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Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what endorsement has been given by his Department to the website [159193]

Mr. Denham: The Department has given no endorsement for

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Mental Health White Paper

Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he intends to publish the statutory guidance relating to residential options and refusals referred to in paragraph 7.12 (page 73) of the Mental Health White Paper. [159536]

Mr. Hutton: We intend to issue the guidance referred to in paragraph 7.12 of the White Paper "Valuing People: A New Strategy for Learning Disability for the 21st Century" in summer 2001.

Vitamins and Minerals

Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make a statement on the progress being made by his Ad Hoc Expert Advisory Group on Vitamins and Minerals; and if he expects the group to produce its final report before the publication of the report by the European Commission's Scientific Committee for Food on the safety of vitamins and minerals; [159539]

Ms Stuart: The Ad Hoc Expert Advisory Group on Vitamins and Minerals have published the reviews of individual vitamins and minerals on the Food Standards Agency website at www. as the work has progressed. At the same time copies have been sent to the secretariat of the Scientific Committee on Food.

The Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals expect to complete considering the reviews of the relevant scientific information on the safety of individual vitamins and minerals by July 2001. The group's risk assessments for the vitamins and minerals reviewed will be issued for public consultation later this year. After the consultation process the group will publish its final report, a copy of which will be sent to the Scientific Committee on Food.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the progress being made by the European Commission's Scientific Committee for Food in reviewing the safety of vitamins and minerals; when he expects that Committee will adopt upper safe levels; and for which nutrients. [159538]

Ms Stuart: The European Commission's Scientific Committee on Food have expressed opinions on the tolerable upper intake levels of beta-carotene, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folate, manganese, selenium, molybdenum and vitamin B2 which are available on their website. Opinions on the remaining vitamins and minerals are being prepared by the Committee and will be published in due course. The timetable for the adoption of tolerable upper intake levels is not known.

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NHS Restructuring

Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the net number of administrative, clerical and managerial jobs lost in the NHS Executive, Department of Health and health authorities will be, as a result of the reorganisation announced by him on 25 April, (a) within the next 12 months and (b) upon full implementation of the restructuring he has outlined. [159603]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 30 April 2001]: By 2004 control of 75 per cent. of the National Health Service budget will be devolved to frontline staff in primary care trusts and care trusts. The number of health authorities will be cut by around two thirds, and it is expected that around half of the posts currently in regional offices will go. Net savings will be at least £100 million. Precise staffing arrangements will be for local decision. Where possible, job reductions will be achieved by natural turnover.


Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his target time is for replying to letters from hon. Members; and what his policy is on the issuing of acknowledgement letters from the Ministerial Correspondence Unit. [159792]

Ms Stuart: The Department has a Service First target of 20 working days to reply to correspondence from hon. Members. It is the Department's policy to issue acknowledgement letters to all correspondence received from hon. Members. Unfortunately, the Department had to suspend this practice in late 2000 due to problems with the system producing incorrect dates on acknowledgement letters. The problem has now been resolved and all correspondence is now being acknowledged.

Sir Brian Mawhinney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the right hon. Member for North-West Cambridgeshire will receive a reply to his letter of 23 March on behalf of his constituents, Mr. and Mrs. McGuire. [159870]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 1 May 2001]: A reply to the right hon. Member's letter concerning his constituents' Mr. and Mrs. McGuire was sent on 30 April 2001.


Mr. Wilkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his assessment is of the average cost of bed- and-breakfast accommodation per night for the relatives and friends of in-patients at (a) Harefield Hospital, Middlesex and (b) St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London. [158605]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 30 April 2001]: The information requested is not held centrally.

Special Advisers

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many special advisers worked in his Department from 1997 to date. [160022]

Ms Stuart [holding answer 1 May 2001]: Since 3 May 1997, no more than two special advisers have been in post at any one time.

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Child Protection

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how compliance with the Working Together guidelines for child protection is monitored and inspected; which agencies are monitored; and which inspectorates discharge this function. [158888]

Mr. Hutton: The social services inspectorate social care regions and inspection groups, and the SSI/Audit Commission joint review team all contribute to the assessment of the performance of each local council with social services responsibilities. Their work is informed by the performance information collected by the local council, through the performance assessment framework. Some inspections cover broad areas of services, such as children's services. Others focus on more specific tasks, such as monitoring the performance of authorities which are subject to special measures.

The SSI social care regions monitor the progress made by all councils in implementing the "Government's Objectives for Children's Social Services", progress on major initiatives such as Quality Protects, and action plans to address the recommendations of inspections and joint reviews.

Many agencies beyond social services departments have child protection responsibilities. These responsibilities are set out in detail in "Working Together to Safeguard Children". For the first time ever, beginning later this year, there will be a programme of children's safeguards inspections. These inspections will focus on the working of area child protection committees in their implementation of "Working Together to Safeguard Children", and the inter-agency arrangements to assess and address the risks posed by dangerous adults. They will be undertaken by a team of inspectors drawn from each of the inspectorates for the range of agencies with regular contact with children, and will be led by the SSI. It will therefore include inspectors from Ofsted, the Commission for Health Improvement, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, HMI Prisons, and will be supported by the Magistrates Courts Service Inspectorate and the Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate.



Mr. Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the interim marketing budgets of the regional tourist boards for the next 12 months. [159345]

Janet Anderson: Regional tourist boards (RTBs) in England will receive £5.5 million during the current financial year. The funding, allocated to the RTBs by the English Tourism Council (ETC), is provided for work that complements the ETC's role in delivering national and regional programmes--in line with "Tomorrow's Tourism", the Government's tourism strategy--rather than for direct marketing.

However, the ETC have received an additional allocation of £3.8 million to fund a national and regional information and promotion campaign as part of the foot and mouth recovery plan. More than half of this additional money is being passed to the RTBs to help fund specific

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regional promotions and information campaigns. RTBs will also benefit from the additional funding which regional development agencies (RDAs) will allocate for promotional work to support tourism. I do not yet have detailed information about this funding.

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