HC Deb 15 September 2004 vol 424 c1644W
Mr. Dhanda

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of the Gloucestershire Aneurism Screening Project; and if he will assess the case for extending the project across England. [186309]

Dr. Stoate

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will introduce a national screening programme for abdominal aortic aneurysms; [187052]

(2) what assessment he has made of the screening pilot project for abdominal aortic aneurysms in Gloucestershire; and if he will make a statement. [187053]

Miss Melanie Johnson

[holding answer 7 September 2004]The United Kingdom national screening (NSC) committee makes recommendations to Ministers on all aspects of screening programmes. It is currently considering the evidence for, and the feasibility of, implementing a screening programme for abdominal aortic aneurysms, including the implications for the national health service, before advising Ministers.

While screening has the potential to save lives or improve health through early diagnosis of serious conditions, there are benefits and drawbacks. The Government will take all factors into account, in particular the advice of the NSC, but also the experience of the Gloucestershire project, before reaching decisions.