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11 Jun 2007 : Column 874W—continued

Note that these beds are from mental health providers in the London area, so they may not all be available for residents in London. There may be beds outside the London area that are used for residents within London. This can be due to the placement needs of individuals.

The source for these figures is the 'Department of Health Dataset KH03' and the definitions for the purposes of this collection are as follows.

These figures do not represent the full level of secure services available to the NHS. Low secure mental health services are not consistently defined and may well fall outside the definitions below. This means that the figures above mainly show the numbers in high and medium secure mental health services in NHS units. These figures also show NHS beds only and not those commissioned by the NHS and provided by independent sector providers.

The definitions of mental health and learning disability secure unit beds, for the purposes of the KH03 annual beds collection, are:

Mental illness—other ages, secure unit

An age group intended of National Code 8 ‘Any age’, a broad patient group code of National Code 5 ‘Patients with mental illness’ and a clinical care intensity of National Code 51 ‘for intensive care: specially designated ward for patients needing containment and more intensive management. This is not to be confused with intensive nursing where a patient may require one to one nursing while on a standard ward’.

Learning disabilities—other ages, secure unit

An age group intended of National Code 8 ‘Any age’, a broad patient group code of National Code 6 ‘Patients with learning difficulties’ and a clinical care intensity of National Code 61 ‘designated or interim secure unit’.

From the data dictionary at:


Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 6 November 2006, Official Report, columns 775-6W, on methylphenidate, what progress has been made with updating the product information for methylphenidate to advise about serious cardiovascular adverse effects. [141744]

Caroline Flint: Following Europe-wide discussions, the product information for Concerta was revised in November 2006, to advise about serious cardiovascular adverse effects, and to recommend that methylphenidate should not be used in children or adolescents with known serious structural cardiac abnormalities. The product information for Ritalin was revised accordingly in June 2007, and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is currently in discussion with the licence holder for Equasym.

Copies of the most up-to-date product information for Ritalin, Concerta and Equasym can be found in the Electronic Medicines Compendium available at This includes the patient information leaflet provided for patients with their medicines and summaries of product characteristics which provide information for doctors and pharmacists.

Milton Keynes Hospital: Armed Forces

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what policy is in place in Milton Keynes General Hospital for the treatment of reservists on return from operational service. [141575]

Andy Burnham: The national health service has effective arrangements in place for the reception and treatment of reservists returning from operational service, and all necessary care is provided within the NHS.

Musgrove Park Hospital: Parking

Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) revenue income and (b) estimated overhead cost of the parking charges scheme at Musgrove Park hospital in Taunton constituency was in each of the last 10 years. [141502]

Andy Burnham: Information is not available in the precise format required.

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Data on the gross income that national health service trusts receive from car parking charges paid by staff and visitors have been collected since 2000. Information in respect of Musgrove Park hospital is in the table.

The Department does not collect information about the overhead costs that trusts will incur in providing car parking facilities.

Total income from car parking fees (£)













NHS: Drugs

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 14 May 2007, Official Report, column 606W, on NHS: drugs, what recent discussions she has had on limits on the length of prescription periods. [138870]

Caroline Flint: We have had no such discussions. Responsibility for prescribing, including the issue of repeat prescribing and the length of prescriptions, rests with the clinician who has clinical responsibility for that particular aspect of a patient’s care.

Nutrition: Pupils

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the decision to award the contract for a seminar on the Effects of Nutrition on School Attainment under the auspices of the Food Standards Agency to the Smith Institute was the subject of a competitive process; and if she will make a statement. [141256]

Caroline Flint: In line with HM Treasury and European Union public sector procurement rules, contracts worth less than £25,000 are not normally subject to formal competitive processes because of the disproportionate effort in relation to value. However, all proposals are assessed on a value-for-money basis and given the costs of staging seminars of this kind the Smith Institute proposal represented good value for money.

Nutrition: Training

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions Ministers and officials of her Department have had with (a) officials from the Sector Skills Development Agency, (b) regional development agencies and (c) representatives of the catering industry on training in nutrition and its relationship to health and well-being for chefs. [139951]

Caroline Flint: The Food Standards Agency have informed me that they have not had any discussions with the Sector Skills Development Agency nor the regional development agencies on the subject of training for chefs. They have, however, had discussions with People1st, the Sector Skills Council for hospitality,
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leisure, travel and tourism, which is responsible for identifying and tackling skills gaps in that sector.

Following the 2005-06 review of national occupational standards for food preparation and cooking, a specific unit was created on preparing and cooking healthier dishes. This unit is now available to those training to be chefs who are taking the National Vocational Qualification in food preparation and cooking. In addition, newly developed qualifications in professional cookery contain a mandatory unit on healthier eating and special diets. This means that chefs entering the industry with this qualification will have gained an understanding of the importance of healthier eating.


Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the reasons for recent trends in rates of obesity; and what steps she is taking to encourage physical exercise. [139799]

Caroline Flint: Although the rise in obesity cannot be attributed to any single factor, it is the imbalance between energy in (through the food choices we make) and energy out (mainly through physical activity) which is the root cause.

