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Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the written Answer of 25 May 2005, Official Report, column 119W, on Health Service Expenditure, what the total hospital expenditure alone was in each year since 199697 in (a) nominal terms and (b) real terms. 
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the incidence of mental health problems, including clinical depression, was among those who have lost their sight in (a) England and (b) the Coventry area in each of the last five years. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Information is not available for each of the last five years. However, the latest information on registered blind people is available from the triennial data collection, "Registered Blind and Partially Sighted People" for the year ending 31 March 2003. This is available on the Department's website at: www.dh.gov.uk/assetRoot/04/08/02/33/04080233.pdf.
At 31 March 2003, 157,000 people were on the register of blind people in England, of which 34,000 were also categorised as having an additional disability. 3 per cent.
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of all registered blind people who had an additional disability were also recorded as having a mental illness. Similar information for Coventry shows that about 1 per cent. of people categorised as having an additional disability were recorded as having a mental illness.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the implications for human health of the findings of the EU study into the safety of Monsanto's MON863 maize, with particular reference to the effects on rats fed this maize. 
Caroline Flint: The safety of the food use of genetically modified MON863 maize has been reviewed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which concluded in April 2004 that it is unlikely to have an adverse effect on human health. The EFSA evaluation included an assessment of a study in rats fed MON863 maize grain. EFSA subsequently examined a critical review of this feeding study and concluded that it did not raise any issues that caused EFSA to revise its opinion. EFSA's conclusion on the food use of MON863 maize has been endorsed by the United Kingdom Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many and what percentage of nurses in each primary care trust area reported personal back and joint injuries for the first time in each of the last five years; 
Mr. Byrne: The Department does not collect this information centrally, but recognises that pain accounts for 40 per cent. of sickness absence in the national health service. That is why the back in work campaign was launched nationally in 2002 to reduce back injuries among NHS staff.
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the running costs of the Paddington health campus project have been on (a) a monthly basis and (b) a cumulative basis since its inception; 
The running costs, on a monthly basis, of the Paddington health campus project are not held centrally. The estimated cumulative expenditure on development of the project is about £13.8 million of which about £7.8 million relates to external consultants. This development expenditure is under a quarter of one per cent. of the cost of a project of this scale.
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Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the timetable and process to reach a conclusion on the viability of the Paddington health campus project, in the light of the resolution by the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS trust not to recommend the addendum to the outline business case for approval by the strategic health authority. 
Mr. Byrne: North West London strategic health authority will consider the outline business case at its extraordinary meeting on 21 June and a decision on the future of the project will be made thereafter.
Caroline Flint: Phthalates are a family of chemical substances, with a range of properties. Extensive research into the effects of certain phthalates on both the environment and human health has been carried out at a European level, under the auspices for the European Union's Existing Substances Regulation (793/93/EC). Details of the programme can be found on the European Chemicals Bureau website at: http://ecb.jrc.it/existing-chemicals/. The United Kingdom has commented upon the detailed risk assessments and ensuing risk reduction strategy for the various phthalates which have been studied.
These risk assessments and risk reduction strategies concluded that these phthalates do not pose a risk to the environment or, where a risk was anticipated, adequate control measures were already in place on an EU-wide basis to control the potential risk. As a result, the UK has no current plans to commission research into phthalates as an environmental pollutant but will consider each on a case by case basis where new data come to light.
These detailed EU risk assessments have indicated that some phthalate compounds have been shown in animal studies to produce toxic effects on the reproductive system and this has led to European-wide restrictions on their use in consumer products, in order to prevent exposure of young children, as a precaution. However, other phthalates have not shown such effects, despite being adequately investigated for reproductive toxicity.
The UK takes the view that phthalates must be considered on a case-by-case basis. Where the database is insufficient to complete a risk assessment, it is normally expected that the industry will carry out the required additional research. However, the Government have asked their expert committee, the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food,
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Consumer Products and the Environment, to keep the area of environmental chemicals and reproductive health under review and will consider their advice on the need for additional research in this area.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what action she plans to take to tackle non-compliance with National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines on the treatment of severe rheumatoid arthritis; 
All primary care trusts in England and Wales are obliged to make available anti-tumour necrosis factor treatment for those patients with rheumatoid arthritis who meet the clinical guidelines issued by NICE.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the Department plans to address individual needs in their provision of services for people who suffer sight loss; and if she will set up a care agency to co-ordinate the provision of services for people who suffer from sight loss. 
Mr. Byrne: Provision of support and services for people who suffer sight loss are the responsibility of the local national health service and social care agencies. It is at a local level that services are commissioned and provided for people who suffer sight loss. We have no plans to set up a care agency to co-ordinate the provision of services for people who suffer from sight loss.
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