§ Mr. Duncan
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the methods available to prevent transmission of spongiform encephalopathy between animals are suitable to be used for humans. 
§ Ms Jowell
[holding answer 27 November 1998]: No. The potential of prophylactic medicines has been demonstrated in rodents under laboratory conditions, but has not been developed for use in natural disease in either animals or humans.
In so far as modes of transmission of spongiform encephalopathies are understood, any prevention or control measure must be carefully evaluated for its safety and efficacy (by research study where appropriate). This would be necessary to establish whether it has wider applicability beyond the species in which its effectiveness had apparently been demonstrated.
§ Mr. Duncan
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he is taking to implement the recommended autoclave regime set out in Annex B, Table B.1 of the joint Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens/ Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee Working Group document entitled "Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy Agents: Safe working and the prevention of infection". 
§ Ms Jowell
[holding answer 27 November 1998]: The recommended autoclave regime set out in Annex B, Table B1 re-iterates previous advice from the Department, first issued in 1981. Therefore, the autoclave regime in itself is not new advice. The main change in the 1998 guidance with respect to surgical instruments is to advise disposal of all instruments used on patients with clinical symptoms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and not just those used for neurological and ophthalmological surgery.
The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens/ Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee guidance gives advice to employers on the precautions needed to comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations with respect to the agents of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies.
The Department has publicised the updated guidance. In particular, on 28 April 1998 the Department's Deputy Chief Medical Officer wrote to the National Health
List of Health Authority and National Health Service Trust appointments which expired in 1998 and for which no appointment had been made by 1 January 1999 Region Body Number of chairs Number of non-executives Eastern Addenbrookes NHS Trust 0 1 Essex Rivers Healthcare NHS Trust 0 1 Horizon NHS Trust 0 1 Kings Lynn and Wisbech Hospitals NHS Trust 0 2 West Herts Community Health NHS Trust 0 1 North West Burnley Healthcare NHS Trust 1 1 Chester and Halton Community NHS Trust 1 2 Christie Hospital NHS Trust 1 2 Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology NHS Trust 1 2 Liverpool Women's Hospital NHS Trust 0 1 Manchester Health Authority 0 1 Mancunian Community Health NHS Trust 1 1 Oldham Hospital and Community Services NHS Trust 0 2 Tameside and Glossop Community and Priority Services NHS Trust 0 1 Warrington Community NHS Trust 0 2 Wirral Hospital NHS Trust 1 1
Service announcing publication of the updated guidance. He asked that it be drawn to the attention of relevant staff, specifically those with responsibility for infection control and those responsible for re-processing medical devices. In his letter he highlighted that the annexe on decontamination would be particularly relevant.
It is the responsibility locally of trusts to ensure that such guidance is adhered to.