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14 Jan 2004 : Column 805Wcontinued
Miss Melanie Johnson: The Department has not conducted any research on salt depletion in the human body during hot weather. There is insufficient evidence to suggest that people should modify their normal salt consumption during hot weather conditions. It is, however, important to maintain an adequate fluid intake.
Mr. Charles Kennedy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what clinical trials have been conducted to establish the effectiveness of potassium iodate tablets in minimising the effects resulting from inhalation of airborne radioactive iodine, with particular reference to prevention of thyroid cancer; and if he will make a statement. 
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children and adults) being treated with radio-pharmaceuticals which contain radioactive iodine. Potassium iodate is still routinely used in this way to this day. Its efficacy at protecting against the radiation induced thyroid cancer has been known, therefore, for over 60 years. The largest population administration occurred in Poland following the Chernobyl accident where over 9 million doses were administered. No adverse effects were reported and no increase in the rate of thyroid cancer was subsequently seen, unlike in Belorus and Ukraine were stable iodine was not administered to protect the local population.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on how many occasions his daily winter reporting system has indicated that NHS trusts are experiencing winter pressures; and in how many of those instances he has authorised escalation procedures to respond. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The first full month of daily winter reporting was December. In December, there were an average of 20 National Health Service trusts (out of a total of 155 trusts with accident and emergency
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departments) per working day reporting operational problems. Such operational problems include the cancellation of elective operations.
All strategic health authorities (SHAs) have developed robust winter plans, which set out escalation procedures to cope with increased seasonal demand for health services. The decision on whether a trust should put these escalation procedures into operation is not made by ministers or the Department of Health. Instead, the locally agreed escalation procedures are activated by the trusts themselves, in agreement with local primary care trusts and the SHA. Such an approach allows the local NHS to be timely in dealing with pressures and is in line with the Government policy of Shifting the Balance of Power to the local NHS. If required, the Department of Health will support a SHA in its local management of winter.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many babies were born to unmarried mothers for whom no name of the father was entered on the birth certificate in each of the last 30 years, or in those years for which figures are available; what the (a) social class and (b) age of the mother at the birth of her first child was in each case; and how many subsequent births, when the name of the father was not entered on the birth certificate of the child, each mother had. 
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Letter from John Pullinger to Mr. Frank Field, dated 14 January 2004:
|Age of mother|
|All ages||<20||2024||2529||3034||3539||40+||Mean age||Percentage(31)|
(31) All sole registrations as a percentage of all births.
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|Social class of mother(32)|
|Percentage of all livebirths|
(32) Social class classifications are: non-manual; I professional; II managerial and technical; IIIN skilled occupations (non-manual); manual; IIIM skilled occupations (manual); IV partly skilled occupations; V unskilled occupations; other.
(33) Includes unemployed, armed forces, students and inadequately described occupations.
Mothers occupation was not recorded before 1986.
Based on a 10 per cent. sample of births.
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