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Ms Blears: No additional work force costs were incurred as most of the work in connection with the review of ambulance services in the south-east has been carried out by existing civil servants at the Department and staff at health authorities and trusts. Additional costs were incurred for printing and the hire of church halls etc. for public meetings.
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whom he consulted in deciding (a) the number of units of smallpox vaccine required for production in the UK and (b) the number of individuals to be covered; 
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 18 April 2002]: The choice of smallpox vaccine strain, the number of units of vaccine and the number of individuals to be covered, was made on the basis of expert advice, under the auspices of a specially convened sub-group of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 23 April 2002]: Detailed confidential discussions were held with five major pharmaceutical companies who were known to have vaccine manufacturing capability either in the UK or in Europe. Our requirements for the vaccine strain, timing, and delivery were made clear to each of the companies, who were then given time to submit their responses.
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Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions he has had with (a) NHS managers and (b) private companies, about the provision of extra large medical compression tights; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the implication of the refusal of planning permission by local authorities in respect of drug treatment centres for the Government's strategy of increasing treatment facilities for drug users; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Blears: There is currently no evidence that this is a widespread national problem and in fact current data indicate a rise of about 16 per cent. over the past two years of those drug misusers entering treatment. These figures mean that the Government are on track to meet the target of increasing the number of drug misusers in treatment by 100 per cent. by 2008. The Government are of course aware of the negative impact that refusal of planning permission locally could have on the Government's aim of increasing the number of drug misusers accessing treatment.
Local authorities are autonomous bodies, accountable to their electorates, and the Government do not routinely comment on, or intervene in, their day-to-day administration of the planning system. Nor would it be appropriate for a Minister to comment on the merits of an individual planning decision, because of the appellate role of the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions. It is for the local planning authority to assess each planning proposal on its individual merits, in the light of the authority's development plan and of any other considerations material to planning.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number and percentage of people over (a) 95 and (b) 100 who are being cared for in (i) an NHS hospital and (ii) a nursing home. 
Jacqui Smith: We do not have data available in the form requested. However, there were an estimated 57,910 nursing beds occupied by people aged 85 and over being cared for in private nursing homes, hospitals and clinics in England during the period 1 April 2000 to 31 March 2001. This represented 38 per cent. of all occupied beds.
Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients in the UK are diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy; how many new patients were diagnosed with the condition in each of the last six years; and what the annual mortality rate for children and young adults with the condition was in the last six years. 
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Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the incidence has been of new diagnosis of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in each of the last three years; and what the annual death rate is for children and young adults with this condition. 
Ms Blears: There are no national plans to introduce the provision of light-weight anti-stab vests for front line ambulance personnel. The use of anti-stab vests is something local managers in ambulance trusts need to consider after undertaking a thorough assessment of the risk faced by their staff, and the need for this type of protective wear.
The London Ambulance NHS Trust has recently piloted the use of anti-stab vests at two ambulance stations. The evaluation of the pilots was positive, and this information is being shared with all other NHS ambulance trusts.
Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the Department has spent on research into spinal cord injury since 1997; what efforts have been made with (a) his European counterparts and (b) the World Health Organisation to increase resources for the treatment of spinal cord injury; and what measures have been introduced to help people suffering from spinal cord injury. 
Jacqui Smith: Since 199798 we have spent around £5 million on research of relevance to spinal injuries. We also support a great deal of basic underpinning work on the structure and function of the nervous system; spend on this is not included in the figure above.
In February 2001 my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced that a national service framework would be developed for long-term conditions, and that this would have a particular focus on the needs of people with neurological disease and brain and spinal injury.
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Jacqui Smith [holding answer 19 April 2002]: I regret the Department was unable to trace the original correspondence. Following receipt of further information from the hon. Member on 18 April, a reply was sent on 23 April.
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Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) deaths and (b) serious injuries have resulted from road accidents involving ambulances; and how much compensation has been paid out, in each of the last five years.