|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress her Department is making in tackling the illegal use of anabolic steroids; and what steps she is taking to make young people aware of the dangers of such use. 
FRANK, the cross-Government campaign which provides advice to young people in relation to substance misuse, includes information on the harms associated with the misuse of anabolic steroids via its website, helpline and literature.
The harmful short and long-term effects of anabolic steroid use are also described in the most recent version of the Department publication Dangerousness of drugs: A guide to the risks and harms associated with substance misuse (January 2003).
The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) is responsible for the funding of education programmes in schools. In 2004, DfES published Drugs: Guidance for Schools, guidance for primary and secondary schools on all matters relating to drug education and the management of drugs within the school community. This guidance sets out the issues relating to drug education that schools should cover with children
of different ages, and includes drugs available on prescription among the substances that this education should cover.
The table shows prevalence of anabolic steroid use in young people, taken from figures in a school survey of 11 to 16-year-olds, recently published within the headline figures of Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England in 2006.
Figures for the proportion of 16 to 24-year-olds reporting having used anabolic steroids in the last year is shown in the table. The results have been taken from Drug Misuse Declared: Findings from the 2005-06 British Crime Survey(1) (England and Wales).
(1) This statistical bulletin reports on the results of 29,932 respondents who completed the drugs module of the BCS and an additional 2,259 16 to 24-year-olds who were interviewed as part of the 2005-06 BCS youth boost.
Anabolic steroids are included on the world anti-doping agencies (WADA) prohibited list. This list sets out the substances that are prohibited for athletes. Educating athletes of all ages about the consequences of doping comprises part of the anti-doping programme, and is delivered through UK Sports renowned 100 per cent. ME education programme.
UK Sport, the United Kingdom's national anti-doping organisation runs an anti-doping programme, together with sports national governing bodies, which is aimed at deterring athletes from using prohibited substances, and to catch those who do. Currently typical sanctions for those caught using prohibited substances range from a two-year ban from sport for a first offence to a lifetime ban for a second.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the extent to which those directly employed by the NHS to provide audiology services are working to the same standards set out in the accreditation process for independent sector providers employed through public-private partnerships. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: It is important that common standards should apply to national health service services whichever organisation provides them. The Department is working with NHS providers and the independent and voluntary sectors to ensure harmonisation. This work includes the development of education and training programmes for introduction during 2007-08.
The public private partnership (PPP) was initially set up in October 2003, to enable NHS audiology services to supplement their own capacity as part of the wider modernising hearing aids services programme. The PPP contract stipulated that staff employed to provide services under the PPP must be registered hearing aid dispensers and should be fully trained in the provision of the services detailed within the specification to the same level as audiology staff in the partner NHS trust. In addition, the contractor had to ensure that staff employed to provide services under the PPP complied with the provisions of the Hearing Aid Councils code of practice.
The PPP ended on 31 March 2007. However, the Department will continue to procure audiology capacity through the independent sector treatment centre (ISTC) schemes. When audiology services are being procured through ISTC schemes, providers have to adhere to the same rigid recruitment protocols as the NHS.
Caroline Flint: The Department's policy research programme has funded an expert review of the most recent evidence concerning the impact of cannabis use on people with mental health problems, and severe mental illness in particular, and effective interventions aimed at reducing such use. The review has been completed and results will be published shortly.
In addition, the National Institute for Health Research has recently awarded a £2 million programme grant to support research on improving physical health and reducing substance use, particularly cannabis use, in severe mental illness. Research on cannabis use and psychosis will also form part of the work programme of the institute's South London and Maudsley NHS Trust and Institute of Psychiatry Biomedical Research Centre which the Department is funding from April 2007.
Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the degree of compliance of general practitioners with the National Service Framework for Older People's requirement for regular reviews of medicines prescribed for older people living in care homes; and if she will make a statement. 
A medication review is recorded in the notes in the preceding 15 months for all patients being prescribed four or more repeat medicines (excluding over the counter and topical medications).
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health to what extent residents of (a) state and (b) privately-run care homes who are (i) publicly and (ii) privately or self funded are covered by the provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: A local authority running a care home is under a duty to act in a way which is compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights as required by section 6 of the Human Rights Act (HRA), 1998 because a local authority is a public authority for the purposes of that section.
However, under current case law, the interpretation by of the Court of Appeal of section 6 of the HRA has led to the position that private care homes do not exercise public functions as referred to in that section when providing care and accommodation under contract to a local authority. Such a home is not, therefore, directly subject to the Human Rights Act.
On the recommendations of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR), guidance was published in May 2005 on contracting for services. Councils are expected to take account of the relevant aspects of the HRA in their contracting arrangements, including those with care providers. Residents placed in a private care home under a council contract should, therefore, have their human rights protected through the contract.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the national service framework standards are for review of medication prescribed for the elderly; and what steps have been taken in each of the last five years to achieve compliance with the standards; 
Mr. Ivan Lewis:
Use of medicines is a fundamental component of each of the national service framework (NSF) standards and there are common medicines elements for every standard. A document entitled Medicines for Older People on implementing medicines-related aspects of the NSF for older people was included with the NSF documents when they were published. No specific information on compliance with the standards is collected centrally. However, national health service trusts are encouraged to make use of the medicines management framework which is specifically designed for hospitals as a self-assessment tool to
evaluate processes in place to ensure clinical and cost-effective medicines use. Identifying whether medication review has taken place is generally only possible from patients' medical records.
Care homes should meet the performance standards and milestones on medicines management set by the National Care Standards Commission. Care homes should seek advice from pharmacists about medicines in line with national minimum standards (NMS) for care homes for older people, and inspection teams visits to care homes should focus on medicines systems.
Care homes are governed by the Care Homes Regulations 2001 and associated NMS, which are concerned with ensuring that services are safe and of good quality. The regulator, the Commission for Social Care Inspection, must have regard to the NMS when inspecting care homes to establish compliance with the regulations.
The regulations and NMS, copies of which are available in the Library, include requirements for the recording, handling, safekeeping, safe administration and disposal of medicines in care homes. The NMS contain specific requirements for staff to monitor the condition of service users on medication, to call in the service user's GP if they are concerned about any change in condition that may be a result of medication, and prompt the review of medication on a regular basis. The NMS are under review at present.
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much programme expenditure sponsored by her Department was spent via each of the Government Offices for the Regions in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
|Regional director for public health||£000|
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff were employed on a consultancy basis in (a) her Department and (b) each of its agencies in each of the last five years for which information is available; and what the (i) average and (ii) longest period was for which a consultant was employed in each year. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department does not collect information that would identify the numbers of consultants engaged for the years requested. Contracts do not usually specify the precise numbers of consultants and the numbers can vary during a contract.
NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency employs businesses to provide a variety of consultancy services with specific outcomes. It does not monitor consistently which individuals provide the service or how long they spend on the work.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her Departments total spending was on advertising and promotional campaigns in each year since 1997; and what the cost of each campaign was, broken down by costs relating to (a) television, (b) radio and (c) print media. 
|(1) Departmental contribution to Frank substance misuse campaign jointly funded by the Department, Home Office and Department for Education and Skills.|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|