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25 Oct 2007 : Column 552W—continued

The aim of the first working group meeting of 24 September was for the Commission to obtain member states’ initial views on the orientation paper. We have been advised by the FSA that general discussions on
25 Oct 2007 : Column 553W
the orientation paper in the working group revealed that many member states are yet to establish views on many issues. The Commission has asked member states to consider some of the issues presented in the orientation paper in preparation for more detailed discussions at the next working group meeting which has provisionally been scheduled for November and will be attended by FSA officials. We have been informed by the FSA that the Commission intends to produce draft amending legislation with respect to permitted levels of vitamins and minerals in food supplements by January 2009.

We have been advised by the FSA that their officials met with their counterparts from the Republic of Ireland and other member states during, and in the margins of, the working group meeting on 24 September. The next working group meeting will provide further opportunity for bilateral discussions. The FSA currently has no additional meetings arranged to meet their counterparts in other member states outside working group meetings.

The Government consider that the approach to regulation of food supplements should be safety-based and that consumers should have the right to make an informed choice unless their safety is compromised. Good progress has been made in promoting work carried out in the United Kingdom in establishing upper levels for vitamins and minerals and reference has been made to this in the Commission’s orientation paper.

We have been advised that the FSA is continuing its work on determining the potential economic impact of setting maximum levels to support future negotiations. In the absence of proposals from the Commission, a range of possible options is being considered. Until proposals are received and this work completed, the impact on small and medium sized enterprises of setting levels is unknown. We cannot, therefore, comment on the matter of compensation.

There are no plans for Health Ministers to visit a specialist health food retailer to discuss the possible impact of setting of maximum levels of vitamins and minerals in food supplements.

The FSA wrote to the Governments of Jersey and Guernsey on 10 September concerning the trade in food supplements between these respective Crown Dependencies and the UK and suggested a collective meeting with representatives of these governments. Copies of the letter sent by the FSA to the Bailiwick of Jersey have been placed in the Library. The release of the letter sent by the FSA to the Bailiwick of Guernsey is currently under consideration by the FSA under Section 36 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 which precludes copies being placed in the Library at this time.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) believes that herbal remedies from the Channel Islands are subject to the Traditional Herbal Medicines Directive 2004/24/EC. The MHRA has already begun discussions about this with the Government of Guernsey and wrote to the Government of Jersey to open discussions on 28 June 2007. Copies of the MHRA’s recent letters to the Bailiwick of Guernsey and letter to the Bailiwick of Jersey have been placed in the Library.


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Drugs: Leeds

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many registered drug addicts there were in the (a) Leeds West constituency and (b) the City of Leeds in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [159851]

Dawn Primarolo: No register of drug addicts is maintained. However, statistics for the number of people in Leeds receiving treatment for drug addiction are available from 2003-04 onwards and are set out in the following table.

Number

2003-04

2,453

2004-05

3,627

2005-06

4,005

2006-07

3,879


Family Practitioner Services

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the basis was for the statement in his Department’s White Paper Our Health, Our Care, Our Say, Cm 6737, published on 30 January 2006, that dual registration at GP surgeries was (a) costly and (b) difficult to introduce. [156806]

Mr. Bradshaw: Funding of most primary medical care practices is largely dependent on the number and characteristics of the patients registered with that provider. In addition, quality and enhanced service payments are also usually based on delivery of care to the patients registered with that practice. Therefore, any system of dual or multiple registrations would fund more than one provider to deliver care and services to the same patient—doubling the costs, while at the same time complicating the care management and co-ordination of care to such patients. This would have consequences for the continuity of patient care and ensuring a single comprehensive and up to date patient record. There would also be complicating factors in determining allocation of resources for the provision of hospital and community health services to primary care trusts should patients be registered with different practices in different primary care trusts.

Following the publication of Lord Darzi’s “Our NHS our future” interim report for the NHS next stage review, the Department is currently considering what other new models might enable patients to switch GPs more easily and register with GPs outside where they live.

General Practitioners

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which primary care trusts form the 25 per cent. of trusts with the poorest GP provision; and what measures are used to calculate such provision. [159938]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department is currently working with the national health service to confirm the appropriate indicators under each of the measures set out in “our NHS our future”. Next Stage Review interim report—(primary care clinicians, patient satisfaction and health
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outcomes). A list of primary care trusts which form the 25 per cent. of trusts with poorest provision will be published shortly.

Health Professions: Standards

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health who the 72 doctors, nurses and health professionals are who have agreed to become clinical champions in strategic health authorities as part of the NHS Next Stage Review, as stated in issue three of the month, published on his Department’s website on 4 October. [158458]

Ann Keen: Each strategic health authority (SHA) is responsible for establishing eight local clinical pathway groups. Lists of members should be sought directly from the SHAs themselves.

Health Services: Luton

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what impact the conclusions of the recent review by Lord Darzi are expected to have on health inequalities in Luton South. [158802]

Ann Keen: Lord Darzi published his interim findings on 4 October. His final report will be published in June 2008.

Lord Darzi’s interim report set out a vision for a fairer national health service ensuring equal access to NHS services for everyone.

Health Services: Pharmacy

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consideration was given to the merits of appointing a pharmacist to Lord Darzi's advisory board on future strategy on primary and community care. [158748]

Mr. Bradshaw: Lord Darzi has appointed Andy Murdock, Pharmacy Director for Lloyds pharmacy, to the advisory board. The interim report of the NHS Next Stage Review published on 4 October included the names of the initial appointments to the advisory board, but it was not possible at this stage to include details of all the proposed appointments.

