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9 May 2007 : Column 266W—continued

Community Service Volunteers

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health who is responsible for delivering funds to the community service volunteers' capital volunteering project which her Department has allocated. [108694]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department was responsible for allocating resource to community services volunteers for the capital volunteering project in line with Treasury approved “invest to save” bid.

Consanguineous Relationships

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many leaflets aimed at members of the public in consanguineous relationships who intend to have children were produced in the latest year for which figures are available; [129405]

(2) what information her Department provides to GPs and other medical professionals on how they should advise patients of the risks associated with consanguineous sexual relationships. [129407]

Caroline Flint: The Department does not produce leaflets for members of the public on this issue, nor does it collect data on leaflets that may be produced by other sources.

A leaflet on genetic risk and consanguineous marriage has recently been produced as part 2 of a collaborative project by the London IDEAS genetic knowledge park and the Genetic Interest Group (GIG, a national alliance of patient organisations) that aims to address the lack of availability of multilingual information on genetic disorders and risk. However, this leaflet is for use by specialised genetics services as an adjunct to genetic counselling. It is currently
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available in English, Urdu, Gujarati, Punjabi and Turkish. It is one of a series dealing with genetic disorders and risk.

The Department does not provide guidance for general practitioners or other health professionals on the issue of the risks associated with consanguineous sexual relationships. In general, guidance on issues of practice is a matter for the appropriate professional or regulatory bodies. In addition, local national health service organisations may decide to issue guidance to help practitioners deal with issues which are of particular relevance to their local population.

The Human Genetics Commission supports the need for proper provision of education and information about marriage within a kinship group. This should entail access to counselling and support, preferably in the individual’s or couple’s preferred language, and a no-blame approach that enables at-risk couples to come forward for testing. Those wanting specific advice on their individual risk should consult a clinical geneticist or genetic counsellor in their local NHS regional genetics centre.

From later this year the curriculum for trainee general practitioners will include learning objectives to equip them to refer patients at risk of genetic conditions appropriately and to appreciate the importance of considering a patient’s cultural and religious background and beliefs concerning inheritance in providing care. These have been developed by the Royal College of General Practitioners in partnership with the NHS National Genetics Education and Development Centre, which is funded by the Department.

Dental Services: Manpower

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in (a) the Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England are not registered with a dentist. [134848]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is not available in the form requested. Under the new arrangements for national health service dental services, patients do not need to be formally registered with a practice to receive NHS services.

Information is available on the number of patients who received care or treatment from an NHS dentist in the last 24 months. The most recent information is as at 31 December 2006. The information shows the numbers of patients receiving services in each primary care trust and strategic health authority area and in England as a whole. It could be made available by constituency only at disproportionate cost.

This information is contained in sheet F2, within annex 3, “NHS Dental Statistics for England Q3: 31 December 2006”. This report was published by the Information Centre for Health and Social Care, and has been placed in the Library.

The report is also available online at:

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Departments: Consultants

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many consultants and contractors were employed by her Department in each year since 1997; and what the cost was to the public purse. [128042]

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.

Departmental expenditure on external consultancy services is set out as follows:

Financial year £000





















(1) The 2005-06 and 2006-07 spend is lower because the Department rectified some miscoding against the expenditure category codes to provide a more accurate figure of external consultancy spend.
(2) Spend up to end of February 2007.

The Department has only recently started to record contractors on its Human Resources Information System, so figures have only become available during the last year.

The number of contractors working for the Department on 1 January 2007 was 223.

Departments: Press

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what reorganisations of her Department's press office have taken place since May 2005. [124952]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: One reorganisation of the Department's press office has taken place since May 2005.

This involved reorganising the teams of press officers to establish a desk dedicated solely to answering incoming calls and queries from the media, separate from specialist desks providing proactive media relations handling for Ministers.

The rationale behind this reorganisation was to provide a faster and more efficient service for the media and Ministers.

