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|Number of reported Clostridium difficile cases|
|Trust||January 2004 to December 2004||January 2005 to December 2005|
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many complaints about food supplements and herbal remedies being marketed in the United Kingdom with health claims illegal in the UK by companies based in the Channel Islands have been referred by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to the appropriate agencies in Guernsey and Jersey in the last two years; and what information the Agency has received about the subsequent investigation of such complaints and the outcomes. 
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), an Executive Agency of the Department of Health has referred nine complaints
to the Guernsey Authorities and seven to the Jersey Authorities; since 1 January 2005. The MHRA received feedback from the Guernsey Authorities on three cases. In two cases there were no offences under Guernsey law and in the third case the company was not actually based in Guernsey. The MHRA received feedback on three cases from the Jersey Authorities. In all three cases the companies were not actually based in Jersey.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what date and for what reasons it was made illegal to offer (a) melatonin and (b) kava kava for sale in the United Kingdom; and what assessment she has made of (i) the implications for public health and (ii) the legality of the continued marketing of products containing (A) melatonin and (B) kava kava for sale to UK consumers by mail order from the Channel Islands. 
Caroline Flint: A prohibition order on the: sale, supply and importation of kava kava in unlicensed medicines, other than for external use, came into force on 13 January 2003. The order was made following advice from the Committee on Safety of Medicines and the Medicines Commission that kava kava poses a rare but serious risk of liver toxicity. Similar action was taken in relation to kava kava in foods. The Guernsey authorities have investigated the supply of kava kava by a company apparently based on that island. The investigation showed that the product was not actually being distributed from Guernsey but from Cyprus. A complaint has been referred to the authorities in Cyprus by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
There are no special legislative restrictions on the sale or supply of the hormone melatonin. Unless it is being supplied as an unlicensed medicine in accordance with the relevant statutory controls, a medicinal product containing melatonin requires a marketing authorisation before it may be lawfully sold or supplied. The status of melatonin under medicines legislation was first considered in 1989. The MHRA is unaware of any implication for public health by the classification of melatonin as a medicinal product. The MHRA refers complaints about the sale and supply of melatonin from the Channel Islands to the relevant regulatory authority.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will take steps to stem the flow of direct mail advertising from the Channel Islands offering products banned in the UK and products for which promotional health claims are made that would be illegal in the UK and EU; and if she will make a statement. 
There are no specific powers in the medicines legislation administered by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, an executive agency of the Department or in the Postal Services Act (2000) to control direct mail advertising from the Channel Islands. The legislation administered by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency does not apply to the Channel Islands. The islands have their own legislative assemblies and are responsible for the regulation of activities relating to medicinal products which take place from those
Islands. Therefore, any suspected illegal activity is referred to the relevant authority in the Channel Islands for investigation. Advertisements issued from within the Islands would be the responsibility of the relevant authorities within those Islands.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what databases are controlled by her Department and its agencies; and what percentage of the data in each database she estimates is inaccurate or out of date. 
Department/agency name; and
Number of databases controlled.
|Databases controlled by Department of Health and its agencies|
|Department/agency name||Number of databases controlled|
The accuracy and currency of the data contained in the Department and its agencies' databases varies according to the business requirement the database is designed to meet. Where the output from a database is intended for publication as a matter of public record (for example, as a report to Parliament or a press statement), every precaution is taken to ensure that that data within the database has been fully validated to ensure the highest achievable levels of accuracy. However, where the data contained is intrinsically dynamic and is not intended for public: record (for example, the Department's internal staff location database), a lower degree of accuracy and currency is acceptable to meet business needs.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what powers she has to examine the (a)
veracity, (b) legality and (c) acceptability of claims made by companies outside the UK in their direct marketing to UK consumers; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: There are no powers in United Kingdom medicines legislation to require companies using direct marketing to have the claims they wish to make examined by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Reports of illegal medicinal products made to the MHRA are investigated regardless of the country of origin. The MHRA examines claims to see whether the product in question is thereby brought within the definition of a medicinal product. The MHRA does not assess the veracity of a claim unless an application for a marketing authorisation is made for a product. If the company is outside the MHRA's jurisdiction it is referred to the relevant regulatory authority.
Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to ensure the safe and secure availability of diamorphine for the treatment of patients with serious or terminal conditions; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: Both suppliers of diamorphine to the United Kingdom are working to their full available capacity, and are supplying the market on a regular and frequent basis. They are currently unable to produce enough to meet historic demand, although that demand may have changed due to changes in prescribing practice. We expect the situation to improve during 2007, and in the meantime we believe that through careful prescribing and use of available stocks, patient care is not being compromised. This is in part because we arranged for the increased production and availability of alternative drugs such as morphine when the problem arose in December 2004.
The amount of diamorphine held in the supply chain at any one time varies, according to a number of factors including the manufacturers production schedules. All presentations are currently available.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will (a) increase the number of tier 4 interventions for young people with drug addiction and (b) increase access to services on a regional basis. 
Caroline Flint: The young peoples partnership grant for substance misuse has increased significantly year on year since its introduction in 2001. The grant is allocated by the Home Office to local authorities in addition to local mainstream funding for all aspects of the prevention and treatment of substance misuse by young people. A condition of the grant is that local drug partnerships show that they have referral pathways into tier 4 provision for young people. This is performance monitored by Government Office regional teams supported by the National Treatment Agency (NTA).
To support improvements in commissioning tier 4 services the NTA, with the Department and the Home
Office, will facilitate the development of regional and sub-regional commissioning models for tier 4 services in 2007-08.
The Department only currently collects aggregate data at primary care trust (PCT) and national health service trust level. As such we cannot identify data on numbers of individual clinics (of which there are many) within these organisations.
Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what criteria the Government will use to assess whether the change in the nature and balance of food advertising to children has altered enough to avoid legislation, as set out in the 2004 Choosing Health White Paper; and when she expects that assessment to be published; 
Caroline Flint: Following Choosing Health, the Government will be assessing whether the new measures introduced in broadcast and non-broadcast media have brought about a real change in the nature and balance of food promotion. An interim review will be conducted in autumn 2007, and we will work with Ofcom and our industry partners on a more detailed review in 2008. On that basis, the Government will decide whether further action, such as legislation, is required.
The Department has commissioned Thompson Intermedia to collect and analyse impact and expenditure data across a broad range of media. This is an ongoing process and the information that we collect will be used to inform the interim review. We are keen to see what measures the food and drink and advertising sectors are taking on a voluntary basis to effect a change in the nature and balance of high fat, salt and sugar product advertising before, and in response to, the interim review.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her most recent estimate is of the (a) one-off cost and (b) recurring costs of implementing the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2005 to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators. 
The costs arising from the introduction of the European Union (EU) food hygiene regulations on 1 January 2006, to which the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2005 gave effect, were detailed in a full Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA), a copy of which is available in the Library.
Subsequent to the publication of the full RIA, it was agreed that enforcement of the EU regulations at farm level will be undertaken in England by local authorities, for which the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has made funds available. The funding arrangements are detailed in a draft RIA, which can be found on the FSAs website at:
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the (a) one-off and (b) ongoing costs of implementing the Food Labelling (Amendment) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2004 to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators. 
Caroline Flint: The regulatory impact assessment compiled at the time that this regulation was implemented did not identify any additional costs. There was a transitional period of 12 months following the coming into force of the regulations to give businesses time to incorporate any changes needed into the normal commercial re-labelling cycle.
Departmental costs for negotiating, consulting and implementing particular regulations are not broken down. Legislation is enforced by local authorities and the regulatory impact assessment identified possible costs for local authorities of £100,000 per annum.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many health visitors there were in each English primary care trust in each quarter from Q1 1997 to Q1 2007; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: This information has been placed in the Library. Primary care trusts (PCTs) were first introduced in 2001 so we have produced two tables showing health visitors by PCT since 2001 and health visitors by strategic health authority since 1997.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the progress in implementing the commitment in her Department's White Paper Choosing Health for health to be a component in regulatory impact assessments of proposed legislation. 
Caroline Flint: As part of the commitment in Choosing Health: making healthier choices easier for health to be a component in regulatory impact assessments (RIA), the Department has successfully provided guidance on health screening and health assessment which is included in the Cabinet Office RIA guidance.
An assessment of the success in implementing this commitment has been made by both the regional directors of public health and the council for science and technology (CST) which show that, while there has been some successful consideration of health, there is still a need for greater consistency. The CST report provides a framework for this.
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