§ Mr. Watson
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress is being made to implement his commitment to introduce new-born screening for cystic fibrosis in England in 2004. 
§ Dr. Ladyman
Ministers announced the implementation of a new national programme for newborn cystic fibrosis screening, subject to further advice from the U K National Screening Committee (UK NSC) about screening protocols, costs, feasibility and timetables.
An expert working group of the UK NSC has carefully considered the best way of screening and a robust protocol has now been developed for the screening test and diagnostic follow up. Standards of best practice for laboratory services have also been finalised. These will be considered by the UK NSC at its next meeting in March 2004.