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School Fees

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department's policy is on the payment of school fees for the children of staff employed in HM Armed Forces abroad when those children attend (a) international schools and (b) fee-paying schools in the UK. [93151]

Derek Twigg: The Ministry of Defence has comprehensive support arrangements for the children of service families that are living abroad. Where numbers and locations overseas permit, our Service Children's Education (SCE) Agency provides schools based on the English national curriculum, including (in Germany) boarding arrangements for those beyond normal commuting distance. There is no charge to members of HM Armed Forces for places at SCE schools. Where it is not possible or practical to provide a SCE school, arrangements are made for service parents to use local or international schools. Where there are no local English-speaking schools the full cost of attending fee-paying international schools is reimbursed. Where local schools are English-speaking but service parents still choose to use an international fee-paying school, two-thirds of the cost is reimbursed.

For service families who need continuity of education for their children through boarding in UK independent or state maintained boarding schools, the costs can be offset through Continuity of Education Allowances. Service personnel are provided with up to 90 per cent. of the fees and admissible extras (within a set upper limit) as an allowance. There are also allowances for children with Special Educational Needs who need to attend specialist boarding schools.


Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armed forces personnel have been judged to have committed suicide since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [91634]

Derek Twigg: Between 1 January 1997 and 31 December 2005, the latest date for which validated centrally-compiled data are available, there were 186 coroner-confirmed suicide and open verdict deaths among regular Armed Forces personnel.

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Territorial Army Reserve

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the Territorial Army Reserve there are; and how many are serving in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan. [94164]

Derek Twigg: The strength of the Territorial Army (TA) as at 1 August 2006, the most recent available statistics from central sources, was 36,260(1). There are currently 300 TA personnel mobilised on Operations in (a) Iraq and 210 in (b) Afghanistan.



Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total cost was of (a) abortions performed (i) before the 12(th) week of pregnancy, (ii) between the 12(th) and 18(th) weeks of pregnancy, (iii) between the 18(th) and 24(th) weeks of pregnancy and (iv) after the 24(th) week of pregnancy and (b) the provision of the morning after pill in each of the last three years for which figures are available. [95113]

Caroline Flint: Information on the cost of performing abortion by gestation period is not collected centrally.

In addition, the total cost of the provision of emergency hormonal contraception (EHC) is not collected centrally. The available costs to the national health service for prescriptions dispensed in the community in England for the last three years are shown in the following table.

Net ingredient cost (£ million)







Business Services Authority

Information is not available on the cost of EHC supplied by: hospitals; community contraceptive clinics; nurses or pharmacists under a Patient Group Direction; private prescriptions; or purchased in pharmacies.

Associate Hospital Manager

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Health why the associate hospital manager function is not provided for under mental health foundation trust status; what plans her Department has to replace functions in the (a) short and (b) long term; and what recourse a mental health patient has to independent appeal in the interim period. [96587]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003
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established the legislative framework for national health service foundation trusts (NHSFTs). In doing so, it amended section 23 of the Mental Health Act 1983 to provide that NHSFTs could delegate their power to discharge patients detained under the 1983 Act to three or more of their non-executive directors. NHS trusts, by contrast, may delegate to three or more people who are not employees of the trust if they are (non-executive) directors (or the chairman) of the trust or members of one of its committees or subcommittees. It is this last group of individuals who are commonly referred to as “associate hospital managers”.

The approach taken in the 2003 Act was the one considered appropriate at the time. However, the Government are now of the view that it would be better if NHSFTs had more flexibility to authorise people other than its non-executive directors to act on their behalf. It will therefore seek to amend the relevant primary legislation as soon as a suitable legislative opportunity arises.

In the interim, the obligation on NHSFTs to exercise their powers of discharge remains. Patients of NHSFT hospitals will therefore continue to be able to request the managers to consider their cases. Detained patients (in all hospitals) also have rights to apply to the mental health review tribunal, which is an independent judicial body with the power to discharge patients from liability to detention.

