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Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what reports he has received this year from the Association of Directors of Social Services regarding overspending by local authorities on personal social services; and what the conclusions were of these reports. 
Mr. Hutton: I have not formally received a report from the Association of Directors of Social Services on this matter. However, the Department is in close touch with officers of the Association on a wide range of topics. The conclusions of any work by the Association on levels of spending on personal social services are a matter for the Association.
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Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what consideration he gave to the PFI bid to build a new community hospital in Lymington as a separate project from other community hospitals; 
(3) if he will make a statement about the future of the proposed new community hospital at Lymington. 
Mr. Denham: Each private finance initiative (PFI) scheme is considered on its own merits and will only be approved if it is clearly demonstrated that the PFI option delivers better value for money to the National Health Service and the taxpayer when compared to the publicly funded alternative.
Despite intensive efforts by the NHS, the Lymington Community Hospital PFI proposal did not produce a viable value for money solution. It was therefore decided to terminate negotiations with the PFI preferred bidder.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were waiting for in-patient treatment for (a) cancer, (b) heart disease and (c) HIV and hepatitis in each of the last 10 years in the (i) Sutton and Cheam constituency and (ii) Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth Health Authority. 
Waiting lists for in-patient treatment for heart disease are held under cardiothoracic surgery and cardiology waiting lists. The figures for Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth are as follows. Data were collected only from 1996-97 onwards.
Information on in-patient waiting times is collected by consultant speciality. Treatment for cancer, HIV and hepatitis is carried out in a number of specialities and the numbers waiting for treatment are therefore not identifiable separately.
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Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to improve the access to fresh fruit and vegetables to those living in areas with limited shopping facilities. 
Yvette Cooper: [holding answer 6 November 2000]: The National Health Service Plan published in July set out our plans to increase access to fruit and vegetables and make a healthy diet a real choice for everyone. We will work with producers, retailers and others to increase provision and access to fruit and vegetables, particularly in deprived communities, schools and hospitals.
Five local five-a-day pilot initiatives are already underway in Sandwell, Somerset, Airedale and Craven, County Durham and Hastings. These projects aim to increase access to fruit and vegetables across the whole population, but all have a particular focus on improving access to fruit and vegetables for the worst off. The pilots are being carefully evaluated. Based on the lessons from these pilots, and evidence of effective interventions to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, these local initiatives will be developed across the country.
The National School Fruit Scheme will make a free piece of fruit available to school children aged four to six each school day. Pilots will examine the practicalities of the scheme before national roll-out begins.
Mr. Denham [holding answer 7 November 2000]: Clinical Pathology Accreditation (UK) Ltd. (CPA) oversees accreditation of National Health Service pathology laboratories which include standards for mortuary and post mortem facilities. In addition, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carries responsibility for mortuaries in the same capacity as for any other hospital facility. The HSE's Health Services Advisory Committee is currently revising its publication "Safe working and the prevention of infection in the mortuary and post-mortem room".
Mr. Denham [holding answer 7 November 2000]: National Health Service pathology laboratory services have responsibility for the standard of hospital mortuaries, as part of accreditation. The Department supported the development of Clinical Pathology Accreditation (CPA) Ltd., the main accreditation body in the United Kingdom.
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CPA sets standards for laboratory services, inspects laboratories, including mortuaries, against the standards and reports to hospital chief executives.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 2 November 2000, Official Report, column 603W, (1) when he expects remedial action to be taken to bring the mortuary at Trafford General Hospital to the necessary minimum standard; 
Mr. Denham [holding answer 7 November 2000]: £8,550 was made available in 1998 to ensure that the mortuary at Trafford General Hospital met the minimum standards. As part of this process, work carried out included:
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 2 November 2000, Official Report, column 603W, what inquiries he has made into the reasons why expenditure on the mortuary at Trafford General Hospital in 1998 failed to bring the facility to the necessary minimum standard. 
Salford and Trafford Health Authority is satisfied that the facilities at Trafford General Hospital do not pose a risk to patients and staff alike. As in the rest of the hospital, infection control procedures are in place and are monitored regularly.
Mr. Denham [holding answer 7 November 2000]: None of the current Ministers at the Department have so far been able to visit an NHS mortuary as part of their visits to the service. We will though keep this possibility in mind for future visit programmes.
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