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8 Nov 2006 : Column 1794Wcontinued
All relevant evidence on abortion was considered by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) when it updated its evidence-based guidelines The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion in 2004. The guidelines state that professionals involved in abortion services should be equipped to provide
women with the information they need, including accurate knowledge about possible complications and sequelae of abortion, in order to give genuinely informed consent. Clinicians caring for women requesting abortion should try to identify those patients who require more support in decision making than can be provided in the routine clinic setting. Facilities for additional support, including access to social services, should be available. Appropriate information and support should be available for those who consider, but do not proceed to, abortion. The guidelines also recommend that referral for further counselling should be available for the small minority of women who experience long-term post abortion distress.
It is not practical for the RCOG to evaluate every study on abortion that is published, although it would take note of any major findings that conflicted with its published recommendations.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many women aged (a) 18 to 24 years and (b) 25 to 30 years who had an abortion in (i) 2004 and (ii) 2005 had five or more previous abortions. 
Caroline Flint: The information requested is set out in the following table.
|Number of abortions where the women were recorded as having five or more previous abortions, residents, England and Wales, 2004-05|
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether her Department currently provides funds to any organisations which campaign against abortion; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: The Department of Health funds voluntary organisations in England, through individual policy programmes and section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968, where organisations activities support the Departments policy priorities. The Department of Health is not funding any organisation which campaigns against abortion.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if her Department will (a) carry out an age audit of its staff to establish an age profile of its work force, (b) negotiate an age management policy with trade unions and employees to eliminate age discrimination and retain older workers, (c) identify and support training needs and offer older staff flexible working to downshift towards retirement and (d) extend to over-fifties the right to request to work flexibly and the right to training with paid time off; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis:
The Department regularly carries out an analysis of its work force data to establish its age profile. It has also negotiated with the trade unions policies for its staff that are firmly based on treating all staff fairly and without discrimination on such grounds
as age, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, sex, marital status, responsibility for children or other dependants, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, trade union membership or activity, religious or political beliefs. For the past two years the Department has given employees below the senior civil service the right to work until age 65 and from 1 October 2006 all staff, including the senior civil service, may work until 65 unless they choose to retire. The Department encourages all staff to take the opportunity on equal terms to upgrade their skills and knowledge, whatever their age, and monitoring arrangements are now in place to check for any age bias in the take-up of training courses. Opportunities for flexible working are also available to all staff, whatever their age.
Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding was allocated to the treatment of alcohol addiction in England in 2005-06; and how much is allocated for 2006-07. 
Caroline Flint: The information is not held centrally. We do not allocate specific funding to primary care trusts (PCTs) to support alcohol treatment. PCTs fund alcohol treatment out of their mainstream allocations. PCTs are responsible for assessing the needs of their local populations and commissioning services to address those needs within the limits of the funding available to them.
The alcohol needs assessment research report identified that £217 million was spent in 2003-04 by PCTs and local authorities to support alcohol treatment (this figure also included a limited amount of support from charitable sources).
Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the prevalence of addiction to alcohol in England. 
Caroline Flint: The alcohol needs assessment research report identified that the prevalence of alcohol dependence in England overall was 3.6 per cent. of the adult population, (6 per cent. of men and 2 per cent. of women). This equates to 1.1 million people.
Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) beds, (b) places and (c) treatments are available within the NHS in England for the treatment of alcohol addiction. 
Caroline Flint: The alcohol needs assessment research (ANARP) report identified that about 167,000 people were referred to alcohol treatment in 2003-04 and that 63,000 people received treatment for their alcohol problems, this was a combination of in-patient services, residential rehabilitation and community treatments such as home detoxification, day treatment places and counselling services.
696 treatment agencies were identified. The average waiting time from referral to assessment at these agencies was 4.6 weeks and the average number of patients on waiting lists (monthly) was 15.2. ANARP indicted that 5.6 per cent. of the dependent population were accessing treatment in any year.
Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the report on the effectiveness of treatment of alcohol addiction commissioned by the National Treatment Agency will be published; and what the reason is for the time taken in preparation. 
Caroline Flint: The review of the effectiveness of treatment for alcohol problems is a report of evidence that informed the development of models of care for alcohol misuse (MoCAM). The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse has given priority to publication of MoCAM as a guidance document for treatment commissioners. MoCAM was published at the end of June 2006. The review of the effectiveness of treatment for alcohol problems will be published shortly by the National Treatment Agency.
Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding has been provided for the treatment of patients referred as a result of alcohol treatment requirement orders. 
Caroline Flint: There is no specific funding to implement the Alcohol Treatment Requirement (ATR), which can be made part of a community order or suspended sentence order for adult offenders. Offenders subject to ATRs will be referred to mainstream alcohol treatment usually commissioned by local primary care trusts, as part of NHS provision.
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much her Department has spent on alcohol-reduction measures and initiatives in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: The alcohol needs assessment research project estimated that £217 million was spent in 2003-04 on alcohol treatment. The vast majority of this is provided by primary care trusts, but some also comes from local authorities and charitable funds.
There was no major prevention campaign expenditure to promote alcohol harm reduction in the financial years 1997 to 2005, the only expenditure was for literature and website activity only, as follows.
In 2006-07 the Department is spending £2 million on the Know your limits campaign which is currently running. Additional funding is provided by the Home Office for this campaign. The Department is spending £3.2 million on the alcohol identification and brief advice trailblazers project over two years 2006-08.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children aged between 11 and 15 years were
admitted to hospital because of alcohol-related problems in the latest year for which figures are available. 
Caroline Flint: Information in the table shows the number of children aged between 11 and 15 years who were admitted to hospital owing to alcohol-related problems in 2004-05.
|Number of children aged 11 to 15 years admitted to hospital with alcohol related illness in 2004-05|
|Age group||Age range (years)||Diagnosis code||Primary diagnosis description||Total in year admission episodes|
Hospital Episode Statistics, The Information Centre for health and social care
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of category A calls were responded to by an ambulance within eight minutes in the most recent period for which figures are available, broken down by NHS ambulance trust. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Validated information about ambulance serviced response times to emergency calls is collected each year by the Department on return KA34 and published annually. The latest is contained in the Department of Health Statistical Bulletin Ambulance Services, England 2005-06. A copy is available in the Library and can be viewed on the Information Centre for Health and Social Cares website at:
Mr. Paul Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many assaults there were on NHS staff in each year since 1997, broken down by NHS trust. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The information has not been collated centrally in the form requested for the period 1997-99. A table outlining the estimated number of reported violent incidents and aggression collected by the Department for 2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03 for each SHA, NHS trust and PCT in England has been placed in the Library.
In April 2003, the NHS Security Management Service (NHS SMS) was created and assumed responsibility for the issue of tackling violence against NHS staff. The NHS SMS has collected data on the number of physical assaults on NHS staff in England for the period 2004-05. A breakdown of figures for each NHS trust has been placed in the Library. A breakdown of figures relating to mental health trusts will be released shortly.
The figures for each NHS trust for the period 2005-06 will be released shortly.
Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress is being made in reducing physical and verbal attacks on NHS staff and ambulance staff in (a) accident and emergency units, (b) main hospital wards, (c) general practitioner surgeries and (d) treatment centres. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Since their creation in April 2003, the NHS Security Management Service (SMS), with both policy and operational responsibility for security management within the national health service, has introduced a wide range of measures to tackle the incidence of physical and non-physical assault against NHS staff.
The NHS SMS has collected data on the number of physical assaults on NHS staff in 2004-05 and 2005-06. The figures, broken down by care sector, are provided in the table.
An exercise measuring the number of incidents of non-physical assault against NHS staff is planned in the future.
A public consultation on proposed legislation to tackle nuisance and disturbance behaviour on NHS premises closed on 1 September 2006. As well as reducing the impact of this behaviour on the delivery of health care, the legislation will give health bodies the power to remove an individual displaying this behaviour before an incident escalates into violence. The majority of responses to the consultation supported the proposals. A summary of the responses has been placed in the Library.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of changes in the incidence of attacks against (a) ambulance trusts and (b) accident and emergency staff in the last 12 months. 
Andy Burnham: In April 2003, the NHS Security Management Service (NHS SMS) was created and assumed both policy and operational responsibility for the issue of tackling violence against NHS staff.
The NHS SMS has collected data on the number of physical assaults on national health service staff in England, broken down by trust, for the period 2004-05. It was reported that 60,385 NHS staff were physically assaulted during this period. The majority of these assaults, 43,097, were in mental health and learning disability environments.
The figures for each trust for the period 2005-06 will be published shortly.
Measures to tackle violence against NHS staff are under constant review. There has been a 15-fold rise in the number of criminal sanctions against those who have assaulted NHS staff, from 51 in 2002-03 to 759 in 2004-05.
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