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In 2001, 14 new mental health trusts were established. These new trusts are the result of restructuring parts of 30 other organisations where mental health services were provided in 2000. In some cases, the organisation that existed in 2000 has gone, split partly into a new mental health trust and partly into another acute trust. In other cases, the 2000 organisation still exists, but without its mental health services division.
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Mr. Horam: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received regarding the role of physiotherapy in the treatment and rehabilitation of mental health patients; and if he will make a statement. 
Jacqui Smith: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has received six parliamentary questions from the hon. Member and one letter from Catherine Pope, chair of the Society of Chartered Physiotherapists. I can confirm that the national service framework for mental health emphasises the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach to care and treatment, and that there is good evidence that regular physical activity reduces the risk of depression and has positive benefits for mental health. This is important for people with severe mental illness who may be at particular risk of physical ill health. However, decisions about the configuration of services are a local matter, in the context of national guidance, following "Shifting the Balance of Power".
Mr. Hutton: The table shows the number of physiotherapists employed in mental health trusts listed by strategic health authority. It should be noted that physiotherapists are also employed in mental health units of other national health service trusts.
|Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire||30|
|Birmingham and the Black Country||10|
|County Durham and Tees Valley||10|
|Coventry, Warwickshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire||90|
|Cumbria and Lancashire||(62)|
|Dorset and Somerset||10|
|Hampshire and Isle of Wight||10|
|Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire||20|
|North Central London||(62)|
|North East London||(62)|
|North West London||70|
|Northumberland, Tyne and Wear||30|
|Shropshire and Staffordshire||80|
|South East London||20|
|South West London||10|
|South West Peninsula||10|
|Surrey and Sussex||50|
(62) Five or less and greater than zero
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Due to rounding totals may not equal the sum of component parts.
Department of Health 2001 Non-Medical Workforce Census.
Mr. Horam: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions the Mental Health Care Group Workforce team has had regarding the role of physiotherapy in the treatment of mental health patients and disseminating best practice. 
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Jacqui Smith: The mental health care group workforce team is looking at issues relating to the patient pathway through mental health services. As yet, no specific discussions have been held concerning the role of physiotherapists. However, issues relating to specific staff groups will be addressed in due course.
Mr. Horam: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the planned closure of the specialist mental health physiotherapy team at Oxleas NHS Trust accords with the Government's national health service framework for mental health. 
Jacqui Smith: Decisions about the configuration of services to meet the needs of people with mental health problems are a local matter, in the context of national guidance. The national service framework (NSF) for mental health emphasises the importance of a multi- disciplinary approach to care and treatment. It also emphasises the importance of attention to physical health and the value of exercise. However, the NSF is not prescriptive about the numbers of different professionals needed. Instead, it emphasises the outcomes to be achieved, and the importance of evidence-based practise. I understand that services are being planned in order to ensure that mental health service users who require physiotherapy continue to receive this both now and in the future.
Jacqui Smith: Physiotherapists are experts in movement and mobility. They are trained to use their skills to promote good health, prevent disability and treat people who may have any of a wide range of health problems, including mental health. In order to use and apply the physiotherapeutic skill base with mental health patients, it is necessary for professionals to have a good understanding of mental illness and the health effects from mental illness, in this case particularly physical presentations as part of their condition.
The physical needs of people with mental health problems are recognised in the mental health national service framework (NSF). Following publication of the NSF in 1999, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy commissioned an evidence-based bulletin of the role of physiotherapy in mental health.
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The Ministry of Defence does not recognise "Gulf War Syndrome" as a medical condition. It accepts that some veterans of the 199091 Gulf Conflict have become ill and that many believe this ill health is unusual and related to their Gulf experience. A large number of multi-system, multi-organ, non-specific, medically unexplained symptoms have been reported by some Gulf veterans as well as recognised medical conditions. The overwhelming consensus of the scientific and medical community is that there is insufficient evidence to enable this ill-health to be characterised as a unique illness, condition or 'syndrome'.
Nevertheless, a paper published in the British Medical Journal dated 1 September 2001 entitled: "Prevalence of Gulf war veterans who believe they have Gulf war syndrome: questionnaire study" suggested that approximately 17 per cent. (9,000) of United Kingdom Gulf veterans believed they have "Gulf War Syndrome".
During financial year 200203, the MOD expects to spend approximately £1 million (including VAT) on Gulf veterans' illnesses research projects. This figure does not include current and planned MOD research into DU munitions.
Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will reply to the correspondence from the right hon. Member for Berwick upon Tweed dated 11 February and 18 April, with regard to the implications of the Data Protection Act 1998 for hospital chaplaincy work. 
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Food Standards Agency complied with its obligation to consult those directly affected in the case of its proposed ban on sheep intestine on its decision. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 9 July 2002]: As no new legislation was being put forward the Food Standards Agency were under no statutory obligation to consult interested parties on the recommendations of the core stakeholder group. The agency did, however, consult over 1,000 interested parties in May of this year. The consultation gave the opportunity for a wide range of interested parties to comment on what was, in effect, a report considering the agency's possible policy options.
As it is the agency's stated aim to conduct its business in an open and transparent way it decided to obtain the views of those most likely to be directly affected at the earliest opportunity, even though they were not proposing new legislation.