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7 Feb 2006 : Column 1173W—continued

Aylesbury Vale PCT

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the policy implications for her Department of the growth in population in Aylesbury Vale. [39672]

Caroline Flint: In relation to the policy on allocating revenue funds to primary care trusts (PCTs), ensuring that a robust population base is used to allocate funds is a primary consideration.

The revenue allocations for 2006–07 and 2007–08, announced in February 2005, are based on Office for National Statistics (ONS) population projections. These data are the best available population data, which properly take account of growing populations.

In addition, in conjunction with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM), a Growth Area Adjustment" was included in the 2006–08 revenue allocations for designated ODPM growth areas. This adjustment supports those PCTs that will experience considerable population growth as a direct consequence of additional housing development in the growth areas. The Vale of Aylesbury PCT received a growth area adjustment within its 2006–08 revenue allocation. This adjustment is based on the additional increase in population, over and above ONS figures, that is due to the Government initiative.

Childhood Vaccinations

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list vaccinations routinely given to infants. [48260]

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Caroline Flint: This information is available on the Immunisation for Life's website at:

Clinical Services

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information she collects on the extent to which provision of clinical services is outsourced or undertaken by private sector or community sector partners; and in which (a) primary care trusts and (b) NHS trusts (i) clinical services and (ii) management is provided other than by directly employed staff. [45452]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 25 January 2006]: The annual financial returns of national health service trusts, primary care trusts and health authorities show the total expenditure on services provided by all non-NHS bodies, including local authorities, other statutory bodies, and the independent sector.

Contract and activity monitoring information is collected on the centrally procured independent sector elective and diagnostic treatment programmes.

Continence Services

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment she has made of progress by NHS and social care organisations in developing integrated paediatric continence services; [34827]

(2) what discussions her Department has had with the Department for Education and Skills concerning the implementation of the National Service Framework for Children in respect of paediatric continence services. [34829]

Mr. Byrne: The assessment of availability and access to effective, and quality led health care, and the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, form a part of the Healthcare Commission's duties. The national service framework (NSF) for children provides a standard for determining progress with establishing integrated community-based paediatric continence services, by reference to a continence Essence of Care" best practice tool. The Department has regular contact with the Department for Education and Skills on the means by which children who have health care needs may be supported in schools and early years settings, as part of achieving the goals of the NSF. The Department has also funded the voluntary organisation Promocon to draft guidance for the use of schools, relating to children with continence problems.

Crack Cocaine

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many crack cocaine users are in tier four residential drug services. [47718]

Caroline Flint: In 2004–05, 511 individuals were reported to the national drug treatment monitoring service in tier four treatment with the main problem drug of crack cocaine. Of these, 115 were in inpatient treatment and 396 were in residential rehabilitation. In the same year, 969 people were reported in tier four treatment with crack as their secondary drug of use—368 in inpatient treatment and 601 in residential rehabilitation.
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Darent Valley Hospital

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons venereal disease treatment at Darent Valley Hospital has been reduced; and if she will make a statement. [43261]

Caroline Flint: Primary care trusts (PCTs) are responsible for providing sexual health services which meet the needs of their local populations, and decisions about the level of services will be agreed in the context of other health priorities.

I understand from inquiries made with Kent and Medway strategic health authority that some short-term changes have been introduced at the Darent Valley Hospital clinic, but that services are being managed in a way that minimises any impact on the public.

In planning the local delivery of services, PCTs must work towards the targets to improve access to genitourinary medicine (GUM) and reducing sexually transmitted infections set out in the public health White Paper. The Department is allocating £145 million nationally to PCTs to improve access to GUM services. Sexual health has now been identified as one of the top six priorities for the national health service in 2006–07.

Drug Treatment Programmes

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many Government employees are involved in delivering treatment for abuse of illegal drugs. [47724]

Caroline Flint: The Government do not employ staff in drug treatment directly.

The National Treatment Agency reported that the number of people working in the drug treatment sector in England has increased from 6,794 in March 2002 to 10,106 in September 2005. These are employed by the national health service and a range of voluntary sector agencies.

Drug Users

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding has been available in each of the last five years for the treatment of problem drug users. [44117]

Caroline Flint: The Department and the Home Office have combined the funding provided centrally for drug treatment. Known as the 'pooled treatment budget', this money is allocated to the 149 drug action teams (DATs) across the country. This budget has increased from £142 million in 2001–02 to £300 million in 2005–06.

The pooled treatment budget allocation since 2001 is shown in table 1.
Table 1: Pooled treatment budget allocation, 2001–02 to 2005–06

Amount (£ million)

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The 149 DATs also receive funding from the local organisations that form part of the DAT. This includes primary care trusts (PCTs), local authorities (LAs), strategic health authorities (SHAs) and probation services. The National Treatment Agency monitors how this money is spent.

In addition to this investment a substantial amount of mainstream funding is made available. Estimates of these amounts for the past five years are shown in table 2.
Table 2: Estimated funding, 2001–02 to 2005–06

Amount (£ million)

(40) Local funding increases based on two per cent, inflation increase.

In addition to the money spent directly on delivering treatment, central and local government funding is also spent on improving access to treatment and supporting drug misusers after they come out of treatment, for example social services aftercare and supporting people grant.

GM Safety Research

Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what Government-funded studies were carried out to ascertain the safety of genetically modified products intended for animal or human consumption since 1999; what the cost to public funds of such studies were; and what steps she plans to take as a result of these studies; [47560]

Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the Government-funded feeding studies designed to ascertain the safety of GM products intended for animal or human consumption which have been undertaken since 1999; what the cost to public funds has been of such studies; and what action to safeguard public health she plans to take as a result of such studies. [48681]

Caroline Flint: The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has commissioned work under three research programmes relevant to the safety of genetically modified (GM) foods. The current programme began in 2005 and aims to ensure that the most up to date scientific knowledge is used in the mandatory safety assessment of GM and other types of novel foods. Prior to April 2000, food safety research was the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food (MAFF). The cost of the research funded by MAFF and the FSA into issues related to GM food safety during 1999 to 2005 was £9.72 million.

Four of these projects involved experiments where ingredients from GM plants were fed to human volunteers or farm animals in order to examine the fate of the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) present in the plant material. The cost of these projects from 1999 onwards was £0.62 million.
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Details of the individual research projects are presented in the annual reports of the FSA's research and surveys programmes, which are available in the Library, and also from the FSA's website. The results have provided reassurance that the most up to date science is applied to the safety assessment of GM foods, and they lay the foundations for the possible application of new technologies such as proteomics in the future. No action is planned on the basis of this research.

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