§ Mr. Matthew Banks
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans his Department has to include targets for improving the diagnosis and treatment of clinical depression in a future review of the "The Health of the Nation" programme. 
§ Mr. Burns
The Department's policy research programme has commissioned a number of studies into severe mental illness, many of which are related to depression. The national health service research and development programme strategy established a national mental health programme in 1992. The main agency through which the Government support medical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council. The MRC is an independent body which receives its grant in aid from the Office of Science and Technology, which is part of the Department of Trade and Industry. The MRC has a comprehensive portfolio of research on depressive illness, both at its own establishments and in the form of grant support to universities. These programmes are on-going.