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24 July 2006 : Column 1096W—continued


Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin

Mr. Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health why her Department is not renewing its contract to provide the journal Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin to doctors and therapeutic advisers in England. [73867]

Andy Burnham [holding answer 5 June 2006]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire (Mr. Lansley), on 5 June 2006, Official Report, column 366W.

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate has been made of the number of local NHS organisations which will bulk subscribe to the Drugs and Therapeutic Bulletin following the ending of the NHS-wide subscription; [86770]

(2) what guidance she plans to issue to NHS managers responsible for deciding whether to purchase a bulk subscription to the Drugs and Therapeutic Bulletin for their local NHS organisation. [86771]

Andy Burnham: The Department has made no such estimate and has no plans to issue guidance to the national health service. I understand that Which? Limited, the publishers of the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin are examining a range of possible future subscription arrangements.

East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust

Mr. Howard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the financial out-turn of the East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust was in each year since 1997; and if she will make a statement. [85366]

Caroline Flint: The following table provides the financial outturn of the East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust since 1999 to 2004-05.The first available data for this trust is for 1999-2000.

£000

1999-2000

-1,197

2000-01

601

2001-02

600

2002-03

-11,371

2003-04

65

2004-05

453

Source:
Audited summarisation schedules of:
East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust (1999-2000 to 2004-05)
Provisional outturn for East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust (2005-06)

Mr. Howard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what payments central Government made to East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust for 2005-06; whether there were payments that were undertaken to be made but were not made; what payments are planned for 2006-07; and if she will make a statement. [85369]

Caroline Flint: Details of the payments made by central Government to East Kent Hospitals National Health Service Trust during 2005-06 and 2006-07 is available in the Library.

Public dividend capital (PDC) totalling £25,160,000 was issued to East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust in 2005-06. Of this, £22,160,000 was issued on a permanent basis, £3,000 on a temporary basis. The temporary PDC was repaid in year. To date no PDC has been issued to the trust in 2006-07.

Echo-cardiogram

Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the waiting time for an echo-cardiogram was in Croydon in the last period for which figures are available; and how many such procedures have been carried out in the last 12 months. [84666]

Andy Burnham: This information is not available in the format requested.

E-coli

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of e-coli were recorded in each London borough in each of the last five years. [85952]

Caroline Flint: Although food poisoning is notifiable, there is no specific requirement to identify the organism that is involved.

The numbers of confirmed cases of E.coli 0157 received from laboratories in the London health region between 2002 and 2005 are shown in the table(1).

Number of confirmed cases of E.coli 0157

2002

54

2003

32

2004

37

2005

77

2006 (to 10 July)

50

Source:
Laboratory of Enteric Pathogens, Health Protection Agency Centre for Infections, Colindale

Data shown are for full years between 2002 and 20051. Also shown are provisional numbers of isolates that were received up to 10 July 2006.


24 July 2006 : Column 1097W

Data on laboratory confirmed cases are not collected by London borough. Patients may be resident in one borough, whereas the hospital from which their isolate is received may be in another.

Elective Acute Procedures

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what (a) targets, (b) instructions and (c) guidance have been set for primary care trusts in respect of the (i) type and (ii) proportion of elective acute procedures which should be procured from the independent sector; [87661]

(2) pursuant to the answer of 18 July to question 81980, on elective procedures, what (a) approach and (b) actions her Department will take in respect of those trusts which fail to secure or secure a very small proportion of their elective procedures through the independent sector. [88272]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: There are no instructions or targets for the type or proportion of activity that primary care trusts (PCTs) must secure through the independent sector, so there is no question of PCTs failing to secure a given level of provision.

In April 2006, the Department published “Choice at Referral: Guidance Framework for 2006-07”, which made clear that PCTs should offer patients referred for elective care the choice of at least four locally commissioned providers, together with appropriate national health service foundation trusts and nationally procured independent sector treatment centres.

Emergency Admissions

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many emergency admissions to hospital there were in each year since 1998-99. [82013]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is shown in the following table:

Count of emergency admissions for all national health service hospitals in England
Data year Emergency admissions

1998-99

3,784,954

1999-2000

3,833,667

2000-01

3,856,836

2001-02

3,885,780

2002-03

3,938,026

2003-04

4,199,299

2004-05

4,428,680

Source:
The Information Centre for health and social care

Faculty of Medical Management and Leadership

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations she has received on the establishment of a Faculty of Medical Management and Leadership. [71421]

Andy Burnham: I have received no representations on this subject.


