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Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to the United Arab Emirates on discrimination on grounds of colour against UK citizens visiting the United Arab Emirates; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: The Government take any allegations of racial discrimination against British citizens seriously. For reasons of confidentiality we cannot give details of specific consular cases in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). However, our embassy in Abu Dhabi has followed up complaints of discrimination on behalf of British nationals with the UAE Department of Immigration, police and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer to question 73626, how many complaints have been received relating to UK embassy visa sections in (a) Romania, (b) India, (c) Pakistan, (d) Federation of Russia, (e) Bulgaria, (f) Saudi Arabia and (g) Kenya. 
Dr. Howells: The number of complaints relating to visa sections over the last five years are as follows. UKvisas has only recorded complaints received in the United Kingdom separately since March 2006 so these figures are only included for this year.
|(1) Statistics not available for this period. (2) Figures for deputy high commissions in Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai only. No data available for these years for the high commission in New Delhi. (3) Information not available for visa sections in Pakistan. Formal procedures are now in place at our high commission in Islamabad and deputy high commission in Karachi to record all complaints. (4) Complaints received in the UK only. (5) Figures for the Consulate-General in Jeddah only. No data available for these years for the embassy in Riyadh.|
Kitty Ussher: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of ambulances deployed from Burnley Ambulance Station have had a paramedic on board in each month of the last five years. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action has been taken by her Department in response to the recommendations from the Select Committee on the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill [Lords]; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Select Committee on the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill was set up to consider the previous draft of Lord Joffes Private Members Bill and made its recommendations in that context. The Bill involves issues of conscience and the Governments stance is to remain neutral and to listen to the debate.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions she has had with the World Health Organisation on the outbreak of A/H5N1 in a family cluster in Kubu Sembelang, North Sumatra. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Departmental officials are in regular contact with the World Health Organisation regarding outbreaks of avian flu impacting on human populations. Pandemic flu planning was a topic for discussion at the World Health Assembly held on 22 to 27 May during which time there were a number of contacts between officials and the Secretariat about the development of the outbreak in Northern Sumatra.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which Minister in her Department is responsible for monitoring her Department's compliance with its duty under section 74 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 to have regard to the purpose of conserving biological diversity in carrying out its functions; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: Under Section 74 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, Ministers and Government Departments have a duty to have regard to the purpose of conserving biological diversity. This has been replaced by a similar provision under Section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act which comes into effect on the 1 October 2006. There is no statutory duty to monitor compliance with this duty.
The conservation of biological diversity falls under part H of the framework for sustainable development on the Government estate. The Department does not manage any land and its potential impacts on biodiversity are not significant. Nevertheless, our indoor plant management contractors are required to follow best practice to preserve biodiversity.
In September 2003, the Department recognised that the need to switch to the superior nucleic acid amplification test (NAATs) for chlamydia testing and screening should be treated as a priority. At the same time, the chief medical officer wrote to all chief executives of strategic health authorities (SHAs) confirming this.
£7 million pump-priming money was invested in 2004-05 to ensure that all major laboratories in each region of England use the most effective technology. We have invested £80 million in the national chlamydia screening programme. One of the conditions is that all tests are undertaken using NAATs.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Revisions to the general medical service (GMS) contract from 1 April 2006-07 include a reward for general practitioner practices, through a directed enhanced service (DES), for utilisation of the choose and book service and for delivering choice to patients.
The full value of the DES is 96 pence per registered patient. There are approximately 53.3 million registered patients in England. Assuming that every practice in England meets the full requirements of both components of the DES, the value of the DES in 2006-07 could be just over £50 million, which is funded as a relatively small part of the growth in overall resource allocations to primary care trusts.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what cost-benefit analysis her Department has undertaken of the use of non-invasive laparoscopic surgery techniques for the treatment of colorectal cancer; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
The Department has commissioned a research project to consider the costs
and benefits of current services for bowel cancer, including laparoscopic surgery, and to identify areas where improvements might be achievable. This research is being conducted by York health economics consortium and the School of Health and Related Research at Sheffield University and is due to report in the autumn.
In addition, on 24 March, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published provisional new advice on the use of laparoscopic colorectal surgery. It recommends laparoscopic (including laparoscopically assisted) resection as an alternative to open resection for patients with colorectal cancer who are considered suitable for surgery. NICEs final advice on this technique is due to be published in September 2006.
Departmental officials have also carried out a review of existing evidence on the costs and benefits of laparoscopic surgery in the treatment of colorectal cancer and considered whether there is a need for further research in this area. It was concluded that, given the York/Sheffield project and the work being carried out by NICE, no further work was required at this time. This decision was endorsed by the bowel cancer advisory group chaired by the national cancer director.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The total number of laparoscopic surgery procedures for colorectal cancer carried out each year since 2003-04 is shown in the table. These figures do not represent the total number of patients, as a person may have more than one episode of care within the year.
|Laparoscopic surgery procedures for colorectal cancer|
Ms Rosie Winterton: Community responders are volunteers from the local community and often include members of St John Ambulance, Red Cross and other individuals with a clinical background. First responders are individuals working for the fire and police services, who also respond to ambulance 999 calls while on duty. In all cases, responders are deployed by a national health service ambulance trust to appropriate 999 calls.
Community and first responders in England make themselves available to respond to appropriate 999 calls at the request of a NHS ambulance trust and to provide aid to the patient while the ambulance response is en route, having been dispatched at around the same
time as the ambulance vehicle. Calls are usually those where life is in immediate danger such as cardiac arrest. Responders are trained in basic life support and have equipment such as defibrillators.
Andy Burnham: The Department is determined to secure best value from NHS expenditure. A key area is the nearly £15 billion the national health service spends on goods and services. No recent formal guidance has been issued to the NHS on reducing costs with contractors.
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the managing director of the strategic health authority covering West Worcestershire will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire of 2 May. 
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