§ Hywel Williams
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has for financing research into strokes in the next three financial years; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what priority will be accorded to his Department's policy research and the NHS Research and Development Programme to deal with strokes; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Jacqui Smith
[holding answer 14 November 2001]The National Service Framework (NSF) for older people, published in March 2001, outlines a programme of action for the national health service to reduce the incidence of stroke in the population and to ensure that those who have had a stroke have prompt access to integrated care services. A programme of research to underpin the implementation of the NSF is currently being planned by the Department. Funders forums have been established in cardiovascular disease research and in older people's research; research into stroke is likely to be of interest to both.
The Department's main national programmes of research which includes the NHS research and development programmes and the policy research programme, are currently funding a number of research projects into stroke. These include many projects with forward commitments over the next three years. Details of projects are available on the national research register at www.doh.gov.uk/research/nrr.htm.
The NHS research and development programme on service delivery and organisation has recently funded a five-year project on "Continuity of care in stroke and its relation to outcomes". A call for proposals has recently been advertised for the NHS research and development programme on the new and emerging applications of technology, which includes stroke as one of the priority areas. Funding will be dependent on the quality of proposals.
In addition to funding specific projects, the Department also provides and will continue to provide support for research commissioned by charities and the research councils that takes place in the NHS. Much of this will include research on strokes.
The main Government agency for research into the causes of and treatments for disease is the Medical Research Council (MRC) which receives its funding via the Department of Trade and Industry. The MRC operates in response mode, and it is therefore difficult to predict expenditure over the coming years. However the MRC spent £3.4 million on stroke research in 2000–01 and does not anticipate a major change to this level of support.