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9 Nov 2004 : Column 634W—continued

Guide to the European Union

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what costs were incurred in the publication and distribution of the Guide to the European Union. [196394]

Mr. MacShane: The cost of printing 207,000 copies of the Guide to the EU is approximately £45,000. Distribution to public libraries and individuals is estimated at £6,000. No further decisions on distribution have been taken.

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he had with (a) opposition parties and (b) the No campaign to ensure that the Guide to the European Union published by his Department presents a balanced assessment of the proposed EU Constitution. [196395]

Mr. MacShane: None.

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he had with the Electoral Commission prior to publication of the Guide to the European Union to ensure compliance with the rules governing referendums. [196396]

Mr. MacShane: The Guide to the EU is part of the Government's commitment to provide information for the general public on the EU. In line with previous practice, discussions were not held with the Electoral Commission. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is confident that the Guide to the EU meets Government Information and Communication Service guidelines on such publications.

HEALTH

Accident and Emergency

Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what date the Accident and Emergency Department at Ashford (Middlesex) hospital was closed and replaced by an emergency department; and what the difference is between the two facilities. [196526]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 8 November 2004]: I refer the hon. Member to my response of 25 March 2004, Official Report, columns 1047–48W.

Autism

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department provides to (a) general practitioners and (b) other primary care professionals on working with people with autism spectrum disorders. [194782]


 
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Dr. Ladyman: The Department does not consider it necessary to supplement the training of primary care professionals with additional guidance. The Department, together with the Department for Education and Skills, produced "Autism Spectrum Disorders: Good Practice Guidance" in 2002 and the national service framework for children, young people and maternity services was published on 15 September, 2004.

Brazil Nuts

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether Brazil nuts are being withheld from sale due to health concerns; and if he will make a statement. [196488]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Brazil nuts are not being
 
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withheld from sale in the United Kingdom. The main exporting country for unshelled Brazil nuts, Brazil, has not been exporting this commodity into the European Union since July 2003, when the EU imposed special conditions on these imports to ensure they do not exceed the regulatory limits for aflatoxins.

Cancer Patients/Services

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many suspected cancer patients in the Bury North constituency were seen by an NHS consultant within two weeks of referral in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. [195348]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Information on the number of suspected cancer patients seen has been collected since 2001. This is shown in the table.
Waiting times for first out-patient appointment following urgent G(D)P referral with suspected cancer

QuarterNational health service trustPatients seen within 14 daysPercentage seen within 14 days
2000–014Oldham NHS Trust16793.3
2000–014Rochdale Healthcare NHS Trust20099.0
2000–014North Manchester Healthcare NHS Trust20093.9
2000–014Bury Healthcare NHS Trust37497.1
2001–021Oldham NHS Trust18194.8
2001–021Rochdale Healthcare NHS Trust22497.8
2001–021North Manchester Healthcare NHS Trust24294.9
2001–021Bury Healthcare NHS Trust34596.1
2001–022Oldham NHS Trust16296.4
2001–022Rochdale Healthcare NHS Trust22793.0
2001–022North Manchester Healthcare NHS Trust29890.6
2001–022Bury Healthcare NHS Trust38599.0
2001–023Oldham NHS Trust18198.9
2001–023Rochdale Healthcare NHS Trust23599.6
2001–023North Manchester Healthcare NHS Trust28694.7
2001–023Bury Healthcare NHS Trust39899,5
2001–024Oldham NHS Trust19798.5
2001–024Rochdale Healthcare NHS Trust20999.5
2001–024North Manchester Healthcare NHS Trust30299.7
2001–024Bury Healthcare NHS Trust450100.0
2002–031Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust2,43098.8
2002–032Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust2,48099.1
2002–033Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust2,65098.4
2002–034Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust2,38095.8
2003–041Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust2,42892.2
2003–042Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust2,34894.9
2003–043Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust2,55297.6
2003–044Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust2,37297.4
2004–051Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust1,26398.6




Source:
Department of Health forms QMCW and CWTDB.




Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received on the location of specialist cancer services in the Mid-Anglia Cancer Network area. [196298]

Dr. Ladyman: Records show that one letter has been received in September 2004.

Care of the Elderly

Tom Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with which organisations his Department (a) has discussed and (b) plans to discuss his proposals to improve national standards for the care of elderly people; and if he will make a statement. [195897]

Dr. Ladyman: On 27 October 2004, we announced the start of the review of the national minimum standards and the associated legislative framework for adult social care. We intend to involve a range of service user and provider organisations in the process of reviewing the standards and will consult fully on any resulting changes.

Cheshire and Merseyside Health Protection Agency

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the role of the newly established Cheshire and Merseyside Health Protection Agency. [195488]


 
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Miss Melanie Johnson: The Health Protection Agency's Cheshire and Merseyside Health Protection Agency was established on 1 April 2003 as an integral part of the new Health Protection Agency. It has offices in Moorgate Point in Knowsley, near Liverpool, and within the microbiology laboratory in the Countess of Chester hospital. The unit has 32 staff.

The unit's catchment area has 2.4 million residents, living in a mix of rural, urban and city areas, including areas of major deprivation. The unit provides the full range of local HPA services and support to the local national health service and other partners, particularly for investigation of reportable cases and outbreaks of infectious disease in community facilities and other settings.

There are significant connections with other agencies, particularly local authorities, in responding to chemical incidents and investigation of environmental hazards.

Children's Diets

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of studies of the relationships between diet and hyperactivity or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children; whether he has plans for further studies in this area; and if he will make a statement. [195767]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Food Standards Agency is funding research to look at a possible link between food additives and children's behaviour, for which current evidence is inconclusive. However, there are no plans to look at overall diet and hyperactivity.

We are committed to tackling children's diet and health issues. Action to address this will be taken forward in the Government's White Paper on improving health.


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