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Parades Commission

Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what are the outside remunerated interests of the Chairman of the Parades Commission, Mr. Anthony Holland. [120501]

Mr. Ingram: Up to 30 April 2000 Mr. Holland was the Principal Ombudsman at the Personal Investment Authority Ombudsman Bureau.

As from 1 May 2000 he became a part time Ombudsman at the Personal Investment Authority Ombudsman Bureau.

Northern Ireland Forum

Mr. William Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the total cost of producing the bound volumes of the reports of the Northern Ireland Forum; how many copies were produced; and to whom they were provided free of charge. [121255]

Mr. Mandelson: 150 bound volume sets of the reports of the Northern Ireland Forum were produced at a total cost of £49,000 with copies being sent, free of charge, to

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each member of the Forum. Copies will also be provided free of charge to libraries and other locations where they will be available for public reference.


Prostate Cancer

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to introduce PSA testing to screen for prostate cancer. [119730]

Yvette Cooper: In 1997, the United Kingdom National Screening Committee recommended against introducing population screening for prostate cancer using the prostate-specific antigen test. In the context of a national screening programme, the NSC concluded that the limited accuracy of the test could have led to a positive result for those without the disease. Follow-up procedures could have caused considerable unnecessary harm to healthy individuals.

The UK National Screening Committee is now reviewing the evidence in the light of technological improvements. I expect to receive further advice on prostrate cancer screening on the basis of this research from the UK National Screening Committee later this year.

Dental Services (Northamptonshire)

Mr. Tony Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many more dentists Northamptonshire Health Authority needs to overcome its shortage of NHS dentists; [120725]

Mr. Hutton: Registrations per head of population in Northamptonshire show that 54 per cent. are registered with General Dental Service dentists. This is 6 per cent. higher than the national average. Since December 1998 the number of dentists in the area has increased by six and there are now nearly 171 dentists in the area.

Of the 1,130 people who called Northamptonshire Health Authority seeking information on the availability of National Health Service dentists from June to August 1999, none called back unable to get placed with a National Health Service dentist.

We recognise that in some parts of the country it remains difficult to access National Health Service dental care. Positive steps have already been taken to address this problem. NHS dentists in the Northamptonshire Health Authority have received £45,000 in Investing in Dentistry grants. This has gone towards establishing brand new practices that have already begun to register additional patients.

Northamptonshire also has a second wave Personal Dental Services (PDS) pilot which is specifically targeted at increasing child registration. This is a co-operative

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approach between community dental service and three practices. It identifies children in need of care through school screening and offers follow up appointments.

Discussions will continue with the profession at a local level to improve and modernise the service.

NHS Administration Staff

Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what has been the net reduction in the number of administrative jobs as a result of replacing the NHS internal market; [120333]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 2 May 2000]: The information is not available in the form requested. However, total National Health Service management costs in 1998-99 prices are shown in the table.

Year£ million

(1) Rebased. The definition of management costs was revised for 1998-99 to capture some management activity previously excluded, mainly related to NHS trusts purchasing private sector support services. To provide a consistent time series, the 1997-98 figure was rebased on the new definition

(2) Projected

GM Crops (Honey)

Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what advice his Department has prepared for beekeepers wishing to produce pure honey whose hives are located in the proximity of genetically modified crop plantings; [120695]

Ms Stuart: There is no existing legislation which defines the use of the word "pure" in food labelling.

However in October 1999 officials in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food/Department of Health Joint Food Safety and Standards Group wrote to the British Beekeepers Association and the British Honey Importers and Packers Association advising them that the presence of GM pollen in honey does not effect the labelling of honey. I am placing copies of the letters in the Library.

Work carried out by the Laboratory of the Government Chemist, a report of which is also available in the Library, indicates that the amount of genetically modified material in honey that might arise from bees foraging on GM crops is likely to be extremely small.

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Hospital Hygiene

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on how many occasions in the last five years the Audit Commission has investigated the administration of hospitals, with particular reference to hygiene. [120988]

Mr. Denham: The Audit Commission has informed us that according to its records neither the Commission nor its appointed auditors have carried out any investigations specifically concerned with hygiene in the last five years.

Diabetes Services

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the Audit Commission's report, "Testing Times: A Review of Diabetes Services in England and Wales"; and what actions he proposes to take. [R] [121124]

Mr. Denham: We welcome this important report. It highlights unacceptable variations in the quality of diabetes services. It is those variations that prompted us to announce last year the development of a National Service Framework for diabetes in England. The National Service Framework will set national standards and define service models to improve the quality of care for people with diabetes.

We have sent copies of the Audit Commission report to members of the Expert Reference Group who will advise Ministers on the development of the National Service Framework and it will inform their work.

General Osteopathic Council

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many members of the General Osteopathic Council have been drawn from (a) the General Council of Registered Osteopaths, (b) the College of Osteopaths, (c) the Guild of Osteopaths, (d) the London Counties and Shires Physicians, (e) the SMAE Institute, (f) the British and European Osteopaths Association and (g) the NTOS; how the members of the council were chosen and by whom; and if he will make a statement. [121105]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 8 May 2000]: All members of the current General Osteopathic Council have been appointed by the Privy Council in accordance with our adopted policy on public appointments. Members have been chosen on the basis of individual merit and particularly for their ability to secure and maintain the highest standards of training, clinical practice and professional conduct. Professional members of the General Osteopathic Council do not represent any individual osteopathic body or training institution but act as ambassadors for the whole of the osteopathic profession.

Following legal advice, nominations for each professional place on the Council have been sought from all bodies known to have a representative function for osteopaths. For the initial membership selection exercise, these were the bodies identified by the King's Fund

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Working Party on Osteopathy (whose report in 1991 provided the basis of the Osteopaths Act 1993) and known still to be in existence. The bodies were:

The King's Fund Working Party drew its list from a report of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission on the Services of professionally regulated osteopaths (1989).

The claims to have a representative function of bodies which have come forward since the initial selection exercise have been considered on a case by case basis. The London Counties and Shires Physicians has not made any claims to Government to represent osteopaths. Nominations have not been accepted from the SMAE Institute on the basis that it is considered to be a training establishment and not a representative body. Nominations have, however, been accepted from the newly formed British Osteopathic Association and the General Osteopathic Council itself.

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