Health Services: Pilot Projects

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when his Department expects completion of the long term condition whole system demonstrator project action plans for (a) Newham, (b) Kent and (c) Cornwall; what the estimated cost to the public purse of each project is; and what steps he is taking to engage with stakeholders to inform the development of the implementation plans. [158468]

Ann Keen: The three Long Term Condition Whole System Demonstrator sites are currently in a detailed planning phase. We anticipate that the plans will be substantially complete by the end of November.


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Funding of £12 million has been made available in 2007-08 to support these demonstrator pilots. Funding for future years is being agreed following the recent announcement of the Comprehensive Spending Review settlement for health.

Stakeholder engagement is key to the development and design of the implementation plans for each of the Whole System Demonstrator sites. Each of the sites have implemented robust governance arrangements which include representatives from the respective local authorities and primary care trust’s and other key stakeholder groups. The sites have been proactive in identifying opportunities to engage locally in a wide variety of forums both directly and indirectly related to the programme.

Healthcare: Acquired Infections

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 3 May 2007, Official Report, column 1843W, on healthcare: acquired infections, when his Department expects the project to evaluate environmental cleaning for MRSA using Steris vaporised hydrogen peroxide equipment along with wet disinfection to be completed. [159269]

Ann Keen: The Department's project on the importance of environmental contamination, including on assessment of gaseous fumigation products such as Steris, is due to be complete by the end of May 2008.

Hospitals: Cleaning Services

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what central monitoring process will be used by his Department to monitor the deep cleaning of all hospitals over the next year; [160251]

(2) what monitoring documents officials in his Department plan to compile to assess the effectiveness of deep cleaning programmes for hospitals in tackling superbugs. [160253]

Ann Keen: There are no plans to monitor centrally the deep cleaning of hospitals. Arrangements for the programme are entirely a matter for local determination in discussions between trusts and their strategic health authority which will be allocating funding. There are also no plans to assess the effectiveness of deep-cleaning. Undertaking deep-clean is just one of a number of approaches trusts may take in tackling healthcare associated infections, and isolating the contribution of any one approach to assess its effectiveness would require activity in all others to cease.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the first programme of hospital deep cleaning will commence; when he expects it to be completed; when the programme will be evaluated in order for the commencement of a second programme; and if he will make a statement. [159941]

Ann Keen: The deep-cleaning programme announced by the Prime Minister in September 2007 will take place between now and the end of the financial year.


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There are many potential benefits to deep cleaning, and these are dependent on the particular needs of each hospital. Details of the programme, including evaluation, will be decided locally and monitored by strategic health authorities.

Hospitals: Disease Control

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the level at which fines for poor control of hospital infection, as announced in his Department’s NHS Next Stage Review: Interim Report, published 4 October 2007, need to be set to establish appropriate incentives to improve hospital cleanliness; to whom the fines will be paid; what assessment he has made of the likely effect of fining hospitals on the level of resources available for other elements of patient care; and if he will make a statement. [158465]

Ann Keen: Care Quality Commission’s primary role will be to ensure patient care is safe. It will have a wide range of powers including issuing warning notices, closing wards and de-registering providers. Administrative fines are just one part of the picture. The level of administrative fine will be based on the Ministry of Justice’s standard scales, and any income will go to the Consolidated Fund. But, we do not intend to take large sums of money away from front-line health services. Rather, the ability of patients to choose where they are treated means that hospitals that cannot assure the public that they are free from serious infection will not be chosen.

Human Tissue and Embryos Bill (Draft)

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations he has received on the draft Human Tissue and Embryos Bill. [159825]

Dawn Primarolo: Since the publication of the Human Tissue and Embryos (Draft) Bill on 17 May 2007, the Department has received over 5,800 representations.

These included 5,616 postcards which were a result of a campaign run by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. The campaign covered the following stated position:

The Department has also received 241 other representations on the draft Bill, which have included such issues as:


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Infant Foods: EU Action

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what process the Government followed in deciding its policy and interpretation of Commission Directive 2006/14/EC on Infant Formula and Follow-on-Formula; and when it expects to announce related decisions. [160484]

Dawn Primarolo: The Food Standards Agency has consulted stakeholders on new draft regulations, which will implement EU directive 2006/141/EC on infant and follow-on formula, and will lay down rules about the composition, labelling and advertising of formulae. Comments received from the stakeholders are now being collated and evaluated by the agency. These will then be published together with the agency responses. The agency also intends to consult in the near future on the accompanying draft guidance notes. The directive requires that regulations come into force on 1 January 2008.

Influenza: Vaccination

Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many and what percentage of (a) registered carers and (b) people with diabetes in the Stockport Primary Care Trust area received an influenza vaccination in each year since 1997; [158002]

(2) how many pensioners received a free influenza vaccine in (a) Cheadle constituency and (b) Stockport Primary Care Trust area in each year since 1997; and what percentage each figure represents of those eligible in each year; [158004]

(3) how many free influenza vaccines (a) are available for use, (b) will be available for use by November 2007 and (c) will be available for use by December 2007 in (i) Cheadle constituency and (ii) Stockport Primary Care Trust area. [158005]

Dawn Primarolo: Flu vaccine uptake data was collected for the first time in those aged 65 and over from 2000-01. Uptake data for those aged under 65 in an at risk group started in 2005-06 and for carers in 2006-07.

Information is collected by primary care trust (PCT) and strategic health authority. Information is not collected by constituency.

The number and percentage of those aged 65 and over, those aged under 65 with diabetes and carers who received a flu vaccine in Stockport PCT for which data were collected are shown as follows:


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65 and over Under 65 with diabetes Carers
Number Percentage Number Percentage Number Percentage

2000-01

29,885

64

2001-02

32,782

69

2002-03

34,225

72

2003-04

34,769

73

2004-05

33,475

75

2005-06

38,469

79

2,974

76

2006-07

34,953

77

2,698

71

490

54


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