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Yvette Cooper: We recognise this is a very important national service and good progress has been made in making it available to those who might benefit from the procedure. Both adult and paediatric small bowel transplantation services have been designated by the National Specialist Commissioning Advisory Group and national centres identified since April 1997.
No transplants were performed before this date. In the case of children, 14 transplants have now been performed. In the case of adults, a number of patients have been assessed but to date transplantation has not been the preferred option for their care.
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Mr. Hutton [holding answer 14 January 2002]: Any additional costs arising from the levy may be factored into bidders proposals under both the private finance initiative and public capital procurement routes. Such bids will continue to be assessed on a case-by-case basis by individual national health service trusts on the grounds of meeting service need, affordability and value for money.
|Chair appointment||NHS trust|
|Professor Margaret Bamford||Dudley Priority Health|
|Mr. Charles Goody||Coventry Healthcare|
|Mr. Bryan Knight||Sandwell Healthcare|
|Mr. Francis McCarney||George Eliot Hospital|
|Mr. Michael O'Riorden||Worcestershire Acute Hospitals|
|Dr. Bransby Thomas||South Warwickshire Combined Care|
|Mr. Clive Wilkinson||Birmingham Heartlands and Solihull (Teaching)|
|Sir Bernard Zissman||Good Hope Hospital|
Yvette Cooper: Our recommendation for the use of BCG vaccine is based on the advice of an independent expert advisory committee, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, which is regularly reviewed.
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Veterinary or other staff who handle animal species known to be susceptible to tuberculosis.
Staff of prisons, old people's homes, refugee hostels and hostels for the homeless.
Contacts of cases known to be suffering from active pulmonary tuberculosis.
Immigrants from countries with a high prevalence of TB, their children and infants wherever born.
Those intending to stay in Asia, Africa, central or south America for more than a month.
School children between the ages of 10 and 14 years.
Mr. Havard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the appropriate use of blood working group will publish its report on the use of alternative blood therapies in place of transfusing blood. 
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 15 January 2002]: The National Blood Service "appropriate use of blood" group is currently gathering evidence on alternatives to blood, bloodless surgery and autologous blood transfusion. Proposed guidance material will be considered by the Chief Medical Officer's National Blood Transfusion Committee later this year. It is anticipated that the guidance will be promulgated through regional and local hospital blood transfusion committees.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to make an announcement on the appointment of a chief executive for the new Avon/ Gloucestershire and Wiltshire health authority; and for what reason it has not been possible to make that appointment already. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 15 January 2002]: The appointment of Mr. Mark Outhwaite as chief executive was announced on 14 January. It was not possible to complete the process of making appointments to all 28 strategic health authorities before Christmas and the intervening holiday period inevitable imposed a delay. Now that the appointment has been made, work on setting up the new health authority and preparing it for its role will go ahead at the same speed as other areas.
Mr. Gummer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the Food Standards Agency's position is on the acceptable level of daily sodium intake for the general population; on what evidence the Food Standards Agency bases its policy on dietary salt consumption; and what recent advice the Food Standards Agency has given Ministers regarding the recommended daily sodium consumption. 
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Yvette Cooper: The Food Standards Agency's advice on salt is that individuals should reduce their intake to 6 grammes per day (equivalent to 2.3 grammes of sodium). This is based on the recommendations made by the expert committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy.
Mr. Gummer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what public awareness campaigns the Food Standards Agency is undertaking to reduce daily human consumption of salt; how the Food Standards Agency communicates its recommended daily intake of sodium to the public; and what media outlets the Food Standards Agency uses to highlight its policy on salt and its recommended daily intake of sodium. 
Yvette Cooper: Advice to the general public on levels of salt intake is covered as an integral part of Food Standards Agency activity to provide information on a healthy balanced diet generally. This is done through a variety of routes which include FSA publications, the FSA website, and advice to the food industry on the nutritional labelling of foods.
Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy that women who have suffered pre-menopausal breast cancer will be subject to automatic recall under the NHS breast cancer screening programme. 
Yvette Cooper: National guidelines 1 state that women who have been treated for breast cancer should undergo mammography yearly during the first five years after surgery, and every two years afterwards, regardless of age. The national health service breast screening programme invites women aged 50 to 64 for mammography every three years, to be extended to the age of 70 by 2004. It is for a woman's clinical team to decide whether she enters the breast screening programme at age 50 or if she is monitored outside the programme.
Mr. Horam: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will alter the NHS complaints procedure so that independent review bodies can investigate a complaint relating to more than one NHS body. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 15 January 2002]: We are currently in the process of reforming the national health service complaints procedure and as part of that we are considering how best a second, "independent review" element of the procedure might work.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research has been conducted into the underlying causes of food allergies to commonly available ingredients, with particular reference to (a) wheat, (b) dairy products and (c) nuts. 
Yvette Cooper: The Food Standards Agency is currently spending £800,000 a year on research into food allergy. This research focuses both on the occurrence of food allergies and the mechanisms underlying the reactions with emphasis on severe allergy, in particular
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peanut and tree-nut allergies. The FSA currently funds 12 research projects on peanut allergy (the main cause of food allergy related deaths in the United Kingdom) and one on dairy products. The FSA does not currently fund any research into wheat allergy, although the research on mechanisms may be of relevance. Further detail on the food allergy research programme can be obtained from the FSA research programmes annual report 19992000 which has been placed in the Library.
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 17 January 2002]: Proposals for the establishment of the South Worcestershire Primary Care Trust are still being considered. A decision will be announced as soon as possible.
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