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Theft and Fraud

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what his estimate is of the cost of theft and fraud to (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies in each year since 1997. [191415]

Phil Hope: I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) on 1 September 2004, Official Report, column 751W and 11 October 2004, Official Report, column 105W. Detailed information in respect of fraud and theft in non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Yorkshire Regional Assembly

Mr. Greenway: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the sources of funding for the Yorkshire Regional Assembly. [191286]

Mr. Raynsford: The Yorkshire and Humber Assembly receives an annual grant from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. This grant supports the Assembly in the performance of its designated functions to scrutinise the work of its Regional Development Agency, Yorkshire Forward; fulfil its regional planning responsibilities; and for the development of its strategic regional role.
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In 2003–04, the total Government grant paid to the Assembly was £1,655,000.

The Assembly is encouraged to also seek financial support from bodies within the region. This is entirely a matter for the Assembly itself.


Autopsies (BSE)

Mr. Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will introduce measures routinely to permit autopsies of people who die before the age of 45 years to include tests that would establish whether they were unknowingly carrying the human form of BSE. [191335]

Miss Melanie Johnson: We have no plans to introduce such measures. The Human Tissue Bill, currently before Parliament, covers the regulation of activities involving human tissue, including provisions as to consent requirements.


Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment has been made of the merits of using cannabinoids for the relief of (a) pain and (b) symptoms of multiple sclerosis and nausea. [190526]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department supports scientific research into the therapeutic use of cannabinoids, the unique ingredients of cannabis. This research may produce longer-term solutions to relieving the symptoms of multiple sclerosis and other clinical conditions.

A Medical Research Council (MRC) supported clinical trial to attempt to measure the therapeutic effects of cannabis extract in persons with multiple sclerosis was published in November 2003. The MRC supported it with a grant to Dr. John Zajicek, a consultant neurologist at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, to undertake a three-year study. Current details about Dr. Zajicek's clinical trial including the author's summary of the findings may be found at the trial website at

In addition, a programme to develop a medicine derived from cannabis for pain relief and associated conditions for multiple sclerosis patients is also under way. The work is led by Dr. Guy of GW Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Current details about the clinical trials being sponsored by GW Pharmaceuticals Ltd. may be obtained from the company's website at clin index.html.

As a result of these trials, a marketing authorisation application for Sativex, cannabis extract containing tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, was received by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) from GW Pharmaceuticals in 2003.

This application is currently under assessment by the MHRA. The MHRA will grant a marketing authorisation when it is satisfied that the appropriate standards of quality, safety and efficacy of Sativex have been met.
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With regard to the merit of using cannabinoids for the relief of symptoms of nausea, a marketing authorisation exists for Nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid with anti-emetic properties. Nabilone is indicated for the control of nausea and vomiting, caused by chemotherapeutic agents used in the treatment of cancer, in patients who have failed to respond adequately to conventional anti-emetic treatments.


Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to reduce the prevalence of chlamydia in younger people. [191753]

Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 15 October 2004]: As part of the implementation of the Government's national strategy for sexual health and HIV, the Department is rolling out a chlamydia screening programme across the country. Already the programme covers more than a quarter of primary care trusts in England, covering an estimated 30 per cent. of all young people aged 15 to 24 in England.

We have also invested £8 million to enable laboratories to switch to the more reliable and non-invasive type of chlamydia test. We are also raising awareness of chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections, through national media campaigns targeting young people. Further details of the action being taken to reduce sexually transmitted national strategy for sexual health and HIV is available in the Library and on the Department's website at:

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the national Chlamydia screening programme covers the South Birmingham area. [191846]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Under phase 2 of the national Chlamydia screening programme, a consortium of primary care trusts in the Birmingham area, including South Birmingham, were awarded funding of £530,000 for the years 2003–04 to 2004–05 to participate in the programme.

Chorley and South Ribble Hospital

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many hours a day on average the operating theatre at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital was available for use in each of the last three years; and what the proposed availability is for the next three years; [190797]

(2) how many emergency medical patients have been transferred for operations from Chorley to Preston in each of the last three years; [190800]

(3) how many trauma patients were taken to the Royal Preston hospital from the Chorley and South Ribble catchment area in the last 12 months; [190802]

(4) how many patients are expected to be treated at (a) Preston and (b) Chorley hospital under the proposed new arrangements for emergency medical surgery and gynaecology; [190822]

(5) if he will list the services which are proposed for transfer from Chorley and South Ribble hospital to Royal Preston hospital. [190823]

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Miss Melanie Johnson: This information is not collected centrally.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many doctors were working at Chorley and South Ribble Accident and Emergency in each of the last three years; and how many are planned for each of the next three years. [190804]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Information is gathered on a trust basis, The Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust was formed in 2002 from the merger of the Chorley and South Ribble National Health Service Trust and the Preston Acute NHS Trust.

Data are shown in the table for the Chorley and South Ribble NHS Trust and the Preston Acute NHS Trust for 2001 and the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust for 2002 and 2003.

Information is not available centrally on plans for staffing levels.
As at 30 September Number (headcount)

Chorley and South Ribble NHS Trust
All staff20n/an/a
Preston Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
All staff23n/an/a
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
All staffn/a3837

n/a = Not applicable
Department of Health medical and dental workforce census

Departmental Grants

Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has awarded in each of the last three years in grants to the charitable and public sectors. [187031]

Dr. Ladyman: The Department's main funding stream to the voluntary and community sector is through grants awarded under section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Services Act 1968 and the opportunities for volunteering scheme. The amounts available in the last three years are shown in the table.
£ million
Section 64 general scheme22.121.4(40)17. 8
Section 64 specific schemes:
Tobacco initiative1.61.6
Carers initiative0.30.3
Doctor patient partnership0.50.5
Direct payments development3.03.0
Family fund21.821.8(41)
Social care institute for excellence3.24.44.4
Women's aid federation0.05
Promoting independence0.150.180.15
Families with children0.90.90.9
Opportunities for volunteering6.96.96.9

(40) An additional £4.2 million transferred to the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) for projects relating to children's social care policy following reorganisation of departmental responsibilities for children social services.
(41) Scheme transferred to DfES.

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