HC Deb 01 February 2000 vol 343 cc563-4W
Mr. Gordon Prentice

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has spent on research into cerebral palsy in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [107060]

Mr. Denham

The Government fund health and medical research in a number of ways.

The Medical Research Council (MRC)—which receives most of its income via grant-in-aid from the office of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry—funds medical research as part of the Government's funding of the science and engineering base.

It is the main agency through which the Government support research on the causes and treatment of disease.

The Department funds research and development to support its work on policy development and evaluation in health and social care. The Department also manages the National Health Service research and development levy which is used to support research and development of relevance to the National Health Service in hospitals, general practice and other health care settings, and to fund the NHS research and development programme.

During 1998–99 the MRC spent £58 million on neurosciences and mental health research.

This research portfolio covers a wide range of areas in basic research that underpin the understanding of diseases and dysfunction of the brain, including cerebral palsy.

The national NHS research and development programme has funded a number of projects on cerebral palsy at a total cost of £619,579. Expenditure for this work over the last five years is as follows.

1995–96 40,314
1996–97 129,454
1997–98 129,454
1998–99 171,339
1999–2000 101,658

Management of much of the research supported by the NHS research and development levy is devolved and details of expenditure at project level are not held centrally by the Department. For example, the Department provides support funds to allow work funded by others such as the Research Councils and charities to be conducted within the NHS. Local research projects may also be funded through NHS regional offices. The total spend on cerebral palsy research will therefore be greater than that shown for the national NHS research and development programme above.

The Department also funds the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at Oxford, whose programme includes work on cerebral palsy.

Project details of work directly funded by the Department or supported through the NHS research and development levy can be found on the National Research Register (NRR). This is available in the Library and most medical libraries on CD-ROM and on the Internet: http://www.doh.gov.uk/nrr.htm. The NRR lists a considerable number of projects related to cerebral palsy.

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