Previous Section Index Home Page

10 Dec 2003 : Column 500W—continued


Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what means the policy for purchasing timber and timber products of (a) the Home Office, (b) the Assets Recovery Agency, (c) the Criminal Records Bureau, (d) the Forensic Science Service, (e) HM Prison Service, (f) the UK Passport Service and (g) the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, ensures that they are obtained from legal and sustainable sources. [141335]

Fiona Mactaggart: A Timber Procurement Bulletin was sent to all Home Office Procurement Units, Agencies and Non-Departmental Public Bodies in June 2003. It is also available on the Home Office Intranet site. The Bulletin included model contract specification clause, promulgated by the Department for Environment, Farming, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), together with background information and contact points for further information.

The Department, its Agencies and Non- Departmental Public Bodies have adopted the model contract clause for procuring timber and timber products to actively seek to purchase timber from legal and sustainable sources.

Victim Support

Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action his Department is taking to monitor discrepancies in referral rates to Victim Support by individual police forces. [140469]

Paul Goggins: The Home Office continues to monitor the effectiveness of the arrangements that already exist for the referral by police forces of victims to Victim Support at local level. Home Office guidance is available and there is a protocol in place between Victim Support and the Association of Chief Police Officers that sets out what information needs to be supplied. Provisions in the new Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Bill will, if enacted, assist with the process of data sharing between criminal justice agencies.

Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action his Department is taking to increase recruitment of volunteers for Victim Support, with particular reference to high crime areas. [140470]

Paul Goggins: Victim Support's 12,000 volunteers play a vital role in the delivery of support services to victims and witnesses of crime. As an independent voluntary organisation it is for Victim Support to decide the best approach to take in recruiting and deploying

10 Dec 2003 : Column 501W

additional volunteers. The organisation has already put in place arrangements to improve its ability to do this. As part of its overall monitoring of Victim Support's work the Home Office will continue to discuss with Victim Support the availability of volunteers within the organisation, including those serving higher-crime areas.

Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when his Department expects to complete its strategy for increasing volunteering for Victim Support. [140471]

Paul Goggins: The Home Office values the work done by Victim Support's existing volunteers in delivering services to victims and witnesses of crime. As an independent voluntary organisation it is, of course, for Victim Support to determine how best to recruit and retain suitable volunteers to deliver its services. The organisation is currently updating its volunteer strategy and as part of our general monitoring of Victim Support's work we will be discussing this strategy with them. The Home Office is, of course, keen to encourage people to become more active in their communities and volunteering with Victim Support is one of the many ways in which they can do this.


Physical Activity Co-ordination Team

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will list the recommendations the Activity Co-ordination Team has made on a methodology to secure better evidence and data on participation; [140495]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Activity Co-ordination Team (ACT) has been established by the Government to increase participation in physical activity and sport. The ACT is not a funding body, but in spring 2004, will provide Ministers with a delivery plan setting out recommendations to co-ordinate cross-Government initiatives to increase physical activity.

Copies of the terms of reference for the ACT are available in the Library.

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has collated on the availability of licensed treatments for ankylosing spondylitis. [140487]

Ms Rosie Winterton: According to the records kept by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) there are currently 426 marketing authorisations granted for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis. Most contain Ibuprofen that is indicated for this condition.

10 Dec 2003 : Column 502W

There is also a European Marketing Authorisation for Infliximab (Remicade) granted by the European Medicines Evaluation Agency (EMEA). This is a prescription-only medicine.

Of these products, 389 are only available through the prescription of a registered doctor. Of the others, 21 are available by a prescription or a retail pharmacy, 14 are available by prescription, retail pharmacy or general retail outlet, one is only available through a retail pharmacy and one is available by a prescription or general retail outlet.


Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will take steps to ensure that jars of babyfood are labelled such that breastfeeding is encouraged for six months rather than four. [142587]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Current European Commission legislation provides that weaning foods may be labelled as suitable for infants from four months of age. This is due to be reviewed in the new year in light of the World Health Assembly (WHA) Resolution 54.2 on Infant and Child Nutrition to strengthen activities and develop new approaches to protect, promote and support exclusive breastfeeding for six months. The Government supported the WHA resolution and will be supporting measures to achieve this including the appropriate labelling of weaning foods.

Care Homes

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the weekly amount paid towards (a) residential homes and (b) nursing homes was in each year since 1997, broken down by local authority. [142050]

Dr. Ladyman: This information is available covering the last three years at stat.htm and in less detail but covering five years at

Departmental Staff

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the Department's staff by job title, broken down by board directorate. [141109]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested on job titles could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Total numbers of staff by payband in each of the Department's three new business groups is shown in the tables.

Strategy and business development group

Fast Stream28.7
Payband 1203.8
Payband 2245.5
Payband 3359
Payband 4228.6
Senior Civil Service62.7

10 Dec 2003 : Column 503W

Health and social care standards and quality business group

Fast Stream14
Payband 1258.5
Payband 2264
Payband 3283.6
Payband 4326.6
Senior Civil Service124.9

Health and social care delivery group

Fast Stream16
Payband 1112
Payband 2159.1
Payband 3208.4
Payband 4182.5
Senior Civil Service69.6

Other staff (on secondment, loan, maternity leave etc)

Fast Stream5
Payband 166.2
Payband 265.9
Payband 382
Payband 461.6
Senior Civil Service43.3

Maternal Deaths (Mifegyne)

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many female deaths in England and Wales have been attributable to the abortion pill RU486 since 1990. [141562]

Miss Melanie Johnson: There were eight maternal deaths associated with termination of pregnancy reported to the Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths for the period 1991–99. None of these deaths were attributable to Mifegyne (also known as RU486). The data for 2000–02 are not yet available.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which is responsible for medicines regulation in the United Kingdom, and the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM) receive reports of suspected adverse drug reactions to medicinal products via the Yellow Card Scheme. Since marketing authorisation was first granted in 1991, the MHRA and CSM have received two reports of fatal suspected reactions in association with use of Mifegyne. However, the reporting of a suspected adverse drug reaction does not necessarily mean that the drug was responsible. Many factors, such as the medical condition that is being treated, other pre-existing illnesses or other medications might have contributed.

Next Section Index Home Page