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16 Dec 2002 : Column 668Wcontinued
Mr. Wood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures he plans to take to counter the increase in cases of HIV; and what extra resources will be made available to improve awareness of HIV and the need for better sexual health practices, with particular reference to younger people. 
Ms Blears: The aims of the sexual health and HIV strategy published last year include reducing the transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and reducing the prevalence of undiagnosed HIV and STIs. The strategy sets a goal to reduce newly acquired HIV and gonorrhoea infections by 25 per cent., by the end of 2007.
The Department has allocated an extra #47.5 million towards implementation of the strategy. This includes #4 million for the new sex lottery awareness campaign about preventing STIs, including HIV, which targets young adults aged 18 to 30 years. This complements the teenage pregnancy awareness campaign, which also highlights the importance of condoms in preventing STIs.
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Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the report by Dr. Sian Griffiths, commissioned by the Rough Sleepers Unit, on primary health care provision for homeless people has been published. 
In addition, some non recurrent funding has recently been made available across Central Lancashire for which #40,000 will be allocated to hospices in Chorley, South Ribble and Preston. In the development of the local delivery plan, the PCT is considering increasing its investment in hospice services in 200304. However this will be dependent on other priorities.
Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the FSA has taken to identify imports of turkeys from Brazil that have been treated with antibiotic furazolidine; and whether all poultry imported in 2002 from Brazil has been treated with furazolidine. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 12 December 2002]: Since October 2002, all imports of Brazilian turkey and other poultry meat have been tested for nitrofuran antibiotic residues. Furazolidone has not been detected in any sample.
Jacqui Smith: The Department of Health is currently taking approximately five months to process inter-country adoption applications received from local authorities and voluntary adoption agencies. This involves comprehensive checking of all the papers received to ensure that they are in the format required by the country of origin and that the various legalisation and authentication procedures have been correctly carried out. The Department process every case as quickly and efficiently as they are able so that all children can have a safe and smooth transition to their new life in the United Kingdom. This processing time
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has increased following a significant increase in the complexity of cases and UK adopters applying to new countries.
the production of fact sheets giving information on how to adopt from overseas countries, which prove to be an invaluable tool for both adoptive parents themselves and also the social workers carrying out home study assessment;
providing urgent advice to entry clearance officers overseas and the Home Office about whether all the required documents are in place to be able to issue entry clearance to the UK, and on whether a court in the UK would be likely to make an adoption order after the family have returned.
A number of initiatives are being put in place to improve processing times including: Saturday working to target outstanding cases; the recent recruitment of an additional caseworker; and a change in processing for Northern Ireland cases allowing them to be managed direct by the Department of Health and Social Services Public Safety, therefore cutting their overall processing time.
Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting times were for (a) children and (b) adults suffering from mental health problems to receive treatment in each year since 1997. 
Jacqui Smith : The estimated mean waiting times for first outpatient appointments following general practitioner referrals to child and adolescent psychiatry and other mental health specialties, between 199697 and 200102, are shown in the table. At end March 1997 there were 600 and 1,370 patients waiting over 26 weeks for a first outpatient appointment for child and adolescent psychiatry and other mental health specialties respectively. The equivalent figures for March 2002 were 13 and 52.
|Child andadolescent psychiatry||Other MH specialities(24)|
|1996 to 1997||10.4||6.3|
|1997 to 1998||10.1||6.1|
|1998 to 1999||10.6||6.0|
|1999 to 2000||10.0||6.1|
|2001 to 2002||10.3||6.1|
(24) Other MH specialties includes the following: mental illness, forensic psychiatry, psychotherapy, and old age psychiatry.
Department of Health form QM08
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Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in the mid-Essex hospital trust area were waiting for in-patient treatment on the latest date for which figures are available; and how many were waiting on 31 March 1997. 
Mr. Lammy: The total number of patients waiting at mid-Essex hospital services national health service trust at the end of October 2002 was 9,675. The total number of patients waiting at the end of March 1997 was 8,391.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the take-up of (a) MMR and (b) separate vaccinations for measles, mumps and rubella was in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
|July to September 2001||84.2|
|October to December 2001||84.0|
|January to March 2002||83.8|
|April to June 2002||84.3|
Uptake rates for single measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations are not routinely collected.
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Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance he has issued in respect of waiting times for MRI scans; and what the average waiting time is in (a) England and (b) North Staffordshire. 
Ms Blears: We do not collect waiting times for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, nor has any central guidance been issued. The length of time that a patient may have to wait for any scan is dependent on their clinical condition. Emergency cases need to be seen immediately. Other cases will be carried out as quickly as possible, dependent on the clinical priority of all the remaining patients waiting to be scanned.
Where an MRI scan forms part of the diagnostic process for a patient urgently referred with suspected cancer, this will be covered by the target of a maximum two months wait from urgent referral to first treatment, which will be rolled out for all cancers by the end of 2005.
To increase the capacity of diagnostic services, funding has been made available for the provision of new and replacement scanners, including a replacement scanner at North Staffordshire. By 2004, approximately 100 MRI scanners will have been provided through central purchasing programmes.
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