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Ann Keen: It is not a matter for the Department to give advice to commissioning bodies on treatment of particular conditions. It is for the Royal Colleges to give advice to practitioners while the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) provides national guidance on promoting good health and preventing and treating ill health. NICE guidance suggests the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprophen in the first instance for the treatment of endometriosis as well as trialling the contraceptive pill. If neither of these treatments work, then NICE recommends surgery to remove endometrial deposits. If conservative methods do not work, and symptoms remain severe then NICE recommends hysterectomy, with or without removal of the ovaries.
The Department currently provides core funding under its section 64 scheme to the National Endometriosis Society (now known as Endometriosis UK) and has also funded Endometriosis UK for a project concerned with developing information services for endometriosis. We wish the Endometriosis National Awareness Week every success.
Dawn Primarolo: Exercise referral schemes are run in most primary care trusts (PCTs) and there are various models. For example, some leisure centres will offer cut price or free exercise sessions for an agreed period. The criteria for referral also vary across localities.
The Department does not keep a national register of practices which offer these schemes, the number of participants or costs of exercise referral schemes. These details are held locally by PCTs or local authorities.
The Government are currently piloting a physical activity care pathway in London, intended to provide health practitioners in general practice with the tools they need to promote physical activity and signpost patients to a wide range of community-based opportunities for exercise, including exercise referral schemes.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he plans to take on producing codes governing the advertising and promotion of unhealthy foods to children across non-broadcast media; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The advertising industry's Committee on Advertising Practice (CAP) is responsible for the self-regulatory British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotions and Direct Marketing, which contains rules of the content of advertising in non-broadcast media. In July 2007, CAP updated this code to tighten the rules governing the advertising of food and drink to children in line with new restrictions on broadcast advertising. The Department is working with key external stakeholders to address concerns about other forms of marketing including in store promotions and food packaging.
Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of people had a consultation with their GP within 48 hours of requesting an appointment in Bexley borough in the latest period for which information is available. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The information is not collected in the format requested. Data are held at primary care trust (PCT) level, not constituency or borough level. The general practitioner (GP) Patient Survey 2007 showed that 84 per cent. of people living in Bexley Care Trust area reported having a consultation with their GP within 48 hours of requesting an appointment, compared with a national figure of 86 per cent. 2007 is the latest period for which data are available.
The public service agreement target is for all patients to have the opportunity to see a GP within 48 hours. GP practices that achieve national access standards as measured by the results of the national GP Patient Survey are rewarded. Using the survey data, PCTs are working with local practices to deliver improvements in GP access in areas with the poorest reported satisfaction.
Mr. Bradshaw: Following the announcement by the Secretary of State on 10 October 2007, to invest new resources into primary medical care, every primary care trust (PCT) in the country will be procuring a new general practitioner-led health centre during 2008-09. This includes the three PCTs in Kent.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidelines he has issued to primary care trusts on the use of premium rate telephone numbers by GPs for patients calling their surgeries. 
Mr. Bradshaw: General medical services (GMS) contractors were banned from using premium rate numbers (09 or 087) via The National Health Service (Primary Medical Services) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations SI 2005 No. 893. The ban came into force in April 2005.
The ban did not include 084 numbers. However, on the 11 April 2005, the Department wrote to primary care trust chief executives advising them to discourage general practitioner practices from changing from geographically based numbers to 084 numbers until after the outcome of the Ofcom consultation was known.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many letters his Department received from people asking for general practitioner surgeries to open for longer hours in the last period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Since 1 October 2007 the Department has received 86 letters from members of the public that supported extended opening hours for general practitioner (GP) practices. In addition, patient surveys and public discussions have consistently told us that improving access to GP services should be a priority for the national health service.
Last years GP patient survey (the largest of its kind) showed that 16 per cent. of people were unhappy with the opening hours of their GP practice: that is nearly six and a half million unsatisfied patients.
Dawn Primarolo: All food and feed imported into the United Kingdom from third countries, or in free circulation within the European Union (EU), must comply with relevant EU legislation. The labelling requirements for genetically modified (GM) food and feed are set out in the directly applicable Regulations (EC) Nos. 1829/2003 (GM Food and Feed) and 1830/2003 (Traceability and Labelling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)), the intention of which is to facilitate consumer choice. GM food and feed may only be marketed in the EU if it has been authorised following a process which involves a rigorous safety assessment.
