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Mr. Truswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the expenditure of the Leeds Community and Mental Health Trust, and its successor trust, was on mental health services in each year since 1992. 
|Total operating expenses|
|Leeds Community and Mental Health NHS Trust|
|Leeds Mental Health Teaching NHS Trust|
Mr. Truswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many mental health patients have been treated as (a) inpatients and (b) outpatients by the Leeds Community and Mental Health Trust and its successor trust in each year since 1992. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The table shows the outpatient attendances under mental illness specialities by gender for the Leeds Mental Health Teaching National Health Service Trust and its predecessor trust.
|First attendances seen||Subsequent attendances seen||Total attendances seen|
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he is taking to improve the tracking of sterile medical devices in hospitals, with particular reference to infection control. 
Miss Melanie Johnson:
I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. Burstow) by my hon. Friend, the Minister of State (Ms Winterton), on 21 March 2005, Official Report, columns 62526W.
4 Apr 2005 : Column 1100W
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many grammes a day of salt the Government regards as necessary for adult (a) males and (b) females; and what the latest advice from the Government's scientific advisers is on the minimum daily intake of salt required by humans to survive. 
Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 24 March 2005]: In its 2003 report on salt and health, the scientific advisory committee on nutrition (SACN), which advises Government on nutrition and health, stated that the lowest population average intakes of sodium consistent with apparent good health in adults ranged between 1.75 grams and 2.3 grams of salt per day. In 1994, the committee on medical aspects of food and nutrition policy recommended that the population average salt intake should be reduced by a third to six grams per day as an achievable target. This was endorsed by the SACN in 2003 and the Government set a target to reduce the average population intake to six grams per day by 2010 in line with the recommendation.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health(1) what assessment he has made of the evidence of an increased risk of developing schizophrenia resulting from (a) early age and (b) chronic use of cannabis; 
Miss Melanie Johnson: There is a widely recognised strengthening of the evidence in recent years of an association between early use of cannabis and the risk of later development of mental health problems, such as schizophrenia. The evidence of a causal link has also strengthened, although there is not a full consensus on the issue.
The Department monitors all the key research in this area and has a range of expert advisers to inform policy. The Department is currently commissioning an academic 'expert topic review' of research on cannabis and mental health, with the aim that its findings will inform mental health promotion regarding cannabis
4 Apr 2005 : Column 1101W
and will also help us ensure our advice to mental health patients, their families and professionals continues to be comprehensive and up-to-date.
In addition, the independent advisory council on the misuse of drugs (ACMD), which advises my right hon. Friend, the Home Secretary, on the harms relating to controlled drugs, including cannabis, has been keeping the emerging evidence under review. Additionally, on 18 March 2005, my right hon. Friend formally asked ACM D to review the recent research studies in this area and to advise on this. The Department will support this process.
There is a range of current health promotion materials and drugs advice approved by the Department, which is aimed particularly at young people, that already draws attention to the important mental health risks of cannabis, including the risk that use can trigger serious mental, health problems. This will continue to be updated in the light of the emerging evidence.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with South Tees hospital trust on its financial position; and what assessment he has made of its plans for (a) staff appointments, (b) shift patterns and overtime for permanent staff and (c) timing of operations. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The role of Health Ministers and the Department is to secure adequate resources for funding the national health service and to set out a strategic framework for it to work within. This allows decisions about local NHS services to be taken at a local level.
In line with Shifting the Balance of Power", strategic health authorities (SHAs) performance manage the NHS organisations within their area. The SHAs will work in partnership with primary care trusts and local health providers to determine how best to use the funds allocated, to meet national and local priorities for improving health, to tackle health inequalities and modernise services.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost of National Insurance contributions to the South Tees hospital trust in (a) 199798, (b) 200102 and (c) 200304. 
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