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Mr. Hutton: Clive Mason was a member of the NHS task force on Staff Involvement that was announced in January 1998 by the then Secretary of State my right hon. Friend, the Member for Holborn and St. Pancras (Mr. Dobson). The task force was set up to report on how front-line health service staff worked with local managers to improve services. Following the production of their
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Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he proposes to respond to the representations made in October 2001 by the Independent Schools Council about the charges proposed for the welfare inspections of boarding schools. 
Jacqui Smith: I replied to the Independent Schools Council on 1 March 2002. Department of Health officials have also had discussions with the Independent Schools Council on issues relating to regulation by the National Care Standards Commission.
The Department is committed to ensure that older people are never unfairly discriminated and has an equal opportunities policy that encompasses this. The Department's valuing diversity policy states that:
Mr. Hutton: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State met representatives from the British Thoracic Society and the British Lung Foundation on 5 March and discussed a number of issues at the meeting including the number of respiratory specialists in the NHS.
We recognise that treatment of respiratory disease is a high priority specialised area. In 1997 there were 109 Specialist Registrars in Respiratory Medicine. This figure has increased year-on- year and by 2001 had reached 257. This represents a significant increase. As of 30 September 2001 there were 1,020 hospital medical staff within the Respiratory Medicine speciality. This number included 470 consultants.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the companies from which his Department have obtained timber and wood products and the total spent with each firm over the last five years. 
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The Department has a contract for furniture in its offices with Kinnarps (UK) Ltd. for the supply, replacement and renewal of wooden office furniture and the amount spent with that firm over the last five years is:
|£000s (excluding VAT)|
Ms Blears: Once a property has been identified as surplus to national health service (NHS) requirements it will be disposed of. In accordance with Treasury guidance a planning application is likely to be made that will maximise the receipt that will then be re-invested in new NHS capital developments. The local planning authority is responsible for determining the alternative use of the land. Most surplus land disposals over the past few years have been for residential development.
Mr. Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if it is his policy that Persons Responsible should be indemnified by their (a) employer and (b) defence body under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. 
Yvette Cooper: Within the national health service, employing authorities should make appropriate indemnity arrangements in discussion with the Person Responsible. Outside the NHS, the Person Responsible should make their own arrangements for liability cover in discussion with their employer where appropriate.
Mr. John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what financial contribution HMG has agreed to make toward the World Health Organisation research into air travel and deep vein thrombosis. 
Yvette Cooper: Representatives from the Department and the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions will be visiting the World Health Organisation before the end of March 2002 specifically to discuss funding for research into air travel and deep vein thrombosis.
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|Year (as at 31 March)||Nursing care beds(126)|
(126) Includes beds in private hospitals and clinics.
(127) Relates to the period 1 October 1996 to 31 March 1997.
Numbers are rounded
Department of Health's annual returns.
Further information on the number of residential and nursing care home beds in residential and nursing care homes is available in the statistical bulletin "Community Care Statistics 2001: Residential Personal Social Services for Adults, England" available at http://www.doh.gov.uk/ public/sb0129.htm.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what dates, and where, (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have met the Irish Government to discuss the British Nuclear Fuels plant at Sellafield since 5 October 2001; and which Ministers and which Irish Government Departments were involved in each meeting. 
Yvette Cooper: Officials from the Department have been involved in two meetings since 5 October 2001 with the Irish Government to discuss the British Nuclear Fuels plant at Sellafield. These meetings were on:
15 February 2002UK Ireland Contact Group on Radioactivity (London) involving officials from the Department, DEFRA, other Government Departments, devolved Administrations, Department of Public Enterprise (Ireland), Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland and the Isle of Man Government.
Yvette Cooper: The number of prescription items dispensed in the community for statins in England for the period 1996 to 2000, and the first three quarters of 2001 is listed in the table. The actual number of people being prescribed drugs is not collected. The data include statins prescriptions written in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland but dispensed in England. The data do not cover
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drugs dispensed in hospital or private prescriptions. Information about prescriptions written and dispensed in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are matters for the devolved Administrations.
|January to September 2001||9,070.0|
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