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Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reason the term headaches was not included in the National Service Framework on long-term neurological conditions. [24057]

Jacqui Smith: Ministers have not yet made any decisions about the scope and content of this National Service Framework other than outlining that it will draw out some of the common issues faced by people with a long-term condition. It will also pay particular attention to specific neurological diseases.

Foster Care

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on (1) what his estimate is of the cost of bringing up a child in foster care in the age groups (a) up to four, (b) five to seven, (c) eight to 13 and (d) 14 to 18 years; [24567]

Jacqui Smith: Each local authority determines and pays its own rate of allowance and many provide enhanced allowances to provide for those children with special needs or where recruitment of carers might be a problem locally.

There are many contributing factors which might affect the rates of allowance payable—for instance, the number of looked after children the local authority is caring for, the available pool of foster carers and whether special skills are needed by the foster carer to look after a particular child. It is therefore right, we believe, that each local authority determines and pays its own rate of allowance, taking into account the circumstances that exist locally.

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the status of the Fostering Network's UK national standards for foster care in relation to the national minimum standards. [24565]

Jacqui Smith: The United Kingdom National Standards for Foster Care provide a framework for the provision of high quality foster care for children and young people throughout the UK. Their scope is much wider than the new National Minimum Standards. Although without a statutory basis, the UK National

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Standards will remain in place and work alongside the National Minimum Standards as good practice for fostering service providers.

The National Minimum Standards underpin the new Fostering Services Regulations, which come into force in April 2002. These have a statutory basis and will ensure that a minimum level of care is provided throughout the sector. They are not intended to be aspirational or references to best practice, but represent a core level of welfare provision that no establishment should fall below.

Food Hygiene

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action has been taken to improve food hygiene in meat- selling shops in the past five years. [24442]

Yvette Cooper: The Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) (Butchers' Shops) Amendment Regulations 2000 (SI 2000 No. 930) were introduced in England in response to the recommendation in the Pennington report for the licensing of retail butchers' shops. These regulations, which came into force on 1 May 2000, require retail butchers and other retail outlets selling both unwrapped raw meat and ready to eat food to obtain an annual licence from their local food authority. Businesses must satisfy certain hygiene conditions before a licence can be issued, including compliance with existing food hygiene legislation, the operation of effective food safety management controls based on the principles of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points system (HACCP) and appropriate food hygiene training for food handling and supervisory staff. Similarly oriented legislation has also been put in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

We have also made £4.5 million available to fund a free training and support initiative to help retail butchers in England introduce effective HACCP food safety management controls in their shops prior to the introduction of the licensing regulations. Approximately 7,500 butchers in England received help through this initiative which ran from 1998 to 2000. Funding was also made available in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to assist butchers in implementing the new requirements over a similar time period.

National Healthy School Standard

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what level of financial support has been given to the National Healthy School Standard. [24581]

Yvette Cooper: In 2001–02 the Department has provided central support to the National Healthy School Standard of £5.8 million and the Department for Education and Skills has provided £2 million.


Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the publication date is of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy's report on the role of diet in the prevention of osteoporosis. [24445]

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Yvette Cooper: The Committee on Medical Aspects of Food and Nutrition Policy (COMA) published a report on "Nutrition and Bone Health" in 1998. The report made a number of recommendations including that

COMA has been replaced by a new Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) which held its first meeting in June 2001. SACN is a committee of independent experts which will advise Government, via the Chief Medical Officers and the Food Standards Agency (FSA), on matters relating to nutrition, diet and health. Osteoporosis is not a named area of work within the Committee's current work programme. Information about the work of SACN can be obtained from the Committee's website

Blood Donors

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many individual blood donors there were in each of the last five years. [24444]

Yvette Cooper: Figures received from the National Blood Service show that the number of individual blood donors for the last five years (based on mid year averages) are:



Chief Medical Officer (Annual Report)

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what date the decision was taken to publish a shortened version of the Chief Medical Officer's annual report. [24590]

Yvette Cooper: The length and content of the Chief Medical Officer's annual report is a matter for the Chief Medical Officer of the day. The present Chief Medical Officer considered the length and format of the previous reports after taking up post in the autumn of 1998. He also reviewed the range of publications produced under the auspices of the Chief Medical Officer. He decided that the previous format which included detailed accounts of the Government's policies in relation to health and health care were now well covered in other publications and Government websites. With this is mind he decided to focus the report on a number of specific topics of importance to the public health. He began working personally on this new report in the spring of 2001 and it was published on 10 December 2001.

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Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment has been made of the proportion of patients who are undernourished in the NHS. [24595]

Yvette Cooper: For the wider community, Government surveys such as the National Diet and Nutrition Surveys and the Health Survey for England provide data on the prevalence of over and under nutrition for children and adults and by age and region.

Statistics are available for the number of episodes of hospital in-patient care with a primary diagnosis relating to malnutrition. The incidence of reported cases of malnutrition is rare (there were a total of 252 cases in 2000–01) but tends to increase with age.

In the NHS Plan, we made a commitment to reduce under-nutrition by developing a hospital nutrition policy to improve the outcome of care of patients by 2004. A number of strategies are in place to manage, monitor and screen patients for under-nutrition in hospitals, residential care and the wider community. Nutritional screening is recommended for the care of specific groups, such as those outlined in the "National Service Framework for Older People".


Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost is of (a) establishing and (b) maintaining the (i) Galaxy H, (ii) Welltown, (iii) Wired for Health, (iv) Mind Body Soul and (v) LifeBytes websites; and how many hits there were in the last year in each case. [24617]

Yvette Cooper: The "Wired for Health" websites were set up progressively by the Health Development Agency between April 1998 and February 2001. The separate costs of each of the sites have not been recorded in the form requested.

The total project costs were as follows:

Financial year£000
April 2001-November 200196

WebsiteNumber of hits
1 December 2000 to 30 November 2001
Wired for Health2,398,642
Mind, Body and Soul3,805,962
1 March 2001 to 30 November 2001(18)

(18) the Galaxy-Hon. and Welltown sites were launched in February 2001

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