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14 Oct 2002 : Column 489Wcontinued
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the EU Advisory Committee on cancer prevention is next due to meet; whether representatives of the Scottish Executive (a) have been and (b) are members of it; and if he will make a statement. 
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the EU Committee on the action programme on rare diseases in the framework of the action plan for public health is next due to meet; whether representatives of the Scottish Executive (a) have been and (b) are members of it; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Blears: The next meeting of the EU Committee for the Community Action Programme on Rare Diseases is expected to take place in the autumn of 2002. The Department has lead responsibility for representing the United Kingdom at meetings of this Committee. It consults the Devolved Administrations to ensure that points made represent all parts of the United Kingdom, including the Scottish Executive.
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Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the EU Pharmaceutical Committee is next due to meet; whether representatives of the Scottish Executive (a) have been and (b) are members of it; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Lammy: The Pharmaceutical Committee usually meets in plenary at least twice a year and is next due to meet on 13 November 2002. An ad hoc XInformation to Patients" stakeholders meeting took place on 24 September 2002 and a special meeting of the Pharmaceutical Committee was convened for 2 October to discuss the derogation clauses for parallel imports in the future Accession Treaties. The United Kingdom is represented jointly on the European Pharmaceutical Committee by two senior public health officials from the Medicines Control Agency and from the Department. Medicines control, with the exception of responsibility for enforcement of the Medicines Act 1968 and related legislation, has not been devolved. The UK members of the Pharmaceutical Committee represent UK-wide interests on the Committee and work in co-operation with the Scottish Executive and other Devolved Administrations as required.
Ms Blears: Neither the United Kingdom Government nor the Scottish Executive is linked to the European cities against drugs movement, and no UK cities have been nominated for membership. The Government believes that there is a place for appropriate harm minimisation measures, in particular to reduce the rising number of drug-related deaths, as part of the overall national drugs strategy. Harm minimisation measures are opposed by the European cities against drugs movement.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list for each area-based initiative for which his Department is responsible the amount originally budgeted for in (a) 200001 and (b) 200102, stating in each year what funds budgeted for were not spent and if they were carried forward. 
In 200001 the funding allocated to HAZs amounted to #120 million. Added to this was #30 million carried forward from 199902 making a total of #150 million available to the HAZs. This sum was underspent by #3.3 million which was carried forward into 2001-02.
In 2001-02 the funding allocated to HAZs amounted to #61 million. Added to this was #3.3 million carried forward from 200001, making a total #64.3 million available to the HAZs. This sum was underspent by #134,000 which was carried forward into 200203.
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In addition to the 20 pilot sites involved in the project an additional 30 new sites are joining the project this financial year. The project management team works with each site to prepare it for the move to a modernised service.
Sites must have the appropriate infrastructure, information technology equipment and trained staff, before they can fit digital hearing aids. Digital hearing aids require different service delivery models because they incorporate information technology based assessment and fitting procedures.
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Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the incidence was per 1,000 population of (a) under-16 pregnancies, (b) 16 to 18 years old pregnancies, (c) under 16s having abortions and (d) 16 to 18 years olds have abortions in (i) the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and South East Hampshire Health Authority, (ii) Hampshire and (iii) the South East in each year since 1996; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Blears: Data on teenage pregnancy is usually presented as rates for under 16 year olds and under 18 year olds. These are also the ages to which targets in the Government's teenage pregnancy strategy relate. The data for these age ranges, and for the areas and years requested, are shown in the tables. Figures for 2001 will not be available until February 2003. The data have been provided by the Office for National Statistics.
|Conceptions 199619971998199920012||Abortions 199619971998199920002|
|South East GOR||7.2||7.0||6.8||6.7||6.6||3.8||3.5||3.8||3.7||3.8|
|Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and South East Hampshire||9.2||8.4||8.3||7.7||7.8||4.8||4.1||4.2||4.5||4.4|
|South East GOR||36.5||36.6||37.8||35.8||35.7||16.2||15.9||16.8||16.3||16.9|
|Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and South East Hampshire||49.0||45.8||47.6||45.6||40.8||19.9||18.9||19.1||17.5||18.7|
1 Boundaries as at 1 April 2001.
2 Figures for 2000 are provisional.
3 All figures relate to boundaries at 1 April 2001. Based on these boundaries, Hampshire County excludes Isle of Wight Unitary Authority (formed in 1995), Portsmouth Unitary Authority (formed in 1997) and Southampton Unitary Authority (formed in 1997). Hampshire County therefore comprises the following local authorities: Basingstoke and Deane, East Hampshire, Eastleigh, Gosport, Hart, Havant, New Forest, Rushmoor, Test Valley and Winchester.
A comprehensive, cross-Goverment teenage pregnancy strategy was launched by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister in 1999. This sets a target to halve the under 18 conception rate by 2010 and aims to increase the participation of teenage parents in education and training to reduce their long term risk of social exclusion. Early signs of the strategy's impact are encouraging with figures for 2000 showing a 6 per cent. reduction from 1998 in both under 18 and under 16 conception rates.
Ms Blears: The Government's teenage pregnancy strategy recognises the importance of helping young people resist pressure to have early sex while seeking to ensure that those who are sexually active have easy access to high quality advice on contraception, sexual health and pregnancy. General practitioners (GPs) have a key role to play in providing this advice.
Best Practice Guidance on the Provision of Effective Contraception and Advice Services was issued in 2000, setting out the criteria against which services should be commissioned and provided. All GPs are expected to
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work to the principles of the guidance. These are that services should encourage early uptake of pregnancy testing, provide non-judgmental advice, referral to antenatal care when appropriate or, where abortion is the agreed option, quick referral to National Health Service abortion services.
GPs who hold a conscientious objection to abortion should make their views known to the patient and enable them to see another doctor without delay, if that is their wish. However, even a GP who conscentiously objects should still give advice to patients and perform the preparatory steps to arrange an abortion, where the request meets the legal requirements.
The legal framework for young people under 16 to consent to treatment, including abortion, was set out in the House of Lords ruling in 1985 in the case of Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Health Authority and the Department of Health and Social Security.
A young person under 16 can consent treatment without parental involvement providing the health professional is satisfied that they are competent to understand fully the implications of any treatment and to make a choice of the treatment proposed.The health professional must establish that a number of different criteria are met, including that the young person cannot be persuaded to tell their parents, or to allow the doctor to do so; they are very likely to begin or continue having intercourse with or without contraceptive treatment; and that the young person's best interests require the health professional to give contraceptive advice, treatment or both without parental consent.
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