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Nick Herbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has spent on (a) citizens juries, (b) focus groups and (c) other deliberative forms of public opinion research in each month since January 2006. 
Ann Keen: Data from January 2006 on the cost of citizens juries, focus groups and other deliberative forms of research undertaken by the Department are not readily available. Supplying the costs of all such research citizens juries and focus groups would require a substantial investigation into all public engagement programmes undertaken by various divisions within the department and its arms length bodies, including the national health service, and would incur disproportionate cost.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when Food Standards Agency officials proposed that Ministers from his Department should meet representatives of consumers of food supplements to discuss the setting of maximum permitted levels for nutrients in such supplements; and for what reasons no date for such a meeting has been set; 
(2) which member states of the European Union have indicated they will support the United Kingdom's objective for and approach to the setting of maximum permitted levels for vitamins and minerals in food supplements; what progress has been made on achievement of the UK's objectives; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) which Minister in his Department has responsibility for the achievement of his objectives for setting maximum permitted levels for nutrients in food supplements; and what discussions that Minister has had with (a) the European Commission and (b) other EU member state governments on the matter. 
Dawn Primarolo: Food Standards Agency (FSA) met with the Health Food Manufacturers' Association in August. The FSA met with the Commission on 12 Sept and also held a stakeholder event to discuss the orientation paper on 14 September in advance of the first Commission working group meeting with member states which took place on 24 September. Such proactive stakeholder engagement will continue. FSA gave advice to Ministers in connection with the CHC reception held in October 2007.
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 an orientation paper on setting maximum levels which was the starting point for Commission working group discussions which began on 24 September 2007.
We have been advised by the FSA that general discussions on the orientation paper in the working group revealed that while member states support the broad objective of setting of maximum levels on the basis of safety and science, many are yet to establish views on a range of issues and as such are not in a position to support any specific approach at such an early stage in the discussions.
Ministerial responsibility for matters relating to food supplements, including the setting of maximum permitted levels for vitamins and minerals in these products, rests with me. No recent meetings have been held between Health Ministers and the European Commission or with other European Union member state governments on this matter.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many doctors graduated in England in each year since 1997; how many NHS vacancies there
were for these doctors in each year; how many GP posts became available in each year; and how many foreign national doctors began employment in the UK in each year. 
|Table 1: Medical school output in England 1997-98-2006-07|
|Academic year||Graduate output|
Higher Education Funding Council for England
The number of foreign national doctors commencing work each year in the United Kingdom, the number of national health service vacancies for these doctors and the number of general practitioner posts that became available in each year is not collated centrally. However, the following table provides information on the total number of house officer and foundation programme year 1.
|Table 2: Hospital and Community Health Services: medical and dental staff showing house officer and foundation programme year 1 by yearEngland as at 30 September each year|
|All staff||Of which: House office r and foundation programme year 1|
The Information Centre for health and social care Medical and Dental Workforce Census
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were prescribed (a) methadone and (b) other hard drug substitutes in the latest period for which figures are available; and what the size is of the waiting list for substitutes programmes. 
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding has been provided for residential drug treatment and rehabilitation centres in (a) the Wakefield area, (b) Hemsworth constituency and (c) England in 2007-08. 
In 2007-08 the Wakefield partnership identified £84,400 from the local authority contribution to the pooled budget for residential rehabilitation. This ring fenced pot is accessed by the partnership on an individual needs basis.
As the Wakefield partnership covers all localities within the Wakefield area there is no separate allocation for the Hemsworth constituency. As all client applications to residential rehabilitation are based on need, it would be inappropriate to divide the funding to each suburb of the partnership.
Partnership areas send their annual treatment plans to the National Treatment Agency regional teams for consideration. Drawing on data from the planning grids of the partnership treatment plans for 2007-08, the amount budgeted by 142 drug action teams (DATs) to spend on residential rehabilitation and in-patient services was £84.1 million. However there were seven DAT partnerships that had not provided a figure in their treatment plans, thus the true national total may be higher than this.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time was to move from the waiting list to treatment programmes for hard drug substitutes in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Dawn Primarolo: The latest waiting times data for substitute prescribing that we have available are for September 2007. The waiting time in this period for specialist prescribing is 0.9 weeks, and for general practitioners prescribing is 0.87 weeks.
Dawn Primarolo: The Department is funding Education for Choice to develop two best practice toolkits for practitioners titled Pregnancy decision making support and Abortion Education. These were tested as part of the work in our teenage health demonstration sites. The toolkits will be launched nationally early in 2008.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 4 December 2007, Official Report, column 1118W, on the eye care services steering group, when the group last met. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) officials have had with (i) hon. Members and (ii) Members of the House of Lords on (A) embryonic stem cell research and (B) the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: Departmental Ministers and officials have had numerous discussions with hon. Members and Members of the House of Lords on several matters in connection with the review of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, and the resulting Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, including on embryonic stem cell research.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much food imported into the UK contained genetically modified ingredients in the last year for which figures are available; what labelling is required on those foodstuffs; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: All food imported into the United Kingdom from third countries, or in free circulation within the European Union (EU), must comply with relevant EU legislation. Official controls on food, including genetically modified food, imported from third countries are carried out by port health authorities and local authorities at points of entry into the UK. The collection of specific data on the quantity of imported food containing genetically modified ingredients is not a legal requirement under EU official controls legislation and such data are not collected for other purposes.
GM food is regulated in the EU under Regulation (EC) No. 1829/2003 (GM Food and Feed Regulation) and Regulation (EC) No. 1830/2003 (Traceability and Labelling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)). GM food may only be marketed in the EU if it has been authorised following a process which involves a rigorous safety assessment. GMOs which have not been authorised for use in the EU are prohibited.
Food which contains, consists of, or has been produced from authorised GMOs has to be labelled as such regardless of the presence of detectable novel genetic material in the final product, or the quantity of intentionally used GM ingredient present. Labelling does not apply to foods which contain authorised GM material of 0.9 per cent. or less, provided that this presence is adventitious or technically unavoidable.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Forest of Dean Health Enterprise Trust is one the Department's social enterprise pathfinders, which are leading the way in delivering innovative health and social care services. They are working closely with the Department, the NHS South West and other stakeholders and are making progress in reviewing options for developing innovative community services, covering health, social care and transport.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what account is taken of the precautionary principle in steps to mitigate vCJD transmission via the transfusion of blood from asymptomatic carriers. 
Dawn Primarolo: A range of precautionary measures have been put in place by the Department to reduce the possible risk of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) being passed through blood. For details of these precautionary measures I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Kettering (Mr. Hollobone) on 14 June 2007, Official Report, columns 1329-30W.
Dawn Primarolo: A scoping report was presented to the United Kingdom National Screening Committee (UK NSC) at its November 2007 meeting. This recommended that a UK-wide project should be undertaken to address equality in screening. The project is currently being commissioned and the results will be published in due course on the UK NSC website.
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