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The NHS cancer plan, published in 2000, stated that we would extend invitations for breast screening to women aged 65 to 70 and introduce two-view mammography at all screening rounds. Thanks to the efforts of the staff in the screening programme, these targets have now been achieved in all local breast screening units. The expansion is already showing an effect, with nearly 12,000 cancers diagnosed by the programme in 2004-05, an increase of 40 per cent. on 2001 when the expansion began.
However, the changes together represent a 40 per cent. increase in the workload of the programme. We are aware that this has had an impact on some services maintaining the three-year interval for screening and we are taking steps to bring all screening intervals back to three years.
We take the issue of the 36-month standard between screens very seriously. That is why Professor Mike Richards, the National Cancer Director, wrote to the chief executives of all 10 strategic health authorities in England on 9 February 2007 highlighting the importance of maintaining the 36-month interval.
Caroline Flint: This is a local matter. It is for primary care trusts in partnership with local stakeholders to determine how best to use their resources to meet both national and local priorities. This process provides the means for addressing local needs within the local health community including the provision of chiropody services.
The Government have recognised that the need to switch to the superior nucleic acid amplification test for chlamydia testing and screening should be treated as a priority. £7 million pump-priming money was invested in 2004-05 to ensure that all major laboratories in each region of England use the most effective technology.
Caroline Flint: Information on the number of people screened in 2005-06 between the ages of 16-24 in the national chlamydia screening programme (NCSP) is given in the table (this is the same figure as tests undertaken). The information covers 26 programme areas and represented 25 per cent. of the previous primary care trust configuration. We expect to have 85 programme areas when we see national coverage during this year.
|Region||Mid 2005 ONS population||Screening volume year 3 (to March 2006)|
In addition, data for the number of people diagnosed with chlamydia in 2005 in genito-urinary clinics for each region were published in Diagnosis of selected STIs by region, sex and age group, United Kingdom: 19962005. A copy is available in the Library. The document is also freely available at the following website:
The national screening chlamydia programme (NSCP) is an important part of the Governments sexual health strategy. Screening volumes have already increased from just over 18,000 in year one (2003-04) to nearly 104,000 in year three (2005-06). No estimate has been made of the number of 16 to 24-year-olds who have not been screened but are infected with chlamydia but positivity rates in year
three for both males and females is very similar (10.1 per cent. and 10.2 per cent. respectively). Screening was undertaken in 26 programme areas.
We expect to see all primary care trusts commence screening during 2007. For the first time a local delivery plan target has been introduced for 2007-08. Strategic health authorities have submitted plans to screen at least 15 per cent. of their population aged 15-24 by March 2008.
In addition, the Department, has contracted Boots to pilot the potential of retail pharmacies as chlamydia screening venues. Screening started on 14 November 2005 in all of the Boots stores in London. This two-year pilot is being independently evaluated by TNS Healthcare. To date, nearly 18,000 people have been tested between the ages of 16-24.
Figures as at 28 February 2007
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her Departments total expenditure on communications research was in each year since 1997-98; and how much of this cost was accounted for by producing (a) reports on the public perceptions of the NHS, (b) reports from plain English workshops, (c) stakeholder surveys, (d) national media evaluations, (e) regional media evaluations and (f) other research. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: A list of expenditure on communications research in each year since 1997-98 could be provided only at disproportionate costs, as there are no central records for communications research expenditure prior to April 2004.
In April 2004, the Communications Research Team was established. The following table is their expenditure broken down by the areas requested. This should be regarded as an indicative guide to the Departments spend only:
|Communications research||Spend by type (£)|
We are committed to consulting and involving the public, national health service staff and our stakeholders to help inform both policy formulation and the delivery of better quality public service. Responsive public services are an important part of the Modernising Government initiative.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what strategy she has put in place for (a) the use of renewable energy and (b) meeting energy targets in her Departments buildings; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department has been purchasing green electricity since 2001-02. Since 2004-05 100 per cent. of the electricity for our London administrative estate has been purchased from renewable sources. This is a substantially better performance than the Government target required, which was that 10 per cent. of electricity should be from renewable sources.
We are committed to maximising our energy efficiency, and we have been working with the Carbon Trust and others to identify potential savings. We have recently been commended in the 2005-06 Sustainable Development in Government (SDiG) report (published 7 March 2007) for having reduced our absolute carbon emissions by 15.4 per cent. since 1999-2000. Along with
other Government Departments, we are working towards the target that the whole Government estate should be carbon neutral by 2012.
This information relates to the Departments main London estate. The Department also occupies a building in Leeds, where the major occupier is Department of Work and Pensions, and another building in London where the major occupier is HM Revenue and Customs. They are subject to the same Government-wide targets. Where we do not have direct control over utilities we nevertheless do whatever we can, such as encouraging our staff to save energy, to reduce the overall C02 emissions from these buildings.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 20 February 2007, Official Report, column 667W, whether phase two diagnostic schemes have now been finalised in strategic health authorities other than London and the West Midlands; and when she expects the first procedures to be undertaken by phase two diagnostic schemes. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: A number of representations have been made regarding either hospital food, or the nutrition of older people. In particular, there has been a recent short debate in the House of Lords, to ask Her Majestys Government what plans they have to prevent malnutrition in hospitals, as highlighted in the Age Concern report, Hungry to be heard, and an Early Day Motion on the same subject.
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