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14 July 2006 : Column 2139W—continued

Romania

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will make a statement on the human rights situation in Romania. [84728]

Mr. Hoon: Romania has made strides in improving its human rights situation since the fall of Ceausescu in 1989. The prospect of EU membership has been a vital driver for human rights reform. Some concerns remain, such as the treatment of Roma, conditions in mental health institutions, discrimination and intolerance experienced by members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and the number of children in institutional care. Further details, including Global Opportunities Fund projects to assist Romania in its efforts, can be found in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Human Rights Annual Report which is available on our website:

Sickness Absence

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 24 May 2006, Official Report, column 1866W, on sickness absence, how many staff in her Department have had two or more periods of sick leave of less than five days in two or more of the years for which she has provided figures. [84040]


14 July 2006 : Column 2140W

Mr. Hoon: 789 staff have had two or more periods of sick leave of less than five days within two or more of the Financial Years reported: 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06.

Szeklerland

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions the UK Government has had in the last 12 months with the (a) Hungarian and (b) Romanian Governments regarding the state of Szeklerland. [84726]

Mr. Hoon: The Government have had no discussions in the last 12 months on this issue with the Hungarian or Romanian Governments.

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the status of Szeklerland has been a part of discussions regarding the accession of Romania to the EU. [84727]

Mr. Hoon: The status of Szeklerland has not been part of discussions regarding Romania’s EU accession. However, the Romanian Government are aware that it needs to continue to satisfy the Copenhagen Criteria, which guarantee “respect for and protection of minorities” such as the ethnic Hungarian minority in Szeklerland.

Health

Abortion

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many abortions were notified as being carried out in England in each year since 1996 on women whose normal place of residence was (a) France, (b) Germany, (c) Italy, (d) Ireland, (e) Spain, (f) Israel, (g) Malta, (h) Isle of Man and (i) the United States of America. [83203]

Caroline Flint: The information requested is shown in the table. It is also available on the Department’s website at: www.dh.gov.uk/PublicationsAndStatistics/Statistics/StatisticalWorkAreas/StatisticalPublic Health /fs/en for 2002-05 data and at: www.statistics.gov.uk/StatBase/Product.asp%3Fvlnk%3D68%26Pos% 3D2% 26ColRank%3D2%26Rank%3D640 for 1996 to 2001 data.


14 July 2006 : Column 2141W

14 July 2006 : Column 2142W
Number of abortions to non residents of selected countries, 1996 to 2005
Country of residence 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005

France

1,073

887

435

332

299

199

176

109

53

38

Germany

56

74

71

67

48

33

46

25

16

19

Italy

427

433

395

394

416

389

302

294

266

232

Irish Republic

4,894

5,340

5,891

6,226

6,391

6,673

6,522

6,320

6,217

5,585

Northern Ireland

1,573

1,572

1,581

1,430

1,528

1,577

1,391

1,318

1,280

1,164

Spain

66

52

39

32

32

17

35

36

33

27

Israel

(1)

(1)

(1)

(1)

(1)

(1)

(1)

(1)

(1)

(1)

Malta

61

64

59

49

67

57

69

47

67

54

Isle of Man

160

174

133

180

177

139

170

134

152

161

USA

22

19

17

19

29

35

21

20

18

26

(1) Less than 10

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the abortion rate was per 1,000 women aged 15 to 49 years in each health authority in England and Wales in 2005. [85146]

Caroline Flint: This information is contained within table 10b of the Statistical Bulletin 2006/01, “Abortion Statistics, England and Wales: 2005”. Copies have been placed in the Library and also on the Department of Health website at www.dh.gov.uk/assetRoot/04/13/68/59/04136859.pdf

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research her Department (a) has undertaken and (b) plans to undertake into the reasons for trends in the abortion rate in England between 2004 and 2005; and if she will make a statement. [85160]

Caroline Flint: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given on 21 March 2006, Official Report, column 250W.

