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Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many requests for information were made to the Medicines Control Agency where information was not provided within 20 working days from the request for information; and if he will indicate the length of time taken for each such request. 
Ms Stuart: Of the 204 queries the agency handled where this target is applicable, 13 are currently being dealt with and 41 were not answered within the 20 day deadline. Of these cases, 14 were answered within a week of the deadline, 13 within a month, four within three months, seven within six months, three over six months.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the Committee on Safety of Medicines is subject to the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. 
Ms Stuart: No. However, the Committee on Safety of Medicines will be subject to the Freedom of Information legislation when implemented.
29 Jan 2001 : Column: 50W
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when the NHS appealed against non-determination of the planning application in respect of land and buildings at St. Leonard's Hospital, Dorset; for what reason the appeal has been deferred; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) when he will give instructions for the immediate demolition of the surplus unoccupied buildings at St. Leonard's Hospital, Dorset; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Stuart: There has been a phased re-provision of patient services from the St. Leonard's Hospital site since the late 1980s. The last patient services were relocated off the site in January 2000.
A number of unsuccessful planning applications for the site have been made over the last 10 years. The latest planning application for a special care housing development on the site was made in September 1999. East Dorset District Council failed to make a decision on this application and National Health Service Estates appealed against the non-determination of the application in April 2000.
In July 2000 the Planning Inspectorate requested that NHS Estates undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the site. Work for the EIA was commenced immediately and is expected to be completed in spring this year when a date for the public inquiry will be set by the Planning Inspectorate.
It would be inappropriate to demolish the buildings until the conclusion of the planning appeal.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for how long the former Health Centre in Christchurch has remained empty; and what action his Department is taking to realise the value of this asset. 
Ms Stuart: The Christchurch Health Centre was last used as a health centre in 1994. The property is held on a long lease but with restricted use. The leasehold interest of the property has been marketed on several occasions and last year was placed in two national auctions but failed to sell due to the restricted use.
Negotiations have been pursued with the landlord for a variation of the user clause which with his agreement would enable a more marketable interest to be offered to the market for sale.
Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the benefits of screening all women aged over 50 years for osteoporosis; and what estimate he has made of the (a) cost of such a programme and (b) potential savings to the NHS by such early detection and treatment; 
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Yvette Cooper: The United Kingdom National Screening Committee (NSC) advises Ministers, the devolved national Assemblies and the Scottish Parliament on all aspects of screening policy.
The NSC considered the subject of osteoporosis screening in June 1999. The committee's recommendation is that population-based screening should not be offered. There is not a simple, reliable test for osteoporosis that would meet the NSC's published criteria to ensure that a screening programme is both clinically and cost effective. The NSC's criteria are available on its website at http://www.nsc.nhs.uk/
The information requested on the number of bone scans is not available centrally.
Mr. Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many extra nurse, midwife and health visiting training places will be created in each year from 2001 to 2004 expressed in the same terms as the figures in NHS Plan; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Denham: As a result of the NHS Plan there will be 5,500 more nurses, midwives and health visitors being trained each year than today. Our latest forecast is for 20,325 places in 2000-01, an increase of 1,618 on the 1999-2000 baseline figure of 18,707. We plan to commission a further 1,000 places in 2001-02 and apportion the remaining increase over 2002-03 and 2003-04.
Mr. Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many extra training places for therapists and professional staff will be created in each year from 2001 to 2004 expressed in the same terms as the figures in NHS Plan; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Denham: As a result of the NHS Plan there will be 4,450 more therapists and other key professional staff being trained each year by 2004. Our latest forecast is for 6,553 training places in 2000-01, an increase of 576 on the 1999 baseline figure of 5,977. We plan to commission a further 700 places in 2001-02 and to commission the balance in 2002-03 and 2003-04.
Ms McCafferty: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if female genital mutilation will be included in the forthcoming sexual health strategy; and if he will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: The sexual health and HIV strategy will look at the range of issues within sexual health. In developing the work on the strategy, cultural issues including female genital mutilation have been considered. The strategy will set out actions for the future to improve awareness of these issues, develop programmes of education and provide information on support services.
We hope to publish the strategy for consultation shortly.
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Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people have been trained as part of the ambulance volunteers' first responders scheme. 
Ms Stuart: The information requested is not collected centrally. First responders are invaluable in providing immediate care until an emergency ambulance arrives. What matters is that patients with life-threatening conditions or injuries get an emergency response as quickly as possible. Clinical evidence proves conclusively that early defibrillation and resuscitation saves more lives. Achievement of the eight minute target could save 1,800 lives each year in people under 75 years suffering acute heart attacks.
Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on how many occasions since 1979 his Department has had the opportunity to apply to the European Commission for monetary compensatory amounts; on how many occasions applications were made; and how much was paid out in each successful application. 
Ms Quin: Under the agrimonetary system in existence until 1992, monetary compensatory amounts automatically provided equalisation of currency differences when agricultural products crossed intra-Community borders. No application for the amounts was required.
Mr. Andrew George: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much he expects will be received by the United Kingdom fishing industry from the EU for the (a) 2001 and (b) 2002 funding years. 
Mr. Morley: MAFF and the devolved Administrations are making available £18 million in 2001-02 and £22 million in 2002-03 for the UK fishing industry under the new EU fisheries structural funds programmes. These sums include both the amounts available from the EU under the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance and the national back-up funding from MAFF and the devolved Administrations. Since grant rates and funding packages will vary across the UK and across grant-aided measures, it is not possible to say at this stage how much of the amounts will be EU money and how much national back-up.
A limited number of payments will also be made under the 1994-99 structural funds programmes. Actual amounts paid will depend on the eligibility of the claims received.
In addition the fishing industry has access to intervention funds from the Community's European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund when required.
29 Jan 2001 : Column: 53W
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