To ask the Secretary of State for Health
(1) what clinical advice was sought by his Commercial Directorate in drawing up their proposals for urology and stoma products and services;
(2) what discussions his Commercial Directorate has had on their proposals for urology and stoma products and services with officials in the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform;
(3) what estimate his Department has made of the number of people who use urology or stoma products;
(4) if he will seek a regulatory impact assessment before he makes final decisions concerning his Department's Commercial Directorate proposals in respect of urology and stoma services.
The proposals relating to service have been informed by feedback from providers, specialist healthcare professionals and patients. Specialist healthcare professionals have advised the Department of the proposed classification relating to items.
As part of the review, the Department has held meetings with the Department for Trade and Industry (now the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform).
The Department estimates that about 450,000 people use stoma or incontinence items. Some will use them intermittently but the majority will be dependent on them.
Two partial regulatory impact assessments have already been published as part of this review; the first in October 2005 and the second in November 2006. An impact assessment will be published before any decisions are made and interested parties will have an opportunity to comment on this.