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Electromagnetic Fields

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans the Government have for researching the non-thermal effects of electromagnetic fields; and if he will make a statement. [7974]

Ms Blears: Electromagnetic fields (EMF) can arise from a wide range of sources including telecommunications at high frequencies and the electric power supply at low frequencies. The Stewart report on

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mobile phones and health made a recommendation that a substantial research programme should be set up under the aegis of a demonstrably independent panel and financed by the mobile phone companies and the public sector. The mobile telecommunications and health research programme, jointly funded by Government and industry, has now been set up under the direction of an independent programme management committee. The committee is currently assessing a range of research proposals, including some that are designed to look at non-thermal effects. Information about this programme can be found on the Department's website at

Research into the broader area of electromagnetic fields and health is continuing within the Department's radiation protection research programme, the work of the National Radiological Protection Board, the EMF Biological Research Trust and that of the World Health Organisation to which the United Kingdom contributes funding and expertise.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how he ensures the identification of children who may have severe untreated attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; what progress has been made towards ensuring that the condition is recognised by teachers and school nurses in the last three years; and if he will make a statement. [7333]

Jacqui Smith: In guidance published in October 2000 the National Institute for Clinical Excellence identified that of an estimated 69,000 six to 16-year-olds in England who met the diagnostic criteria for hyperkinetic disorder, for example severe attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), some 45,000 who might benefit from the drug methylphenidate were not receiving this treatment. The guidance also made it clear that a diagnosis of ADHD should be based on a timely, comprehensive assessment conducted by a child/adolescent psychiatrist or a paediatrician with expertise in this disorder. Referrals for specialist assessment can come from a number of sources including family members, general practitioners, social workers and teachers.

The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) is promoting a number of initiatives designed to help schools and teachers work with children with a range of emotional and behavioural needs, including ADHD. In June this year the DfES issued guidance on "Promoting Children's Mental Health within Early Years and School Settings" which has been circulated widely. The guidance covers not only mental health problems faced by children but also the approaches schools can take to promote children's mental health. It includes a section on attention deficit/hyperactivity which will help teaching staff identify pupils with ADHD. It also includes teaching strategies to help pupils with ADHD.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans his Department has to carry out research on the correlation between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and social exclusion; and if he will make a statement. [7334]

Jacqui Smith: The Department does not currently have any plans to carry out research on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and social exclusion. The

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Department is providing or has provided support for a number of projects on ADHD in general. Details of 24 ongoing and 54 completed projects on ADHD are available on the national research register which can be accessed in medical libraries on CD-ROM or on the internet at


Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 25 April 2001, Official Report, column 287W, on Nutriprem 2, when he will announce his decision on Nutriprem 2. [6732]

Ms Blears: A decision on Nutriprem 2 will be announced shortly.

Fall Prevention

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will arrange for the dissemination of reports on best practice in the prevention of falls; [8024]

Jacqui Smith: Falls are a major cause of disability and the leading cause of death due to injury in older people. Action to address this is detailed in the White Paper "Saving Lives: Our Healthier Nation" which set targets to reduce accidental injuries and deaths, and in the National Service Framework (NSF) for Older People. The NSF includes a detailed service model for integrated falls services and milestones for their full adoption across England by April 2005. Staged implementation will help planning, and will be underpinned by an evaluation of the more detailed financial and workforce implications within the additional resources we have allocated to health and social care.

Cannabis (Clinical Trials)

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what stage the trials into the medical uses of cannabis have reached; and when he expects to be able to announce the results. [7712]

Jacqui Smith: The Medical Research Council (MRC) is funding a clinical trial into the efficacy of cannabis extract and a single cannabinoid in the treatment of spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients. The trial is being run by Dr. John Zajicek, of Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, and the MRC Clinical Trials Unit. The trial started recruitment in autumn 2000. It will take three to four years to complete from the point of recruitment and the results will be published subsequently in peer reviewed publications.

We are aware that a second study on the development of a medicine derived from cannabis has started. This work which is expected to last for three years and is being led by Dr. Guy of GW Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Detailed evidence about clinical trials with cannabis and its derivatives was presented to the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology inquiry into the therapeutic uses of cannabis. It provides information about clinical trials with cannabis and its derivatives that are completed and published or ongoing. The date of publication of the ongoing trials is matter for the

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investigators and sponsors. This information is recorded in the Committee's reports 'Cannabis: the Scientific and Medical Evidence' (9th Report Session 1997–98, HL Paper 151) and 'Therapeutic Uses of Cannabis' (2nd Report Session 2000–01, HL Paper 50), copies of which are available in the Library.

Orthodontic Treatment

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were provided with orthodontic treatment per 1,000 of the population in each health authority area in the last 12 months. [6359]

Ms Blears [holding answer 15 October 2001]: The table shows the number of orthodontic appliance claims per 1,000 of the population by health authority in England for 2000–01.

General Dental Service: Number of claims for orthodontic appliances per 1,000 population, 2000–01

Health authorityClaims per 1,000 population
Barking and Havering7.6
Bexley and Greenwich6.0
Brent and Harrow3.3
Bury and Rochdale5.9
Calderdale and Kirklees4.0
Camden and Islington2.4
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly3.5
County Durham2.3
Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow3.8
East and North Hertfordshire6.4
East Kent3.6
East Lancashire3.3
East London and The City4.8
East Riding3.1
East Surrey5.5
East Sussex, Brighton and Hove4.0
Enfield and Haringey5.5
Gateshead and South Tyneside1.9
Isle of Wight5.6
Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster5.6
Kingston and Richmond7.9
Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham3.8
Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth3.3
Morecambe Bay3.4
Newcastle and North Tyneside3.8
North and East Devon5.1
North and Mid Hampshire3.1
North Cheshire7.1
North Cumbria2.6
North Derbyshire4.5
North Essex5.2
North Nottinghamshire6.0
North Staffordshire3.1
North West Lancashire8.9
North Yorkshire4.2
Portsmouth and South East Hampshire1.8
Redbridge and Waltham Forest7.8
Salford and Trafford8.0
South and West Devon4.3
South Cheshire11.0
South Derbyshire3.4
South Essex3.4
South Humber2.5
South Lancashire6.2
South Staffordshire2.6
Southampton and South West Hampshire4.2
St. Helens and Knowsley2.4
West Hertfordshire9.2
West Kent8.5
West Pennine7.4
West Surrey8.8
West Sussex7.9
Wigan and Bolton5.9

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