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26 Jan 2005 : Column 416W—continued

Teenage Sex

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his Department's policy is on teenage sexual activity; and what scientific evidence is used in the development of this policy. [210530]

Margaret Hodge: I have been asked to reply.

The Government's teenage pregnancy and wider sexual health strategies reflect the complex reasons behind England's high rate of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Key aspects of the Government's response to these issues are:

This multi-faceted approach was recommended in the Social Exclusion Unit's report on teenage pregnancy, published in 1999, The plan reflects the best international evidence of what works in reducing teenage pregnancies and supporting teenage parents. A subsequent review by the Health Development Agency in 2003, confirmed the evidence base for the strategy.

Between 1998 (the baseline year for the teenage pregnancy strategy) and 2002 (the latest year for which data are available) the rate of under-18 conceptions has fallen by 8.6 per cent. and the rate of under-16 conceptions by 11.2 per cent. The proportion of teenage parents engaged in education, employment or training has increased from 23.1 per cent. (average for 1997–99) to 29.7 per cent. (average for 2002–04).

TETRA System

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department has discussed the health implications of the use of the TETRA system with representatives of those countries that already use the system. [210267]

Caroline Flint: I have been asked to reply.
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The Home Office asked the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) to look at the health and safety aspects of the TETRA technology used by Airwave. The NRPB's independent Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (AGNIR) drew on peer reviewed scientific literature from around the world in compiling the 2001 report on TETRA (Docs NRPB, Vol 12, No 8). The Home Office continues to liaise with the NRPB and the Department of Health who maintain contacts with the international scientific community.

The Home Office has provided information about its research programme to representatives from other countries.

Walsgrave Hospital

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the funding allocated to Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry for the next year. [210124]

Dr. Ladyman [holding answer 25 January 2005]: We do not allocate funding to national health service acute trusts. NHS acute trusts, as providers of services, receive the bulk of their revenue funding from commissioning by primary care trusts (PCTs). They also receive revenue funding from the Department for medical staff, education services and for research and development. In addition, acute trusts can charge staff, visitors or patients for services provided, such as catering or provision of private patient facilities.

For the next financial year (2005–06), Coventry PCT has been allocated £348 million, an increase of £29.6 million over the 2004–05 allocation. Future allocations will be announced shortly.

It is for PCTs, in partnership with strategic health authorities and other local stakeholders, to determine how best to use their funds to meet national and local priorities for improving health, tackling health inequalities and modernising services.


Beef Export Ban

David Burnside: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the Government will take steps to lift the beef export ban. [210746]

Mr. Pearson: Exports of beef from the UK can take place under the Date Based Export Scheme and six plants have been approved to export including four from Northern Ireland. A general lifting of the ban requires the European Commission to bring forward an appropriate proposal and the agreement of the other member states.

Any such proposal would only be made once the Over Thirty Month Rule has been ended in the UK and following a successful outcome of a further inspection visit from the EU's Food and Veterinary Office to check BSE controls and testing arrangements. This is likely to take until later this year.
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In the meantime UK officials are working with the Commission on the detail of the arrangement to be put in place to facilitate the easing of the beef export restriction.

Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the involvement of paramilitary organisations in the Province in the counterfeiting of pharmaceuticals. [210041]

Mr. Pearson: There is no evidence to suggest that Northern Ireland based paramilitary organisations are involved in the manufacture or supply of counterfeit pharmaceuticals. The Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety are acutely aware of the problems associated with counterfeit medicines in other countries and they continue to monitor the situation closely.

A quantity of illegal veterinary medicines was seized in a joint operation between the PSNI and DHSS&PS in April and May 2004. This followed a number of planned searches.

Fall-related Injuries

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) accident and emergency attendances and (b) hospital admissions there were in the Province for fall-related injuries in those aged (i) less than 60, (ii) 60 to 75 and (iii) more than 75 years in each of the last five years. [210071]

Mr. Gardiner: Information is not available on (a) the number of attendances at accident and emergency for fall-related injuries. However, information is available on (b) the number of admissions 1 to hospitals in Northern Ireland each year suffering from fall-related injuries for people aged (i) less than 60, (ii) 60 to 75 and (iii) more than 75 years, and is shown for the years 1999–2000 to 2003–04 in the table.
Age group
0–59 years60–74 years75+ yearsTotal

Hospital Inpatients System

Haemophilia Services

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the services available in the Province for haemophilia patients. [210023]

Angela Smith: Most services to haemophiliacs are provided in an outpatient primary care or community environment. In addition, the Haemophilia Centre based at Belfast City Hospital provides a regional service for patients with inherited and acquired bleeding disorders. Cover is provided by the Consultant team on
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a 24-hour basis. A vacancy currently exists for a Centre Director, which is being filled on an acting basis by a senior haematologist, but this has no direct impact on the service to patients.

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