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15 Dec 2003 : Column 766Wcontinued
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when his Department's electronic recruitment project will start to operate; what sums have been invested in the system; what savings are expected in the NHS recruitment advertising budget; what the reach of the system will be in numerical terms; and whether the NHS will continue to use the print media and other forms of advertising after the electronic system is introduced. 
Mr. Hutton: The NHS Careers jobs board pilot (www.nhs.uk/jobs) was launched on 1 December. The cost of the service will be £6 million over a five-year contract. Savings in advertising costs are estimated to be around £24 million a year once national rollout has been achieved. This estimate is based upon a 75 per cent. take-up over three years. The service will be voluntary and all savings will be directed to local patient care. The National Health Service will continue to use a wide range of media in order to attract the best candidates.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of (a) primary and (b) secondary legislation sponsored by his Department in 200203 was introduced to implement EU requirements. 
Mr. Hutton: During 200203, the Department sponsored no primary legalisation to implement European Union measures and three per cent. of the 208 pieces of secondary legislation were of EU origin.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether it is the policy of his Department to use fair trade products, as a matter of course, in (a) sales on Departmental premises and (b) receptions and meetings involving staff and visitors. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: This Department's catering is supplied under contract. The contracting company's policy is to buy fair trade goods from its suppliers and has a commitment to support fair trade.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what written representations he has received from the British Medical Association (Scotland) on the subject of foundation hospitals. 
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Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what impact Government amendments on the governance of foundation trusts to the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003 will have on the validity of the consultation currently in progress. 
Mr. Hutton: None. Section 6(5) of the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003 sets out that the Independent Regulator may not authorise an applicant as a national health service foundation trust unless satisfied that the applicant has sought the views of specified persons. The Department of Health guidance, issued to first wave applicants in August, is consistent with the requirements in the Act. The Secretary of State will only support applications where there is evidence that consultation has taken place in line with this guidance.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of board members of (a) primary care trusts and (b) hospital trusts are from ethnic minorities. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: As at 1 December 2003, 10.4 per cent. of chairs and non-executives on the boards of primary care trusts and 10.2. per cent. of chairs and non-executives on national health service trust boards were black or from ethnic minorities.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance he gives to NHS trusts on the funding of treatments that will not be appraised by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: In August 1999, the Department issued Health Service Circular 1999/176, which asks national health service bodies to continue with local arrangements for the managed introduction of new technologies where guidance from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence is not available at the time the technology first becomes available. These arrangements should involve an assessment of all the available evidence.
Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on the role health visitor members will have on the Nursing and Midwifery Council if there is not (a) a statutory profession of health visiting and (b) a register of health visitors. 
Mr. Hutton: Health visitors will be included in the third part of the Nursing and Midwifery Council register, which covers specialist community and public health nurses. The Nursing and Midwifery Order 2002, requires that each part of the register must have an equal number of registrant members on the Council. Their role will be to play a full part in the regulation of nurses and midwives, including health visitors.
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Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health who will be able to use the title health visitor after April 2004. 
Mr. Hutton: When the new register opens in April 2004, the designated titles of the parts of the new register will be the protected titles. The Nursing and Midwifery Council does not propose to have a part of the new register with the designated title of health visitor. However, public protection will be assured because anyone proposing to work in a health visiting role must be registered on the specialist community public health nurse part of the register.
Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what risk assessment was undertaken by the Nursing and Midwifery Council with respect to public risk before removing statutory protection from the title registered health visitor. 
Mr. Hutton: The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has undertaken a series of public consultations on its proposals made under the Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001, including the structure and titles of the parts of the new register.
The Order recognised the expanding role of specialists in community and public health nursing, which includes health visiting. The NMC is proposing protected titles and parts of the register which reflect that expanding role.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the basis is for the Government's policy that a potato is not a vegetable for the purposes of healthy eating schemes. 
Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 9 December 2003]: Foods are classified according to the main nutrients they contribute to the diet. Potatoes provide mainly carbohydrate in the form of starch whereas foods classified as fruit and vegetables provide much less carbohydrate.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department has met (a) milestones one to four for primary care management of heart failure and (b) milestones one to three for hospitals admitting patients for the management of heart failure in the national service framework for coronary heart disease. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The national health service has made good progress on the milestones for management of heart failure. We have made the improvement of care for patients with heart failure a major priority in the next phase of implementation of the coronary heart disease (CHD) national service framework (NSF). The importance of tackling service improvement in this area is reflected in the 200306 Priorities and Planning Framework targets for CHD:
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Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what selection process the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority follow when appointing new members to the Authority. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: All members of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority are appointed by the Secretary of State for Health, in consultation with the devolved administrations, in accordance with Schedule 1 (4) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, and in line with the Code of Practice of the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) purpose and (b) cost is of the high security infectious diseases unit; and if he will make a statement. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: There are two high security infectious disease units in the United Kingdom, one in London at Coppett's Wood Hospital and one in Newcastle at the Newcastle General Hospital. They provide the UK's specialist facilities to care for patients suffering from rare, highly infectious and dangerous diseases such as Ebola and Lassa Fevers.
The Department provides funding for the running costs of the high security infectious disease units. This is currently £454,000 plus £47,000 (Scottish Executive contribution) per annum.
These units exist as a contingency arrangement. Sufficient medical, nursing and laboratory staff, who are routinely involved in the treatment, care and diagnosis of patients with infectious diseases, are on call for the medium and high security infectious disease units. This ensures that they maintain equipment and participate in regular training exercises so that the units remain in a state of readiness to admit and care for patients securely, in the event of need.
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