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11 Jan 2005 : Column 513W—continued

Diabetes

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make a statement on the policy of his Department with regard to the provision of blood test strips for people with diabetes; [206611]

(2) how many blood test strips have been supplied to patients in each primary care trust area during the last 12 months. [206612]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Information on electronic prescribing analysis and cost (ePACT) data on the number of blood glucose monitoring test strips prescribed in the year ending September 2004 has been placed in the Library.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines on self-monitoring of blood glucose stresses that there are benefits from self-monitoring programmes, particularly as part of an integrated self-help package and this is central to the national service framework for diabetes.

Digital Hearing Aids

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance the Department has given to NHS trusts on the priority for the provision of digital hearing aids to be given to those who are partially sighted. [207044]

Dr. Ladyman: Audiology services should develop their own priorities and guidelines for digital hearing aid assessments and fittings in consultation with primary care trusts and commissioners.

Food Labelling

Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions his Department has had with the Department for Trade and Industry on to ensuring that labelling provides adequate information on the health aspects of the practice of supermarkets adding salt to meat products. [207203]


 
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Miss Melanie Johnson: Responsibility for food labelling rules rests with the Food Standards Agency. Neither my Department nor the Agency have discussed this particular issue with the Department for Trade and Industry. However, discussions on the broad policy of working with the food industry to reduce salt in processed foods have taken place.

Food Supplements Directive

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what substantive amendments were secured by the Food Standards Agency in the negotiations on the food supplements directive subsequent to the meeting between representatives of the National Association of Health Stores, Consumers for Health Choice, Holland and Barrett, and Solgar Vitamin and Herbs, and Mr. Grant Meekin of the agency in 2001. [207532]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The meeting in 2001 was convened to explain the Food Standards Agency's position in relation to the food supplements directive, and the position reached in the course of the European Union negotiations. By the time of the meeting, the Food Standards Agency had secured an important amendment to the directive regarding the period allowed for derogation and for products to remain on the market, pending an opinion from the European Food Safety Authority on the safety of the ingredients. The agency did not undertake to seek further amendments to the directive at the meeting.

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) upon what basis the Written Observations of the United Kingdom submitted to the Court of Justice of the European Communities in relation to the legality of the food supplements directive concluded in section 20 that the provisions of the directive themselves do not appear disproportionate; [207566]

(2) upon what basis the Written Observations of the United Kingdom submitted to the Court of Justice of the European Communities in relation to the legality of the food supplements directive concluded in section 17 that the legislation did not breach the principles of subsidiarity; and if he will make a statement. [207597]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The United Kingdom Government's arguments and the basis for those arguments are set out in the Written Observations to which the hon. Member refers.

GP Premises

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the age of general practitioner premises in the NHS in England. [206830]

Mr. Hutton: No central assessment of the age of general practitioner premises in the national health service in England has been made. The majority of GP premises are owner occupied or rented from private sector landlords.

Primary care trusts (PCTs) are responsible for commissioning GP services and for ensuring that the premises from which they are provided are fit for purpose. It is for PCTs to carry out their own individual
 
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assessment of these premises where this information is required to support decisions about their local strategic service plans.

GP Surgeries

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the general practitioner surgeries in the Adur, Arun and Worthing Primary Care Trust areas which will receive funding allocations to improve or renew premises in 2004–05; by how much each will benefit; and for what improvements each allocation has been made. [203204]

Mr. Hutton: The decision on investment in general practice surgeries is a local matter for each individual primary care trust, based on its overall strategic investment plans for the development of services locally.

Health Bodies (Salaries and Fees)

Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what salaries or fees are paid to the (a) chairs and (b) chief executives of (i) the Health Care Commission, (ii) the Social Care Commission, (iii) Monitor and (iv) the National Institute for Clinical Excellence; and how many days' work per week each is required to undertake. [207025]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 10 January 2005]: The information requested is shown in the following table.

Organisation

Position

Salary (£)
Days work
per week
Healthcare CommissionChair150,8785
Healthcare CommissionChief Executive160,0005
Commission for Social Care InspectionChair84,4563
Commission for Social Care InspectionChief Inspector145,0005
MonitorChair(152)195,0005
National Institute for Clinical ExcellenceChair23,6543
National Institute for Clinical ExcellenceChief Executive139,3535


(152) Monitor has an executive chairman.


Health Protection Agency

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether further research recommended by a Health Protection Agency Rapid Review Panel report will be assessed by the panel at a later date; and whether a further report will be issued; [206426]

(2) how many applications have been reviewed by the Health Protection Agency's Rapid Review Panel to date; [206428]

(3) for when the Health Protection Agency's Rapid Review Panel's next meeting is scheduled; [206429]

(4) when he will publish the findings from the Health Protection Agency's Rapid Review Panel's meeting which took place on 29 November. [206430]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Manufacturers of products submitted to the Health Protection Agency (HPA) rapid review panel are responsible for deciding whether to act
 
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on the panel's recommendation. If the manufacturer decides to undertake further work, they can resubmit the application once the work is complete.

Reports are issued by the HPA for all products considered by the panel.

Reports for 20 of the 25 products reviewed on 29 November were published on the HPA website on 15 December. The reports for the other five products will be published in January.

A final date has not been set for the next meeting of the rapid review panel, but it will be in late January or early February 2005.

32 applications have been reviewed by the panel to date.

Living Wills

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on living wills (advanced directives) forms being handed out to patients admitted to NHS hospitals; and if he will make a statement. [206266]

Ms Rosie Winterton: As part of the treatment process, a healthcare professional will discuss with a patient their possible treatment options and seek their consent. This should, where an individual's condition makes it appropriate, include how they would like to be treated if or when they become incapacitated. An advance directive allows patients to indicate what treatment they would, or would not, wish to receive should they not be capable of making a decision in the future.


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