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Caroline Flint: There are 13 national health service operated obesity clinics for children and adults located across England. Information on the number of primary care trusts (PCTs) who are in the process of setting up weight management clinics and the number of general practitioner practices that have established weight management services within their clinics is not held centrally.
It is up to PCTs as local commissioners and providers of services to determine the most appropriate methods to deliver health care to their populations, based on clinical need and effectiveness, as well as local circumstances, drawing on the available evidence.
Managing obesity is a complex issue with no simple solution as it is both a cause and consequence of many physiological and psychological health problems. In addition, it requires partnership working at a national and local level, primary care trusts and local authorities are the key delivery organisations in preventing and managing obesity. It is up to these organisations, as local commissioners and providers of services, to determine the most appropriate methods to
deliver health care to their populations, including interventions on obesity. Decisions are based on clinical need and effectiveness, as well as local circumstances, drawing on the available evidence. As these services are commissioned locally and are likely to range from clinical interventions to community based services, it is difficult to make any assessment of overall spending in this area, as we do not have detailed breakdown of funding.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps her Department is taking to ensure compliance with National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines on obesity; 
Caroline Flint: NICE (National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence) guidance is explicitly included in Standards for Better Health, which sets out the Governments high level expectations for the health service. The developmental standards on clinical and cost effectiveness and public health require that national health service organisations should be making progress towards implementation of NICE clinical guidelines and public health including the guidance on obesity. It is anticipated that assessment by the Healthcare Commission of progress in implementing NICE obesity guidance will be made as part of the 2007-08 annual health check.
Primary care trusts, as local commissioners and providers of services, determine the most appropriate methods to deliver health care to their populations, based on clinical need and effectiveness, as well as local circumstances, drawing on the available evidence.
Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her estimate is of the change in the number of patients missing appointments since clinics were transferred from Gravesend Hospital to Darent Valley Hospital. 
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) who drafted the original Official Journal of the European Union notice on primary care trust commissioning published on 29 June 2006; 
(2) what involvement Mr. Paul Corrigan had in drafting the original Official Journal of the European Union notice on primary care trusts commissioning published on (a) 29 June 2006 and (b) subsequent versions; 
(3) which (a) Ministers, (b) special advisers, (c) officials and (d) non-departmental staff (i) saw and (ii) signed off the original Official Journal of the European Union notice on primary care trusts commissioning published on 29 June 2006 before it was published. 
Andy Burnham: The Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) notice was published on 17 June 2006 and was drafted by the Department of Healths Commercial Directorate. The Prime Ministers special adviser for health was not involved in the drafting of the notice or subsequent versions.
Where a procurement neither constitutes a major policy announcement, nor carries major financial risk to the Secretary of State, a Director General has delegated authority to act, and can sign off an OJEU notice. Under this authority, and following normal process, the Director General of the Commercial Directorate signed off the OJEU notice published on 17 June.
Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 15 March 2007, Official Report, column 552W, on Prisons: Drugs, over what time scale the funding announced on 28 September 2004 is planned to be spent. 
Caroline Flint: In 2004 the Department announced funding for the clinical element of integrated drug treatment system (IDTS) of £20 million in 2006-07 rising to £40 million in 2007-08. This was reduced to £12 million in 2006-07 following the wider review of the Department spending. For 2007-08 the Departments funding will rise to £12.7 million.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will publish the advice she has received on making over the counter medicines containing pseudoephedrine available on prescription only. 
Caroline Flint: There has been increasing concern from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) that pseudoephedrine and ephedrine can be extracted from over the counter (OTC) remedies relatively easily and used in the manufacture of methylamphetamine. Methylamphetamine was reclassified on 18 January 2007 by the Home Office as a Class A controlled drug, based on the recommendation of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD).
Although the prevalence of misuse of methylamphetamine is believed to be currently low in the United Kingdom, ACPO are receiving increasing levels of intelligence about the prevalence of methylamphetamine. If methylamphetamine did secure a hold in the UK, the consequences would undoubtedly be very serious. The international experience shows that misuse can spread rapidly when certain conditions prevail and the advice of UK enforcement authorities is that most of these conditions now prevail in the UK.
In January 2007 the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM) considered the evidence of a risk to public health from OTC availability of the precursors
to methylamphetamine, pseudoephedrine and ephedrine. The evidence to date centres on advice from ACPO and SOCA that the availability of methylamphetamine is increasing, evidenced in part by the increase in the number of illicit laboratories manufacturing methylamphetamine found by the police in the UK. The police have identified in specific cases that multiple packs of particular pharmacy pseudoephedrine containing products had been purchased and used in the illicit manufacture of methylamphetamine. They have also identified that, in part, these packs were obtained from numerous pharmacies to obtain adequate quantities for manufacturing.
The CHM recommended that changing the legal status of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine together with restricting the pack size was necessary to protect public health in the UK and that a consultation exercise should be conducted on these proposals. Ministers accepted this advice and a full public consultation exercise commenced on 7 March 2007 and can be accessed via the MHRAs website at:
(2) what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on measures to ensure that the increase in the age for the legal purchase of tobacco is not accompanied by abuse, intimidation or violence as a result of refusal of sale; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: The change in the minimum age for selling tobacco from 16 to 18 will come into force on 1 October 2007. Communication plans are in development and the Department is in discussion with key stakeholders. The Department will focus on publicising the change in age to the two most affected groups: retailers and teenagers.
