HC Deb 01 February 2002 vol 379 cc620-1W
Dr. Fox

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the dates of publication of the annual report of the chief medical officer for the past five years. [16859]

Ms Blears

Sir Kenneth Calman, the then chief medical officer, published his annual report on 25 September 1996, 30 September 1997 and 9 September 1998. Since then no similar reports have been published. Although the previous format served its purpose well in the past, the practice of the report containing descriptions of a wide range of Government policies added to the detailed nature of the reports and such information is well covered in other reports and is freely available on the Internet.

When Professor Donaldson took up the post of chief medical officer in September 1998, he took stock of the publications issued by the chief medical officer and introduced a number of changes. One of these changes was to introduce a new style of report which is shorter, more focused and more accessible. The first use of this new format for his annual report was in December 2001.

Since his term of office Professor Donaldson has produced a number of major reports including: "An organisation with a memory: report of an expert group on learning from adverse events in the National Health Service"; "Supporting Doctors, Protecting Patients"; "Stem Cell Research: Medical Progress with Responsibility"; "Building a safer NHS for patients" and "The Removal, Retention and Use of Human Organs and Tissue from Post-mortem Examination".