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17 Dec 2002 : Column 779Wcontinued
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list for his Department (a) those comprehensive spending review 1998 targets that were outstanding at the time of the statement on the comprehensive spending review 2002, (b) progress on such targets since then and (c) the expected date when targets not yet achieved will be met. 
Progress against comprehensive spending review 1998 targets that apply to theOffice of the Deputy Prime Minister and that were outstanding at the time of the statement on the Spending Review 2002 was last reported in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's Autumn Performance Report 2002, published on 29 November.
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Ms Blears: The Food Standards Agency conducted a written consultation on the European Commission's two proposals for new genetic modification legislation, issued in July 2001. 128 representations were received. 17 called for the labelling of all foods produced with, or made from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). 14 supported the concept of full labelling, but recognised the practical difficulties this presented. 22 responses supported the general concept of traceability. A further 16 supported full traceability, but expressed concerns over its implementation in practice. 19 representations expressed significant concerns over the reliability of traceability for foods and feeds derived from GMOs.
Ms Blears: The Department does not operate the policy referred to. It is for individual clinicians to decide, in consultation with their patients, the most suitable treatment for their condition or for any side effects, such as anaemia-related fatigue, resulting from treatment.
Mr. Havard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures he is taking to ensure that patients with chronic anaemia should not be treated with red cell transfusions where effective alternatives exist. 
Ms Blears: The publication of guidelines from the British Committee for Standards in Haematology in 2001 provides specific advice to clinicians. The type of treatment offered to chronic anaemia patients is a matter of individual clinical judgment and discussion with the patient concerned. The Department encourages the production of local protocols, which use existing guidance produced from a sound evidence base and clinical consensus.
Mr. Havard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health who is producing the information on blood transfusion and its alternatives, which after April 2003 NHS trusts will be required to make available to patients; and whether this information will provide specific guidance for cancer patients. 
Ms Blears: The National Blood Service is producing an information leaflet which is intended to be of use and interest to all patients who may need a blood transfusion. It will not provide specific guidance for cancer patients. The leaflet will be issued to all national health service hospitals early in 2003.
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Ms Blears: There were 10,924 deaths from breast cancer in England in 2001. The recent National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) report, Strategic Analysis 2002, analysed most of the directly-funded cancer research of Government and charity funders. The analysis revealed that 60 per cent. of research spend was relevant to all tumour sites. The other 40 per cent. was relevant to specific tumour sites. Approximately 18 per cent. of the site-specific research was on breast cancer.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the maximum number of days is between discharge and emergency readmission for a patient to be considered to be in the same episode of care. 
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 25 November 2002]: The baseline rate for both years was calculated as the number of patients readmitted to hospital within 28 days of discharge, divided by the number discharged from hospital. The baseline is derived from the outturn figures for the previous year.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what responses to the Audit Commission report, 'Changing Habits', have been received from (a) the National Treatment Agency, (b) individual drug action teams and (c) individual drug reference groups. 
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many chiropodists were working in the NHS in each year from 1997 to 2001; and how many were working in the NHS on the most recent date for which figures are available. 
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|Qualified chiropody/podiatry staff|
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Due to rounding, totals may not equal the sum of component parts.
Department of Health Non-Medical Workforce Census.
Mr. Hutton: Information on chiropodists completing training and what proportion joined the national health service is not collected centrally. Information on the number of chiropodists employed in the NHS and chiropodists entering training is given below.
Ms Blears: The Food Standards Agency is responsible for giving advice on food issues. The agency informs me that it is continuing not to advise consumers against eating sheep meat or sheep meat products. Earlier this year, consumers were advised that, if BSE were present in sheep, their risk would be significantly reduced by avoiding sausages made with sheep intestine.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many incidents of damage to computer systems in acute hospitals resulting from computer viruses there have been in each of the past five years. 
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in respect of Dr. Roger Stephenson, acknowledged by the Department on 1 July 2002 under reference PO 1011562. 
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many letters to him from (a) hon. Members and (b) members of the public remain unanswered, broken down by those which are (i) over six months, and (ii) over one year. 
Mr. Lammy [holding answer 25 November 2002]: At 11 December 2002, there were eight letters from hon. Members dated before 10 June 2002, which had not received a reply, and none over a year. Accurate information is not currently available for letters from members of the public, but this should be available in the new year.
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he intends to reply to the letter to him dated 7 November 2002, from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mrs. Mary Allcock. 
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he intends to reply to the letter to him dated 29 October from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Miss J Robson. 
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