|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the (a) Minni Minawi and (b) Abdul Wahid al-Nur factions of the Sudanese Liberation Movement/Army. 
Ian Pearson: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary addressed representatives of all the Parties, including both factions of the Sudanese Liberation Movement/Army, at the Darfur peace talks in Abuja on 14 February 2006. He pressed the parties to make faster progress, to implement the cease-fire and called for the leaders of all the movements to attend the talks.
Following my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary's speech, Minni Minnawi returned to the talks on 22 February, and the leader of the Justice and Equality Movement, Dr Khalil Ibrahim, arrived on 12 March. This was the first time all three leaders had all been in Abuja since June 2005. Our Special Representative to the talks in Abuja, Dr Rod Pullen, regularly meets the representatives of all the parties to urge them to move rapidly towards a political settlement.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has received on the government in Khartoum's approach to (a) the extension of the African Union mission and (b) the deployment of a UN mission in Darfur. 
Ian Pearson: On 10 March 2006, the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) decided to extend the mandate of its mission in Darfur (AMIS) to 30 September 2006, and to support in principle the transition of AMIS to the UN.
On 12 March, the Government of Sudan welcomed the decision to extend the AMIS mandate, and announced it was setting up a committee to examine the PSC's report in full. However, in recent interviews Vice President Taha has noted his opposition to UN deployment in Darfur.
We have made clear to the Government of Sudan that we expect them to co-operate with the existing AMIS mission, and with the transition to a UN force. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development underlined this point during his recent visit to Khartoum. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and my noble Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for Africa, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, reiterated this to the Sudanese Foreign Minister when he visited London last month. We will sustain this pressure.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer to the right hon. and learned Member for North-East Fife (Sir Menzies Campbell) of 7 December 2005, Official Report, column 1397W, on Syria, what developments there have been in the trial of Dr. Kamal al-Labwani in Syria; and whether further representations have been made by UK officials to the Government of Syria regarding his fair and proper treatment. 
There have been no developments in the trial of Dr. Labwani, nor has the UK made any further representations to the Government of Syria since my hon. Friend the Minister for the Middle East gave the answer to the right hon. and learned Member for North-East Fife (Sir Menzies Campbell) on 7 December 2005 Official Report, column 1397W. We will continue to
23 Mar 2006 : Column 577W
monitor developments in Dr. Labwani's case closely and are discussing with our European colleagues how to take forward representations on this issue.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of infection with the bacteria Acinetobacter were reported in the NHS in Wales in (a) 2004 and (b) 2005; and what the most recent data is which she has collected on the reported number of infections in England and Wales in 2005. 
Jane Kennedy: The Health Protection Agency's centre for infections receives reports of Acinetobacter species blood stream infections (bacteraemias) that are voluntarily reported by microbiology laboratories in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) for what reasons (a) the St. Bartholomews' private finance initiative (PFI) scheme has been approved and (b) the Broomfield Hospital PFI scheme has not yet received approval; and what the effect was of the recent ruling by the Treasury on each scheme; 
Jane Kennedy: We announced on 26 January 2006 that all trusts would need to confirm their capital investment plans through a reappraisal process, including where applicable private finance initiative (PFI) schemes. The aim of this process is to ensure that all schemes properly take account of the current reforms to the national health service such as choice, a movement of services into primary and community settings, the new financial regime as well as long-term affordability, assumptions on efficiency gains and income growth.
The PFI scheme at Barts and the London NHS Trust was very close to financial close when this announcement was made, and indeed had already been the subject of close scrutiny in the weeks before the announcement. As a result of further discussions between the Department and the trust and their private sector partners the original plans were revised and have formed an addendum to the full business case (FBC).
23 Mar 2006 : Column 578W
Departmental officials will shortly be writing to all trusts with PFI schemes letting them know how the reappraisal process will work. Schemes such as the one at the Mid-Essex Hospital Trust, which are closer to financial close, will be focused on first. The trust may incur some additional costs in carrying out this work, but this will be more than offset by the savings which will be realised by the reappraisal exercise.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the circumstances were in which operations scheduled with the Birkdale Clinic in Daventry after 28 February were cancelled and the clinic's ongoing contract with the NHS terminated; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: In February 2006, the Daventry and South Northants Primary Care Trust, the national health service sponsor of the NHS Treatment Centre, supported by the Department and the Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland Strategic Health Authority, served a notice of termination on the grounds that Birkdale Clinic (Rotherham) Ltd., the provider, had not secured the necessary Healthcare Commission registration for endoscopic procedures.
Birkdale Clinic disputed the allegation that it did not have the necessary registration and disputed any right to terminate the contract on those grounds. However, the parties have agreed that the contract should end on 28 February. The parties are cooperating to ensure that there is no, or minimal, impact for patients arising from the end of the contract.
(3) if she will list the programme hub and testing centres commissioned by NHS Cancer Screening Programmes in readiness for the implementation of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme; 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government have stated their commitment to a National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. On 30 January 2006, the new Health White Paper, Our health, our care, our say: a new direction for community services" reaffirmed that the programme will be rolled out from April 2006. Departmental budgets for 200607 are currently under consideration by Ministers, and resolution is expected by the end of March 2006.
Five programme hubs across England will invite men and women to participate in the screening programme, send out the faecal occult blood (FOB) testing kits,
23 Mar 2006 : Column 579W
interpret kits and send results out. 90 to 100 local screening centres will provide endoscopy services for the 2 per cent. of men and women who have a positive FOB test result.
NHS Cancer Screening Programmes are currently assessing where the five programme hubs will be located. The English bowel cancer screening pilot site at the Hospital of St. Cross, Rugby, Warwickshire, is expected to become the first programme hub when national roll-out begins. It is hoped to establish the other four programme hubs by March 2007, with announcements to be made in due course.
NHS Cancer Screening Programmes are taking all the necessary action to ensure that successful roll-out of the programme, including the procurement of testing kits. Following a formal tendering exercise, a preferred provider of the testing kits has been selected. An order will be placed for the delivery of the kits in time for the commencement of the programme.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|