Doctors: Ministerial Policy Advisers

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) practising and (b) former doctors are appointed as advisers to her Department. [126627]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The answer could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

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Fertility: Stem Cells

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research has been (a) funded and (b) carried out by her Department on the use of bone marrow stem cells to treat male infertility; when her Department last undertook an evidence review on the issue that drew on (i) UK and (ii) international research; and if she will make a statement. [130840]

Caroline Flint: The United Kingdom Government have maintained a consistent policy of support for stem cell research in this country. While the Department has not funded or carried out any research on the use of bone marrow stem cells to treat male fertility or undertaken any type of review of the issue, we are aware of recently published findings for pre-clinical research on this issue and await the results of further trials with interest.

Food Labelling

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many investigations the Food Standards Agency carried out into falsely labelled food in each year since 2006; and what the cost was of the investigations. [136376]

Caroline Flint: Investigations into falsely labelled food are not carried out directly by the Food Standards Agency. The agency has overall policy responsibility for food labelling, but the enforcement of the legislation is undertaken by food enforcement officers who are employed by local authorities.

Health Services: Barnet

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent by (a) Barnet Health Authority in 1997-98 and (b) Barnet Primary Care Trust in 2005-06 on their drugs and pharmaceutical budget; how much is estimated to be spent in 2006-07; and if she will make a statement. [130914]

Caroline Flint: The following table shows the total expenditure on drugs and pharmaceutical services for Barnet Primary Care Trust (PCT). Figures have been provided for 1998-99 (which is the earliest year for which the data exists for the individual organisations) and for 2005-06.

Barnet health authority Barnet PCT
1998-99 2005-06 2006-07

Drugs or prescribing costs




Pharmaceutical services




Notes: Information for individual national health service bodies is not available prior to 1998-99. The majority of expenditure on pharmaceutical services was accounted for by the Prescription Pricing Authority and not by commissioners. Therefore this cannot be included in the answer. Sources: Audited accounts of Barnet Health Authority 1998-99. Audited summarisation schedules of Barnet PCT 2005-06.

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The second table shows the Prescription Pricing Division estimate of final year spending on primary care prescribing in 2006-07 for Barnet PCT. This covers prescriptions issued in England. Prescriptions written in hospitals or clinics that are dispensed in the community, prescriptions dispensed in hospitals and private prescriptions are not included in this figure.

PCT code PCT name Total actual cost (£)



Barnet PCT


2006-07 (part year April to January)


Barnet PCT


(1) Part year spend. The Prescription Pricing Division estimate final year spending in primary care prescribing in 2006-07 for 5A9 Barnet is £46,057,219.

Health Research

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she has taken to implement the recommendations of the Cooksey report on health research funding; and if she will make a statement. [130979]

Caroline Flint: The Department, together with the Department of Trade and Industry, is taking forward the recommendations of the Cooksey review jointly and with other stakeholders. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has invited Professor John Bell to be the interim chair of the new Office for Strategic Co-ordination of Health Research (OSCHR). The interim oversight group for OSCHR met for the first time in January. In March, OSCHR submitted to the Treasury a single funding bid for health research as part of the 2007 comprehensive spending review.

Hospitals: York

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the capital expenditure on York hospital was in each year since 1992. [136146]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 8 May 2007]: The information requested is shown in the following table.

Capital expenditure by York hospitals national health service trust





























Audited summarisation schedules of the York hospitals NHS trust 1992-93 to 2005-06

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Human Embryo Experiments: Stem Cells

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what treatments for (a) children and (b) adults with disabling conditions have been developed since July 2006 arising from (i) human embryo experimentation, (ii) embryonic stem cell research and (iii) non-embryonic stem cell research; and if she will make a statement; [130841]

(2) what progress has been made in curing diseases arising from the results of (a) adult stem cell research, (b) embryonic stem cell research and (c) human embryo experimentation since July 2006; and if she will make a statement. [130842]

Caroline Flint: As indicated by previous replies to the hon. Member’s questions on these topics at the end of in 2005 and 2006, it is too early to talk of treatments for disabling conditions. However, research in these areas has started us on the road to a better understanding of conditions such as motor neurone disease, diabetes and cystic fibrosis that will help us to develop effective treatments, with time. Scientific opinion remains that research in these areas will revolutionise the treatment for such conditions in the 21st century.

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