§ Mr. Wareing
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Sciences what information he has as to what research is currently taking place into winter mortality; how much of this is being funded by Her Majesty's Government; when the results of such research are expected; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mrs. Currie
The excess of winter deaths among the elderly is a matter of concern to the Government and we are anxious that the many factors involved should be carefully investigated to enable appropriate preventive action to be taken. The Medical Research Council, which is the main Government agency for biomedical and related research and receives its grant-in-aid through the Department of Education and Science, is at present setting up a working group to advise the council's physiological systems and disorders board on what scientifically valid studies could be carried out to address the reasons for the excess of winter deaths in the United Kingdom.