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Sir Malcolm Rifkind: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her latest estimate is of the number of people who have had to sell their homes to pay for their long-term elderly care since 1997. 
Since October 2001, councils have been able to enter into a deferred payments agreement. The aim is to allow people with property, but without income and other assets sufficient to meet their full assessed contribution, to have a legal charge placed on their property to meet any shortfall. Hence, people are able to keep their homes on admission to residential care and for the duration of the deferred payments agreement.
There are a number other of measures in place to avoid people being forced to sell their former homes to pay for their residential care. These are set out in the National Assistance (Assessment of Resources) Regulations 1992 and the Charges for Residential Accommodation Guide (CRAG).
Local councils must ignore the value of the property where it continues to be occupied by the resident's spouse or partner; a lone parent with a dependent child who is the resident's estranged or divorced partner; another relative who is over 60 or who is incapacitated; or a child under 16 whom the resident is liable to maintain. Councils also have the discretion to disregard the value of the property in any other circumstances that they consider reasonable. For example, this discretion might be used where a former carer continues to live in the property.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether her Department was consulted by Oxford primary care trust about its decision to expand a pilot scheme offering free morning-after pills to teenagers to cover 24 pharmacies in their region; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: This is a local decision. There are a large number of schemes running in England and Wales where emergency contraception is being supplied to women of all ages free of charge in pharmacies. In these schemes emergency contraception is issued to women by pharmacists using a patient group direction under national health service arrangements. While the Government supports the development of these schemes, the decision to establish pharmacy supply under a patient group direction is a matter for local decision.
Jane Kennedy: The General Nursing Council ceased to exist in the late 1970s. It became the United Kingdom Central Council, which in turn gave way to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in 2003. The NMC does not have any statutory responsibility for visiting hospitals or any other health care providers.
Mr. Havard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions have taken place between the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group and the Scottish Medicines Consortium on (a) the dissemination of best practice and (b) steps to minimise duplication and improve cost and clinical effectiveness of new medical technologies and treatments. 
The All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) was established in October 2002 and appraises new drugs for use within Wales as interim guidance prior to the final publication of NICE appraisals. The AWMSG does not appraise medicines that have already been considered by NICE or on which NICE will soon publish guidance.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health at which sites the Health Protection Agency operates; how many full-time equivalent staff work at each site; what the specialisms of the agency are at each site; and what plans she has for the HPA in her review of non-departmental bodies. 
Caroline Flint [holding answer 14 July 2005]: A list of sites at which the Health Protection Agency (HPA) currently operates and the whole-time equivalent staff numbers at each site has been placed in the Library. Data are not collected for the specialisms at each site. The specialisms and numbers of staff in each specialism for the HPA as a whole are shown in the table.
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Following the review of arm's length bodies, our intention for the HPA is that, subject to legislation, it will take on the functions of the National Biological Standards Board. The HPA was created as a United Kingdom non-departmental public body on 1 April 2005.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of overall funding to improve eating habits in 200506 is allocated to improving children's
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diets; and how much she plans to allocate to (a) improving eating habits and (b) improving children's diets in each of the next five years. 
Mr. Byrne: Choosing a Better Diet", a food and health action plan published on 9 March 2005 sets out the Government's strategy to improve people's health through improved diet and nutrition. £183.1 million has been allocated in 200506 to improving eating habits, of which £173.5 million has been specifically allocated to improving children's diets. Funding for each of the next five years has not yet been allocated.
Information on how many hip replacement operations were performed in each of the last five years, broken down by local authority boundaries, is available on the National Centre for Health Outcomes Development website at: www.nchod.nhs.uk
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate has been made by the (a) Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and (b) her Department of the amount of medicine purchased by the public through illicit means; and what the 10 most common medicines purchased in this way are according to the most recently available figures. 
Jane Kennedy: The criminal investigation unit of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) investigates all suspected breaches of medicines legislation brought to its attention. Examples of illicit purchases include the internet, pubs, clubs, boot fairs and by mail order. Illicit sales by their nature involve hidden transactions for which records are not usually kept and occur outside of the tightly regulated and monitored licensed system. The MHRA and the Department therefore have no estimates for these types of purchases.
The illegal sales that the MHRA has investigated predominantly involve lifestyle drugs which include those to treat erectile dysfunction, obesity, hair loss and anti-smoking. Erectile dysfunction medicines include Viagra, Cialis, Levitra and Uprima which are all licensed for supply in the United Kingdom. However, unlicensed generic versions coming mainly from India and China have been and are being investigated.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate has been made by the (a) Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and (b) her Department of the amount of undetected counterfeit medicine products within the legitimate UK supply chain. 
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), as the United Kingdom regulatory authority for medicines and medical devices, has made no such estimate.
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As part of its anti-counterfeiting strategy, the MHRA is extending its existing Medicines Market Surveillance programme, which currently targets medicines at the point of retail, to further target medicines across the whole of the legitimate UK supply chain. Over a period of time, this will provide evidence of the existence or not of counterfeit medicines in the legitimate UK supply chain. The extended market surveillance programme is being supported by key stakeholders such as the pharmaceutical industry, trade groups, patient groups, distributors and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) and is a good example of collaborative work in this area.
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