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Dr. Palmer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she intends to publish the forthcoming DEFRA Sustainable Development Strategy; and if she will make a statement. 
identifies DEFRA policy areas which pose the greatest challenges or can make the greatest contribution to the achievement of sustainable development, with a set of indicators to measure progress in these areas; and
looks at the scope to contribute to sustainable development through DEFRA's own impacts (including energy, waste, travel, staff policies and procurement).
Jacqui Smith: There are currently no plans to introduce a national system for monitoring arthritis. However, the importance of good arthritis services, particularly for the health and well being of older people is recognised in the National Service Framework for Older People. Arthritis is set as the next priority for development within the ten-year framework.
Any substantial changes in the pattern of such services must be the subject of full public consultation, and in relation to any contested proposals, my right hon. Friend will make final decisions only after a full assessment of the case for change.
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Ms Blears: Smoking cessation services in the west midlands are assessed quarterly by the Regional Director of Public Health. The Smoking Advice Service in Worcestershire has rapidly developed across primary and secondary care, and in community settings since January 2001, and is now demonstrating good performance, with quit rates higher than regional and national averages.
Jacqui Smith: The modernisation of mental health services through the National Service Framework, the NHS Plan investment of £300 million by 2004, and reform of legislation proposed in the White Paper "Reforming the Mental Health Act 1983" will provide effective and safe services more easily and quickly.
26. Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance is given to mental health and social care trusts regarding the provision of specialist mental health services for black and ethnic minority users. 
The Mental Health Policy Implementation Guide.
Jacqui Smith: The 'Mind out for mental health' campaign is a sustained programme of activity with partners in the voluntary sector, the media and business working together to change attitudes and behaviour surrounding mental health. In 200203, we shall be widening the focus of the employers' strand of the campaign to address the stigma experienced by people with mental health problems in the national health service. The Department also supports the Royal College of Psychiatrists' 'Changing Minds' campaign to combat stigmatisation of people with mental health problems by, among others, healthcare professionals, specifically doctors.
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urgent referral for suspected cancer to the start of treatment, except for a good clinical reason or through the patient's personal choice.
Ms Blears: The Government have pledged in the NHS Cancer Plan that funding for specialist palliative care services, including hospices, will increase by £50 million per annum by 2004. This investment is included in the overall national health service investment for implementing the Cancer Plan. We are currently reviewing the outturn position for 200102 and the progress in that year.
16. Ms Dari Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his Department is doing to reduce health inequalities between different social groups, with special reference to the incidence of cancer. 
Ms Blears: We have put in place major cross-Government programmes of work to address the risk factors for cancer and tackle health inequalities. The Cancer Plan made a commitment to reduce the prevalence of smoking among manual groups to 26 per cent. by 2010. We are taking this forward with a comprehensive programme to tackle smoking, including NHS smoking cessation services and a public information campaign. We are also running a Five-a-Day Programme to increase access to, and consumption of fruit and vegetables. The New Opportunities Fund is providing funding to set up 66 five-a-day community programmes led by primary care trusts based in deprived areas. We have also recently announced a new £2.5 million programme of community physical activity pilots that will be set up in Neighbourhood Renewal areas. This work underpins the two national health inequalities targets in the areas of life expectancy and infant mortality, announced by the Secretary of State last year.
18. Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects NICE to publish its guidance on the use of atypical anti-psychotics for people with schizophrenia; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Lammy: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued guidance on newer atypical anti-psychotics on 6 June 2002. In addition the Department of Health has commissioned NICE to develop a clinical guideline on the management of schizophrenia, to cover treatment by drugs, including atypical anti- psychotics, and psychological therapies. This work is currently in train.
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Directions have been issued obliging health authorities and primary care trusts to provide appropriate funding for recommended treatments. From 1 January 2002, the NHS has three months from the date of publication of each Technology Appraisal Guidance to provide funding, so that clinical decisions made by doctors involving NICE recommended treatments or drugs can be funded.
Matthew Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when he expects NICE to publish its guidance on the use of atypical anti-psychotics for people with schizophrenia; and if he will make a statement; 
Directions have been issued obliging health authorities and primary care trusts to provide appropriate funding for recommended treatments. From 1 January 2002, the national health service has three months from the date of publication of each technology appraisal guidance to provide funding, so that clinical decisions made by doctors involving NICE recommended treatments or drugs can be funded.
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