§ Mr. Alex Carlile
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what are the measures in place to ensure surgeons practising keyhole surgery have the proper training; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Malone
The Department of Health and the Wolfson Foundation have established two minimal access therapy training units, in London and Leeds, to improve and increase the availability of facilities for training clinicians and other health care professionals in this developing field of diagnosis and treatment. The medical royal colleges, which are responsible for the standards and content of training, have issued guidelines for training in the safe use of minimal access techniques.
§ Mr. Carlile
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures are in place to ensure that new treatments and techniques have been proved safe and effective and that doctors are properly trained to use them; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Malone
The medical royal colleges are responsible for determining the content of training and the standard to be achieved. Clearly, this training must be up to date and include new treatments and techniques that have proved safe and effective. One example of good practice in this area is the guidance published by the surgical royal colleges for the safe introduction of new techniques into surgical clinical practice, including the new development of keyhole surgery.
The national health service increasingly adopts an evidence-based approach to decisions about the treatment of patients. Discussions are taking place with the medical royal colleges about the development of a system for identifying major new technologies in the NHS and for ensuring that appropriate decisions are made about the sort of evaluations required before a procedure comes into wider use.