The 2005 abortion statistics showed the abortion rate per 1,000 resident women aged 15 to 44 and the under 18 and under 16 abortion rates stayed the same as in 2004. In addition, more abortions were performed at an earlier gestation and there were less late abortions. The Statistical Bulletin 2006/01, “Abortion Statistics, England and Wales: 2005” is available in the Library and also on the Department’s website at: www.dh.gov. uk/assetRoot/04/13/68/59/04136859.pdf

Accident and Emergency Departments

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which accident and emergency departments have (a) closed and (b) been downgraded in each of the last three years. [80728]

Ms Rosie Winterton: National health service trusts self-report the number of accident and emergency (A and E) services they provide against definitions set by the Department for the three types of A and E. This is not collected at the level of individual hospitals. A number of trusts reported a change in the number of type one (major) A and E departments for the period requested and this information is shown in the table. This was the position at the end of March for each year.

Type one A and E department closed/downgraded

2003-04

United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust

2004-05

East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust

2005-06

North Bristol NHS Trust Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust Ashford and St. Peters Hospitals NHS Trust

Notes:
As at end March of the relevant year.
If a NHS trust closes/downgrades a type one A and E department and opens another type one A and E department within the same period, our data would not be able to show this.
We cannot provide a further breakdown of whether the department was closed or downgraded from a type one A and E department.
Northumbria Health Care NHS Trust opened a new type one A and E department during 2003-04.
Source:
Department of Health dataset, QMAE

Acute Hospital Services

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether her Department has advised NHS trusts that proposed solutions for reconfiguring acute hospital services should be tested in trials before they are introduced. [85377]

Andy Burnham: The Department’s advice on service reconfiguration is set out in the 2003 publication, “Keeping the NHS Local—a New Direction of Travel”, and subsequent policy advice such as a recent letter to the national health service advising that proposals for service reconfiguration must have rigorous business cases with integration and benefits plans and clear accountability to drive quality and financial improvements within the NHS.

Alcohol Misuse (Funding)

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the allocation of £15 million for tackling alcohol misuse is planned to be repeated in future years. [83926]

Caroline Flint: The £15 million allocated to primary care trusts to improve alcohol services is a recurrent revenue allocation for 2007-08 onwards.

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the £15 million funding for treatment of alcohol misuse in 2007-08 will be allocated. [83927]

Caroline Flint: £15 million has been allocated to all primary care trusts (PCTs) on a weighted capitation basis to improve alcohol services from 2007-08 onwards. The Department announced 2007-08 revenue allocations to PCTs in February 2005.


14 July 2006 : Column 2143W

Avian Influenza

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent steps she has taken to prepare for a potential outbreak of avian influenza. [82760]

Caroline Flint: The Department, in collaboration with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has well-developed plans in place for the protection of public health in the event of an outbreak of avian influenza.

DEFRA has published its exotic diseases contingency plan which contains the guidance on public health protection in an outbreak for workers and others who might be exposed to infected birds. This is available on DEFRA’s website: www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/diseases/notifiable/disease/avianinfluenza-contplan.htm.

DEFRA also publishes and regularly updates risk assessments on the threat to UK of introduction of H5N1 from birds and its latest publication, “Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 situation in Europe and potential risk factors for the introduction of the virus to the United Kingdom”, can be found at: www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/diseases/notifiable/disease/ai/latest-situation/index.htm

The Department recently commissioned a report from the HPA: “Addressing a Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment (QMRA) of the Risks Posed to UK Public Health by Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5NL”.

The Department and DEFRA have published guidance on the handling and disposing of dead garden and wild birds.

Supplies of the anti-viral Tamiflu have been made available in each region for rapid administration to those who may be exposed to infection.

Advice for clinicians on how to deal with patients who may have been infected with avian influenza is available on the HPA’s website: www.hpa.org.uk/infections/topics_az/influenza/avian/guidelines.htm

Advice for travellers on reducing their risk of exposure to minimise risk of bringing back infection has been published on the Department’s website. Regular travel updates concerning affected countries is available at: www.nathnac.org/.


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