Maternity Hospital and East Birmingham Hospital

Calthorpe Nursing Home

  • Birmingham Children's Hospital, East Birmingham Hospital 473 and Birmingham Maternity Hospital

London Private Hospital

  • Foetal Tissue Bank, Royal Marsden Hospital

Park View Clinic

  • Foetal Tissue Bank, Royal Marsden Hospital

Raleigh Nursing Home

  • Foetal Tissue Bank, Royal Marsden Hospital

Robert Nursing Home

  • Birmingham University Medical School

Wistans Nursing Home

  • St. Bartholomew's Hospital and East Birmingham Hospital

The Medical Research Council does not control the storage or use of material in this way. However foetal material from the bank is supplied only to research centres in the United Kingdom and not to overseas establishments. All establishments using such material must obtain prior approval from the local ethical committee.

The allegations that foetal material from United Kingdom sources was being supplied to French cosmetic companies were investigated at the time by our Department. No evidence to support the allegations was found.

Changes in consultant staffing in ear, nose and throat 1979–1983
England: 1979 1983 Posts per million population Change 1979–1983
Established posts Staff in post Established posts Staff in post Vacant posts Established posts Staff in post
Total* All Regions 426 394 422 393 29 9.01 -4 -1
Northern 26 25 26 25 1 8.39
Yorkshire 25 25 27 25 2 7.50 +2
Trent 30 29 32 32 6.95 +2 +3
East Anglian 14 13 14 14 7.27 +1
North West Thames 39 34 31 29 2 8.97 -8 -5
North East Thames 42 33 49 41 8 13.12 n/a‡ n/a‡
South East Thames 38 34 37 34 3 10.32 -1
South West Thames 32 29 31 29 2 10.51 -1
Wessex 25 24 27 26 1 9.64 +2 +2
Oxford 16 15 18 16 2 7.58 +2 +1
South Western 25 24 24 23 1 7.74 -1 -1
West Midlands 37 33 39 36 3 7.53 +2 +3
Mersey 18 18 17 16 1 6.98 -1 -2
London postgraduate teaching hospitals 24 23 12 10 2 n/a‡ n/a‡
North Western 35 35 38 37 1 9.49 +3 +2
* Including London postgraduate teaching hospitals.
Posts without a permanent holder, which may be partly or wholly occupied by locums.
‡ Direct comparisons cannot be made between 1979 and 1983 for North East Thames and the London postgraduate teaching hospitals since a number of consultant contracts were transferred from the latter to North East Thames in the 1982 NHS reorganisation.


Numbers of consultants at 30 September, including SHMO with allowance.

Mr. Ashley

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what changes in the number of ear, nose and throat consultant posts have occurred since 1979 in districts which have hospitals associated with medical schools or institutes providing postgraduate training in the ear, nose and throat specialties.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

Information in the form requested is not available centrally.

Mr. Ashley

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services which health districts have made savings, and of what amount, by reducing the number of ear, nose and throat consultant posts and ear, nose and throat beds; which have closed ear, nose and throat hospitals; and which have plans to do so.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

This detailed information is not readily available centrally. On a national basis, however,