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12 Feb 2004 : Column 1686Wcontinued
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what actions the National Care Standards Commission has taken to publicise the need for providers of domiciliary care to be registered with them; 
Dr. Ladyman: The requirement for domiciliary care providers to register with the National Care Standards Commission (NCSC) is set out in the Care Standards Act 2000 and the Domiciliary Care Agencies Regulations 2002 (as amended). Primary guidance on the regulation of the domiciliary care sector is set by the Government in regulations and national minimum standards.
The NCSC has undertaken a number of initiatives to publicise guidance on the registration requirements. For example, the NCSC's website www.carestandards. org.uk sets out the requirements for providers to register and gives details of how to obtain hard copies of relevant information. This section also specifically refers to the Domiciliary Care Regulations and the National Minimum Standards governing the sector as well as the regulations concerning fees and frequency of inspections. In addition, application packs for registration as a domiciliary care agency also include guidance on such services subject to regulation.
The NCSC has also arranged meetings and workshops with providers at a national and local level to assist in the registration process and to explain the requirements of regulation. A provider reference group comprising industry leaders has also been established in order to cascade information specifically to the domiciliary care sector. Articles have also been published in the trade press, such as "Caring Times" and "Community Care".
Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding his Department provided in 200304 for people affected by Down's Syndrome, including research into Down's Syndrome, broken down by (a) budget heading and (b) area of research. 
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Down's Syndrome also use mainstream health and social services and benefit from increased expenditure on those services.
People with Down's Syndrome and their family carers will also benefit from our proposals for improving services for people with learning disabilities, their families and carers set out in the White Paper, "Valuing People: A New Strategy for Learning Disability for the 21st Century" (Cm 5086), published in March 2001. "Valuing People" introduced an implementation support fund of £2.3 million a year from April 2001 and the Learning Disability Development Fund, comprising £23.1 million revenue and £20 million capital in 200304.
The main agency through which the Government support medical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council (MRC). The MRC is an independent body that receives its grant-in-aid from the Office of Science and Technology. The MRC supports basic and applied research into Down's Syndrome and spent an estimated £0.4 million in 200203 on Down's Syndrome research.
The Department funds research to support policy and the delivery of effective practice in the national health service. At present, we are funding a £2 million learning disability research initiative. This is addressing a range of issues, for example:
The Department is currently meeting the service costs of a clinical trial of the effects of antioxidants and folinic acid supplementation on the mental development, growth and health of children with Down's Syndrome. The trial is a joint initiative between the Institutes of Child Health in London and Birmingham, the Down's Syndrome Association, the Down's Syndrome Research Foundation and the Research Unit of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
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Directive 2001/20/EC and (b) the Medicines for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations 2003 on cancer research in the UK. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: Member States were required to transpose the provisions of the Clinical Trials Directive (2001/20/EC) into national legislation by 1 May 2003, and to implement the Directive by 1 May 2004. The Government have consulted widely on these important new Regulations and undertaken to take account of all points of view, including the views of those involved in cancer research before finalising the implementing Regulations. One of the main aims of Directive 2001/20/EC is to provide a safe environment for participants in clinical trials while not inhibiting the development of essential new medicines for human use. Implementation of an efficient regulatory system will help new effective medicines for diseases such as cancer to reach the market more quickly whilst protecting subjects enrolling into clinical trials.
Miss Melanie Johnson: The Clinical Trials Directive (2001/20/EC) was agreed by Member States in 2001. Member States were required to transpose the Directive into national legislation by 1 May 2003 and to implement the provisions of the Directive by 1 May 2004. Transposition of the Directive was delayed in the United Kingdom because of concerns expressed by the academic research community about the possible impact on academic research and because of the European Commission's delay in finalising two Commission Directives, one on Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and one on Good Clinical Practice (GCP). The GMP Directive was agreed by Member States in 2003. We are committed to implementing the Clinical Trials Directive by 1 May 2004. We are currently finalising our implementing Regulations.
Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 9 February 2004]: General practitioners receive training in substance misuse treatment through the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Certificate in the Management of Drug Misuse.
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The Department has already allocated £3 million to the RCGP to support this training and recently approved a further £693,000 available to cover the costs of courses operating between April 2004 and March 2005.
Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the impact of the European Commission's REACH chemical regulations on the work of the Health Protection Agency at Porton Down; and what representations he has made to the Commission. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: REACH will not have any direct impact on the work of the Health Protection Agency (HPA) as it is not a regulatory agency. However, a key objective of the new proposals is to ensure that more information is available on the health effects of chemicals of most concern and this should, in due course, facilitate the work of the chemical hazards and poisons division of the HPA.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the success rates in (a) France and (b) Sweden in treating heroin addiction; and what the success rate is in the UK. 
Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 9 February 2004]: Departmental officials are not aware of any studies which have been undertaken to review the effectiveness of treatment for heroin addiction in Sweden or France.
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