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10 Jan 2008 : Column 785Wcontinued
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 12 December 2007, Official Report, column 655W, on mental health services: hospital beds, how many community psychiatric nurses were practising in the NHS in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The number of qualified nursing staff in the community psychiatry area of work in England is shown in the following table.
|National health service hospital and community health services: qualified nursing staff in the community psychiatry area of work in England|
|As at September||England|
|(1 )More accurate validation processes in 2006 have resulted in the identification and removal of 9,858 duplicate non-medical staff records out of the total workforce figure of 1.3 million in 2006. Earlier years' figures could not be accurately validated in this way and so will be slightly inflated. The level of inflation in earlier years' figures is estimated to be less than 1 per cent. of total across all non-medical staff groups for headcount figures (and negligible for full-time equivalents). This should be taken into consideration when analysing trends over time.|
Workforce planning is a matter for local NHS organisations to deal with. They are best placed to assess the health needs of their local health community. The number of community psychiatric nurses has increased by 75 per cent. since 1997.
The Information Centre for health and social care Non- Medical Workforce Census.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment his Department has made of the effects of overcrowding in housing on health; 
(2) what steps he has taken to ensure that the effects of overcrowding on health are reflected in the development of standards for housing. 
Mr. Iain Wright [holding answer 18 December 2007]: I have been asked to reply.
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister undertook a review of the evidence and literature looking at the impact of overcrowding on health and education in 2004 (The Impact of Overcrowding on Health and Education: A Review of the Evidence and Literature (Housing Research Summary Number 210, 2004) copies of which are available on :
The published summary indicates that there is a small relationship between overcrowding and aspects of physical health of both children and adults. Additionally, evidence suggests that overcrowding in childhood affects aspects
of adult health. The evidence on any relationship between overcrowding and mental health (children and adults) is inconclusive.
The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) and its Operating Guidance is an assessment tool for local authorities to determine risks arising from a range of potential hazards (including overcrowding) across all tenures and to take appropriate enforcement action through Environmental Health Officers. The HHSRS was introduced in April 2006.
The HHSRS is evidence-based. It is supported by extensive reviews of the literature and by detailed analysis of statistical data on the impact of housing conditions on health.
Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps he is taking to ensure that sufficient pathologists are trained to carry out specialist examinations on deceased children; (2) how many such pathologists are available in each Government Office region; and (3) if he will make a statement; 
(2) if he will take steps to assist coroners in the South West in locating child pathologists to carry out specialist examinations on deceased children for the purposes of an inquest. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Department has worked closely with the Royal College of Pathologists to increase the number of paediatric pathologists in the national health service. Funding has been available for a Conversion Fellowship scheme to enable existing pathology consultants to retrain as paediatric pathologists to increase numbers in the short-term and this was vigorously promoted by the Royal College of Pathologists. However, the Conversion Fellowships were not taken up.
However the number of trainee paediatric pathologists has risen slightly in the last few years. The Royal College of Pathologists Paediatric Pathology Specialist Advisory Committee anticipates that any difficulties will be largely resolved as the extra trainees become qualified in the next year or two and long-term service needs will be met. Paediatric pathology will remain a specialised service and ways of working in the specialty are changing to reflect this. Paediatric pathology is developing in a smaller number of specialist centres to focus resources where there will be adequate expertise and support. We understand that coroners, including in the South West, are aware of where paediatric pathologists are currently located and are able to contact them. We have asked officials from the Department to discuss with their counterparts at the Ministry of Justice the information currently provided to coroners about the availability of paediatric pathologists.
The Department does not collect data centrally about the number of paediatric pathologists in England. 2007 data from the Royal College of Pathologists show a total of 40 paediatric/perinatal pathology posts in England.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate he has made of the number of
people in England who have a severe personality disorder; how many are receiving treatment; what treatments are available and in how many centres; and what estimate he has made of the effectiveness of treatments; 
(2) what estimate he has made of the proportion of those with severe personality disorder that are a danger (a) to themselves and (b) to others. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Personality disorders (PDs) are common conditions, although there is a considerable variation in severity, and in the degree of distress and dysfunction caused. The Department does not hold the requested information centrally, but research studies currently indicate a prevalence of 10 to 13 per cent. of the adult population in the community. The incidence in the sentenced prison population is around 64 per cent. for men and 50 per cent. for women. Estimates of the prevalence of personality disorders in psychiatric hospital populations vary between 36 to 67 per cent.
The treatment of patients with personality disorders is increasing through the development of new PD services in line with the implementation of Managing Dangerous Offenders with a Severe Personality Disorder (1999), Personality Disorder; No Longer a Diagnosis of Exclusion (2004) and the Mental Health Act 2007. The development of effective services for those most a risk to the public is being piloted through the Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder (DSPD) programme which is a joint venture between the Department and the Ministry of Justice.
The number of people in England with a severe PD who are a significant risk to other people is currently estimated as being between 3,000-5,000. The DSPD programme provides assessment, treatment and management in conditions of high and medium security as well as in community residential and outreach services.
