HC Deb 10 June 2002 vol 386 cc1096-8W
Mr. Wray

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hospitals have specialist heart treatment units; and what proposals he has to increase this amount. [57815]

Ms Blears

29 national health service trusts in England have specialist heart units, undertaking heart operations. A further specialist centre is being built in Wolverhampton, which will come into service in 2003. Eight existing centres are being modernised and expanded, at a cost of £170 million, providing 12 additional cardiac operating theatres and 380 extra beds in some of the areas with the highest rates of heart disease.

All acute NHS trusts provide a cardiology service, referring to a specialist heart unit when appropriate.

Mr. Wray

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has gone into research of drugs to aid in the treatment of heart failure; and which of these drugs have become available since 1997. [57816]

Ms Blears

Pharmaceutical companies fund the large majority of research into new drugs. Information on their research for drugs to aid the treatment of heart failure is not collected by the Department.

No drugs are licensed solely for the treatment of heart failure. A range of drugs originally developed for the treatment of coronary heart disease and hypertension have been found to be beneficial in the treatment of heart failure. The evidence for new indications usually arises over a period of time as research emerges from different trials.

Most of the drugs used in the treatment of heart failure were available before 1997.

Mr. Wray

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures have been taken since 1997 to address the incidence of heart failure; and if he will make a statement. [57814]

Ms Blears

Since 1997 we have made coronary heart disease, the commonest cause of heart failure in this country, a major focus of health policy. Prevention, treatment and care are addressed in "Saving Lives: Our Healthier Nation" (June 1999), The national service framework (NSF) for coronary heart disease (March

Health authorities with radiotherapy centres located within its boundaries. Also given is the number of operational linacs at January 2001
Health authority Radiotherapy centre Number of operational linacs
Cambridgeshire Addenbrooke's NHST 4
Norfolk Norfolk and Norwich university hospital NHST 3
North Essex Essex rivers health care NHST 2
South Essex Southend hospital NHST 2
Suffolk Ipswich hospital NHST 2
Hertfordshire West Hertfordshire hospitals NHST 4
Barking and Havering Barking Havering and Redbridge hospitals NHST 2
Barnet Enfield and Haringey North Middlesex university hospital NHST 2
Camden and Islington1 Royal Free Hampstead NHST 2
University College London hospitals NHST 5
Ealing Hammersmith and Hounslow Hammersmith hospitals NHST 5
East London and the City Barts and the London NHST 4
Kensington Chelsea and Westminster Royal Marsden NHST 8
Lambeth Southwark and Lewisham Guys and St. Thomas' hospital trust 3
Manchester Christie's hospital NHST 8
North West Lancashire Preston Acute hospitals NHST 3
Wirral Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology NHST 7

2000) and the NHS Plan (July 2000). The NSF establishes the standard of care the national health service will provide for patients with heart failure and outlines the strategy to tackle this over the next 10 years. Chapter six of the NSF sets out how the NHS and others can help people with heart failure live longer and achieve a better quality of life.