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7 Jan 2003 : Column 191Wcontinued
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what level of fees the Medicines Control Agency will charge under the proposed Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive for considering applications for the registration of herbal medicines under the terms of the directive; 
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of how the pharmaceutical production and testing standards for products under the draft Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive will affect the commercial value of the products on the UK market, with special reference to those produced by smaller specialist companies and distributed through specialist retailers. 
Ms Blears: Existing regulatory arrangements do not allow the public readily to distinguish which unlicensed herbal remedies on the United Kingdom market are made to acceptable standards. There is continuing evidence of an international trade in herbal remedies made to unreliable standards. Currently, the commercial value of herbal remedies made to good quality standards, as well as public health, can be compromised by products made to low standards.
The requirements of the proposed Directive on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products should mean that the public will have access to a wide range of herbal remedies made to assured the requirements of the proposed Directive on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products should mean that the public will have access to a wide range of herbal remedies made to assured standards of safety, quality and product information. Many in the herbal sector share our view that this could lead to increased public confidence in herbal medicines, and lead to greater stability for business.
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In continuing detailed discussions with industry about the Directive the Medicines Control Agency will continue to pay close attention to issues of regulatory impact which are of specific concern to small business.
Ms Blears: Our expectation is that, subject to the successful outcome of negotiations on the proposed Directive on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products, the customer will have access to a wide range of traditional herbal remedies made to assured standards of safety and quality and with systematic information about the safe usage of the product.
Ms Blears: Under the proposed Directive on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products, non active ingredients within the traditional herbal remedy, need not have traditional usage. The possibility of permitting the inclusion of nutrients with traditional herbal remedies is currently under consideration in European negotiations on the Directive.
Where non industrially produced unlicensed herbal remedies are supplied following one to one consultation in accordance with the terms of s12(1) of the Medicines Act 1968 there is no requirement to demonstrate traditional usage of the remedy.
Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the average waiting time and how many people are currently waiting for (a) assessment and (b) delivery and installation of home aids and adaptations by (i) Staffordshire, (ii) Cheshire, (iii) Derbyshire, (iv) Hertfordshire, (v) Lancashire, (vi) Lincolnshire, (vii) Leicestershire, (viii) Shropshire, (ix) Oxfordshire and (x) Northamptonshire social services department. 
(ii) first contact to first service;
(iii) first contact to provision or commission of all specified services in the care plan,
where specified services excludes home aids and adaptations.
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For the authorities that did provide data on waiting times to first service, no information is available specifically on home aids and adaptations. Table 1 shows the actual length of time from first contact to first service for new clients in England for 200001. Data for 200102 will be available in February 2003.
|Actual length of time from first contact to first service|
|All client groups||115,000|
|Contact day or the following day||20,000|
|More than day following contact day up to||21,000|
|More than 1 week up to 2 weeks||15,000|
|More than 2 weeks up to 6 weeks||28,000|
|More than 6 weeks up to 12 weeks||14,000|
|More than 12 weeks up to 6 months||9,400|
|More than 6 months||7,400|
Actual figures for 52 Las
|Local Authority||Percentage of items of equipment costing less than #1,000 delivered within 3 weeks|
The NHS Plan set targets for the integration of social services and health community equipment services and to increase the number of people benefiting from them by fifty per cent, both by 2004. Additionally, on 23 July 2002, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health made a statement to the House concerning services for older people. He announced that by December 2004 all items of community equipment will be delivered within seven working days. This target will also apply to minor adaptations made by community equipment services. New indicators will be introduced to monitor these targets.
Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with the Treasury to seek new funding directly to meet the support needs of homeless children to ensure that their education is not adversely affected. 
Jacqui Smith: The resource requirements of children's social services were considered with the Spending Review 2002 and taken account of in the settlement. Most of the resources available to local authorities are
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Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the health effects of homelessness; and what progress has been made to improve health care for homeless people following publication of the homelessness directorate's document, XMore than a Roof". 
Ms Blears: The health needs of homeless people have been assessed in various studies, including the Acheson inquiry into inequalities in health and the homelessness directorate's strategy, XMore than a Roof". XMore than a Roof" set out a new approach to tackling homelessness, focused on the problems homeless people face as much as on places where they live. It identified addressing health needs as critical to helping homeless people, as well as in preventing homelessness.
Homeless people will have benefited particularly from measures to improve access to health care, such as the more than 1,300 personal medical service pilots and 42 national health service walk-in centres which this Government have introduced. They have been identified as a priority for cross-Government action in the XCross-cutting Review on Health Inequalities", published on 20 November 2002.
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