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23 Portland Place
London W1B 1PZ.
Dawn Primarolo: The Government recently published a cross-Government strategy on obesity Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives and supporting healthy growth and development of children is one of the key elements of this strategy. A copy of the strategy is available in the Library. A £75 million, three-year marketing programme has been announced in this strategy, which will inform, support and empower parents in making changes to their childrens diet and levels of physical activity. The programme will particularly focus on the early years including: maternal nutrition, encouraging breastfeeding and supporting healthy weaning and healthy diets in young children.
In addition, through the Healthy Start Scheme, the Department provides advice on healthy eating and vouchers to low-income families with children under the age of four years, that can be exchanged for milk, fresh fruit, vegetables or infant formula. A range of key publications are also made available to mothers which includes advice on healthy eating, breastfeeding, weaning and Feeding your Toddler.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent estimate he has made of the proportion of general practitioners using the choose and book service in (a) Torbay constituency and (b) England. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The proportion of general practitioner (GP) practices using the choose and book system during January 2008 is (a) 95 per cent. in Torbay care trust and (b) 89 per cent. in England. Information on the use of choose and book by individual GP is not collected centrally.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the additional number of days on average an in-patient must stay in hospital if they are undernourished. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the average waiting time in days for (a) in-patient and (b) out-patient appointments in each year since 1994-95; and if he will make a statement. 
The figures show that the in-patient median waiting time has fallen from 88 days in March 1995 to 33 days in January 2008, with a peak of 104 days in March 1998. The mean has shown a similar pattern and has fallen from 125 days to 42 days.
|In-patient average waiting times|
Figures are commissioner based and relate to numbers waiting as at 31 March (or at 31 January for the current figures).
QF01 and monthly monitoring returns.
The figures show that the out-patient median waiting time has fallen from 41 days in March 1995 to 38 days in March 2007, with a peak of 52 days in March 2000. The mean has increased slightly from 64 days to 66 days, but has fallen from a peak of 78 days in March 2000. During this time, the maximum waiting time standard has fallen from 26 weeks to the current standard of 13 weeks.
|Out-patient average waiting times|
To ask the Secretary of State for Health which of his Department's initiatives have a reduction in mortality rates from prostate cancer as a
primary aim; what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of each such initiative; what the effect of such initiatives has been on prostate cancer mortality rates to date; what further effect on mortality rates he expects in the next five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Ann Keen: All Government policy on cancer aims to improve outcomes, reduce mortality, improve patient experience and reduce inequalities. We are on track to meet our public service agreement target to substantially reduce mortality rates by 2010 from cancer, by at least 20 per cent. in people under 75.
Regarding prostate cancer, the national health service prostate cancer programme was published in 2000 with a commitment to improve the early detection of prostate cancer; improve treatment and care for patients with prostate cancer; and to enhance research into prostate cancer in the United Kingdom. Specific initiatives have included the Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme, reducing waiting times, raising public awareness, improving treatment, and improving information for prostate cancer patients. It is too early to evaluate the effects of these initiatives on prostate cancer mortality.
However, we recognise that there is more to do. That is why we published the Cancer Reform Strategy in December 2007 to show how we will deliver cancer outcomes which are among the best in the world.
Christopher Fraser: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the answer of 23 March 2007 to the hon. Member for Tyne Bridge (Mr. Clelland), Official Report, column 1202W, on prostate cancer, what decision-making aids were piloted by the Action on Urology programme between 2004 and 2005; in which areas the decision-making aids were piloted; and if he will make a statement. 
Ann Keen: Decision-making aids for patients newly diagnosed with prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) (enlarged prostate) were piloted in the first phase of the Action on Urology informed decision making project between 2004 and 2005. They included videos/DVDs for patients newly diagnosed with prostate cancer and BPH, booklets to accompany the videos/DVDs and decision quality assessment forms. In addition, specialist nurses were trained in shared decision-making. The first phase of the project piloted the use of these decision aids in four sites in England: Ipswich Hospital, Stockport Royal Infirmary, Colchester General Hospital and East Berkshire NHS Trust.
The project is currently in its second phase, developing the decision aids suitable for United Kingdom practices, which will eventually be web-based. In addition to the materials mentioned, they include personal decision forms and staff training materials. These materials are in development with the assistance of a further six pilot sites: Royal Marsden and Epsom General, The West Anglia Cancer Network (West Suffolk and Addenbrookes), Bradford, Plymouth, University College Hospital and Cardiff Hospital.
Christopher Fraser: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many participants have been recruited to the ProtecT study on prostate cancer; what funding has been committed by his Department to the ProtecT study; what the outcomes of the study have been to date; when the study is expected to conclude; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The ProtecT trial is a National Institute for Health Research health technology assessment programme (HTA) project. To date, some 2,150 patients have been recruited to it. The Department has allocated £34.2 million to the trial, of which £18 million has been spent.
Recruitment to the trial will end in May 2008 and the contracted research will end in 2014. A draft final report is due in 2014 with subsequent publication of a refereed report in the HTA journal series.
Ann Keen: The Cancer Reform Strategy, published in December 2007, noted that as we place a new emphasis on the quality of experience reported by people with cancer, including prostate cancer, it will be important that we are able to measure progress, tracking improvements in the qualitative as well as quantitative aspects of cancer care. That is why the strategy stated that a new national health service cancer patient experience survey programme will be established and surveys conducted annually. To take this forward an expert group, including patients, will be convened to design the technical specifications. A national contract will then be let for the collection, management and analysis of cancer patient experience surveys. The development of the programme is in the early stages, and announcements will be made in due course.
In addition, the strategy noted that detailed consideration needs to be given to the services needed by survivors of cancer. The National Cancer Director will lead a new National Cancer Survivorship Initiative to take this forward in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support and other cancer charities. The initiative will consider a range of approaches to survivorship care and how these can best be tailored to meet individual patients' needs.
Nationally, a pilot public awareness programme on the prostate, set in a primary care trust population, was completed in autumn 2006. Its impact on the local population and the effect it has had on local national health service services has been evaluated. A report based on the results of the pilot and the evaluation, including clear next steps, will be discussed shortly by the Prostate Cancer Advisory Group. The pilot was jointly funded by the Department and signatories to the Prostate Cancer Charter for Action. The Department provided £100,000 towards the pilot.
in 2004 the Department provided £30,000 to the Mens Health Forum to help fund their publication, the Men and Cancer Manual;
the Department provided £135,000 to the Prostate Cancer Charity to increase available information about prostate cancer; and
the Department is providing £105,000 to the Prostate Cancer Charity to improve awareness of the risks and symptoms of prostate cancer in African and Afro-Caribbean men in Britain.
In addition, the Cancer Reform Strategy set out that we will establish a new National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative. Led by the National Cancer Director, this initiative will bring together the NHS, representatives of local authorities, the Department, the National Cancer Research Institute and the research community, cancer charities and patients to co-ordinate a programme of activity to support local interventions to increase cancer symptom awareness and encourage earlier presentation.
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