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Ms Rosie Winterton: The Appointments Commission has clear functions set out in legislation, most recently in the Health Act which established the body as a non executive departmental body on 1 October 2006. The Commissions annual business plan sets clear objectives and key performance indicators, as agreed by the Department who regularly monitor the Commissions performance.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Employers are required to consider all applications for medical posts using the same criteria. However, they must take account of the immigration status of all candidates from outside the European Economic Area and, where relevant, should only appoint those doctors who require a work permit if there are no suitable applicants from the EEA.
Since April 2006, doctors from outside the EEA have had to meet the requirements of one of the categories of the immigration rules that allows employment. This is in line with the rules for other professions.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Information is not collected centrally by the Department. However, information is collected by the Appointments Commission who have been asked to respond directly to my hon. Friends inquiry.
Caroline Flint: No assessment has been made of trends in nutrigenomic testing. However, the Food Standards Agency is investigating the possibility of including DNA analysis as part of the recently commissioned National Diet and Nutrition Survey programme. As well as considering the overall balance of the survey programme the inclusion of such work would also be subject to securing ethical approval.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what (a) amount and (b) type of radiation has been
discovered during investigation into polonium traces; and what radiological restrictions (i) were applied by the emergency services in this case and (ii) are applied in accidental releases of polonium. 
Caroline Flint: The polonium traces in the investigation into the death of Mr. Litvinenko were found to be Polonium-210 (Po-210). It occurs naturally and is present in the environment and in people at very low concentrations. It can also be made by irradiation of other materials. Polonium-210 has a half-life of 138 days. It undergoes decay by emitting alpha particles, accompanied by very low intensity gamma rays.
Polonium-210 can only represent a radiation hazard if it is ingested, inhaled or otherwise taken into the bodyfor example, through an open wound. Where patches of contamination have been discovered in public places these have equated to polonium that weighs less than one millionth of a millionth of a gramhence they are so low to cause no concern to immediate or longer term health.
Police officers and the NHS Ambulance Service undertaking all activities in the death of Mr. Litvinenko are working to the principle of as low as is reasonably practicable (ALARP) and in addition are working to a maximum radiation dose constraint of 1 mSv. This is the legal limit of exposure for members of the public as defined under the Ionising Radiation Regulations 1999. Though legislation and best practice allow higher dose limits for emergency activities and employees, setting this lower constraint level ensures that the risks to emergency workers are kept low.
The Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) had no operational involvement in this case. In the case of an accidental release of polonium FRS personnel would be engaged only after a full assessment of the level of release had been made and specialist radiological advice obtained. Firefighter operations in the contaminated area would be restricted and those likely to be exposed would be equipped with appropriate personal and respiratory protective equipment. This and associated control measures adopted by the FRS would aim to protect staff from accidental release of Polonium-210.
Small Change Big Difference is an umbrella approach particularly relevant for healthy eating and physical activity. The concept will be incorporated into our forthcoming work as part of the social marketing strategy and obesity programme.
It is a platform for engaging with stakeholders from the public and commercial sectors, with an opportunity for them to make a pledge to support healthy living and amplify it with their own customers and staff.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will take steps to encourage voluntary sector organisations specialising in drug and alcohol dependency to work with (a) those specialising in mental health and (b) statutory sector mental health bodies. 
Caroline Flint: The Department's National Framework for Mental Health, containing recommendations for dealing with people with a dual diagnosis of mental disorder and substance misuse, details best practice guidance on effective approaches to commissioning and the provision of treatment services. The framework advocates an integrated care mechanism for those diagnosed with both mental health and substance misuse problems, drawing on the expertise of all local providers, voluntary organisations and other to deliver effective service improvement.
The updated Models of Care for treatment of adult drug misusers, published in June 2006, reflects this link by emphasising the importance of drug treatment services developing integrated care pathways for vulnerable groups, including those with dual diagnosis to ensure optimum treatment outcomes for those in treatment. It should be noted that as the voluntary sector is a major provider in terms of drug treatment the links with mental health bodies, including those in the statutory sector are already well established and we will continue to use all available opportunities to maintain and strengthen these links.
Similarly, for alcohol misuse, the Department, in conjunction with the National Treatment Agency in June 2006 published Models of Care for Alcohol Misusers (MoCAM). This provides guidance to local national health service organisations in developing an integrated system of interventions and treatment to meet the needs of local people whose alcohol use is harmful. It is expected that MoCAM will be used by primary care trusts working in partnership with local commissioning groups and local service providers. This will include both the voluntary and mental health services.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) deaths and (b) injuries to civilians in
Afghanistan during 2006 have given rise to Special Investigation Branch inquiries. 
Des Browne [holding answer 8 January 2007]: During 2006 the Special Investigation Board conducted one investigation relating to the death of civilians, following reports that civilians had been killed during an airstrike on 31 July in Helmand Province.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what support his Department plans to provide from April 2007 onwards to enable bereaved families to visit the graves overseas of family members who died while in the armed services. 
Derek Twigg: Since 1963, for Northwest Europe, and 1967 for the rest of the world, the Ministry of Defence has offered to repatriate the bodies of all those who die in military service, for burial in the United Kingdom. However, if the family elect to have a funeral overseas, the Ministry of Defence will pay for the next of kin and a companion to attend at public expense and, should local conditions prevent their attendance, then a visit to the grave may be arranged up to two years after the death. While this policy of repatriation was not made retrospective, in the event of the discovery of identifiable human remains on a historic battlefield, or crash site, the Department will, assuming we can trace their relatives, provide the opportunity for two people to attend the service funeral at public expense.
In addition, since 1985, widows and widowers whose husband or wife died overseas as a result of service in HM armed forces between 1914 and 1967 have been entitled to visit their spouse's grave/memorial through the Government funded war widow/ers pilgrimage scheme, provided they have not done so before at public expense. The scheme also funds a carer to accompany the widow/er on the UK section of the pilgrimage, from which point appropriate care is provided. We review periodically the administration of the scheme, which is administered for the Department by the Royal British Legion, but we have no plans to change our policy for eligible war widow/ers to visit their spouse's grave/memorial.
Derek Twigg: The number of trained military chaplains in the UK Regular Forces in each of the last five years broken down by rank and service is shown in the following table. In addition to the Christian chaplains shown, chaplains from the four main non-Christian faiths were appointed in October 2005, one each from the Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and Sikh faiths. These chaplains are MOD civil servants rather than service personnel. There is also an honorary officiating chaplain to minister to those of the Jewish faith.
|As at 1 April each year|
|Rank||2001||2002||2003||2004||2005||2006||1 November 2006( 1)|
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