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Sheep Meat (Radioactive Contamination)

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether restrictions in place to prevent contaminated sheep meat entering the human food chain in areas of the countryside affected by radioactive contamination following Chernobyl have been lifted. [45970]

Caroline Flint: Restrictions on the sale, movement and slaughter of sheep, arising from the Chernobyl nuclear accident, remain in place in limited areas of
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Cumbria and Scotland, plus parts of North Wales. The last restrictions in place in Northern Ireland were removed in April 2000. The following table shows the numbers of farms and estimated sheep numbers remaining under restriction, as of 1 January 2006.


Mr. Wills: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what national targets she has set for reducing the percentage of pregnant women who smoke. [45526]

Caroline Flint: The 1998 White Paper, Smoking Kills", sets a specific national target for smoking during pregnancy, to reduce the percentage of women who smoke during pregnancy from 23 percent. to 15 percent. by the year 2010; with a fall to 18 percent. by the year 2005". The latest data used to monitor this target comes from the infant feeding survey, which takes place every five years. The results for 2000 show that, in England, 19 percent., of pregnant women smoked. Results for 2005 are due in 2007.

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much smoking-related illnesses have cost the NHS in each of the last five years. [46602]

Caroline Flint: The information is not available in the form requested.

The latest data on the cost to the national health service of treating illness and disease caused by smoking is estimated to cost between £1.4 billion to £1.7 billion every year in terms of general practitioner visits, prescriptions, treatment and operations.
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Surrey and Sussex NHS Healthcare Trust

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much per day the turnaround team at the Surrey and Sussex NHS healthcare trust will cost (a) the trust, (b) the strategic health authority and (c) central departmental funds. [46742]

Caroline Flint [holding answer 30 January 2006]: The turnaround teams were announced by the Secretary of State in a written ministerial statement on 1 December 2005, Official Report, columns 36–37WS. The teams will comprise of experts with a mix of commercial and national health service turnaround skills.

The first stage of this is a baseline assessment, the aim of which is to ensure there is an agreed understanding of the local financial problem and that actions are in hand to address this.

The contract for the baseline assessment was awarded to consultants KPMG. Surrey and Sussex healthcare NHS trust's assessment was included in this assessment. The value of this contract is commercial in confidence.

Following the baseline assessment a tailored package of turnaround support will be agreed by the local NHS. This will be paid for by the local NHS. I do not hold details of these agreements.

Tuna (Mercury Levels)

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment she has made of the level of mercury in (a) tinned tuna and (b) tinned yellowfin tuna. [45981]

Caroline Flint: A survey published by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in 2003 found that the mean level of mercury in canned tuna sold in the United Kingdom was 0.19 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg). All the samples were below the statutory limit for mercury in tuna of one mg/kg. The only sample of canned yellowfin in the survey had one of the lowest mercury levels found in canned tuna (0.05 mg/kg). The FSA advice is that pregnant women and women who intend
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to become pregnant should limit their consumption of tuna to no more than four medium size cans per week or two fresh tuna steaks.

Vulnerable Adults

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many individuals are on the protection of vulnerable adults list; [44898]

(2) how many referrals have been made to the protection of vulnerable adults list since it was established; and how many referrals have resulted in a name being added to the list. [45511]

Mr. Byrne: The legislation underpinning the operation of the protection of vulnerable adults (POVA) list is the Care Standards Act 2000, which sets out the criteria for referring people to the list and for deciding whether to include a person on the list. As at 31 December 2005, the latest date for which figures are available, there have been 3,448 referrals made to the POVA list, which was established on 26 July 2004.

Overall, there are 288 individuals confirmed as being unsuitable to work with vulnerable adults and they have been placed on the list. There are also 1,228 people provisionally listed who are subject to further investigations and cannot work in a regulated social care position in the interim.

Waiting Times

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) average and (b) longest waiting time was for an out-patient appointment at each of the hospitals run by Hammersmith hospitals NHS trust in the last year for which figures are available. [45948]

Jane Kennedy: The Department does not hold the information in the format requested.

However, the table shows waiting times for first out-patient appointments following general practitioner written referrals, for Hammersmith hospitals national health service trust, for each quarter from December 2004 to September 2005.
Waiting times for first out-patient appointment following GP written referral, Hammersmith hospitals NHS trust

Effective length of wait from receipt of GP written referral request to first out-patient attendance (weeks)
Quarter0 to <44 to <1313 to <1717 to <2121 plusMedian wait (weeks)
December 20043,7064,4612,048006.8
March 20053,4934,4612,433007.4
June 20053,2903,9532,173007.2
September 20054,0214,9392,127306.8

Department of Health form QM08