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Caroline Flint [holding answer 20 October 2005]: The Government supports the principle of mandatory ingredient listing for all alcoholic drinks and awaits proposals from the European Commission on the review of food labelling legislation, which is expected to cover this issue. Full ingredient listing would include the requirement for a quantitative declaration of any fruit juice used as an ingredient in alcoholic drinks. There are no plans for separate proposals that would require a minimum fruit content for cider and perry.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether patients taking a medicine as part of a clinical trial have the right to continue taking the medicine if clinically appropriate following its approval by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency if the medicine has not been subject to an appraisal by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. 
The Medicines for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations 2004 require that an application to an ethics committee for a trial must include information about plans for the treatment and care of patients once their participation in the trial has ended. The absence of an appraisal by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is not in itself a reason to stop providing a treatment to patients once a trial has ended.
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Caroline Flint [holding answer 20 October 2005]: The responsibilities of the health authorities (HAs) and local authorities (LAs) in the area of communicable disease control depends on the seriousness of the threat to health.
In England, the HAs with responsibilities are the strategic health authorities (SHAs), national health service trustsprimary care trusts (PCTs), acute hospital trusts, ambulance trusts, mental health trustsand NHS Direct.
arrangements for the optimum care for those affected, including ability to mobilise and direct health care resources to local hospitals at short notice to support them and to sustain patients in the community should hospital services be reduced or compromised for a period;
arrangements to decide which routine NHS work can be dropped or modified, for example, what business will not be continued as usual. These arrangements should include appropriate bodies with lay representation to debate and agree in public difficult rationing decisions;
plans for emergency vaccination programmes according to UK guidelines, including an estimate of local vaccine and antiviral needs and arrangements for ensuring the vaccine and antivirals are distributed and administered appropriately;
arrange to have laboratories investigate influenza like illness, isolate strains of influenza, test antimicrobial susceptibility of secondary bacterial infections and report findings for local and UK surveillance according to UK-wide agreed protocols;
powers for the local authority/its proper officer, or equivalents, to request a person not to work with a view to preventing the spread of infection, to require a child who has been exposed to infection not to attend school and to place restrictions on children's places of entertainment;
In less serious cases of communicable disease such as food poisoning outbreaks or cases of legionnaires disease, the LA environmental health officers will have responsibility for investigating the outbreak.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will set out the dates on which (a) the abolition of community health councils was first proposed, (b) the legislation abolishing community health councils secured Royal Assent, (c) community health councils ceased operation, (d) patient forums commenced operation, (e) the proposal to merge patient forums was first made and (f) she expects the mergers will be complete. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
The abolition of community health councils (CHCs) was first proposed in the NHS Plan in July 2001. The National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Bill secured Royal Assent on 25 June 2002, and CHCs ceased operation on 1 December 2003.
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Patient forums commenced operation on 1 December 2003. The proposal to merge patients' forums was made in the Government response to the consultation on the future support arrangements for patient and public involvement in health (PPI) published on 15 March 2005. However, the Government recommendations have been subsequently put on hold pending the results of the current strategic review of PPI.
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