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12 Feb 2003 : Column 804W—continued

Unallocated Expenditure

Mr. Laws : To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his estimate is of the current unallocated provision in his Department's total resource and capital budget for 2003–04; and if he will make a statement. [97344]

Mr. McCartney: The Departmental Unallocated Provision for the financial year 2003–04 is £105.088 million.

Winter Fuel Payment/Concessionary TV Licence

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his estimate is of the administrative costs of (a) the winter fuel allowance and (b) the free TV licence for the over 75s, in each year from 1998–99 to 2003–04 (planned). [97356]

Mr. McCartney: Information is not currently available in the format requested. The Department now accounts for its administration and benefit expenditure by Strategic Objective, as set out in its Public Service Agreements (PSA), and by individual Requests for Resources (RfRs), as set out in the Departmental Estimates and Accounts.


Alcohol Strategy

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the alcohol strategy will ensure that young people with underlying emotional or mental health problems be assessed and where necessary referred to tier 3 Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. [96003]

Ms Blears: The Government are committed to implementing the National Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy by 2004. The strategy will be prepared by the Cabinet Office strategy unit, who will consider a wide range of issues including health service needs and the needs of vulnerable young people. The strategy will be published in summer 2003.

The capacity of the child and adolescent mental health services to respond to a range of needs—including those of young people whose alcohol problems have underlying emotional/mental health

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causes—is steadily improving. However, appropriate assessment and referral arrangements are for local services to determine.

Nutritional Health

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research projects his Department is sponsoring into the links between poor diet and specific diseases; and what plans he has for future research. [96830]

Ms Blears: Through the policy research programme, the Department has funded a programme of research, in two phases and with a total value of about £2.5 million, which has addressed priorities important to improving nutritional health.

The first phase, from 1994 to 1997, which was commissioned and managed jointly with the Medical Research Council (MRC), focused specifically on the relationship between nutritional factors and clinical outcome and, in particular on the role of diet and nutrition in the prevention and development of cancers and cardiovascular disease.

The second phase, from 1997 to 2002, included studies that looked at facilitators and barriers to good nutritional health, obesity and interventions aimed at achieving recommended dietary changes, particularly in low-income groups. Still looking at the dietary risk factors linking to cardiovascular disease and cancers, this phase of the programme also included work on nutritional aspects of bone health.

This time limited programme of research has now been completed and the Department is currently producing an overview of findings from the second phase, the purpose of which is to highlight key messages for policy and practice. The Department is also currently funding a systematic review of the facilitators and barriers to healthy eating for children aged 4 to 10 years, having just completed a similar review for young people.

The Department has no immediate plans to commission additional work following on from this programme, but further studies that link poor diet and specific diseases might emerge as priorities under future bidding rounds for policy research programme funding.

In addition, the Department has funded, via the National Asthma Campaign managed programme, a study examining the effect of dietary supplementation with magnesium or vitamin C in asthma.

The main Government agency for research into the causes and treatments of disease is the MRC, which receives its funding from the Department of Trade and Industry via the Office of Science and Technology. The MRC has a large portfolio covering all aspects of nutrition from basic research to clinical trials. In 2001–02 the MRC spent an estimated £316.6 million on its nutrition portfolio.

Included in this figure is the work being carried out at the MRC resource centre for human nutrition research, the Dunne Nutrition Unit in Cambridge and the international nutrition group in Gambia. Examples of the research covered in the portfolio are projects designed to test the hypothesis that nutrition during

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infancy and childhood has a significant impact on health, neuro-cognitive development and later propensity to disease, and projects designed to identify the principal molecular, cellular and genetic mechanisms by which poor maternal nutrition might impair the early development of the mammalian embryo.


Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the research commissioned by the Food Standards Agency into the prevalence of acrylamide in cooked and prepared food. [96244]

Ms Blears: Following the Swedish research published in April 2002, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) commissioned its own work, published in May 2002, which confirmed these initial findings. Since then, the FSA has played a significant role in contributing to European and international efforts to develop an understanding of acrylamide in food.

The FSA is currently negotiating contracts with organisations successful in a recent tender exercise for research projects in the following areas:

The Agency also recently issued a further call for research proposals investigating the effect of domestic cooking on acrylamide levels in food.

NHS Salaries

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list posts in acute hospital trusts carrying a salary of more than £100,000; [93640]

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS posts are paid a salary in excess of £100,000 in each national health service trust in England. [96102]

Mr. Hutton: Information on the numbers of employees for whom information is available centrally whose remuneration in 2001–02 was over £100,000 has been placed in the Library. These figures largely cover medical consultants. The figures refer to all National Health Service trusts.

Asylum Seekers

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many registered asylum seekers have received dialysis treatment from the NHS in each of the last three years. [97283]

Mr. Lammy [holding answer 11 February 2003]: This information is not held centrally.

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Attention Deficit Disorder

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the National Service Framework for Children will include guidance concerning the early diagnosis and treatment of attention deficient disorder and attention deficit hyper-activity disorder. [96640]

Jacqui Smith: The national service framework for children, young people and maternity services will raise standards of care for children generally within the national health service, local authority social services and education services.

A small number of exemplars will be developed to illustrate the main principles, although no decision has been made on the conditions to be covered.

Blood Stocks

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the level of blood stocks available to NHS hospitals in the United Kingdom. [96095]

Ms Blears: For the past three years national health service hospitals in England have received all the blood they need. On 6 February 2003, 63,770 units of blood were held centrally. This represents seven days supply. At any one time, a further two days supply of blood are being processed by the National Blood Service.

Information on the current levels of blood stocks in Scotland and Wales is the responsibility of the devolved Administrations. While the institutions in Northern Ireland are dissolved, responsibility rests with Ministers in the Northern Ireland Office.

Brighton Body Positive Project

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make a statement on the future funding (a) through the AIDS support grant and (b) from the Brighton and Hove PCT of the Brighton Body Positive Project; [96027]

Ms Blears: The Department values the important contribution that voluntary organisations like Brighton Body Positive can make to services for people with HIV. The future funding of Brighton Body Positive will be for the local commissioners of HIV services to decide taking account of local priorities and available resources.

The review of the AIDS support grant is currently being finalised. Introduction of the revised formula from April 2003 will be managed to avoid destabilising existing services in areas where funding is reduced.

The review is aimed at addressing the changing nature of the HIV epidemic in England, including the social care needs of families and children affected by HIV.

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