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Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people received a penalty charge for fraudulently claiming free prescriptions in the most recent year for which figures are available; and what the average charge imposed was. 
Since 1 April 2005, the prescription charge penalty function has been a responsibility of primary care trusts. Detailed information on each penalty charge is not held centrally. The average penalty charge figure is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment his Department has made of trends in the rate of infection from respiratory syncytial virus in infants under the age of two in England in the last five years; and what steps he is taking to reduce the rate of infection among such infants; 
Dawn Primarolo: Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) activity, like flu, is seasonal and its severity varies from year to year. In the last five years the number of laboratory confirmed infections in children under two years of age has remained approximately constant, and has been lower than seen in previous years. 2006 was a particularly low year for the number of laboratory confirmed reports of RSV.
|Number of laboratory confirmed RSV specimens (all ages)( 1)|
|(1) Source: LabBase, Health Protection Agency. Data extracted by date of specimen|
(2) Data for November provisional
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost of compliance with the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation guidance on respiratory syncytial virus at (a) national and (b) strategic health authority level. 
Dawn Primarolo: These data are not held centrally. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation estimated that their recommendation would mean that around 2,000 babies would receive palivizumab treatment.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the level of adherence within the NHS to guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation on prophylaxis against respiratory syncytial virus for babies and infants; and whether guidance on immunotherapy for respiratory syncytial virus is included in the Green Book on immunisation. 
Dawn Primarolo: No assessment has been made on the level of adherence within the national health service to guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation (JCVI) on prophylaxis against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) for babies and infants. Primary care trusts (PCTs) are responsible for the management of services and for specifying the level and quality of services provided. PCTs will in turn be held to account for their performance by the strategic health authority. Guidance on immunotherapy for RSV is not included in the Green Book on immunisation. The Green Book currently only provides advice on the national immunisation programme and vaccine-preventable diseases.
Dawn Primarolo: The Department launched its Condom Essential Wear awareness campaign to prevent sexually transmitted infections in November 2006. Plans for the continuation of the campaign in 2008-09 and beyond are currently being drawn up.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when his Department initiated the SunSmart campaign; how much funding his Department has committed to the SunSmart campaign in each year since its launch; what anticipated expenditure on the SunSmart campaign is in each year until 2010-11; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what the evidential basis is for the statement in Box 6 of his Department's Cancer Reform Strategy, that the SunSmart campaign has (a) increased knowledge of the causes of skin cancer, (b) increased awareness of actions that can be taken to prevent skin cancer and (c) positively influenced behaviour change among defined target groups; and what the defined target groups are. 
Dawn Primarolo: The SunSmart campaign was launched in March 2003. Cancer Research UK applied to the Department for funding under the provisions of S64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 for the campaign and received around £20,000 in 2003-04 and subsequently has received under the S64 provisions £72,000 for 2004-05, £145,000 for 2005-06, £150,000 for 2006-07 and £104,000 for 2007-08. Also provisionally and subject to the availability of funds approved by Parliament, Cancer Research UK will receive for the SunSmart campaign £110,000 for 2008-09, and £115,000 for 2009-10. The recently published Cancer Reform Strategy refers to a Government commitment to increased funding for skin cancer awareness programmes.
Evidence from the Office for National Statistics Omnibus survey has been used by the SunSmart campaign to gauge trends in sun protection knowledge, attitudes and behaviour. There is evidence of significant improvement in peoples knowledge about specific risky behaviours. The campaign has targeted different high risk audience groups each year (for example teenagers and young adults in 2005).
Dawn Primarolo: There are no current plans to extend the four-week follow-up period used to assess the effectiveness of national health service Stop Smoking services. Clinical research has shown that longer-term follow-up can be highly resource-intensive as it becomes more difficult and time-consuming to contact people as time passes and we do not wish to place an unnecessary burden on the services.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what support his Department gives to specialist nurses for (a) multiple sclerosis, (b) epilepsy and (c) Parkinsons disease; and if he will make a statement; 
Ann Keen: National health service organisations are responsible for the skill mix of their work force. They are best placed to assess the health needs of their local health community and must have the freedom to deploy staff in ways appropriate for local conditions.