Food and feed which contains, consists of, or has been produced from authorised GMOs has to be labelled as such. There is no provision in the legislation for non-GM and GM free labelling. Such labelling may, however, be used in the UK on a voluntary basis, as appropriate to the product concerned. The Food Standards Agency has expressed the view that the use of the terms non-GM and GM free should mean that food and feed labelled in this way is completely free from the use of GM technology.
Birmingham Womens Health Care NHS TrustEndometriosis and cultural diversity: improving services for minority ethnic women.
Over the last 10 years, the main part of the Departments total expenditure on health research has been devolved to and managed by national health service organisations. Details of individual NHS supported research projects undertaken during that time, including a number concerned with endometriosis, are available on the archived national research register at:
The Medical Research Council (MRC) is one of the main agencies through which the Government support medical and clinical research. The MRC is an independent body that receives its grant in aid from the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.
Dr. C. M. Becker, University of OxfordTransgenic mouse model of endometriosis;
Professor H. Mardon, University of OxfordMolecular dissection of extracellular matrix signalling and function in the human endometrium;
Dr. R. Varma, University of BirminghamIdentification and importance of tumour suppressor genes in endometriosis and endometriosis-associated ovarian cancer; and
Dr. K. T. Zondervan, University of OxfordThe genetic epidemiology of endometriosis.
Dawn Primarolo: The Department and the national health service promote the benefits of physical activity to professionals and people of all ages and stages of life. The Department is keen to target those individuals most at risk of inactivity for whom the greatest health gains can be made. Primary care trusts are required to have systematic and managed health promotion programmes, including action on exercise, that are responsive to local needs.
The Department is piloting a physical activity care pathway model in a number of general practitioner practices in London. Many sedentary older people will benefit from the care pathway model, which aims to encourage behaviour change and increased physical activity levels through a patient led approach. The care pathway signposts patients to a range of options to increase their activity levels, including exercise referral schemes where appropriate.
Other targeted actions include the national step-o-meter programme, which provides health professionals with free pedometers for loan to adult patients and the Department's local exercise action pilot scheme which included interventions targeted across the life course, including older people.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the average length of service of (a) nurses, (b) NHS trust chief executives, (c) midwives, (d) nursing support staff, (e) manual staff, (f) GPs, (g) dentists, (h) consultants and (i) staff and associate doctors in each of the last 10 years. 
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the average final salary of (a) nurses, (b) NHS trust chief executives, (c) midwives, (d) nursing support staff, (e) manual staff, (f) GPs, (g) dentists, (h) consultants and (i) staff and associate doctors at the end of service in each of the last 10 years. 
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number and proportion of (a) nurses, (b) NHS trust chief executives, (c) midwives, (d) nursing support staff, (e) manual staff, (f) GPs and (g) dentists in each pay band under the Agenda for Change in each year since 2004; and what the lower and upper limits were in each pay band in each year. 
Ann Keen: The proportion of nurses, midwives and nursing support staff in each pay band under Agenda for Change are available using the occupational codes within organisations which are now on the Electronic Staff Record (ESR). The following table outlines this information. Data presented are for the national health service in England.
|Estimated proportion of staff in each Agenda for Change band, as at end of December 2007( 1)|
|Qualified nurses (including midwives)||Qualified nurses (excluding midwives)||Midwives||Support to doctors and nurses( 2)|
| Denotes no staff in that pay band, or number of staff in that pay band rounds to 0 per cent.|
(1) Data presented for qualified nurses, midwives and support to doctors and nursing staff.
(2) This group includes healthcare assistants, support workers, nursery nurses, nursing assistants, clerical and administrative clinical support and maintenance and works staff working in clinical support, in line with census classifications.
1. Figures based on a sample of 88 per cent. of NHS organisations. Organisations included are those which were paying staff via ESR by December 2007.
2. Figures based on full-time equivalent staff in each grade.
Data taken from the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) Data Warehouse for December 2007, extracted 19 February 2008.
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