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29 Jan 2008 : Column 348W—continued


Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the health effects of not eating five portions of fruit and vegetables each day. [181023]

Dawn Primarolo: The recommendation to eat at least five portions a day is supported by the World Health Organisation, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition and most leading cancer and heart disease organisations.

In July 2000 the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food and policy carried out an assessment of the available evidence on the benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption and concluded that higher intakes of fruit and vegetables could help to reduce the risk some cancers and cardio-vascular diseases. The Department has not commissioned any further research in this area.

Obesity: Eastern Region

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much (a) Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn NHS Trust, (b) Peterborough and Stamford NHS Foundation Trust, (c) Hitchingbrooke Health Care Trust and (d) Cambridge University NHS Foundation Trust has spent in the last year on specialist lifting equipment and beds for obese people. [182648]

Dawn Primarolo: The information is not held centrally. It is for primary care trusts to commission services locally.

Obesity: North East Region

Mr. Kemp: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what studies his Department commissioned on child obesity in the North East and its implications for the future health of people in the region in each of the last five years. [181548]

Dawn Primarolo: The prevalence of childhood obesity is measured in the North East through the National Child Measurement Programme. This is a national
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programme through which the height and weight of children in reception (four and five-year-olds) and year six (ten and eleven-year-olds) throughout the country are measured. These data are used to inform local planning and commissioning of services for children as well as providing population-level surveillance data to allow analysis of trends in growth patterns and obesity.

Assessment of the potential health impact will be made through a range of national studies. In particular, the Department has established the National Child Measurement Programme (which will report North East figures in 2008) as well as the Health Survey for England to measure obesity levels throughout England.

The North East strategic health authority reports that there are a number of actions being taken forward locally to help reduce overweight and obesity in the North East. These include projects encouraging healthier eating, promoting exercise and weight management and offering support through a range of facilities, such as the Healthworks healthy living resource centre in Easington, which brings together a range of services under one roof. The aim of these are to ensure that important messages about diet, physical activity and behavioural changes are consistent, high quality and that interventions are based in primary care settings across the North East.

Obesity: Surgery

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which primary care trusts (a) offer and (b) do not offer bariatric surgery. [182650]

Dawn Primarolo: Data on which primary care trusts have commissioned bariatric surgery are not collected centrally.

Patient Choice Schemes: Internet

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether Choose and Book supports Safari web browsers. [181877]

Mr. Bradshaw: The patient-facing feature of Choose and Book, the patient web application, has now been certified compatible with all versions of Internet Explorer, and the latest version of Firefox, which together are used by of around 95 per cent. of internet users in the United Kingdom.

Because of the number of different browser types and versions potentially available to internet users, priority has been given to certification of the application against the most popular browsers in the first instance. The Safari browser is used by only a small percentage of UK internet users and is not yet compatible but is expected to become compatible in due course.


Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 15 January 2008, Official Report, columns 1193-4W, on pharmacy, whether the £411 million excess for 2005-06 and the £558 million excess for 2006-07 represent excesses over the £500 million allowance for pharmacy contractors under the community pharmacy contractual framework. [183202]

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Dawn Primarolo: The £500 million allowance for pharmacy contractors is for margins earned on all drugs. There is no separate allowance for generic drugs. The excess margins above the £500 million for all drugs were £300 million in 2005-06 and £511 million in 2006-07.

Plastic Surgery: Standards

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what legislation governs the standards of those performing aesthetic treatments, with particular reference to derma fillers. [181721]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Care Standards Act 2000 and the Private and Voluntary Healthcare (England) Regulations 2001 cover cosmetic surgery and other listed services as set out in s2(7) of that Act. Any prescription-only medicines used in any treatment will be covered by the Medicines Act 1968. Most dermal fillers used in the United Kingdom are regulated as medical devices under the Medical Devices Regulations 2002.

In addition, any clinical professionals involved in surgical or non-surgical cosmetic treatments should adhere to the codes of professional conduct set out by their regulatory bodies.

Primary Care Trusts: Public Appointments

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health who has the power to (a) appoint and (b) dismiss chief executives of primary care trusts. [181694]

Ann Keen: The appointment and dismissal of primary care trusts’ (PCTs) chief executives is a matter for PCTs, as independent employers, acting in accordance with the chief executive’s employment contract and general employment law.

Private Finance Initiative

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to paragraph 33b, p. 79 of his Department’s resource accounts 2006-07, if he will provide a breakdown by private finance initiative scheme of compensation payments made by his Department on behalf of NHS private finance initiative schemes that were cancelled or deferred. [178289]

Mr. Bradshaw: The compensation sum of £7,339,280 referred to at paragraph 33(b) page 79 of the Department’s 2006-07 resource accounts is in respect of payments to the preferred bidder consortium and their advisers for the Essex Rivers Healthcare NHS Trust private finance initiative scheme following its cancellation in June 2006.

Prozac: Expenditure

Mr. Quentin Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the expenditure of the NHS on Prozac was in the last 12 month period for which figures are available. [181441]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Prozac is the trade name of the version of the antidepressant drug Fluoxetine marketed by Lilly. Other versions are available.

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In the 12 months—October 2006 to September 2007 (the latest 12 months available)—there were 38,679 prescription items dispensed in the community for Prozac at a net ingredient cost of £897,616. In addition there were 4,938,722 prescriptions for generic Fluoxetine or other branded versions of the drug dispensed at a cost of £17,915,210.

The figures for the cost of Prozac use in hospitals are not available.

South Central Ambulance Primary Care Trust

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his strategy is for improving the performance of South Central Ambulance Primary Care Trust. [182379]

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Mr. Bradshaw: It is for strategic health authorities (SHAs), as the local headquarters of the national health service, and primary care trusts, as commissioners, to ensure that strategies for improving performance are delivered by ambulance trusts.

The hon. Member may therefore wish to raise this matter directly with the chief executive of South Central SHA.

More generally, the Department, via the Recovery and Support Unit, discusses performance with SHAs to ensure that SHAs work with local organisations to address performance issues, and if appropriate with support from the National Ambulance Performance Implementation Lead.

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