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Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many outpatient appointments were missed (a) in England and (b) in each NHS trust in the most recent year for which figures are available; how many appointments with a general practitioner were missed (i)in England and (ii) in each primary care trust in the most recent year for which figures are available; what proportion of the total number of appointments this represented in each case; and what estimate she has made of the cost to the NHS of such missed appointments. 
The total number of missed outpatient appointments for the year 200405 in England was 5,707,288, or 11.3 per cent. Data for individual trusts are available in the Library.
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The Department has not made an estimate of the cost of such missed appointments. However, the new choose and book system, which is being implemented across the national health service will help give patients greater certainty and choice over the time and date of their hospital appointment and will help to reduce the number and cost of missed appointments.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to reduce exposure to the brominated flame retardant PBDE; and if she will make a statement on levels of this chemical in the bloodstream. 
Caroline Flint [holding answer 27 June 2005]: The brominated flame retardant Pentabromodiphenyl ether (PBDE) has been banned in the European Union since 15 August 2004 under the EU's marketing and use directive for all uses, except for a temporary derogation until March 2006 for its use in aircraft emergency evacuation slides. This ban is implemented in Great Britain by Statutory Instrument 2004/3278 and in Northern Ireland by SI 2004/509.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will provide support to individuals with reading difficulties who could benefit from using plano lenses; and if she will make a statement. 
Although there are indications that some children and adults with reading difficulties may benefit from tinted lenses, these need to be provided as part of a proper scheme of assessment and treatment or many people could receive them unnecessarily.
National health service help through optical vouchers is for people who, following a sight test, have been given a prescription to correct a defect of sight. Parents of children with reading difficulties are encouraged to have their sight tested by an optometrist to check that there are no refractive problems or eye disease which may be contributing to the difficulties. The NHS provides children under 16 with free sight tests at community opticians' premises.
Mr. Byrne: Plano tinted lenses may be prescribed by the hospital eye service for patients who have a recognised clinical need for them. These lenses could be prescribed to help someone with multiple sclerosis, if this was felt to be necessary.
Caroline Flint: The financial plans for 200506 have not yet been finalised, but national health service organisations are expected to plan to live within their revenue resource, capital resource and cash limits each and every year.
Jane Kennedy: The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital National Health Service Trust is currently progressing their proposals to redevelop the hospital. The £121 million scheme is a single-phase development of modern, purpose built, facilities linked to the provision of a new clinical service model, involving the re-provision of buildings that are more than 60 years old. The scheme will provide:
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) 50 to 64-year-olds, (b) 65 to 74-year-olds and (c) over 75-year-olds were diagnosed with schizophrenia in each of the last five years. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Information is not available in the requested format. Information on the number of live discharges with a primary psychiatric diagnosis of schizophrenia of people aged 50 to 64 years, 65 to 74 years and over 75 years at the end of episode in each of the last five years is shown in the table.
1 Diagnoses are made using chapter five (mental and behavioural disorders) of the 10threvision of the international classification of diseases (ICD-10). The relevant codes used here are F20 to F29: schizophrenia, schizotypal and delusional disorders.
|Age at end of episode|
|50 to 64 years||65 to 74 years||75 years|
|All live discharges|
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what research she has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on whether there is a link between the use of illegal substances and the spread of sexually transmitted infections and diseases; 
Caroline Flint: The Department keeps all of its sexual health promotion work under review, taking account of emerging research evidence to ensure the effectiveness of health promotion messages, using the best means to reach our target audience.
The Department commissioned the national addiction centre to review the evidence of harms associated with drugs of abuse and to summarise this in the Department's publication, Dangerousness of drugs", which was published in September 2003.
This reports that a number of illicit drugs are associated with disinhibition and unsafe sexual practices including amyl nitrite and other nitrites, amphetamine type stimulants and novel synthetic drugs, such as MDMA/Ecstasy or GHB, opiates, benzodiazepines, volatile solvents, and that there is a possibility of high risk sexual behaviour in cocaine use.
The Department is currently developing its major new media campaign to promote safer sex, and this will be firmly based on the evidence base. Primary care trusts are responsible for undertaking sexual health promotion which meets the needs of their local populations and the Department supports them in this work by publishing best practice guidance on sexual health promotion, which includes work with drug users, and commissioning services.
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