In respect of all those people with a PD who are no risk to others it is intended that the provision of treatment and support for this patient population will be through the growth of PD appropriate services within mainstream mental health services. Services for this patient group have been piloted and evaluated in each region of England through the Department's PD programme and are now devolved to the national health service for wider development by primary care trusts at a local level. While there is no accurate estimate of the numbers of patients overall treated in the NHS over 1,500 patients with PD have been treated in the non forensic PD pilot services to date.
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much was raised from prescription charges in 2006-07; 
(2) what the total cost was of collecting prescription charges in the last financial year. 
As set out in Department of Health Resource Accounts 2006-07, published by The Stationary Office, on 11 October 2007, for the period April 2006 to March 2007, the revenue raised from prescription charges collected by pharmacists, appliance contractors and from prescription prepayment certificate fees was £411.7 million. This figure excludes prescription
charges collected by dispensing doctors, which is not collected centrally, but remains with primary care trusts. A copy of the Resource Accounts is available in the Library.
Pharmacists, appliance contractors and dispensing doctors collect the prescription charge as part of the dispensing process. They are paid a fee for the dispensing process irrespective of whether a charge is collected. It is not possible to determine separately the cost of collecting prescription charges.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of civilians killed by the recent bombing at Nabo Aka in Afghanistan. 
Meg Munn: The Government are not aware of any civilian casualties resulting from a bombing at Nabo Aka.
James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions (a) the British Government, (b) the British army and (c) coalition forces in Afghanistan have had with the Taliban. 
Meg Munn: The UK supports President Karzais efforts to bring disaffected Afghans into societys mainstream, providing they renounce violence and accept Afghanistans constitution. In this context we have provided funds for the Afghan reconciliation programme, Programme Takhim-e-Solh. We support Afghan-led efforts to reach out to Taliban elements who no longer want to continue their armed opposition, in order to weaken the insurgency and isolate its leadership. We will continue to support President Karzai and his government in their efforts to reconcile all parties to Afghanistans democratic constitution.
James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what definition the Government uses of the Taliban. 
Meg Munn: Taliban is an umbrella term used for an increasingly splintered group of anti-government elements in Afghanistan. This includes warlords, those in the narcotics trade and jihadi fighters. The anti-government insurgency also includes Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin and the Haqqani network. It is associated with, but separate from, members of Al Qa'eda and the extremist tribesmen in Pakistan (the so-called Pakistan Taliban).
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many meetings have taken place in (a) Helmand Province
and (b) Afghanistan in the last 12 months between British representatives and (i) current, (ii) former and (iii) suspected Taliban insurgents. 
Meg Munn: Our embassy in Kabul and the UK-led provincial reconstruction team in Lashkar Gah have made a wide range of contacts within the Afghanistan government and people in public life, some of whom will have held positions under the former Taliban regime. Data on these contacts are not collated in a form to enable the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to respond to the hon. Member's question.
The UK position on reconciliation remains unchanged. We support President Karzai' efforts to bring disaffected Afghans into society's mainstream, providing they renounce violence and accept Afghanistan's constitution.
Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much of the European Refugee Fund was spent in each member state in each year since 2000; and on what types of projects. 
Mr. Byrne: I have been asked to reply.
The European Commission has not yet published the actual spend for each member state in respect of the European Refugee Fund as many annual programmes are still in the process of being closed by the Commission.
The first phase of the European Refugee Fund ran from 2000 to 2004. The second phase, which runs from 2005 to 2007, is under way. Projects for both phases have been funded for eligible actions which relate to reception, integration and voluntary repatriation of specified target groups. These include those with full refugee status or subsidiary forms of humanitarian protection, and those who have applied for this.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what date he was formally consulted by the Secretary of State for Defence on the request by the US to use RAF Menwith Hill as part of the Ballistic Missile Defence System; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: I was formally consulted by my right hon. Friend the Defence Secretary on 10 July 2007 over the decision to agree to the request by the US to use Menwith Hill as part of the Ballistic Missile Defence System.
Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government are taking to encourage the Colombian Government to investigate alleged murders of civilians by the Colombian army. 
Whilst the majority of murders in Colombia are committed by illegal armed groups, we regularly call on the Colombian Government, privately and in public, to ensure procedures are in place to fully
investigate alleged abuses against civilians by the Colombian army. My hon. Friend the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Dr. Howells, did so with the Colombian Defence Minister and Vice President during their visits to the UK last year, and he repeated these concerns when visiting Colombia in November 2007. We have been impressed at the Colombian governments commitment to tackling this problem, but we recognise that more needs to be done. This is why the UK continues to provide the Colombian armed forces with human rights training and practical advice on military justice reformwhich includes forging a closer working relationship between the Colombian Attorney Generals Office and the Colombian armed forcesso to promote their adherence to international humanitarian law.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many people form the UK's (a) Committee of Permanent Representatives I and (b) Committee of Permanent Representatives II to the EU Council. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The UK is represented by the Deputy Permanent Representative in the Committee of Permanent Representatives I and the Permanent Representative in the Committee of Permanent Representatives II.
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proportion of primary legislation passed between 3 May 1997 and 27 June 2007 originated in (a) EU regulations, (b) EU directives and (c) EU decisions. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The information requested by the hon. Member is not held centrally.
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