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Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps his Department is taking to improve the competitiveness of small retail businesses in London; and if he will make a statement. 
The LDA through funding from the DTI pursues regional economic development and regeneration to reduce economic imbalances and improve competitiveness as well as providing publicly funded business support through Business Link. Small retailers are eligible for the same range of support measures as other small businesses.
The DTI Retail Unit also works with the sector to raise its productivity and improve its competitiveness by facilitating better regulation, incentivising innovation and encouraging good practice in areas such as skills, employment, international trade and environmental sustainability.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the evidential basis was for the statement made by Sir David King at a public seminar organised by the Science and Technology Committee that extracting stem cells from human-animal hybrid embryos would enable scientists to learn more about diseases such as Alzheimer's; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: Because of their ability to differentiate into different cells and tissues, it is generally recognised by the scientific community that stem cells hold potential for the development of new cellular based treatments for diseases and injuries such as spinal cord injuries, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, diabetes and heart tissue damaged after a heart attack.
The Government's position is that if we are to find treatments and cures for currently unbeatable diseases, it is important that we do not unnecessarily restrict research avenues that might enable us to learn more about the development of stem cells. Such research must be carried out within a suitable regulatory framework that results from an open debate with the public and the research community and commands broad public support. We welcome the Science and Technology Committee's contribution to this conversation.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to publish (a) her Department's response to the consultation on the draft national framework for continuing care and (b) the final national framework for continuing care. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: On 14 March I announced my intention to publish new national guidance around eligibility for NHS continuing care in June. This will respond to issues raised during the consultation and set out the new national framework.
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she decided to visit the Chester-le-Street Community hospital on 9 March 2007; when her Department informed the hospital of her visit; and what the cost of the visit was. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of deep vein thrombosis were recorded in each health authority in England in the last
12 months for which figures are available; and how many there were in each of the last five years. 
|Finished consultant episodes( 1) for deep vein thrombosis in national health service hospitals, England( 2)|
|Finished consultant episodes|
|Strategic health authority of treatment||2000-01||2001-02||2002-03||2003-04||2004-05||2005-06|
|(1) Finished Consultant Episode (FCE). An FCE is defined as a period of admitted care under on consultant within one health care provider. Please note that the figures do not represent the number of patients, as a person may have more than one episode of care within a year. (2 )The figures are based on any diagnosis rather than main or principle diagnosis. They do not include cases treated by their general practitioner or as an out-patient.|
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