Nurses caring for patients with neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and Parkinsons disease are vital to vulnerable groups of patients. The Department is working closely with the charities associated with these conditions to develop guidance for the NHS to ensure they can commission effectively and make best use of the skills of specialist nurses. The guidance will be published in spring 2008.
Implementation of the Department's research strategy Best Research for Best Health is resulting in an expansion of our research programmes and in significant new funding opportunities for health research. Four of the new Biomedical Research Centres formed this year will for example undertake research on neuromuscular disease; and the Research for Patient Benefit programme has funded two projects in this area.
The Medical Research Council (MRC) is one of the main agencies through which the Government supports biomedical research. The MRC, an independent body funded by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, funds a wide portfolio of research on neuromuscular disease including two projects specifically concerned with spinal muscular atrophy.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when his Department will begin gathering information on the (a) number and distribution of sunbeds and (b) the scale of sunbed use by minors, as described in paragraph 2.43 of his Departments Cancer Reform Strategy; what options his Department is considering for the regulation of the sunbed industry; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Department, working with stakeholders, will consider the best way to gather information about the number and distribution of sunbeds, and the scale of use by minors. The Department and stakeholders have considered a range of options for possible regulation of the sunbed industry. The Health and Safety Executive and the Department are continuing to assess how Leaflet INDG 209 might best contain information covering the use of automated tanning salons.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will publish copies of (a) correspondence with members of the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation (JCVI) on Connecting for Health and (b) minutes of JCVI meetings at which Connecting for Health was discussed in the last 18 months; 
Dawn Primarolo: A copy of the correspondence between Professor Andrew Hall and the former Minister of State my right hon. Friend the Member for Don Valley (Caroline Flint), has been placed in the Library.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) discussed issues relating to NHS Connecting for Health at its meetings on: 15 February 2006, 21 June 2006, 18 October 2006, 14 February 2007 and 20 June 2007. These minutes are available on the JCVI website, and a copy of each set of minutes has been placed in the Library.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) who is responsible for ensuring that children in (a) England, (b) London and (c) primary care trusts using the Child Health Interim Application system receive vaccinations; 
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many children in London are covered by primary care trusts using the Child Health Interim Application system; and how many of those have (a) received on time, (b) received late and (c) not received the vaccinations they are due; 
(2) pursuant to the comments of the clinical director for NHS Connecting for Health on 27 February 2006, whether all children in the primary care trusts affected by problems with the Child Health Interim Application were offered vaccinations at the appropriate time within two months of 27 February 2006; and whether that process has continued. 
|PCT||Children aged five and under|
Population Statistics Database
Vaccination coverage for Barking and Dagenham PCT and Havering PCT together, for 2006-07 was 82 per cent. and for Newham PCT was 72 per cent. This information is available in the national health service immunisation statistics England 2006-07 and is available in the Library.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the Written Ministerial Statement of 27 November 2007, on mental health and employment: meeting the challenge, what funding beyond that in existing plans will be provided for support for people with mental health conditions to find and stay in work. 
On 27 November we announced our intention to develop a national strategy for mental health and employment. The strategy will ensure that there is a coordinated response across government to the challenges faced by people of working age with mental health conditions, improving their employment chances.
We intend to appoint a stakeholder steering group, to be chaired by Dame Carol Black, the National Director for Health and Work, to oversee the development of the strategy. This steering group will be appointed in the new year and will then lead work on the development of the strategy which forms part of wider work on the health and employment agenda.
The expansion of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme at a cost of £170 million over three years, together with the £13 million now made available by DWP for additional support for GPs and employers represents a considerable Government commitment to supporting those with mental health conditions. This is in addition to the funding already committed to the roll-out of Pathways to Work, including the Condition Management Programmes.
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