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Parliamentary Questions

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to answer the question tabled on 16 January by the hon. Member for Northavon, on dental practices, ref 43373. [55014]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: A reply was given on the 1 March 2006.


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether she has accepted the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Pesticides in relation to systematic surveillance of chronic diseases linked to pesticide exposure. [52078]

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.

Departmental officials have been discussing with the pesticides safety directorate and the Health Protection Agency issues of common interest with respect to the report. Officials are awaiting advice from the committee on toxicity of chemicals in food, consumer products and the environment, which will be considered in addition to the recommendations given by the advisory committee on pesticides before a response is published.

Post-exposure Prophylaxis

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress her Department has made in ensuring every (a) sexual health clinic and (b) accident and emergency unit is able to offer post-exposure prophylaxis to patients; and if she will make a statement. [48477]

Caroline Flint: The development of services for people with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections continues to be undertaken within the context of devolving decisions about the allocation of resources to strategic health authorities and primary care trusts (PCTs). This provides new freedoms and responsibilities for the commissioning and prioritisation of health care to local health bodies that are closest to the people they serve, and best placed to respond to their needs.

To support them, however, the Department funded The Medical Foundation for AIDS and Sexual Health to produce the Recommended Standards for NHS HIV Services", published in 2003. This states that:

These standards were disseminated to PCT sexual health leads in England.

Improving access to and awareness of post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) also forms part of our broader, national, sexual health policy and HIV prevention
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work, which targets those most at risk of infection. We have funded the Terrence Higgins Trust to do national awareness-raising of PEP for men who have sex with men, which is the group most at risk of HIV transmission occurring in the United Kingdom.


Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health at what price her Department expects to secure Prevenar for the NHS; and what steps have been taken to ensure security of supply. [49683]

Caroline Flint: The contract that has been agreed provides for sufficient vaccine for the routine programme and the catch-up and includes penalty clauses to ensure security of supply. The manufacturer is confident that it can provide the necessary quantities of vaccine.

Sexual Health

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people accessed genito-urinary medicine clinics in each of the last five years. [54216]

Caroline Flint: Data on the number of people accessing genito-urinary medicine (GUM) clinics in England are not held centrally. The table shows the number of diagnoses made and other services provided at GUM clinics in England for males and females between 2000 and 2004. The data represent the number of first attendances for each condition or item of service provided in each quarter.
Number of diagnoses and other items of service provided (work load) at genitor-urinary medicine (GUM) clinics in England by sex: 2000–04

Total diagnoses260,283309,021569,304
Total work load272,499300,780573,279
Total diagnoses276,971330,724607,695
Total work load323,168349,994673,162
Total diagnoses294,942348,738643,680
Total work load403,244427,869831,113
Total diagnoses313,482359,749673,231
Total work load657,583718,2561,375,839
Total diagnoses330,789367,164697,953
Total work load750,358804,4021,554,760

1. Total diagnoses: only the first diagnosis of a condition is recorded for each patient in every quarter. This category includes all A, B, C and E KC60 codes
2. Total work load: only the first presentation of a condition is recorded for each patient in every quarter. This category includes all D, P and S KC60 codes
KC60 Returns

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Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the take-up rate has been for the chlamydia screening test pilot scheme launched in 2005 in conjunction with Boots; and how many samples (a) have been returned and (b) tested positive. [54217]

Caroline Flint: As of 15 February 2006 the total kits issued is 11,261 with samples returned currently running at 5,267. The number of positive results is 531.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the waiting times for an appointment at a genito-urinary medicine clinic in England were in (a) 2004 and (b) 2005, broken down by primary care trust. [54219]

Caroline Flint: Waiting times data for genito-urinary medicine clinics in England in 2004 and 2005 by primary care trust area of residence has been placed in the Library.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the Answer of 26 January 2006, Official Report, column 2340W, if she will provide a breakdown of the number of cases of (a) chlamydia, (b) gonorrhoea, (c) syphilis, (d) genital warts and (e) genital herpes diagnosed in genito-urinary medicine clinics in England from 1997 to 2004 by primary care trust area. [54440]

Caroline Flint: The available data breaking down the number of cases of chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, genital warts and genital herpes has been published on the Health Protection Agency's website at: uk/infections/topics_az/hiv_and_sti/epidemiology/dataresource.htm.

Data are presented by strategic health authority and are only available from 2000.


Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what studies have been (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated by her Department on the potential dangers to health from the inclusion of sugar in foodstuffs; and if she will list make a statement. [42626]

Caroline Flint: The Department has not commissioned any recent research. A useful summary of relevant research is contained in the article Dietary Effects on Dental Disease" published in volume four of the journal Public Health Nutrition (pages 569–91).

Although sugars are not directly related to the development of cardiovascular disease or diabetes, increased consumption could increase the intake of food energy. Energy intake in excess of energy expended can lead to obesity. In predisposed people, foods high in sugar could have undesirable metabolic effects such as elevation of blood glucose and insulin concentrations. Furthermore, sugar is the most important cause of tooth decay.

Telecommunications Masts

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether her Department has commissioned follow-up work to the Stewart Report on the health effects of mobile telephone masts; [52694]
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(2) if she will make a statement on Government policy concerning the health effects of 3G base stations. [52695]

Caroline Flint: The Stewart Report in 2000 comprehensively reviewed the scientific literature and concluded that

More recently, Mobile Phones and Health 2004", reiterated the Stewart Report's conclusions noting that

Both the above reports, however, recommended a precautionary approach to the use of mobile phone technology pending the availability of more robust scientific research results. The reports are available on the Health Protection Agency's radiation protection division's (HPA-RPD) website at

The HPA-RPD periodically evaluates the worldwide scientific research relating to mobile phone technology and health including that relevant to new and emerging technologies such as third generation (3G) mobile phones. In response to the Stewart Report recommendations, the independently managed Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) programme is supporting a number of studies into the possible health effects of mobile phone technology in general and these are described on the MTHR website at Following the results of Dutch research, in 2003, on 3G base station exposures apparently showing a health effect, the MTHR programme decided to support work at the University of Essex into the symptoms experienced by 3G base station exposures on volunteers. Similar studies of 3G exposures are also being replicated in other countries.

All mobile phones and base stations in this country comply with international guidelines that are based on comprehensive reviews of the scientific literature. Measurements undertaken by both the HPA and by Ofcom ( have consistently shown that exposures to radio signals from base stations, including those from 3G stations, are lower than the international guidelines.

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