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14 Dec 2004 : Column 1072W—continued


Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many clinically-led diabetes networks have been established; and whether existing networks have been established at a level coterminous with secondary healthcare. [203618]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: Evidence available from strategic health authority diabetes leads suggests that there are currently 156 diabetes networks in England that are coterminous with specialist teams, the latter of whom are mostly based in secondary care.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the status of the National Diabetes Support Team will be after the abolition of the NHS Modernisation Agency. [203625]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The national diabetes support team has been established to provide assistance to national health service trusts in England to implement the national service framework for diabetes through promoting partnership working and the spreading of best practice. It has been funded up to March 2007. The national diabetes support team will not be affected by changes made to the Modernisation Agency.

Draft Mental Health Bill

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what basis he has calculated that the draft Mental Health Bill will not lead to any net increase in compulsory admissions. [203186]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The following factors were considered when calculating the effects of the Mental Health Bill on the numbers under compulsion:

As a result of consideration of these different factors, some of which could lead to reductions and some to increases in the number of people under compulsion, we reached the conclusion that the Bill would not lead to any significant change in the number of people liable to treatment under formal powers.

Food Labelling

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress is being made in relation to extending the lists of nutrients and nutrient sources permitted for use under the provisions of the Food Supplements Directive and the Food Supplements (England) Regulation. [201985]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Health Food Manufacturers Association and Food Standards Agency officials have met with officials from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Commission to discuss the implications of the Food Supplements Directive (FSD). It was made clear at those meetings that, before further ingredients may be added to the lists in the FSD, they must be assessed for safety through submission of a dossier and have received a positive opinion from the EFSA.
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The United Kingdom Government have nevertheless made clear that, providing an ingredient was on the market before July 2002 and a dossier has been submitted to a member state, that ingredient can remain on sale in the UK pending an opinion by EFSA following its safety evaluation.

Group B Streptococcus

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will make an assessment of the protocols put in place for dealing with Group B Streptococcus in pregnant women in (a) Belgium and (b) the United States. [201014]

Dr. Ladyman: Protocols are in place for dealing with Group B Streptococcus (GBS) in pregnant women.

Testing for carriage of GBS, although not obligatory, is almost always performed in Belgium. A doctor who did not screen a pregnant woman for this problem would be badly viewed by his or her colleagues.

There are no uniform federal protocols in the United States of America for screening pregnant women for Group B Streptococcus. However, there are numerous guidelines on awareness.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines recommend universal screening of pregnant women for GBS during the 35 to 37 weeks of pregnancy. This, however, is a recommendation only, and although the CDC makes every effort to bring these good routines to the attention of the States, there is no federal mandate that enforces compliance.

A number of state officials have each confirmed that these issues are not regulated, but every effort is made to ensure that state healthcare providers are aware of these CDC recommendations.

It has been estimated from studies in the USA that the current policy of antenatal screening and intravenous antibiotics during labour has reduced the number of cases of early onset GBS to rates comparable to those in the United Kingdom in the absence of screening, despite a similar rate of maternal carriage of the organism. Routine antenatal screening for GBS is not recommended in the UK at present because evidence of its effectiveness remains uncertain. The emphasis is on reducing the rates of infection through improved management of women most at risk and the UK National Screening Committee is currently taking forward a programme of work with this aim.

Furthermore screening and the use of prophylactic antibodies carries significant risks of its own, including maternal death due to adverse reaction and increased antibiotic resistance.

Given that the UK rate of infection without screening is of a comparable order to the US rate, with screening, introduction of screening cannot be justified in the UK until we have evidence that it would further reduce the UK rate of infection and also do more good than harm.

Health Funding

Mr. Byrne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of public funding for health
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per capita in (a) the West Midlands, (b) Birmingham and (c) Hodge Hill in each of the next three financial years. [204185]

Dr. Ladyman: The table shows the 2005–6 revenue funding per un-weighted head of population for primary care trusts (PCTs) in the West Midlands, which also covers Birmingham and Hodge Hill.

The 2006–07 and 2007–08 revenue allocations have not yet been determined. Work has commenced on the next round of revenue allocations, covering the period 2006–07 to 2007–08. The next round of allocations will be announced early in the new year.
West Midlands 2005–06 PCT allocations per un-weighted head of population

PCTAllocation per
un-weighted head
of population
Burntwood, Lichfield and Tamworth943
Cannock Chase980
Coventry Teaching1,102
Dudley Beacon and Castle1,105
Dudley South1,008
East Staffordshire966
Eastern Birmingham1,237
Heart of Birmingham Teaching1,233
North Birmingham1,075
North Stoke1,219
North Warwickshire1,012
Oldbury and Smethwick1,212
Redditch and Bromsgrove936
Rowley, Regis and Tipton1,191
Shropshire County985
South Birmingham1,179
South Stoke1,142
South Warwickshire953
South Western Staffordshire933
South Worcestershire951
Staffordshire Moorlands1,053
Telford and Wrekin966
Walsall Teaching1,147
Wednesbury and West Bromwich1,199
Wolverhampton City1,164
Wyre Forest982

Identity Cards

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the likely effects on health tourism of the introduction of identity cards; [203522]

(2) whether he expects the NHS to make savings following the introduction of identity cards. [203523]

Mr. Hutton: The Department is currently investigating the benefits that identity cards would bring for the national health service and for patients. We anticipate that ID cards will make the existing eligibility checks easier for staff and more robust. We therefore expect extra income from charging chargeable patients, reduced inappropriate use of free NHS services and efficiency gains from quicker processing of patients, This will also bring benefits to patients, as they will be able to demonstrate their eligibility speedily through
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showing their identity card. An additional benefit would come from identifying patients who might be unconscious and confused. Our preliminary view is therefore that identity cards will deliver significant benefits to the NHS.

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the identity card will replace the proposed European health card due to be introduced by 31 December 2005. [203637]

Mr. Hutton: No. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which replaces the E111, serves an entirely different function from the ID card. The EHIC is used when travelling in other European Economic Area member states to access free or reduced cost healthcare, the need for which becomes medically necessary during the trip, on the same basis as residents of that country. The EHIC will be voluntary and people who do not travel outside the United Kingdom will not need one. The ID card will have a range of domestic uses.

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