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Public Consultation

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many Your Health, Your Care, Your Say events are planned; and what population each is intended to cover. [23834]

Mr. Byrne: Four regional events were held in Gateshead, Leicester, London and Plymouth, where the audiences reflected the adult populations for the surrounding area. A national citizens' summit was held in Birmingham with the 998 participants broadly reflecting the adult population of England. In addition, a series of locally organised events have been taking place around England, attended by people from local populations, while some voluntary organisations have held their own meetings, which have included people in seldom heard groups.

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether representations from members of the public to her Department concerning proposals to alter healthcare provision by Suffolk West Primary Care Trust will be considered as part of the Your Health, Your Care, Your Say consultation exercise; [23225]

(2) how many members of the public from the Sudbury area of Suffolk have been selected to take part in the Your Health, Your Care, Your Say consultation exercise. [23227]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The provision of healthcare in Suffolk West is a matter for the Suffolk West Primary Care Trust and its local residents can contribute to the consultation, Modernising Healthcare in West Suffolk" until 12 December. Members of the public can
 
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take part in the Your Health, Your Care, Your Say consultation in various ways, including an online questionnaire at: www.nhs.uk/yoursay.

Information on how many members of the public from the Sudbury area of Suffolk have been selected to take part in the Your Health, Your Care, Your Say consultation exercise is not available.

Pulmonary Disease

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the availability of pulmonary rehabilitation for those suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. [24310]

Mr. Byrne: In England, health professionals in primary care trusts are responsible for determining which health services their local population requires, including pulmonary rehabilitation, and ensuring provision of these services. Data regarding the availability of local services for individual medical conditions is not collected centrally.

Radiotherapy

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether she plans to measure waiting times for radiotherapy. [23965]

Ms Rosie Winterton: We have no plans to introduce data collection to measure radiotherapy waiting times. The NHS Cancer Plan set out maximum waiting time targets for cancer treatment, which include radiotherapy where this is given as a first definitive treatment. Standards of a maximum wait of one month from diagnosis to first treatment and a maximum two month wait from urgent general practitioner referral to first treatment for breast cancer are already in place. From December 2005, these targets will be in place for all cancer patients.

Schizophrenia

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the incidence of death from a respiratory infection in people with schizophrenia compared with the standardised mortality rates for respiratory infection. [24025]

Ms Rosie Winterton: While no assessment has been made by the Department, an independent study by Harris and Barraclough—British Journal of Psychiatry (1998), 173, 11–53—describes the increased risk of premature death from natural and unnatural causes for the common mental disorders. Analysing six studies which looked at respiratory disease as cause of death among patients with schizophrenia, the standardised mortality ratio was found to be significantly raised.

In the Choosing Health" White Paper, 2004, the Government recognise the importance of physical health care for people with severe mental illness. This is why £7 million has been allocated to Spearhead primary care trusts to support them in improving physical health checks for this group.
 
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Shropshire Health Authority

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff were employed in communication roles in Shropshire Health Authority in October. [25335]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Shropshire and Staffordshire Strategic Health Authority employs three people in communications roles.

Smoking

Mrs. Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many submissions she received following the recent consultation on banning smoking in public places; how many submissions supported the Government's preferred option; and how many submissions supported the option which would ban smoking in all enclosed workplaces and private members clubs and bars and pubs not selling food. [24045]

Caroline Flint: We received over 57,000 responses to the consultation on the Smokefree Elements of the Health Bill. We intend to publish a summary of the results shortly.

Social Care Services

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she initiated her review of health and social care regulation; what the remit of the review is; who is carrying out the review; when she expects the review to be completed; whether it will be published; whether the results will be subject to public consultation; and when she expects to lay before Parliament the legislation needed to enact the results of the review. [23113]

Jane Kennedy: I refer the hon. Member to the Written Ministerial Statement I made on 19 October 2005, Official Report, columns 56–57 WS.

The review was initially announced by the Government in the Chancellor's budget report in March 2005. The terms of reference for the review were published on 19 October. Any plans for further legislation, should that be needed, will be announced in the Queen's Speech next year as usual.

Sun Beds

Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations her Department has received from cancer charities about coin-operated sunbed tanning retail outlets. [20813]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department is aware of concerns expressed by Cancer Research UK about the use of coin-operated sunbeds in tanning retail outlets, particularly where they are unsupervised. The charity is keen that there should be clear notices wherever sunbeds are used describing those most at risk of skin cancer and advising against their use, especially for young people under 16 years. Cancer Research UK is currently itself in discussions with the sunbed industry about self-regulation and about improving information for both staff and customers, including the displaying of
 
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information. The Health and Safety Executive also issued guidelines in 1995 on the use of sunbeds both for operators and customers, with the recommendation that the guidance should be made available to the public.

Swale Primary Care Trust

Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dentists serve the Swale Primary Care Trust area. [24620]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 3 November 2005]: As at 30 September 2005, there were 33 national health service dentists with either a general dental services or personal dental services contract within Swale Primary Care Trust.

SOLICITOR-GENERAL

Iraq

Peter Law: To ask the Solicitor-General what discussions his Department has had with the Information Commissioner since April in respect of outstanding applications for information on the policy formulation of the Attorney-General's opinion on the legality of military action against Iraq made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. [25507]

The Solicitor-General: The Government do not comment on cases which are or may be under consideration by the Information Commissioner.

Police

Simon Hughes: To ask the Solicitor-General if he will review the policy on prosecutions of police officers following deaths following action taken by police officers in the execution of their duty. [25983]

The Solicitor-General: The Police Reform Act 2002 as amended by the Serious and Organised Crime Act 2005 and the Police Act 2005 creates a statutory duty on the police to refer to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) incidents when persons have died following some form of direct or indirect contact with the police and there is reason to believe that the contact may have caused or contributed to the death. It is then for the IPCC to oversee the investigation into the death with the appropriate level of external supervision.

The evidence will be considered by the IPCC to decide whether the evidence indicates that a person whose conduct was under investigation may have committed a criminal offence. If the IPCC decides that this threshold has been reached then the file should be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service to consider whether or not any individual should be charged.

A Crown prosecutor will then review the evidence against the guidance contained in the Code for Crown Prosecutors. The Code has two stages to a decision to prosecute.
 
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The prosecutor will first consider whether or not there is enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction against each defendant on each charge. In undertaking this consideration of the evidence the prosecutor must consider what the defence case may be, including a defence case of self-defence, and how that is likely to affect the prosecution case.

If the case does pass the evidential test then the reviewing prosecutor must consider whether a prosecution would be in the public interest. The prosecutor will consider what if any public interest factors may weigh either in favour of, or against, a prosecution. A prosecution will usually take place unless there are public interest factors tending against a prosecution, which clearly outweigh those tending in favour.

The policy guidelines set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors are kept under review. The last review, which included a public consultation exercise, took place in 2004 with the current edition of the Code having been published in November 2004. It is a publicly available document issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions under section 10 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985. There are no immediate plans for the Code to be reviewed.


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