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Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the impact of fishing by western countries off the coast of West Africa on development in that region. 
Clare Short: The Government have provided substantial support to countries of the West African region for the implementation of the international Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. This is a five-year programme which is being delivered through a partnership with the FAO and countries of the region. It will strengthen West African countries' capacities to manage their coastal fisheries. It is focused on the needs of small-scale, artisanal fishers and programme resources will be available to support those communities' impacted by the activities of foreign vessels.
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Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how long he estimates it will take successfully to complete his Department's synthetic human antibody research; what is the estimated cost of completing the remaining research in the project; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hutton: The new community hospital at Rothbury is part of Phase II of the redevelopment of Wansbeck General Hospital. The Full Business Case for the scheme is in the final stages of approval and a decision is expected very soon. Until then, however, a definitive start date cannot be given.
Mr. John M. Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement about the therapies and pharmacological solutions available on the NHS to counter the effects of tinnitus; and if he will commission research on this subject. 
Yvette Cooper: There are a number of therapies available to treat tinnitus. While maskers are available, which emit sounds that counteract the tinnitus noises, treatment currently focuses on an cognitive approach to the problem such as relaxation techniques to reduce stress
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levels, and listening to surf sound tapes to cover the tinnitus noises. Many patients manage their condition without medical intervention.
The main agency through which we support medical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council (MRC). MRC always welcomes high-quality applications for support into any aspect of human health and these are judged in open competition with other demands on funding. Awards are made according to their scientific quality and importance to human health.
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will instruct the Chief Executive of the NHS to provide patients with the option of a disclaimer allowing them to refuse treatment in private units. 
Mr. Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures the Government are taking to ensure high standards of (a) medical care, (b) personal care and (c) hygiene and cleanliness in private hospitals. 
Ms Stuart: Independent healthcare is currently regulated under the Registered Homes Act 1984. We recognise the deficiencies with the present system and that it has not kept pace with the developments in independent healthcare over the past two decades. We are therefore putting in place a new modern regulatory framework for the independent healthcare sector, through the Care Standards Act 2000. One of the main elements of the Act is to establish a new independent body, the National Care Standards Commission, which will regulate independent hospitals to proper modern standards. The Act will put in place a regulatory system that will ensure the delivery of quality services, proper accountability by the provider, and flexibility to allow the regulatory framework to respond to developments in the healthcare field.
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To ensure consistency and quality of service provision, the Commission will inspect against national minimum standards currently being developed for private acute hospitals having regard to those standards which already apply to National Health Service hospitals. This will ensure that patients can have confidence in the quality and safety of medical and personal care, hygiene and cleanliness. The development of the national minimum standards is being undertaken in consultation with patients, providers, inspectors, healthcare professionals and specialists. Once the standards are developed they will be the subject of a full public consultation in April 2001.
Mr. Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proposals he has to amend his Department's and the Food Standards Agency's departmental expenditure and running costs limit for 2000-01. 
Mr. Milburn: Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary Supplementary Estimates for Class II, Votes 1 and 4 the overall Departmental Expenditure Limit for Class II which includes the Department of Health and the Foods Standard Agency, will be increased by £61,213,000 from £45,029,542,000 to £45,090,755,000.
Of this increase the Department of Health Departmental Expenditure limit for 2000-01 will be increased by £49,616,000 from £44,948,272,000 to £44,997,888,000. The increase is the net effect of changes to Class II, Vote 1 (Hospital, community health, family health and related services, England) of £48,357,000 made up £50,000,000 from HM Treasury's Capital Modernisation Fund for Modernising Coronary Heart Disease services. In addition the following transfers will take place; £1,357,000 from the Scottish Executive, (£47,000) for the High Security Infectious Diseases Unit and (£1,310,000) for Out of Area Treatments. The overall increase is partially offset by a transfer of £3,000,000 to Class I, Vote 1 (Department for Education and Employment) for the Queen Mary Westfield Tomlinson merger.
An increase of £1,256,000 for Class II, Vote 2 (Department of Health, administration, miscellaneous health and personal social services, England) is the net effect of transfers (detailed below) and £6,500,000 take-up of end year flexibility (as set out in Table 7 of the Public Expenditure Outturn White Paper "Cm 4812" published on 18 July 2000) and £1,795,000 (running costs) from the Civil Service Modernisation Fund, transfers of £75,000 (running costs) from Class IX, Vote 2 (Department of Trade and Industry: science) for the human genetics commission and £36,000 from Class IV, Vote 1 (Home Office administration, police, immigration and other services, England and Wales) for central treatment fund pilot projects. The overall increase is partially offset by transfers of £4,000,000 to Class I, Vote 1 (Department for Education and Employment: programmes and central services) for the standards fund, £3,000,000 to Class IV, Vote 1 (Home Office administration, police, immigration and other services, England and Wales) for unaccompanied asylum seeking children and £150,000 to Class III, Vote 2 (Environment, Transport and regions: Planning, roads, local transport and vehicle safety) for mobility centres.
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Within the Departmental DEL there is also a transfer of £11,837,000 from Class II, Vote 2 (Department of Health, administration, miscellaneous health and personal social services, England) to Class II, Vote 1 (Hospital, community health, family health and related services, England).
The take-up of non-voted supplementary credit approvals for personal social services (DoH/LACAP) in England has increased by £3,000 from £18,700,000 to £18,703,000 in respect of take up of end-year flexibility entitlement as mentioned above.
The Food Standards Agency Departmental Expenditure limit will also be increased by £11,597,000 from £81,270,000 to £92,867,000. The increase is the net effect of the take-up of end-year flexibility of £8,366,000 (of which £1,000,000 is running costs) from the Department of Health, an allocation of £375,000 (of which £280,000 is running costs) from the Civil Service Modernisation Fund and transfers of £2,856,000 from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food comprising £1,600,000 (of which £350,000 is running costs) to cover set up costs of the Agency which fell in 2000-01 rather than 1999-2000 as originally planned, and £1,256,000 (of which £1,125,000 is running costs) for the additional responsibilities taken on by the Agency
All increases will either be offset by transfers to or from other Departmental Expenditure Limits (detailed above) or charges to the DEL Reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.
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