HC Deb 10 June 2002 vol 386 c1091W
Dr. Gibson

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will commission an independent body to undertake an independent scientific peer review of the scientific protocol for Biobank UK. [55635]

Ms Blears

The protocol for the United Kingdom's Biobank project was developed following extensive consultation with the scientific community. Independent international scientific peer review was used to inform the funding decisions made by the Department, the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Councils. In all, 12 experts were involved, 10 of whom were from overseas, including the United States of America, Australia and various European countries. None of these had prior involvement in the development of the protocol nor were they involved with organisations likely to participate in the study or benefit financially. A scientific management committee composed of senior scientific advisers will be responsible for overseeing data collection, setting targets, agreeing changes to the protocol, and monitoring scientific output. Scrutiny of the scientific protocol will be an on-going process and it is therefore considered unlikely that an additional body undertaking further independent scientific peer review will add significant value to the UK Biobank project.