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Ms Blears: Information about numbers of ministerial appointments to public bodies is included in the Cabinet Office's annual report, "Public Bodies". Copies are available in the Library and the report is published on the Cabinet Office's internet website. The next edition of "Public Bodies", which will include numbers of appointments at 31 March 2001, will be published around the end of the year.
238 public appointments were made by departmental Ministers between 7 June and 31 October 2001. A total of 1,041 public appointments are directly within the gift of Department of Health Ministers, 14 of which are joint appointments with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Public appointments to national health service trusts, health authorities and primary care trusts have since 1 April 2001 been made by the NHS Appointments Commission.
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Jacqui Smith: The Department commissioned, at the beginning of the year, the Thomas Coram Research Unit (Institute of Education, University of London) to conduct a tightly focused research study into the reasons that lie behind the increase in the number of children looked after by local authorities since 1994.
The research is designed to assess, among other things, the extent to which drug taking, alcoholism, violence and mental health problems within the family may have been significant factors underlying decisions made by local authorities to look after children.
(3) when he plans to publish the national service framework for diabetes; 
(4) when he will publish a statement on his plans to identify the two types of diabetes; 
(5) what recent consultations he has had with people suffering from diabetes. 
We are committed to improving the quality of care for people with diabetes. That is why we are developing a national service framework for diabetes. We shall be publishing the framework in two stagesthe standards shortly and the delivery strategy next summer. The standards will cover the prevention, identification and management of diabetes and its complications.
Ministers have met regularly with Diabetes UK, which represents people with diabetes, and I last met with it on 22 October. We have involved people with diabetes in the development of the diabetes national service framework standards, and the implementation group that will inform the development of the delivery strategy will work openly with people with diabetes and others with an interest.
Jacqui Smith: It is difficult to be precise about the exact level of expenditure on diabetes, as people with this condition are cared for by so many sectors of the health services. The table details the general medical services non-discretionary expenditure incurred by Leicestershire health authority on the chronic disease management programme for diabetes in each financial year since 199697. It must be emphasised that these figures do not reflect the full expenditure on diabetes by the health authority during this period.
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(14) Data for 200001 are provisional
Annual financial returns for health authorities
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will announce his decision in respect of funding for smoking cessation for (a) 200203 and (b) subsequent years in respect of the North Staffordshire health authority; and if he will make a statement. 
The NHS plan sets out a major expansion in services to help reduce smoking. The national health service smoking cessation services have proved to be effective, helping around 61,500 smokers to quit at the four-week stage in 200001.
Jacqui Smith: The national service framework for older people (NSF), published 27 March 2001, provides the first co-ordinated programme of actions to ensure that older people are never unfairly discriminated against in accessing national health service or social care services as a result of their age. Standard one of the NSF sets out actions and the time scale for achievement of milestones to identify and address age discriminatory policies and practices in the provision of health and social care services.
To date, initial action has focused on ensuring older people are engaged in the policy and priority planning at national and local level; the undertaking of an audit of written, age-related policies in the NHS; and the development of guidance for undertaking a review of eligibility criteria for adult social care.
Ms Blears: Information about the cost of the Prescription Pricing Authority (PPA) for 200102 will not be available until its accounts are completed and published in its next annual report in autumn 2002. Details of the PPA's costs and activities for 200001 are in the latest annual report. A copy is available in the Library and on the internet at www.ppa.org.uk.
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Ms Blears [holding answer 19 November 2001]: We have approved a number of clinical trials into the medicinal use of cannabis. Once the results of the trials have been properly evaluated, we will have an evidence base that will allow us to decide how to proceed.
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps he is taking to make the pneumococcal vaccine more widely available to the under 65 age group; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what estimate he has made of (a) the lives saved, (b) the hospital bed days saved and (c) the hospital costs saved by extending the availability of the pneumococcal vaccine; and if he will make a statement. 
Chronic renal disease or nephrotic syndrome
Immunodeficiency or immunosuppression due to disease or treatment, including HIV infection at all stages
Chronic heart disease
Chronic lung disease
Chronic liver disease including cirrhosis
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