HC Deb 11 November 1999 vol 337 c727W
Ms Walley

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will establish a vibration white finger test centre in North Staffordshire; and if he will make a statement. [97800]

Mrs. Liddell

There are currently seven centres in operation, including a centre in Barnsley which opened this week, and we expect a total of twelve centres to be up and running during January 2000. The locations for this initial tranche of centres were determined by balancing the geographic distribution of claimants against the availability of the medical resource needed to undertake the testing. We are assessing the options for opening further centres early next year. I recognise the very strong claims for a centre to serve the North Staffordshire miners, and would certainly hope that we will be able to open a centre in the North Staffordshire area early next year.

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