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The overall financial position is managed by strategic health authorities (SHAs), who take the lead locally in developing and implementing a service and financial strategy for managing the financial position within their locality. As part of this management,
SHAs can hold a reserve on behalf of their organisations to manage the overall financial position within their area. The size of any primary care trust (PCT) contribution to this reserve is a matter for local agreement between the SHA and the PCT, but the process is based on fairness. A PCT which makes a contribution will be entitled to have that contribution repaid within a period which does not normally exceed the three-year allocation cycle.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Primary care trusts contract with dental practices, or other dental providers for an agreed annual level of services for national health service patients. It has always been for dental practices to make their own business decisions as to what private dental services they wish to make available.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if her Department will undertake research into the effect of parental notification laws on the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases among teenagers; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: The Department has no plans to commission research in this area. The issue of parental notification if a teenager aged under 16 seeks advice and treatment for a sexually transmitted infection, contraception or abortion was recently considered by the High Court. The judgment in this case concluded that a health professional is able to provide contraception, sexual and reproductive health advice and treatment, without parental knowledge or consent, to a young person aged under 16, provided that:
she/he understands the advice provided and its implications; and
her/his physical or mental health would otherwise be likely to suffer and so provision of advice or treatment is in their best interest.
Health professionals seeing children aged under 16 should also follow the guidance set out in the Department's publication Best Practice Guidance for Doctors and Other Health Professionals on the Provision of Advice and Treatment to Young People aged under 16 on Contraception, Sexual and Reproductive Health and the revised cross-Government guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children.
Mr. Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many people applied in the second round for the chairmanship of the new amalgamated Sheffield Primary Care Trust; how many were shortlisted; and whether the person specification required knowledge of, demonstrable commitment to, and previous experience of public service; 
(2) how many individuals applied for appointment as a non-executive board member of the new combined primary care trust in Sheffield; how many were
shortlisted; whether the job specification required knowledge of, demonstrable commitment to, and previous experience of public service; and how many of the non-executive board members of the Sheffield Primary Care Trust live in the Brightside constituency. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The appointment of chairs and non-executive members of primary care trusts has been delegated to the Appointments Commission. Appointments are made against the person specification agreed by Ministers, copies of which have been placed in the Library. I have asked the Commissions chair, Sir William Wells, to respond to my right hon. Friends specific questions.
Andy Burnham: The main agency through which the Government support biomedical research is the Medical Research Council (MRC). The MRC is an independent body funded by the Department of Trade and Industry via the Office of Science and Innovation.
Professor A. Copp, Institute of Child Health, LondonNeurodegeneration Before Birth: Can Inositol Increase Prevention of Neural Tube Defects in Conjunction with Folic Acid? The total amount granted for this project is £122,000 of which some £59,000 will be paid in 2006-07; and
Dr. K. Storey, University of DundeeSpecification and Regulation of Vertebrae Neural Tube Precursors. Expenditure on this £1.1 million fellowship during 2006-07 is expected to be around £99,000.
Over 75 per cent. of the Department's total expenditure on health research is devolved to and managed by national health service organisations. Details of individual projects, including a number concerned with spina bifida, are available on the national research register at:
Caroline Flint: We are working closely with the industry supplying cigarette lighter refills to identify the most practicable way of making these less susceptible to abuse, with a view to reaching a voluntary agreement on the way forward.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people are waiting for (a) out-patient and (b) in-patient care in Coventry; and what the (i) average, (ii) shortest and (iii) longest waiting time was in Coventry in (A) the last 12 months and (B) 1997. 
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time was for orthodontic treatment for (a) juveniles and (b) adults in (i) North-West Cambridgeshire and (ii) England in each year since 1997. 
Andy Burnham: The average waiting times for an out-patient appointment following general practitioner referral for the orthodontic specialty are shown in the tables. Figures are shown for England and for Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire strategic health authority.
|Mean and median waits for 1( st) out-patient appointment following GP referral Orthodontic specialty, England and Norfolk Suffolk and Cambridgeshire SHA|
|England||Norfolk Suffolk and Cambridgeshire SHA|
Median and mean figures estimated from aggregate data
QM08R commissioner based return from primary care trusts/health authorities
13. Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the potential impact of the proposed E1 settlement development on progress on the road map towards peace in the Middle East. 
Dr. Howells: We are concerned about Israeli practices in East Jerusalem, including settlement expansion, the route of the barrier and restrictions on movement. These threaten the prospect of a two-state solution. We are also concerned about the E1 area east of Jerusalem, where construction of the new police station has already begun. We continue to monitor the situation closely and have made our concerns clear to the Israeli authorities.
Dr. Howells: The Temporary International Mechanism is paying allowances to health workers and the poorest Palestinians. We are working with US Security Coordinator General Dayton to improve Palestinian security and improve the Karni crossing point.
The Quartet has said it will play a more active role. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister visited the region in September. We welcomed the commitment from Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas to meet without conditions.
Margaret Beckett: During my right hon. Friend the Prime Ministers visit to Israel and the Occupied Territories on 9-10 September, he discussed the formation of a Palestinian National Unity Government with President Abbas on 10 September. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made clear our readiness to work with any Government pursuing a programme based on the three Quartet principlesrecognition of Israel, commitment to agreements previously signed by the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Palestinian Authority with Israel, and renunciation of violence. He also met Israeli Prime Minister Olmert on 10 September. They discussed the conflict in Lebanon and the way forward for the Middle East Peace Process.
to get to the point where we have a political process in place that allows us to deal with the issues to do with economic reconstruction, to do with institutions, to do with security, and also to make sure that as you say the rights of the Palestinian people to a decent and full life are properly respected.
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister visited Lebanon on 11 September as a demonstration of his support for Lebanese Prime Minister Sinioras Government and his commitment to implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1701. During that visit he announced the UKs commitment of £40 million to Lebanon this year, including on humanitarian and reconstruction efforts. He also offered UK assistance for the training and equipping of the Lebanese armed forces to enable them to extend their control throughout the whole of Lebanon. And he gave his personal commitment to re-energising the Israel/Palestine peace process for the benefit of the region as a whole.
I also refer the right hon. Member to the written ministerial Statements I made to the House on 13 September 2006, Official Report, columns 128-130WS and 10 October 2006, Official Report, columns 14-16WS.
Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action the UK Government have taken following the Israeli Defence Force's transfer of the Rachels Tomb neighbourhood to the Israeli civilian authority at Jerusalem. 
Dr. Howells: We have taken no specific action relating to the Israel Defence Force's transfer of the Rachel's Tomb neighbourhood to the Israeli civilian authority, but we raised our concerns, at official level, about the serious impact on the citizens of Bethlehem of Rachel's Tombs' inclusion in the barrier. We believe the barrier's route should be on or behind the Green Line, and not on occupied territory. Construction of the barrier on Palestinian land is illegal. We also remain concerned by settlement activity in and around the area surrounding Rachel's Tomb. We will continue to raise our concerns about this area with the Israeli Government.
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