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Food Labelling

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps her Department has taken to ensure that (a) supermarkets and (b) manufacturers implement the recommendations of the Food Standards Agency concerning front of pack labelling. [81419]

Caroline Flint: The Government recommendations for voluntary front of pack signpost labelling based on four core principles:

Since then, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has been working with retailers and manufacturers to promote take-up of the recommended approach. I have also met representatives of several companies to encourage them to adopt this approach.

Sainsbury’s already has a traffic light colour based scheme on its own-brand ready meals, breakfast cereals, pizzas and sandwiches. Waitrose has also introduced the scheme by applying it to sandwiches and intends to extend this to ready meals and pizzas later this year. Asda and the Co-op are to follow shortly.

We will continue to encourage industry to adopt its recommendations to ensure that consumers are provided with helpful nutritional information on front of pack, based on extensive consumer research.

Food Safety

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures the Government and their non-departmental public bodies have put in place to ensure food manufacturers report to the Food Standards Agency infections harmful to human health in their produce; and if she will make a statement. [84627]

Caroline Flint: Under the General Food Law Regulation (EC) 178/2002, it is illegal to place any food on the market if it is unsafe, that is, injurious to human health or unfit for human consumption. The regulation also requires food manufacturers to inform immediately both the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and their local authority of any food assessed to be potentially harmful to health. The food must then be withdrawn from the market and, if necessary, recalled from consumers. In order to facilitate food manufacturers' obligations to report food incidents under Regulation 178/2002, the FSA has made available to industry guidance on reporting which can be accessed from the FSA's website at:

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent guidelines the Food Standards Agency has issued regarding testing for salmonella by food manufacturers; and if she will make a statement. [84628]


24 July 2006 : Column 1099W

Caroline Flint: The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has not issued specific guidance on salmonella testing since testing regimes should be established by food business operators, informed by their food safety management systems. The FSA has, however, issued a range of guidance documents to assist food businesses and enforcers with implementing the new hygiene legislation. These list sources of further technical guidance from industry representative bodies and expert organisations which will help businesses to establish appropriate hazard analysis critical control point-based procedures and testing regimes.

Food Standards Agency

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment the Food Standards Agency has made of whether guideline daily amounts on food assist consumers in making judgments about the healthiness of a food product. [83884]

Caroline Flint: The Food Standards Agency tested a total of seven different guideline daily amounts (GDA) signpost formats with consumers. The results indicated that many consumers could not use this information to correctly assess the nutritional quality of food. Understanding improved when the GDA information was provided in combination with traffic light colour coding.

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Food Standards Agency has tested the effectiveness of monochrome guideline daily amounts showing nutrients as a percentage of guideline daily amounts. [83890]

Caroline Flint: A monochrome guideline daily amount (GDA) signpost format was included in the signpost formats the Food Standards Agency tested with consumers. The results indicated that in practice many consumers could not use this information to correctly assess the nutritional quality of food. Understanding improved when the GDA information was provided in combination with traffic light colour coding.

General Food Regulations

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the impact of legal fee liability upon the prosecution of food and drink companies by competent authorities under the General Food Regulations 2004; and if she will make a statement. [85039]

Caroline Flint: There has been no assessment of the impact of legal fee liability upon prosecution of food and drink companies under the General Food Regulations 2004. This was not mentioned as a possible financial burden in any of the responses to the public consultation exercise before the general food regulations were introduced.

Genetic Disorders

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information is made available to the public by the NHS on the incidence of genetic
24 July 2006 : Column 1100W
disorders for children of closely related parents; and if she will make a statement. [85017]

Andy Burnham: The provision of information to the public on this kind of issue is generally a matter for local national health service services taking into account the needs and cultural background of their local population.

The Human Genetics Commission supports the need for proper provision of education and information about marriage within a kin-ship group. This should entail access to counselling and support, preferably in the individual's or couple's preferred language, and a no-blame approach that enables at-risk couples to come forward for testing. Those wanting specific advice on their individual risk should consult a clinical geneticist or genetic counsellor in their local NHS regional genetics centre.

The Department is funding two pilot projects in areas with large Asian communities that are looking at how best to raise community awareness of genetics services and what they can provide. These pilots will provide valuable evidence on how best to provide culturally sensitive services that meet the particular needs of these populations.

The London IDEAS Genetic Knowledge Park (funded by the Department and Department of Trade and Industry) and the genetic interest group are preparing a leaflet dealing specifically with the possible increased risk of inherited disorders associated with consanguineous marriage for use by specialised genetics services as an adjunct to genetic counselling. This is part to of a larger project that aims to address the lack of availability of multilingual information on genetic disorders and risk.


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