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Mr. Benyon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what training (a) medical and (b) non-medical staff receive to be able to serve those with learning difficulties who use the NHS; and if she will make a statement; 
Mr. Byrne: The training of medical and non-medical staff in serving those with learning difficulties who use the national health service is a matter for the relevant professional bodies and the NHS. The Department is not responsible for setting curricula for health professional training, but we do share a commitment with statutory and professional bodies that all health professionals are trained, so that they have the skills and knowledge to deliver a high quality health service to all groups of the population with whom they deal.
The Department does discuss the overall direction of training content and will be working closely with the disability rights commission and other key stakeholders to assist the development and implementation of the disability content of a comprehensive equality and human rights learning and development programme for all NHS staff.
The Department has not made any specific steps to ensure that all those with a learning disability have that disability recorded on all medical records and NHS documents, However, we would expect this information to be put on records where it is a significant factor affecting their clinical care.
Jane Kennedy: The Government have been in discussion with the profession of psychotherapy for some time regarding the introduction of statutory regulation. Decisions about further progress will be taken once the review of non-medical regulation has reported to Ministers at the end of the year.
The Department currently has three executive and related agencies: NHS purchasing and supply agency, NHS connecting for health and medicines and healthcare products regulatory agency. These three agencies spent a total of approximately £108,000 on rebranding since 200304.
2 Nov 2005 : Column 1156W
The Department's branding team developed a branding policy and guidelines for the Department's executive agencies and arms length bodies which were sent to the bodies following the publication of An Implementation Framework for Reconfiguring the DH Arm's Length Bodies" (30 November 2004).
In 200304, the Department had three other executive and related agencies: NHS pensions agency, NHS estates, and NHS modernisation agency. All these agencies followed the standard national health service corporate identity and did not rebrand before they changed status or were dissolved.
Mr. Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the (a) scope and (b) scale of illegal sales of potentially toxic prescription-only skin whitening creams. 
Jane Kennedy: The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is aware that products containing medicines designated as prescription-only are being sold for cosmetic skin lightening purposes. Reports of their illegal sale have come to our attention through trading standards departments at local authorities and consumers who have suffered adverse reactions.
Prescription-only medicines are potent by nature, and for this reason, their supply is restricted to patients who have been issued with a prescription from a doctor or another appropriate practitioner. In this way, their condition may be monitored. Sale and supply of these medicines outwith specified conditions can be a criminal offence and the MHRA will investigate all potential breaches of medicines law.
In April 2000, the Medicines Control Agencythis was prior to the merger with the Medical Devices Agency and emergence of the MHRAconducted an initiative whereby a number of wholesalers/retailers of these products were identified and enforcement action was taken. In 95 per cent. of the visits, compliance was achieved and products withdrawn from the market.
Intelligence suggested that, following MHRA action, large scale wholesale operations ceased but suitcase trade" persisted. This situation has been monitored in the intervening period and action has been taken in a number of instances, with reports from both trading standards and Her Majesty's Customs.
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Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what standards she has set for the provision of services in sterile services units; and what steps she is taking to improve the delivery of sterile services within the NHS. 
Jane Kennedy: The standards set for sterile services are contained in Core Standard C4 in Annex AStandards for Better Health of National Standards, Local ActionHealth and Social Care Standards and Planning Framework 2005/06 to 2007/08", a copy of which is available in the Library.
Over £130 million has been spent on replacing equipment, improving working conditions in existing sterile services departments (SSDs) and buying new instruments to facilitate centralisation since April 2001. In order to sustain the improvement and enable the national health service to meet the existing standards on the reprocessing of instruments, many of the existing SSDs will be replaced completely.
Many NHS trusts are choosing to redevelop their sterile services by forming joint ventures with private sector providers. 18 such projects are under way, involving some 80 NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts.
|Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire||154,772||124,233||144,297|
|Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire||97,706||40,541||41,068|
|Birmingham and The Black Country||289,812||245,723||262,244|
|Cheshire and Merseyside||208,150||158,778||182,356|
|County Durham and Tees Valley||141,449||114,891||125,793|
|Cumbria and Lancashire||436,695||424,989||65,022|
|Dorset and Somerset||58,850||39,600||47,368|
|Hampshire and Isle of Wight||169,543||114,322||137,721|
|Kent and Medway||59,890||10,575||132,565|
|Leicestershire, Northants and Rutland||123,892||99,967||119,248|
|Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire||237,026||184,331||209,383|
|North and East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire||88,302||38,042||45,611|
|North Central London||196,310||175,194||188,929|
|North East London||224,019||213,821||236,880|
|North West London||219,237||172,920||184,199|
|Northumberland, Tyne and Wear||103,762||84,153||91,082|
|Shropshire and Staffordshire||66,508||32,589||32,946|
|South East London||188,553||187,252||192,706|
|South West London||123,601||107,135||112,853|
|South West Peninsula||126,281||81,021||112,180|
|Surrey and Sussex||244,288||169,414||76,194|
|West Midlands South||75,497||40,099||43,492|
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