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Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether a limit is placed on the number of pills that can be dispensed with a repeat prescription. 
Jane Kennedy: There is no such limit. Prescriptions are based on clinical need and the professional judgment of the prescriber.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the Department's research and development goals and priorities. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 13 July 2005]: The scope of the Department's research and development programme and its current priorities, are described in chapter 8 of the Government's science and innovation investment framework, published in July 2004. The framework document is available in the Library and can be found on the Treasury internet site at www.hm-treasury.gov.uk.
The Department will consult publicly on proposals for a new national health research strategy later in the summer.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her reply of 14 July 2005, Official Report, column 1200W, on right to life, whether the Government's commitment to the NHS offering equal access for all includes the right to life; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
The Human Rights Act came into force on 2 October 2000 and incorporates into United Kingdom law certain rights and freedoms set out in the European Convention on Human Rights. This includes the right to life.
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Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many members of staff are employed to provide diagnostic scanning services by Alliance Medical on the site in Middlesbrough. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 19 July 2005]: The information requested is not centrally available. Staffing of the mobile scanning units is a matter for Alliance Medical Ltd.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many admissions there were to NHS trusts due to incidents at the seaside in each year since 1997, broken down by NHS trust. 
Mr. Byrne: The information requested is not centrally available.
Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much (a) fluoxetine, (b) sertraline, (c) Escitalopram oxalate, (d) Citaopram, Fluvoxamine, (e) Maleate and (f) Paroxetine costs per patient; and what the budget for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors is in 200506. 
Jane Kennedy: The information is not available in the form requested. The Department does not hold data on the number of people who receive medication and cannot attribute a cost per patient for a particular drug. The Department does not set budgets for primary care trust (PCT) expenditure on selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and PCT expenditure for 200506 is unknown.
Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research she has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated into the side effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors; and if she will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: I refer the hon. Member to the reply Igave him on Monday 4 July 2005, Official Report, columns. 22728W.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many beds in Milton Keynes general hospital are available for patients with severe neck trauma; and whether beds are reserved for local patients. 
Ms. Rosie Winterton:
Data is only available on the total number of beds at Milton Keynes General National Health Service Trust, not by this speciality. Beds are not reserved for local patients; all patients are accommodated if the hospital trust has capacity due to clinical need. Patients who require specific neurological deficit specialist care and patients with fractured spines who require surgery would be transferred to Stoke Mandeville hospital, which is part of the Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust. Stable fractures would remain with Milton Keynes General NHS Trust.
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David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many days the Department has lost due to sickness in the past five years for which figures are available. 
Jane Kennedy: The data on sickness within the Department is contained in the annual report, Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service", published by the Cabinet Office. Table A of the report gives details of both the average working days absence per staff year and the number of staff years on which that calculation is based. The most recent, for calendar year 2003, was announced by my right hon. Friend, the then Minister for the Cabinet Office (Ruth Kelly) in a written ministerial statement on 1 November 2004, Official Report, column 1WS. Copies were placed in the Libraries. Reports for 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 are available on the Cabinet Office website at:
We remain committed to managing sick absence effectively and to putting in place the recommendations of the recently published Managing Sick Absence in the Public Sector".
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 9 June 2005, Official Report, column 633W, on nurses, what information she holds on the causes of the pain that accounted for 40 per cent. of sickness absence in the national health service. 
Mr. Byrne: The Department does not hold information on the causes of the pain that accounted for 40 per cent. of sickness absence in the national health service. The figure is derived from information collected by and reported to the Health and Safety Executive.
The Back in Work" campaign is, however, informed by a number of partner organisations, including the Health and Safety Executive and staff representative bodies, which recognise that manual handling is a cause of sickness absence in the NHS. As part of the campaign, guidance is provided on risk assessments, mechanical aids and safer lifting and handling techniques through continuous staff training and monitoring.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the size is of the stockpile of vaccines for smallpox held by the UK Government; what her estimate is of the optimum number of vaccines required to respond to alert level four of the smallpox vaccination plan; what the shelf life is of the vaccines she has stockpiled; what procedures she has in place to replenish the stockpile of vaccines after their expiry; and if she will make a statement. 
The United Kingdom Government have sufficient smallpox vaccine to mount a mass vaccination campaign of the whole population. The optimum number of vaccines needs to be sufficient to vaccinate all those in the population for whom vaccination is not contra-indicated and we have sufficient vaccine for this.
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There are three different vaccines with shelf-life dependent upon the date of manufacture. Upon expiry of shelf-life, these vaccines are subject to a programme of testing and have been found to meet standards of potency and stability and remain suitable for use beyond their stated shelf-life. There are no plans to replace existing vaccine stocks subject to them meeting current standards of use.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to ensure that local bodies' smallpox plans adhere to the national framework laid out in the operational planning framework for smallpox mass vaccination published on 24 June. 
Caroline Flint: Progress on local health contingency planning for a range of potential threats is monitored through the performance management arrangements for national health service organisations.
In addition, each health authority has been questioned separately about its preparedness to deal with smallpox as part of the Government's audit of contingency planning arrangements and a further audit is proposed later this year.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many trained vaccinators able to administer the smallpox vaccination there are in the UK; and what the minimum number of trained vaccinators required to respond to alert level four of the smallpox vaccination plan is. 
Caroline Flint: The Department's contingency planning for smallpox includes the setting up of regional smallpox response teams who have been vaccinated against smallpox.
Corresponding arrangements are being made for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This cohort of health care workers would be the first responders in investigating any suspected or confirmed cases of smallpox and therefore need to be protected against the threat of disease.
To date, we have vaccinated 276 health care workers.
For mass vaccination, our plans include arrangements for rapid training of suitable and sufficient personnel by those already trained and vaccinated to undertake mass vaccination in each area within five days of the decision to implement mass vaccination.
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