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International Recruitment of Health Workers

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many recruitment agencies have signed the Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Workers in each of the past five years for which records are available. [44440]

Mr. Byrne: NHS Employers is responsible for monitoring the code of practice on international recruitment and maintains a register of international recruitment agencies that comply with the code.

A revised code was published in December 2004, which tightened arrangements for locum recruitment and the private sector and made it a requirement that all agencies supplying permanent and temporary healthcare professional staff to the national health service comply with the code of practice.
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The number of agencies on the NHS Employers list is shown in the table.
NHS Employers list(27)

(27) As a list of agencies compliant with the code of practice was not established until 2003, data cannot be provided prior to this date.
(28) The reduced number in 2005 reflects in part the effect of mergers in the commercial recruitment agency sector.

Lyme Disease

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many specialist consultants in England are involved in the treatment of extreme cases of Lyme disease. [46384]

Caroline Flint [holding answer 30 January 2006]: As of June 2005, 111 consultants in infectious diseases were employed in the national health service in England. They have the principal role in the treatment of Lyme disease of differing levels of severity. In addition, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) employs 118 consultants in communicable disease control who have a role in the diagnosis of Lyme disease.

All of these consultants have rapid and easy access to the HPA's Lyme Borreliosis specialist diagnostic service for confirmation of diagnosis of Lyme disease in accordance with internationally agreed diagnostic criteria.

Mental Health Services

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment she has made of the level of funding for mental health services in (a) Cambridgeshire and (b) Peterborough. [33478]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department assesses annually the investment in mental health services published in the national survey of mental health services. The report details the level of investment by strategic health authorities (SHAs) in adult mental health services and compares it with results reported in previous years. The latest national survey for 2004–05 showed Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire SHAs7 planned investment in mental health services per head of weighted working age population was £169.551 million. This is an increase of £27.283 million on the previous year.

The analysis in the report is derived from the detailed finance mapping exercise co-ordinated by local implementation teams as part of the regular adult mental health review process undertaken each autumn.

A copy of the National Survey of Investment in Mental Health Services 2004–05" s available at the Department's website at: or by contacting:

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Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many supervisors of midwives there have been in England in each year since 1997. [45735]

Mr. Byrne: This information is not collected centrally.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council collates statistics on the number of practising midwives per supervisor. This information is available on the Nursing and Midwifery Council's website at

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance her Department has issued on financial payments by NHS trusts to supervisors of midwives. [45843]

Mr. Byrne: The NHS Terms and Conditions of Service Handbook provides that employers may use their discretion, subject to partnership arrangements, to reward staff undertaking statutory, regulatory duties performed outside of those required by the job description and/or measured by the NHS Job Evaluation scheme.

Ministerial Meetings

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which (a) maternity, (b) children's and (c) young people's organisations the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Care Services has met since his appointment. [33109]

Mr. Byrne: I have met the following maternity, children's and young people's organisations:

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And the Donna Louise Trust in a personal capacity.

In addition, I will be meeting the Children's Society in the new year.

Mobile Phone Masts

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research has been evaluated by her Department into the health effects of non-thermal pulsed microwave radiation associated with mobile telephone masts. [47303]

Caroline Flint: The independent expert group on mobile phones (IEGMP), under Sir William Stewart produced the Stewart Report in May 2000 and its principal conclusion in relation to exposures to radiofrequency radiation (RF) from base stations (masts) was that

A more recent report, 'Mobile Phones and Health 2004', reviewed measurements of exposures to radiofrequency radiation from masts (or base stations) made by Ofcom and by National Radiological Protection Board and noted that they were consistent with those available at the time of the Stewart Report 2000. These reports are available on the Health Protection Agency's website at

It had been noted that concern had been expressed about exposures to pulsed fields. However, a 'Review of Scientific Evidence for Limiting Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields' (0–300 GHz) was published in 2004 (Docs NRPB Vol. 15 No. 3 2004) in support of its 'Advice to Government on Exposure Guidelines for EMFs'. This review included a consideration of possible biological effects of exposure to pulsed radiofrequency fields. Overall, no convincing and consistent evidence in support of low-level pulsed fields having detrimental effects was found.

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans the Government have to undertake research into the health effects of non-thermal pulsed radiation associated with mobile telephone masts; [48000]

(2) whether her Department has (a) conducted and (b) commissioned research into the effects of non-thermal pulsed radiation associated with mobile telephone masts. [48001]

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Caroline Flint: Mobile phone base stations and handsets comply with national and international guidelines that were introduced to prevent thermal effects from exposure to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMF). The guidelines have been based on extensive scientific reviews by the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and, in this country, the Health Protection Agency (HPA). This includes consideration of non-thermal effects in tissues and a variety of pulsed signals at the levels normally encountered from mobile phone technology in use today. Independent measurements near base stations (masts) have demonstrated that RF exposures are very much lower than the guidelines (

In response to recommendations for continuing research, the mobile telecommunications and health research (MTHR) programme, jointly funded by Government and industry, has supported about 30 individual studies to investigate the potential health effects of RF exposures from mobile phone technology. A description of the programme and the individual studies is available on its website at The studies in the MTHR programme concentrate largely on the exposures from the mobile phone handsets because these exposures are considerably higher than those from base stations.

Worldwide research is evaluated periodically by the WHO and the HPA's radiation protection division. The report, 'Mobile Phones and Health 2004', available on the HPA's website at, noted that there are continuing concerns about the impact of base stations on health and well-being

The report recommended

In line with this recommendation, the MTHR programme is supporting a number of studies in relation to base stations.

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