|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Caroline Flint: The Department does not currently have any specific plans to conduct a population biomonitoring programme, although it is having discussions with the Health Protection Agency on the feasibility of biomonitoring projects for chemical contaminants that includes pesticides. The Health Protection Agency is currently carrying out a scoping study, which will ascertain what biomonitoring programmes are currently underway in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when (a) the Health Protection Agency and (b) her Department will establish a public health toxicology service to deal with chemical issues; and whether it will include pesticides. 
The United Kingdom's National Poisons Information Service, commissioned by the Health Protection Agency, provides advice on potential cases of poisoning to medical practitioners. The service does not provide advice to the public, although it is recognised that systems in other European countries do provide this service. Advice to the public on what to do in suspected cases of poisoning is available from NHS Direct.
7 Dec 2005 : Column 1424W
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the recent oral evidence from the Department to the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, what the evidential basis was for the statement that pesticide use has not increased. 
Caroline Flint: The statement that pesticide usage has not increased, made by a Departmental official while giving oral evidence to the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, was based on evidence provided in the National Statistics, Pesticide Usage Survey Report 202 on Arable Crops in Great Britain 2004", which is available on the Central Science Laboratory's (CSL) website at www.csl.gov.uk/science/organ/pvm/puskm/arable2004.pdf and on the National Statistics, Pesticide Usage Survey Report 195 on Outdoor Vegetable Crops in Great Britain 2003", also available on CSL's website at www.csl.gov.uk/science/organ/pvm/puskm/outdoorveg2003.pdf.
Caroline Flint: The Department will be contributing to the Government response to the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution's report, Crop Spraying and the Health of Residents and Bystanders", which is being co-ordinated by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. This is likely to include the commission of new research but details are yet to be decided. Departmental officials have been discussing with the pesticides safety directorate issues of common interest with respect to the report.
Mr. Andy Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions she has held with professional rugby clubs about developing community rugby programmes to tackle obesity and increase participation in physical activity; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: We are keen to encourage both rugby codes to work in partnership with local authorities, primary care trusts and other local partners to promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles in the community.
I attended an event to disseminate the results of the Professional Rugby in the Community Consultation" and showcase some of the excellent community work being undertaken by premier rugby clubs, which was hosted by Premier Rugby Ltd. on 9 November 2005.
Premier Rugby Ltd. were invited to give a presentation setting out professional rugby's commitment to community development at the first of the regional sport and health seminars organised on behalf of the Department on 25 November 2005 in Leeds, at which I also spoke.
Prior to these events my officials met with representatives of Premier Rugby Ltd. to discuss how professional rugby clubs and the national health service might work together at a local level to increase physical activity and tackle obesity.
7 Dec 2005 : Column 1425W
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether she plans to monitor adherence to the clinical guidance published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence on pressure ulcer management, published in September; and what plans she has to monitor the uptake of vacuum assisted closure technologies as recommended by the guidance; 
Mr. Byrne: Clinical guidelines published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) are recommendations on the appropriate treatment and care of people with specific diseases and conditions within the national health service. They are based on the best available evidence. Guidelines help health professionals in their work, but they do not replace their knowledge and skills.
We have no plans to monitor the uptake of vacuum-assisted closure technologies as the NICE guidance stated that the findings on the effectiveness of such technology must be viewed with extreme caution due to limited trial-based evidence.
Reducing the incidence of pressure sores in hospitals is tackled locally through the development and implementation of individualised plans for prevention and treatment agreed and delivered by a multidisciplinary team working with patients and their carers.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether decisions by primary care trusts to divest themselves of service provision will be based on the results of the Your Health, Your Care, Your Say" consultation. 
Mr. Byrne: Any move away from direct provision of services will be a decision for the local national health service within the framework set out in the forthcoming White Paper, Your Health, Your Care, Your Say", and after local consultation. We will support primary care trusts (PCTs) who want to do that, but we will not instruct PCTs to do it, nor will we impose any timetable. What matters is getting the best services for each communityand that is what the White Paper will focus on.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the salary is of the chief executive of each Cheshire primary care trust; and what estimate she has made of the likely cost of their redundancy packages. 
This information is not held centrally. However, Cheshire and Merseyside Strategic Health Authority advises that salaries of primary care trust chief executives are already in the public domain via annual
7 Dec 2005 : Column 1426W
reports. No final decisions regarding the reconfiguration of primary care trusts, under 'Commissioning a Patient-Led NHS', have been made.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the share of NHS provision for private patients has been as a percentage of the total private medical market in each of the last 10 years. 
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has (a) to change staffing levels in national pulmonary arterial hypertension centres in England and (b) to increase the number of such centres. 
Mr. Byrne: There are no plans to increase the number of specialist centres for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension (PH) in England. It is for health professionals in the existing seven centres to decide on the appropriate staffing levels needed to achieve the national service standards for PH, as set by the national specialist commissioning advisory group.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether school nurses are permitted to sign prescriptions for contraceptives for minors without parental knowledge; and if she will make a statement. 
Health professionals, including school nurses, can provide contraception to young people under 16, provided they are satisfied that the young person is competent to fully understand the implications of any treatment and to make a choice of the treatment involved. When doing so, school nurses work under medical supervision through Patient Group Directionsa written instruction for the supply or administration of medicines to groups of patients, without an individualised doctor's prescription.
Health professionals work within an established legal framework, which involves assessing the young person's competence to understand the choices they are making. A young person's request for confidentiality is respected unless there are child protection issues. However, health professionals should always encourage the young person to talk to their parents.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|