HC Deb 24 January 2001 vol 361 c603W
Mr. Matthew Taylor

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what methods his Department is using to alert the NHS and GPs to the existence of the Medical Assessment Programme for volunteers who took part in experiments at the chemical defence establishment, Porton Down. [146649]

Dr. Moonie

I have been asked to reply.

The Department of Health sent an electronic message about the Medical Assessment Programme for Porton Down volunteers to Directors of Public Health in England on 21 November 2000. This message was then forwarded to General Practitioners, Chief Executives of Health Authorities, Chairs of Primary Care Groups, Primary Care Medical Advisers, Project managers/Nurse leads in Walk-in Centres and Leads at nurse-led Personal Medical Services Pilots. A copy of the message was also sent to the Library of the House and is available on the Department of Health website at www.doh.gov.uk/cmo/cmo3.htm. The Health Departments of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have disseminated this message to GPs and Health Board Directors of Public Health within their area of responsibility.

The Porton Down Volunteers' Medical Assessment Programme has only just started and it is therefore too early to consider the analysis of its data. The data about specific individuals' referral to the Medical Assessment Programme will be medically confidential. However, it is planned to aggregate and anonymise the data to form a case series for analysis. Such data could, with volunteers' consent, be made available to independent researchers.