Breast Cancer

Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether her Department has commissioned research to examine potential links between exposure to agricultural chemicals and breast cancer. [97826]

Caroline Flint: The Department’s independent committee on carcinogenicity of chemicals in food, consumer products and the environment (COC) recently considered the potential association between certain environmental organochlorine insecticides and breast cancer. A statement was finalised in September 2004 and is available at After a full consideration of all the large amount of information COC concluded that there is no convincing evidence for an association with organochlorine insecticides. The committee was aware that none of the organochlorine insecticides included in this review are approved for use in pesticide formulations in the United Kingdom but persist in the environment and exposure of the population has occurred mainly via the diet.

It has been claimed that other environmental chemicals could have weak estrogenic activity which if added together could cause breast cancer. The World Health Organization international programme on chemical safety global assessment of endocrine disrupting chemicals, published in 2002, concluded that the additive effects of such chemicals would be very weak and the available data did not support a direct association. The assessment is available at:

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Cadbury Schweppes

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what Cadbury Schweppes items were identified in the food diaries of those who suffered from salmonella Montevideo which were examined by the Health Protection Agency; and if she will make a statement. [90449]

Caroline Flint: We are unable to respond to this question at this stage, as it is regarding an on-going investigation and release of the required information might prejudice future prosecutions.

Central Lancashire PCT

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans her Department has to deliver more health services in the community in the Central Lancashire Primary Care Trust area. [96888]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Central Lancashire Primary Care Trust (PCT), in line with national policy, is reviewing a number of patient pathways with a view to delivering care safely and to a high standard within a community setting. Work has already commenced on areas such as dermatology and musculoskeletal services and information to date shows an average of 43 per cent. of patients being treated in a community setting. The PCT will build on this work, and over the coming months share the next stage of this development with patients and clinicians alike.

Childhood Obesity

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what work her Department has (a) undertaken and (b) funded on childhood obesity since 1997; and how much each project (i) has cost and (ii) is forecast to cost. [92811]

Caroline Flint: The Government have set a national public service agreement target to halt, by 2010, the year-on-year increase in obesity among children under 11 in the context of a broader strategy to tackle obesity in the population as a whole. The target is jointly owned by the Department of Health, Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Education and Skills in recognition that cross-Government action will be necessary to tackle this major public health issue.

There are many large cross-Government programmes that impact on obesity that the Department jointly funds. One example is the Healthy
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Schools Programme with an allocation of £16.1 million for 2006-07. We do not hold a total figure on spend on childhood obesity since 1997 but in addition to national health service spending the Department has funded a number of central initiatives to support action on obesity including:

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons the Department has withdrawn its funding for the study into the link between childhood obesity and diabetes at the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth. [92823]

Caroline Flint: The Department has never made a commitment to long-term funding of the EarlyBird study into the link between childhood obesity and diabetes, but responded in 2005 to a request for “stop-gap” funding to contribute to the continuity of staff contracts pending the outcome of their bid to a major research funder. Although a figure of up to £90,000 had originally been discussed with the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth, funding was limited to a payment of £50,000.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent estimate she has made of the proportion of children aged between two and 10 years who are obese; and what the estimates were for each year since 1990-91. [97243]

Caroline Flint: We are unable to provide all the data requested. The data we can give are based on estimates provided by the Health Survey for England. The table presents data on obesity in children in 1995 and 2004, the earliest and most recent years for which data are available, and all years in between.

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Prevalence of obesity among children aged 2 to 10 by gender, 1995-2004, England
Unweighted Weighted
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003( 1) 2004( 1) 2003( 1) 2004( 1)






















































(1) From 2003 data are weighted for non response. Data weighted for child selection only are provided for consistency with previous years. Source: Health Survey for England 2004—updating of trend tables to include 2004 data, The Information Centre for Health and Social Care.

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