The Department and Home Office have discussed the issue at official level. It is not expected that the rise in the age of sale will result in serious intimidation or violence against shopkeepers. This has not been the experience in other countries for example like Ireland where the minimum age for tobacco sale has been changed recently. Trading Standards guidance for retailers will include advice on handling intimidation by customers refused sale because they cannot prove that they meet the minimum age.
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many representations she has received on the implementation of the smoking ban in working mens clubs; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: Working mens clubs and other such clubs have been consulted at all stages of consideration of the Health Act 2006 and its implementation. We continue to work closely with organisations representing working mens clubs in the run up to the implementation of the smoke free provisions of the Health Act 2006 on 1 July 2007.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps have been taken to inform owners of restaurants, hotels and public houses of the smoking ban which comes into place on 1 July. 
Caroline Flint: Through the Smokefree England campaign, the Department is delivering a major communications campaign to support businesses to be prepared for the implementation of smokefree legislation on Sunday, 1 July 2007. Recent surveys by the Department show extremely high levels of awareness among the hospitality industry and customers.
Information on the new law is available from the freephone Smokefree England information line on 0800 169 169 7 and on the Smokefree England website at www.smokefreeengland.co.uk. The website has received nearly 250,000 visits to date.
The Department has developed a range of guides on the new law. A guidance pack, including a guide, no-smoking signs and other support materials is being sent to all businesses in England that employ staff during April. Guidance documents can be downloaded from the Smokefree England website, and will be available in a range of different languages and formats, including a downloadable MP3 audio version.
A Ministerial Reference Group comprising key stakeholders was created last year to facilitate dialogue between business groups including representatives from the hospitality industry, local government and the Department, and has met regularly. The Department also continues to work closely with organisations that represent the hospitality industry to increase awareness of the new legislation among their constituents.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when she expects to reply to question 109396, on accident and emergency services for heart disease and stroke patients, tabled by the hon. Member for St. Ives on 11 December 2006; 
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 25 January 2007, Official Report, columns 2052-54W, on the York Capio Centre, why the Minister cannot release information about (a) the number of procedures contracted and carried out for NHS patients at this centre and (b) the relative cost to the primary care trust of purchasing procedures from this centre and York NHS Hospital Trust; and if she will make a statement. 
Andy Burnham: The Clifton Park National Health Service Treatment Centre is expected to deliver approximately 10,000 procedures over the five year contract period. At the end of January 1,817 procedures had been delivered for NHS patients. Primary care trusts pay for the services provided at NHS tariff or at costs equivalent to the NHS costs for such services.
Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what effect he expects recent political violence in Democratic Republic of the Congo to have on the repatriation of failed asylum seekers to that country. 
Mr. Byrne: Asylum and human rights claims made by those from the Democratic Republic of Congo continue to be considered on their individual merits in accordance with our international obligations and taking full account of the latest available information about the conditions in the country as they impact on the individual claimant.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers from Darfur (a) applied for asylum and (b) were returned to Sudan in each of the last four years. 
Mr. Byrne: This information is not available in the format requested. The Border and Immigration Agency does not electronically record the region from which asylum applicants originate. That information would be available only by examination of individual case files at disproportionate cost.
Information on the nationality of asylum applications and removals is published quarterly and annually. Information on the number of asylum applicants removed from the UK, broken down by nationality, is produced regularly in the annual Asylum Bulletin. Copies of these publications are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office research, development and statistics website at:
The BCS provides information on the proportion of violent incidents in England and Wales where the offender was thought to be under the influence of alcohol. According to the latest BCS (2005-06) the offender was thought to be under the influence of alcohol in 44 per cent. of violent incidents, which is approximately the same as the figure for the previous year (48 per cent.). The estimated number of violent incidents where the offender was thought to be under the influence of alcohol was 1,029,000 based on the BCS interviews in 2005-06.
The OCJS asks questions about peoples participation in alcohol-related crime and disorder. The 2005 OCJS found that being drunk once a month or more was a risk factor for offending among 10 to 25-year-olds. Further analysis of the 2003 survey revealed that, among 18 to 24-year-olds, those respondents identified as binge drinkers (defined as those who drank alcohol and felt very drunk at least once a month in the last 12 months) were more likely to offend than other regular drinkers and non-drinkers. Young male binge drinkers were twice as likely to commit a violent offence than other young male regular drinkers. Binge drinkers were also more likely to commit criminal or disorderly behaviour (such as getting into a fight or damaging something) during or after drinking than other regular drinkers.
The 2004 OCJS found that among those aged between 10 and 17 years old, those who drank once a week or more committed more offences than those who drank less frequently or not at all. Again, a higher proportion of those who drank alcohol once a week or more reported committing criminal damage and theft offences during or after drinking than those who drank less frequently.
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