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6 Dec 2004 : Column 359W—continued

Psychiatric Wards (Young People)

Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps he is taking to ensure safeguards are in place to protect young people held on adult psychiatric wards; [200341]

(2) how many cases of assault have occurred against young people held in adult psychiatric wards in each year since 1997. [200342]

Dr. Ladyman: The children's national service framework (NSF) sets a standard that:

The NSF also recommended that a protocol must be agreed between the child and adolescent mental health service and the adult service that will safeguard the young person's safety and dignity.

In February 2004, we published Developing Positive Practice to Support the Safe and Therapeutic Management of Aggression and Violence in Mental Health Inpatient Settings to enable mental health service providers to review their current policies and
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procedures relating to education, training and practice in the safe and therapeutic management of aggression and violence.

The National Patient Safety Agency has also identified patient safety in acute mental health settings as a priority and launched its mental health programme of work in June 2004.

Strategic Health Authorities

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the most recently estimated 2004–05 year-end financial position is for each strategic health authority as forecast (a) by each strategic health authority itself and (b) as a total of all of the forecasts of each strategic health authority's component health trusts. [201836]

Mr. Hutton: The audited information in respect of the 2004–05 financial position of all strategic health authorities, primary care trusts and national health service trusts will be published in their individual annual accounts and will be available centrally in autumn 2005. We have no plans to publish un-audited in year financial information. This information is considered to be exempt under Part 2 of the code of practice on access to Government information.


Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of the population of England he estimates to be undiagnosed for (a) tuberculosis and (b) hepatitis C. [200103]

Miss Melanie Johnson: It is not possible to generate reliable estimates on numbers of undiagnosed active tuberculosis cases in England. Most undiagnosed cases present to the health service at some point during their illness. Delays to diagnosis will result in either recovery, eventual presentation to health services with advanced disease or death.

The number of active tuberculosis cases who recover is unknown and numbers of cases who present with advanced disease are not routinely collected. The number of cases of tuberculosis diagnosed on post-mortem is collected by the Health Protection Agency's (HPA) enhanced tuberculosis surveillance system. This data represents the number of tuberculosis cases per annum who are found to have tuberculosis at post mortem. Tuberculosis is however not necessarily the cause of death or a contributory factor to death. In a large proportion of these cases, tuberculosis is likely to be an incidental finding.

The number of cumulative hepatitis C laboratory diagnoses reported, 38,000, to the HPA is lower than the estimate for the overall population prevalence. This suggests that the majority of hepatitis C infections have not been diagnosed. The estimate of the number of individuals infected with hepatitis C is 250,000, but the figure for those who have gone on to develop chronic hepatitis C infection in England is 200,000, as in some cases the infection clears spontaneously.

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health in how many cases hepatitis C was recognised as an underlying cause of death in the latest year for which
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figures are available; and what his assessment is of the contribution of hepatitis C to mortality from chronic liver disease. [200104]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Hepatitis C was the underlying cause for 129 deaths in England and Wales in 2003. Hepatitis C is believed to contribute to some of the deaths each year from the complications of chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis and primary cancer. However, there are no routine data on the extent of this contribution.

Vending Machines

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department gives to (a) hospitals and (b) NHS trusts installing vending machines in hospitals on the type of products which should be sold; and if he will make a statement. [200425]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Department has issued no guidance to the national health service regarding the types of products, which should be available in public areas. Public procurement of food through the NHS offers an opportunity to demonstrate best practice in influencing access to healthier foods. We have made a commitment in the Government's White Paper, "Choosing Health: Making health choices easier" to develop nutritional standards for all foods provided by the NHS, increasing access to a range of healthier foods and taking account of the different formats of provision
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including restaurant, fast food and vending. Planning for the implementation of this and a number of other initiatives are under way and more details will be announced early in 2005 when the Government will publish its Delivery Plan for the White Paper.

Walnuttree Hospital (Risk Assessments)

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library the two most recent Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service risk assessments of Walnuttree hospital in Sudbury. [201605]

Dr. Ladyman: I regret that Suffolk fire and rescue services have not undertaken any risk assessments at Walnuttree hospital in Sudbury. West Suffolk hospital undertook a fire risk assessment in 2003 and I understand that copies are available from the trust.

The trust recently commissioned an independent review of Walnuttree hospital at the end of October 2004. The independent review was carried out by Auditing Investigating Management Services. The report was published on 18 November 2004 and copies can be obtained from West Suffolk hospital.

West Suffolk Hospitals National Health Service Trust met with the Suffolk divisional fire officer to agree a way forward following the recommendations made in the independent report. Suffolk fire service stated

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Criminal Justice Act

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment he has made of the impact of the implementation of Section 329 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. [201395]

Mr. Lammy: Section 329 relates to civil proceedings for trespass to the person brought by offenders, and was introduced on 20 January 2004. Figures relating to any subsequent proceedings affected by this section are not available. However, the Government are unaware of any such cases having been reported.

Legal Aid/Services

Ross Cranston: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what estimate he has made of the administrative savings which would arise for those receiving legal aid no longer being required to pay court fees. [201915]

Mr. Leslie: My Department is currently seeking to rationalise the arrangements for the payment of court fees in proceedings where the claimant/applicant is legally aided. Revised procedures have yet to be developed and it is therefore impossible to quantify the administration savings at present.

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs when a Government report on the conclusions of Sir David Clementi's current review of the regulatory framework of legal services is expected. [201475]

Mr. Lammy: Sir David Clementi is due to make his recommendations by 31 December 2004. The Government will set out our plans for responding to those recommendations after the report is published.

Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what budget has been allocated to the Office of the Legal Services Complaints Commissioner in each of the last two years; and how many staff have been employed by the Office in each year. [201901]

Mr. Lammy: The Legal Services Complaints Commissioner was appointed on 21 February 2004. The budget for the Commissioner's office for 2004–05 is £1.34 million. 12 staff are currently employed including the Commissioner. This could rise to 16 staff pending successful recruitment campaigns. At the Secretary of State's request, the Law Society will meet all appropriate costs of the OLSCC. It has been agreed that DCA will meet the costs of: the consultants who scoped the work of the OLSCC; DCA corporate overheads; and the LSCC's salary.

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