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3 Nov 2004 : Column 323W—continued

Skipton Fund

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the ease of access for applicants to information about the progress of their applications from the Skipton Fund; and if he will make a statement. [193652]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Since the Skipton Fund became operational on 5 July, a key priority for the fund has been the despatch and process of stage 1 application forms.

Each applicant who has registered with the Skipton Fund may telephone the Skipton Fund helpline to inquire about progress with their
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application. The Haemophilia Society website, at, provides an update on the range of applications that are being processed.


Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his Department's estimate is of the number of people who die from smoking-related diseases in each of the last five years. [194199]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The latest data available on smoking related deaths estimated that in the United Kingdom in 1995, smoking caused more than 120,000 deaths of people aged 35 years or over ("The UK smoking epidemic: Deaths in 1995."—Health Education Authority 1998. A copy is available in the Library).

The Health Development Agency is undertaking a similar study, updating this work, estimating the number of smoking attributable deaths. A report will be published in due course.

Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will carry out an assessment of the Irish ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces. [194200]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Government are aware of the reports from Ireland on the effect of the smoking ban in workplaces, including those from the Office of Tobacco Control. No additional assessment is planned.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many smokers there are in England. [194240]

Miss Melanie Johnson: It is estimated that in England in 2002, 26 per cent. of adults aged 16 and over smoked cigarettes regularly, at least one cigarette a day; this is around 10.3 million adults.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been spent by his Department on prevention of smoking, broken down by (a) advertising and (b) smoking cessation services, in each year since 1997. [194241]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Prior to 1999–2000, the Health Education Authority ran the public education campaign on the dangers of smoking. The Department took over this work in December 1999.

Table 1 shows advertising expenditure on the dangers of smoking from 1999–2000 to date.
Amount (£ million)

The national health service stop smoking services, formerly smoking cessation services, were launched in the health action zones (HAZs) in 1999–2000, with services rolled out across the NHS in 2000–01.
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Table 2 shows financial allocations to the NHS stop smoking services from 1999–2000 to date.
Amount (£ million)

(29) HAZs only.

Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many people attended the smoking cessation clinic held on the Parliamentary Estate on 2 March; what plans there are to run a quit clinic within the Parliamentary Estate in the near future; and if he will make a statement; [195732]

(2) whether he has received representations from those within the Parliamentary Estate to provide smoking cessation services within the Estate for staff of the House, Members of both Houses and their staff; and if he will make a statement. [195735]

Sir Archy Kirkwood: I have been asked to reply.

The smoking cessation clinic took place on 2 March 2004, and was run in partnership by Cancer Research UK, QUIT and the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Service of the Houses of Parliament. The initiative ran with the approval of Parliament's Medical Panel and was timed to help raise the profile of the national No Smoking Day, 10 March 2004. The promotion was open to all passholders of the Parliamentary Estate and just under 100 people attended the clinic (including Members and Peers), either to see a QUIT counsellor or to gain general advice on smoking-related health issues and ways to reduce their risk of developing cancer. Following the event a survey of attendees was carried out and responses indicated that it had been very well received and should be repeated in the future.

Currently information and advice on smoking cessation is available via the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Service, including information packs. Plans are in hand also to make this information available via the parliamentary intranet.

No representations about smoking cessation services have been received by the Commission. The Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Service are planning a schedule of health awareness events for 2005, including a smoking cessation clinic. Discussions are taking place with Cancer Research UK with a view to running one at about the same time as the next national No Smoking Day, 9 March 2005.

Special Advisers

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many unpaid special advisers the Department has; what their names are; and which Government (a) bodies, (b) committees and (c) strategy groups each unpaid adviser (i) belongs to, (ii) advises and (iii) works alongside. [194060]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: For information relating to numbers and names of unpaid advisers, I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office on 28 October 2004, Official Report, column 1380W.

Specialist Services (Funding)

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what safeguards are in place to ensure that the introduction of payment by results does not indirectly divert resources away from specialist services which are not covered by tariffs. [194362]

Mr. Hutton: Primary care trusts (PCT) are responsible for commissioning health and social care for their local communities. It will be a matter for PCTs, working with those organisations providing treatment, to ensure that all relevant services to meet health care needs are commissioned and funded. PCTs will also be responsible for monitoring activity within service level agreements and taking appropriate action in cases of under- or over-delivery.

Work is continuing to develop the scope of the payment by results scheme and it is expected that all services will be brought into the scheme by 2008–09.

Spinal Surgery (Dorset)

Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make a statement on the provision of spinal surgery for people living in the Poole and Bournemouth area; [194549]

(2) what provision of spinal surgery is available for people living in the Poole and Bournemouth area. [194550]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 2 November 2004]: It is the responsibility of primary care trusts (PCTs), in conjunction with their strategic health authorities, to assess the health care needs of their population and commission in-patient services, including specialist facilities such as spinal injury units.

The national health service organisations responsible for planning and commissioning spinal surgery in the Bournemouth and Poole areas are the Bournemouth Teaching PCT, the Poole PCT and the South and East Dorset PCT.

I am informed that these PCTs have adequate and effective commissioning arrangements in place for the provision of prompt and clinically appropriate services, including spinal surgery.

Stair Lifts

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what responsibility the Medicines and Healthcare Products Agency has for ensuring that stair lifts are installed and maintained safely. [195242R]

Dr. Ladyman: The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), in its role of safeguarding public health and adverse incident investigation, gives advice to persons responsible for the provision of stair lifts on the importance of ensuring that approved installers are used and that maintenance procedures are carried out in accordance with
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manufacturers instructions. Providers are also advised on the need for a full assessment of the patient and their living environment to ensure safe use.

The MHRA has issued guidance document DB9801, "Medical Device and Equipment Management for Hospital and Community-based Organisations", which contains guidance on maintenance and repair.

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