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Jane Kennedy: The 2003 genetics White Paper, Our inheritance, our futurerealising the potential of genetics in the NHS", announced £18 million to upgrade national health service genetics laboratories in England. As a result of this increase in laboratory capacity, we expect that by 2006 genetic test results should be available:
This initiative builds on earlier investments by the Department, including £11 million in specialised genetics services from 2001 and two national genetic reference laboratories to explore the use of new technologies in NHS genetic laboratories. The genetics White Paper also announced that it would boost the future workforce in NHS genetic laboratories by funding up to 90 healthcare scientist trainees in genetics and 10 trainer posts.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she plans to publish the results of the two-year review of genito-urinary medicine services undertaken by the Medical Foundation for AIDS and Sexual Health. 
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) single-handed and (b) two or more partner general practitioner practices there were in Burntwood, Lichfield and Tamworth Primary Care Trust area on the latest date for which figures are available; and what percentage these practices represent of the total number of general practitioner practices in the primary care trust area. 
|5DQ Burntwood, Lichfield and Tamworth PCT||Number (headcount)|
|Single handed practices(47)||9|
|Practices with two or more partners||15|
|Percentage of single handed practices||38|
|Percentage of practices with two or more partners||63|
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of routine appointment waiting times at general practitioner surgeries in Hornsey and Wood Green; and if she will make a statement. 
|24 hour GP access||100|
|48 hour PCP access||100|
Jane Kennedy: This is a matter for the chair of the University College London hospital national health service foundation trust. I have written to the chair, Peter Dixon. He will reply shortly and a copy will be placed in the Library.
The Department has drawn the attention of specialised commissioning groups to the need to plan on the basis of the national definition for specialised hepatology services. In that context they will need to consider that some activities will be restricted to the
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seven liver transplant centres while other treatments should only be carried out at hepatology centres where the full range of multi-disciplinary support is available. Some local hospitals have developed expertise in a particular treatment and could be recognised appropriately as a centre for that particular treatment.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received regarding the use of ward sisters in the pursuit of cleanliness on hospital wards; and from whom those representations have been received. 
Jane Kennedy: The Department has received no formal representations on this issue. We recognise that ward sisters have a key role to play in ensuring that hospitals are clean. A Matron's Charter: An Action Plan for Cleaner Hospitals", published in 2004 by all of the organisations representing nursing staff, re-emphasises the importance of involving ward sisters in establishing cleaning contracts and setting and monitoring standards of cleanliness.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what hospital facilities were available (a) in the last financial year and (b) in each of the previous five years to meet the needs of people with learning disabilities (i) across the NHS and (ii) in the private sector. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 14 June 2005]: The national health service and private sector provides a variety of hospital facilities for people with learning disabilities. The figures available for NHS facilities are shown in the following table.
|Children: short stay||||||281||205||268||229|
|Children: long stay||||||95||70||141||59|
|Other ages: secure unit||||||431||407||508||514|
|Other ages: short stay||||||1,323||1,374||1,117||1,210|
|Other ages: long stay||||||4,186||3,639||3,003||3,199|
With regard to private sector facilities, on 31 March 2004, the Healthcare Commission identified 46 private sector facilities registered as independent hospitals providing 968 beds for people with learning disabilities.
Caroline Flint: The Department has not commissioned specific research into the health effects of energy-from-waste incinerators. Several studies of cancer rates near the older generation of waste incinerators have been undertaken by the small area health statistics unit (SAHSU). The Department is a co-funder of SAHSU, which is wholly funded by the Government. The expert advisory committee on the carcinogenicity of chemicals in food, consumer products and the environment considered these studies in March 20001, 2, 3 and concluded 4 that any potential risk of cancer due to residency near to municipal solid waste incinerators was exceedingly low and probably not measurable by the most modern epidemiological techniques. The Committee agreed that, at the present time, there was no need for any further epidemiological investigations of cancer incidence near municipal solid waste incinerators.
In addition to the studies of cancer, Government-funded investigations in the 1980s found no association with birth defects around two ReChem waste incinerators in Wales5, 6, 7 and Scotland8, 9, although no firm conclusion could be drawn in the Scottish study 9 about the occurrence of the eye defect microphthalmos.
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1 Elliott P, Hills M, Beresford J, Kleinschmidt I, Jolley D, Pattenden S, Rodrigues L, Westlake A, Rose G. Incidence of cancers of the larynx and lung near incinerators of waste solvents and oils in Great Britain. Lancet. 1992;339(8797):8548.
3 Elliott P, Eaton N, Shaddick G, Carter R. Cancer incidence near municipal solid waste incinerators in Great Britain. Part 2: histopathological and case-note review of primary liver cancer cases. Br J Cancer. 2000;82(5):11036.
4 Department of Health, Food Standards Agency. Committees on toxicity, mutagenicity and carcinogenicity of chemicals in food, consumer products and the environment. Annual Report 2000. Committee on carcinogenicity of chemicals in food, consumer products and the environment statement on cancer incidence near municipal solid waste incinerators in Great Britain. London: Department of Health, Food Standards Agency, 2001. Br J Cancer. 2000 Mar;82(5):11036 Also available at the following website address: www.advisorybodies.doh.gov.uk/coc/munipwst.htm
5 Welsh Office. The incidence of congenital malformations in Wales, with particular reference to the district of Torfaen, Gwent. A Welsh Office review of notifications made to the Office of Population, Censuses and Surveys. Cardiff: Welsh Office, 1985.
6 Welsh Office. The incidence of congenital malformations in Wales, with particular reference to the district of Torfaen, Gwent. An updated analysis of notifications to the Office of Population, Censuses and Surveys. Cardiff: Welsh Office, 1987.
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