Following input from academic, commercial and voluntary sector sources, the Medical Research Council report reviewing the evidence for behaviour change goals is now complete and was launched on 14 March 2007.

“Choosing Activity: a physical activity action plan” was published on 9 March 2005. This represents the first truly cross-Government plan to co-ordinate action aimed at increasing levels of physical activity across the whole population. In August 2006 I was asked by the Prime Minister to work across Government on a new strategy, building on Choosing Activity to increase the public’s fitness and activity levels in the run up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress is being made in the Government’s obesity social marketing campaign. [140606]

Caroline Flint: We have developed a robust social marketing/consumer insight framework to inform and enable targeted work at a national, regional and local level to tackle childhood obesity. We have also been working closely with a wide range of stakeholders across the food and activity spectrum, including representatives from Government, commercial and not-for-profit sectors. A core expert review group have validated the approach taken and outputs to date.

The first initiative in the programme, the “5 A DAY Top Tips for Top Mums” campaign, was launched in March. The campaign encourages families to think more about how they can improve their diet and increase fruit and vegetable consumption among children between the ages of two and 11, specifically those in low-income young families.

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Obesity: Departmental Co-ordination

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions she has had with the Department for Education and Skills and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on (a) progress on tackling obesity and (b) cross-departmental working on the matter. [140605]

Caroline Flint: The obesity public service agreement (PSA) target is jointly owned by the Department, the Department for Education and Skills and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in recognition that delivery will depend on a joined up effort across Government.

The three Departments are working on six fronts: to change population attitudes towards eating and activity; helping children to be active and eat healthily; supporting targeted local-level obesity interventions in children; raising awareness of the importance of healthy weight to children and parents; working with local partners on delivery; and developing the knowledge base.

There are a number of mechanisms to ensure that the Departments are working effectively in partnership. Ministers, and also permanent secretaries, who are responsible for the PSA target have held regular meetings to monitor progress and identify areas for action.

The target is co-ordinated by a cross-Government team, led by a cross-Government programme manager and senior officials who are the senior responsible officers for each Department. The PSA programme board brings in delivery chain partners and senior officials from other Government Departments beyond the target-holding Departments.


Mr. Horam: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many intensity modulated radiation therapy machines are in regular use in the NHS; and if she will make a statement on progress in introducing these machines. [140407]

Ms Rosie Winterton: A survey of radiotherapy equipment is currently under way, and the results of this are expected to be published in the summer.

The survey includes questions regarding which radiotherapy centres are undertaking intensity modulated radiotherapy, and the numbers of patients they treated in the financial year 2006-07 for each disease application of the technology (prostate, lung and head and neck cancers). It does not ask centres to identify which machine(s) they are using to treat these patients.

Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child

Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received from the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child in the last 12 months. [139008]

Caroline Flint: A range of Government Departments and stakeholders, including the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child (SPUC), were consulted earlier
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this year on the implications of the legislation proposed in the Termination of Pregnancy Bill.

In addition, over the last 12 months, the Department has received approximately 5,300 letters enclosing correspondence from SPUC on issues including abortion, euthanasia and the Mental Capacity Act.

Skin Cancer: Health Education

Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the priorities of the SunSmart campaign will be during the summer. [139255]

Caroline Flint: The key messages for the next phase of SunSmart (2007-10) are:

The target audience for 2007 is holidaymakers.

Information about the SunSmart campaign and available resources are on the SunSmart website at:

Smoking: Public Places

Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance she is providing to those responsible for the management of (a) places of worship and (b) listed buildings on the legal requirements to display no smoking signs. [138702]

Caroline Flint: Section 6 of the Health Act 2006 sets out a duty for any person who occupies or is concerned in the management of smokefree premises to make sure that no-smoking signs complying with the requirements of the new law are displayed. The new law will require virtually all enclosed workplaces and public places to be smokefree, including places of worship or listed buildings.

Through the Smokefree England communications campaign, the Department has made guidance available on the new legislation. The guidance makes specific reference to the display of no-smoking signs in heritage buildings within the frequently asked questions section. Guidance has been posted to employing businesses across England, and is also available from the Smokefree England information line on freephone 0800 169 169 7 or to download on the Smokefree England website at:

Local councils can also provide advice and support on the new law.

Departmental officials have met representatives from the Church of England and the Churches Main Committee regarding smokefree legislation. Meetings have also been offered to other faith groups. A Smokefree England fact sheet on smokefree legislation and places of worship has also been produced.

The Smokefree (Signs) Regulations 2007 set out requirements for the display of no-smoking signs in smokefree premises and vehicles. These regulations have been drafted in a way to afford maximum flexibility
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within the requirements in the Health Act 2006 for the display of no-smoking signs.

No-smoking signs may be displayed in a way that fits the decor of premises, as long as the minimum requirements set out in the regulations are met. A sign will need to be displayed in a prominent position at each entrance to smokefree premises. However, it need not be permanently mounted on the building because, for example, the display of a sign on a moveable stand at each entrance would satisfy the legal requirement.

To support the implementation of smokefree legislation, the Department is making no-smoking signs that meet the legislative requirements freely available to businesses and organisations.

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