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£22 million is available under the New Opportunity Fund's Palliative Care programme to extend adult palliative care provision in areas of need. The fund aims to support the provision of home-based palliative care for adults with cancer and other life threatening or life limiting conditions. Hospice care is not eligible for funding through this programme though adult hospices are eligible to apply to provide home based care services providing they meet the programme eligibility criteria.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the usefulness of the quality adjusted life year as a measure; and if he will make a statement on how it is used by the NHS and his Department. 
Yvette Cooper: Quality adjusted life years (QALY's) are commonly used in the national health service and elsewhere to compare different treatments which prolong life or improve the quality of life. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence uses QALY's as part of its range of tools to assess the clinical and cost effectiveness of treatments which it is appraising, prior to issuing its guidance to the NHS.
Yvette Cooper: The evidence on whether there has been a reduction in the mineral content of foods generally is unclear. This is due to the differences over time in study methodologies and because mineral levels naturally occurring in foods can vary widely due to a range of factors.
Experts advise that the overall balance of the diet is more important than the nutrient content of individual foods. It is for this reason that Government activity has concentrated on promoting the uptake of a healthy balanced diet.
Mr. Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether advice on the need to provide clear information about levels of uncertainty contained in Guideline 2000 applies to advice given by the Food Standards Agency to (a) the public and (b) the Government. 
Yvette Cooper: Guidelines 2000 on "Scientific Advice and Policy Making" is aimed at all Government Departments. The Guidelines do apply to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), which is a non-ministerial Department.
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As its guiding principles are "Putting the consumer first", "Being open and accessible" and "Being an independent voice", the FSA gives advice both to the public and to the Government. Policy issues are discussed at meetings of the FSA board which are open to the public, and the right for the Agency to publish its advice to Ministers (subject to specified conditions) is enshrined in section 19 of the Food Standards Act 1999.
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 11 March 2002]: The Calman Hine Report states that where appropriate, cancer services should be provided close to patients. Furthermore, the large volume of patients attending for assessment, diagnosis and treatment together with the current available evidence suggests that a single centre of excellence would be impractical. Therefore there are no plans currently in the north-west region to develop a single centre specialising in breast cancer treatment.
All NHS providers of care for breast cancer patients have recently been appraised against the national standards contained in the "Manual of Cancer Standards". The three cancer networks within the north-west now have the results of those appraisals and are working with those providers to develop action plans where necessary and to prompt further developments as appropriate.
Yvette Cooper: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) is currently appraising Glivec for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia. As this appraisal is ongoing it is not possible at this time to give a cost of the assessment of Glivec.
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the answer of 7 February 2002, Official Report, column 116064W, on stolen equipment, whether the computer equipment stolen from his Department was (a) new and unused and (b) used; and what the nature was of the data stored on such items in each case. 
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 20 March 2002]: Since May 1997 in total 170 items of departmental computer equipment have been stolen. Some 30 items were new (unused) equipment. The information stored generally
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concerned policy and finance issues. No departmental information was stored on new items. All the information should have been protected by password only access. There is no indication that unauthorised access has been gained to any information.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many members of staff were employed by his Department on secondment from non-governmental organisations in (a) 1999, (b) 2000 and (c) 2001. 
|Number of secondments|
Department of Health interchange database 1 April to 31 March
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of female dentists on the (a) General Dental Council list and (b) health authority list practise in (i) the Government Dental Service full time and (ii) the Government Dental Practice Service for the NHS full time. 
In March 2000 the Office of Manpower Economics (OME) carried out a survey into the hours of work and workload of principal dentists taking any part in the General Dental Service (GDS) in Great Britain.
The survey found that 49 per cent. of female principals in the GDS considered themselves as carrying out dental work full-time. This would be equivalent to about 3,000 of the 6,122 female principals in the GDS in the UK at 31 December 2001. The survey found that about one quarter of full-time principals spent 100 per cent. of their time on GDS work. This would be equivalent to 780 female principals at December 2001.
10,194 female dentists were on the General Dental Council (GDC) Register at 1 January 2002. The 3,000 principals estimated to be doing dental work full-time are equivalent to 29 per cent. of the females on the GDC register. The 780 principals estimated to be doing dental work full-time and spending 100 per cent. of their time in the GDS are equivalent to 8 per cent. of the females on the GDC register.
Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the names of the unpaid advisers appointed by him and his predecessors since June 1997, stating in each case (a) the date of their appointment, (b) the duration of their appointment and (c) the project or projects on which they have been engaged. 
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Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make an assessment of public transport links from (a) Colindale, (b) Burnt Oak and (c) West Hendon to (i) Barnet Hospital and (ii) Northwick Park East Hospital at (A) midnight, (B) 2 am and (C) 4 am; and if he will make a statement. 
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