Previous Section Index Home Page

4 Apr 2005 : Column 1092W—continued


Mr. Gill: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment his Department has made of the political situation in Somalia; and if he will make a statement. [223644]

Mr. Rammell: We, together with international partners, support the progress Somalis are making to reintroduce effective government. We welcome the efforts that are being made to create the conditions necessary for the safe return of the Transitional Federal Institutions and to plan for bringing much needed stability to the country.

We were, however, concerned by the violent confrontation in the Transitional Federal Parliament at the end of the debate on deployment of foreign troops for a peace support mission in Somalia. We welcome efforts by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the African Union to find an acceptable formula for a peace support operation.

Telephone Numbers

Mr. Tyler: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many non-geographic 0870 telephone numbers are in use by his Department; and what services can be accessed by calling each of them. [205829]

Mr. Rammell [pursuant to the reply, 10 January 2005, Official Report, c.28W]: My answer of 10 January to the hon. Member was incorrect. The correct answer should read as follows:

Mr. Tyler: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much revenue his Department has received from the use of non-geographic 0870 telephone numbers for the period 1 October 2003 to 30 September 2004. [205841]

Mr. Rammell [pursuant to the reply, 10 January 2005, Official Report, c. 28W]: My answer of 10 January to the hon. Member was incorrect. The correct answer should read as follows:

United Nations (Reforms)

Mr. Gill: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the UN Secretary-General about reforms of the UN. [223659]

Mr. Rammell: My right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary have had regular discussions with the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on his plans to reform the UN.
4 Apr 2005 : Column 1093W

The Secretary-General, Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary and I were present at an event in February at Banqueting House launching a UK public debate on UN reform, at which the challenges facing the UN and the international community were addressed.

We have warmly welcomed the publication of the Secretary-General's report issued on 21 March In Larger Freedom" and support the strong lead Kofi Annan is providing. The report is an important landmark on the way to the Millennium Review Summit in September, which will shape the UN's agenda for years to come. The UK intends to play an active role in the summit and its preparation, as a committed supporter of the UN and holder of the G8 and EU presidencies at the time.

Weapons (Non-proliferation)

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to assist the G8 in its aims on non-proliferation of chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear weapons, with particular reference to source material for such weapons; and if he will make a statement. [223790]

Mr. MacShane: We are committed to using the UK's Presidency to take forward the Action Plan on Non-Proliferation agreed by G8 Leaders at the Sea Island Summit in June 2004. In particular, we are working to ensure that new measures are put in place to limit the spread of sensitive nuclear technology to states that may seek to use them for weapons purposes, or allow them to fall into terrorist hands. Another priority is to promote co-ordination between governments and international organisations to counter the threat of bioterrorism. At the same time, we are working to ensure that the commitment of both G8 partners and other countries to the Global Partnership against the spread of weapons and materials of mass destruction leads to the continued effective implementation of collaborative projects to address legacy proliferation risks in partner countries in the Former Soviet Union.


Choosing Health"

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which elements of the extra funding made available to implement the public health White Paper, Choosing Health", will be ring-fenced. [222804]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Over £1 billion of additional funding is available to meet the Choosing Health" commitments over the next three years. Around half of this funding has been allocated to primary care trusts in their general allocations for 2006–07 and 2007–08. None of this funding is ring-fenced. The remainder is being held centrally to fund national action, such as public health campaigns, or will be allocated for specific local action at a future date.
4 Apr 2005 : Column 1094W

Blind Diabetic Patients

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he plans to make talking diabetic monitoring machines available for blind or partially sighted diabetic patients in England. [223473]

Ms Rosie Winterton: There are currently no talking" or audible blood glucose meters marketed in the United Kingdom. No blood testing meters of any kind are currently available on general practitioner prescription, although blood testing strips are.

In the past, talking" blood glucose meters were marketed, but were withdrawn for commercial reasons outside the Department's control. The Department cannot influence which products are marketed in this country, or the price that manufacturers charge. We have received no application from any company to have audible blood glucose testing equipment made available.

Climate Change

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the likely change in incidence in UK citizens of (a) Dengue Fever, (b) malaria and (c) meningitis arising from climate change; and if he will make a statement. [223544]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Dengue Fever and malaria occurs in United Kingdom citizens as travel-related infections acquired abroad. The Chief Medical Officer's national expert panel on new and emerging infections recently considered the risks posed by vector-borne diseases and concluded that they do not pose any significant public health threat in the UK and that climate changes are unlikely to lead to any significant increase in such diseases.

Reported cases of laboratory confirmed meningitis for England and Wales has shown a slight decline in recent years. The impact of climate changes globally upon the incidence of meningitis in the UK population cannot be predicted.

Dentistry (Burnley)

Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were registered for NHS dental services in Burnley in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [219495]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information is not available in the format requested. However, the figures for registrations for national health service dental services in the Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale primary care trust (PCT) area since September 1997 are shown in the table.
Number of people registered

4 Apr 2005 : Column 1095W

The drop in registrations between 1997 and 2004 is mostly attributable to the reduction in the re-registration period for patients from two years to 15 months. The figures also exclude patients treated in dental access centres (DACs) who are not registered. In 2004, there were some 375,000 episodes of treatment in the 48 DACs then in operation in England.

During 2004, there was a large switch to personal dental services (PDS) in the PCT area. For patient registrations (or for where registration does not apply, patients seen in the past 15 months), the PDS number rose from 1,900 at the end of December 2003 to 47,200 at the end of December 2004.

The Government remain determined to improve access to NHS dentistry and has introduced a number of initiatives which will help bring about improvements nationally and more locally. PCT funding for dentistry will increase by 19.3 per cent., from 2003–04 to 2005–06. Consequently, over £250 million of additional resources will be provided by 2005–06.

A NHS support team has been created to work with those PCTs which are experiencing most difficulty in terms of access. PCTs across East Lancashire, including Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale are benefiting from theefforts of the support team. The Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale PCT has so far received £540,000 recurrently from the support team. £28,000 has also been provided to the PCT as part of the dental access moneys provided to the Cumbria and Lancashire strategic health authority (SHA).

The PCT has facilitated some dental access sessions as part of the work of the four PDS schemes in the area. The PCT also has robust plans in place, which will also help to improve access levels over the next three years resulting in an additional 32,000 places for patients on dental lists.

Although the PCT has so far not recruited any international dentists, it is participating in the SHA-wide scheme which is working towards boosting recruitment from this source.

Next Section Index Home Page