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Llew Smith: To ask the Prime Minister what reports he has received from (a) the United States Administration and (b) the Iraq Survey Group in respect of the whereabouts in Iraq of military equipment and technology capable of being used in weapons of mass destruction that were exported from the United Kingdom to Iraq prior to May 1997. 
The Prime Minister: The Government has not received any reports from either the US Administration or the Iraq Survey Group in respect of the whereabouts in Iraq of military equipment and technology capable of being used in weapons of mass destruction that were exported from the United Kingdom to Iraq prior to May 1997.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Prime Minister whether, during his meeting with Colonel Gaddafi, he asked Libya to provide him with details of arms and other support supplied to the IRA; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: Lord-Lieutenants are The Queen's representatives in their respective counties or areas. They carry out a range of duties which are widely appreciated, in particular in their role as a link with the Royal Family and in their support for a wide variety of local voluntary and community work. I welcome the continuing contribution which they make.
Dr. Ladyman: The Department commissioned the Centre for Policy on Ageing in 2002 to analyse implementation of the Department's "No Secrets" guidance, which provides the basis for local multi agency codes of practice to prevent and tackle the abuse of vulnerable adults. The analysis indicates that local councils have met the requirements required by "No Secrets" and that considerable progress has been made towards improving co-ordination between agencies when dealing with adult abuse cases.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) nature and (b) value was of all contracts, consultancies or other services placed with the accountancy firms (i) Deloitte & Touche, (ii) Ernst & Young, (iii) KPMG and (iv) PricewaterhouseCoopers since 200001 by the Department and its agencies. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department does not hold centrally a record of individual contracts, nor does it have similar details for its agencies. To secure such details could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Ms Rosie Winterton:
In the United Kingdom, the yellow card scheme allows health professionals to report suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs) on a
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voluntary basis to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM). There is a legal requirement for companies to report suspected ADRs to their drugs.
All voluntary reporting systems suffer from under-reporting. The proportion of suspected adverse drug reactions, which are reported, is very variable. Under reporting is thought to occur less frequently with newly identified, serious and unlabelled reactions (those reactions which are not yet included in the product information).
Studies in UK hospitals (Smith et al 1996) and general practice settings (Martin et al 1998, Heeley et al 2001) have estimated that around five to ten per cent. of all suspected adverse drug reactions experienced by patients are reported to CSM and MHRA through the yellow card scheme. The study in general practice carried out by Heeley et al (2001) combined serious and non-serious ADRs in this estimate of under reporting of ADRs. This study also provided a breakdown of the estimates of under-reporting of reactions classified as serious or non-serious and labelled or unlabelled, and estimated that general practitioners report between 30 and 50 per cent. of serious unlabelled adverse reactions to CSM and MHRA via the yellow card scheme.
Under-reporting does not necessarily detract from the ability of drug safety monitoring systems to identify new and important drug safety hazards. The MHRA and CSM are continually working to increase the quality and quantity of reports received via the Yellow Card Scheme in order to increase the potential for rapid identification of new drug safety hazards.
Heeley E, Riley J, Layton D, Wilton RV and Shakir S (2001) 'Prescription event monitoring and reporting of adverse drug reactions' Lancet 358: 18721873
Martin RM, Kapoor KV, Wilton LV and Mann RD (1998) 'Underreporting of suspected adverse drug reactions to newly marketed ("black triangle") drugs in general practice: observational study' BMJ 317:119120
Smith CC, Bennett PM, Pearce HM, Harrison PI, Reynolds DJM, Aronson JK, Grahame-Smith DG (1996) 'Adverse drug reactions in a hospital general medical unit meriting notification to the Committee on Safety of Medicines' British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 42 (4): 423429
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) resource budget, (b) administration costs and (c) staff numbers were for 2003 of the (i) Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health and (ii) Wider Health Working Group. 
The budget allocation for 200304 was £35.4 million. This figure included £8 million for extension of community health councils from 1 April to 1 December 2003 and £3.2 million for the provision of the independent complaints advocacy service.
Administrative costs amount to £5.7 million. Administrative costs have been defined as those incurred by the headquarters. All other resources contribute directly to the delivery of the patient and public involvement forums as supported by the forum support organisations and the regional office network.
As 200304 has been the Commission's first full year of operation the staffing complement has grown steadily over this period. At 1 April 2003, the CPPIH employed three permanent staff and 19 temporary members of staff. By 31 March 2004, the position was that 136 permanent members of staff and 24 temporary staff had been recruited against a total staffing compliment of 198.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on trends in the occurrence of allergies in the UK; and what the Government's policy is on the alleviation of allergies. 
Dr. Ladyman: We recognise that the numbers of people with allergies are increasing. It is not yet known why this is, but various factors are thought to be involved including a rise in dust mites due to a greater use of carpets, air pollution, and people being introduced to more allergens such as new plant species.
The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) published its report, "Allergythe unmet need: a blueprint for better patient care", on 25 June 2003. We welcome the RCP report and believe it is a useful contribution to the debate on how to improve national health service allergy services.
The Food Standards Agency funds research on food allergy and intolerance, with particular emphasis on severe allergies; how they occur and what causes them. A large programme of research on food intolerance and allergy, costing around £1 million a year, is ongoing. King's College London is leading a £2.1 million European Commission-funded prospective study of the incidence and prognosis of allergy, allergic disease and low lung function in adults living in Europe. Also, The University of Manchester is leading a £1.2 million EC-funded investigation of the prevalence, pathogenesis, treatment and prevention of sun allergy across Europe. Sun-provoked skin reactions are one of the commonest forms of allergy.
It is the role of primary care trusts, in partnership with local stakeholders, to decide what services to provide for their populations, including those with allergies. They are best placed to understand local health care needs and commission services to meet them.
The information requested is not held centrally. Last year, in the report, "Allergythe unmet need: a blueprint for better patient care", the Royal College of Physicians estimated that around one in six of the population is affected by allergy.
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