Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps (a) he has taken and (b) he is planning to take to ensure that healthcare professionals comply with a patients advance decision to refuse treatment in certain circumstances; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Mental Capacity Act (MCA), which applies in England and Wales, came fully into force in October 2007 and puts advance decisions to refuse treatment onto a statutory footing. The MCA Code of Practice, issued in April 2007, gives details of the Acts provisions on advance decisions and sets out health professionals responsibilities. The Code and the training materials we have issued make clear that healthcare professionals must follow an advance decision to refuse treatment if it is valid and applies to particular circumstances. If they do not, they could face civil liability or criminal prosecution.
It is for individual trusts to put in place procedures for implementing the MCA locally. The Act requires the Public Guardian to produce an annual report, which we expect will include information on the implementation of the MCA.
Mr. Gauke: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many and what proportion of VAT registration applications were processed within the target time in each of the last three calendar months; 
|Month||Number processed within target time||Percentage processed within target time|