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There is no evidence to support any clinical intervention for the management of cannabis dependence. There are however, effective psychosocial interventions to address this problem so heavy users of cannabis can receive intensive interventions which are available in prisons through the counselling, assessment, referral, advice and throughcare service teams.
Mr. Bradshaw: Budget information for individual national health service organisations is not held centrally. Trusts are expected to set their own budgets to ensure their income covers their planned expenditure. However, the Department does collect historical accounting data from trusts. Self-reported accounting data from the East of England Ambulance Trust for 2006-07 reported a total income of £189,026,000.
Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what date he expects to abolish the Hearing Aid Council; what plans he has for the regulation of hearing aid audiologists following the Council's abolition; and how such regulatory functions will be financed during 2008. 
Following abolition, it is planned that audiologists will be regulated by the Health Professions Council. Prior to abolition and during 2008, the Hearing Aid Council will continue to regulate private sector audiologists and it will continue to be financed by fees paid by registered hearing aid dispensers.
Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent discussions he has had with National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence on the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension; 
NICE is currently conducting an appraisal of drugs for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension and has recently issued an appraisal consultation document setting out its draft conclusions. Stakeholders have until 20 March 2008 to submit comments, which will be considered by NICE in formulating its final guidance. NICE plans to issue final guidance later in 2008. Further information can be found on NICEs website at:
In addition, the national pulmonary hypertension centres of the United Kingdom and Ireland have published A Consensus Statement on the Management of Pulmonary Hypertension in Clinical Practice in the UK and Ireland in March 2008. This is available at:
Mr. Tom Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average funding for advocacy provided to individuals with a learning disability was in each local authority area in the most recent period for which figures are available; what the total funding for such advocacy was in each local authority area in that period; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate he has made of future funding for the Meat Hygiene Service; and what plans he has to establish full cost recovery from the industry; 
(2) what assessment the Government has made of the impact of reducing funding to the Meat Hygiene Service on (a) disease control, (b) the agricultural economy, (c) the future of the service, (d) public confidence in food quality, (e) public health and (f) the profitability of small abattoirs. 
Dawn Primarolo: I understand from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) that the Meat Hygiene Service, an Executive agency of the FSA, is funded by Government and charges levied to the meat industry. Over the next four years it is planned to reduce gross costs from an estimated £91 million in 2007-08 to an estimated £75 million in real terms in 2011-12. Estimated funding from Government and industry over this period is as follows:
Once we have concluded our work with stakeholders to agree a new system of charges, we will undertake a full impact assessment to ensure that these cost reductions will not be at the expense of animal welfare at slaughter, disease control, public confidence-in food or of public health.
It is envisaged that support for businesses will continue while official controls costs are reduced. Any proposed changes to the current charging arrangements will be subject to full public consultation.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the average cost to the Meat Hygiene Service of a (a) bovine, (b) ovine, (c) porcine and (d) avian carcass inspection was in each of the last three years; 
(2) how many (a) bovine, (b) ovine, (c) porcine and (d) avian carcass inspections were carried out by the Meat Hygiene Service in each of the last three years; and how much was received from the meat processing industry in fees for such inspections in each such year. 
The Meat Hygiene Service calculates the cost of the delivery of official controls, which includes all inspection and audit activities undertaken by MHS personnel during pre-slaughter, slaughter, post-slaughter and animal by-products control, on an hourly basis.
The difference between the cost and income results from the current charging system under which a Food Business Operator pays the lesser of hourly charges or a fee calculated on the throughput charge per animal or per tonne of meat that is processed. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) funds the difference between cost and income, which is in effect a subsidy to the meat industry.
In addition to the delivery of official controls, the MHS undertakes work on behalf of government customers, principally FSA and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on a full cost recovery basis. This work includes the supervision of brain stem removal for bovine spongiform encephalopathy testing, monitoring and reporting on animal welfare and the supervision of licensed abattoirs participating in the older cattle disposal scheme. The cost of the work in the last three years was:
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent steps the Government has taken to improve the reporting system of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency; 
In August 2007, the MHRA launched a new monthly electronic bulletin, Drug Safety Update, which gives healthcare professionals the latest information and advice about medicines, including safety issues. The bulletin is available on the MHRAs website at:
On 18 February 2008 the MHRA launched a new reporting form both on-line and in paper format to make it easier and more accessible for members of the public to report suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs) to the Yellow Card Scheme. The online element allows important information to be entered directly onto the MHRAs database. This is being publicised via a six week campaign in community pharmacies across the United Kingdom. The campaign aims to make members of the public aware of the potential for side effects to their medicines and inform them of what to do in such an event.
The MHRA has comprehensive systems in place to enable healthcare professionals, manufacturers and the public to report safety issues relating to medical devices. Reports can be made in writing, by telephone or electronically via the MHRA website. The online reporting system for healthcare professionals, patients and members of the public was launched in 2001.
The MHRA issues guidance to all national health service trusts at the beginning of each year, reminding them of their obligation to report safety issues relating to medical devices and NHS trusts and primary care trusts in England have designated medical device liaison officers to encourage and train staff and users to report adverse incidents.
The MHRA has recently upgraded the website to improve systems for manufacturer reporting. The Manufacturers Online Reporting Environment (MORE) was launched by the agency in October 2003 and an improved version was launched in February 2008. It is a simple tool provided by the agency for medical device manufacturers and their authorised representatives to report medical device adverse incidents online.
In 2005 the MHRA was designated as the UK Competent Authority for the Blood Safety and Quality Directives. In November 2005 MHRA launched Serious Adverse Blood Reactions and Events, the online reporting system for Blood Establishments and Blood Banks to report all serious adverse blood reactions and events occurring in the UK.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 3 March 2008, Official Report, columns 2103-4W, on the mentally ill: medical records, what mechanisms are in place to ensure that when an independent mental health advocate is given access to a patient's electronic records they are able to view only the information relevant to the patient's detention, treatment or aftercare. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Local record holders will decide what information to release to the independent mental health advocate, either by allowing them to view relevant information and/or giving them a copy of relevant information.
Independent mental health advocates will not be given direct access to a patient's medical records through the NHS Care Record Service. However, a competent patient may choose to allow an independent mental health advocate access to their Summary Care Record once these become available through the patient's Healthspace account.
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