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R and D

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health to whom his Department distributes expenditure on research and development; how many staff are employed as a result; and how many research establishments of (a) the Department and (b) its agencies there are in each region of England. [154356]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Research and development expenditure is distributed to a range of bodies and principally through allocations to organisations across the national health service in England. Figures for staff directly employed as a result of such funding are not available. Research is carried out by a number of the Department's arm's length bodies, principally the Health Protection Agency, the National Radiological Protection Board and the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control.

Renal Services (Lancashire)

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on renal services in (a) Lancashire and (b) Chorley. [153493]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Specialist renal services for patients across Cumbria and Lancashire are based at the Royal Preston Hospital. This is complemented by a number of satellite units, which are located at the Accrington Victoria Hospital, Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Chorley and South Ribble District General Hospital, and the Westmorland General Hospital. Patients with blood-borne viruses will be dialysed in Manchester.

Restructuring/Change Programme

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total reduction in numbers of departmental staff will be under the Change Programme. [153698]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department will reduce by 1,400 posts to 2,245.

Rural Health Care

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to address the health needs of elderly people in rural areas. [154907]

Dr. Ladyman: In March 2003, the Department provided information to the Countryside Agency on 'rural proofing' health and social care services, including those for older people. This information was included in the agency's report, "Rural Proofing", in 2002–03. The report can be viewed at

School Fruit

Mrs Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what progress is being made towards giving every child aged four to six a free piece of fruit each school day; [152803]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Over a million children aged four to six are already receiving a free piece of fruit every school day. 96 per cent., of local education authority (LEA) infant, primary and special schools with children aged four to six in four regions—the West and East Midlands, London and the North West—have joined the scheme. By the end of 2004, children in all such LEA schools in England will be entitled to receive free fruit—over 2.2 million children.

The Department of Health has worked with the Department for Education and Skills and other Government Departments, including the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to develop the scheme. National School Fruit Scheme regional and area co-ordinators have been working with LEAs in each region in which the scheme has been rolled out.

Eighty Seven LEAs are participating on the scheme.

Sustainable Development

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the progress of his Department's Sustainable Development Strategy over the last two years. [150210]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Department's strategy on sustainable development and the environment is in line with the Government's overall sustainable development strategy, in which health ("expected healthy years of life") is one of the 15 key headline indicators.

The Department's strategy has provided the impetus for increasing awareness of the need to take sustainable development considerations into account as part of all of the Department's activities. It recognises the key importance of reducing inequalities in health. The main

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strategy is supported also by a separate operational environment strategy and by the development of the Department's Environmental Management System. These have helped the Department meet the requirements of the Government's "Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate".

The NHS Estates Agency (NHSE) and the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (NHS PASA)—both Executive Agencies of the Department—have their own sustainable development/environmental strategies in place. The NHSE has issued a "New Environmental Strategy for the NHS and Sustainable Development in the NHS" as guidance for the NHS. NHS PASA has a sustainable development policy which it published in February 2003. This policy describes the framework within which NHS PASA will conduct its activities in order to contribute towards global pursuits of sustainable development.

Further information can be found on the Department's website at Details of the sustainable development activities of the agencies can be found at (for the NHSE) and (for the NHS PASA).

Toxic Chemicals

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research has been conducted by his Department into the accumulation of toxic chemicals in humans. [153080]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Department is currently co-funding a project at the University of Leeds to explore methods for the collection, storage and management of a national archive of human milk samples. The other funders are the Food Standards Agency (which leads), the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Health and Safety Executive. A human milk archive would provide a resource, which could be used to monitor levels of cumulative chemicals. This, in turn, will inform decisions by regulatory bodies on the need for strategies to reduce the use of cumulative chemicals and their levels in the environment and in food. The report of the project is expected later this year.


Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what departmental guidance he has issued on the control of tuberculosis at (a) ports and (b) airports; [153359]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Immigration officers are able to refer prospective entrants to the United Kingdom to medical inspectors at UK ports and airports. Long-standing policy is that any person subject to immigration control who:

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should be referred by the immigration officer to a medical inspector at the port or airport.

There are three x-ray machines at Heathrow airport and one at Gatwick airport, so that chest x-rays for TB can be carried out there on people referred for medical inspection who are likely to be at high risk of having been exposed to TB. Medical inspectors working at ports of entry are asked to pass details of those that they have examined to the primary care trust (PCT) at their destination address. This enables PCTs to follow up any cases of infection which have been identified, and arrange any necessary testing which it is not possible to undertake at the ports. Anyone who is lawfully in the UK and has TB is able to receive free treatment for it from the national health service.

The Cabinet Office is currently co-ordinating work between relevant Government Departments, including the Department of Health, to review imported infections and immigration. The review aims to establish the facts about the-impact of immigration on public health and NHS expenditure, consider all relevant issues including health screening and propose solutions should action be required. No decisions have been taken yet.

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on levels of immunity to tuberculosis in London. [153361]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Uptake levels of BCG vaccine can be obtained from Statistical Bulletin 2003/16, "NHS Immunisation Statistics, England 2003", which is available in the Library and on the Department's web-site at

Variant CJD

Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many recipients of (a) blood and (b) blood products derived from donors who subsequently were confirmed to have variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease have been identified. [145452]

Miss Melanie Johnson: There have been 15 recipients of blood in England and Wales from donors who were later confirmed as having variant Creutzfeldt Jacob disease (vCJD). Information on the numbers of patients who may have received blood products from donors diagnosed with vCJD is currently not known. The Chief Medical Officer will oversee any further work and investigation that is required.

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