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31 Mar 2008 : Column 586W—continued

Obesity: Children

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent steps have been taken to address childhood obesity. [197354]

Dawn Primarolo: The Government's long-term ambition on obesity is to be the first major nation to reverse the rising tide of obesity and overweight in the population, by enabling everyone to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Our initial focus is on children: by 2020, we aim to reduce the proportion of overweight and obese children to 2000 levels.

We have mapped out the first steps in delivering this ambition in a new £372 million cross Government strategy, “Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives: A Cross-Government Strategy for England” which was launched in January this year. A copy of the strategy is available in the Library.

From April 2008, tackling child obesity will be a national priority for primary care trusts (PCTs), working with their local partners. This was set out in the NHS Operating Framework in December 2007.

“Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives: guidance for local areas” was published on 19 March. It sets out actions PCTs and local authorities, in conjunction with their third and private sector partners, will want to consider to deliver their child obesity goals.

Patient Choice Schemes

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent steps the Government has taken to increase choice for patients. [197353]

Mr. Bradshaw: Since March 2007 the Government have significantly increased choice for patients. In April 2007, the Department published “Maternity Matters: Choice, access and continuity of care in a safe service”. A copy of this publication is available in the Library. It introduces new national choice guarantees for women so that by the end of 2009 all women should have choice over where and how they have their baby.

In June 2007 the Government launched NHS choices, a website that helps patients make choices, including providing more information to inform those choices.

The 2008-09 “Operating Framework for the NHS in England” includes a generic choice model for people with long-term conditions. A copy of the framework is available in the Library.

From April 2008 the implementation of ‘free choice’ means that patients will be able to choose to be referred to over 350 hospitals across England. A series of national health service branded advertisements will run in regional newspapers and on regional radio, designed to raise awareness of choice and to help patients make informed decisions about their choice of provider.

Royal Lancaster Infirmary: MRSA

Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many in-patients have contracted MRSA in the Royal Lancaster Infirmary in the last 12 months. [194018]

Ann Keen: The information is not available in the requested format.


Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the Answer of 15 January 2008, Official Report, column 1194W, on screening, when developmental work to identify an integrated set of tests will (a) start and (b) be completed. [184233]

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Ann Keen: It is expected that vascular risk assessment will involve a number of well-evidenced tests for cardio-vascular disease and diabetes risk factors such as blood pressure and cholesterol measurement, body mass index and blood glucose testing (where clinically indicated).

The developmental work required is to work out the most cost and clinically effective way of offering an integrated set of tests. This is currently under way. Departmental staff expect to be in a position soon to bring forward proposals for discussion with a wide range of stakeholders.

Waiting Lists: Hemel Hempstead

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were waiting for operations in Hemel Hempstead constituency on 1 January 2008. [196865]

Mr. Bradshaw: Information on the number of people waiting for operations is not collected by constituency.

Information is collected by national health service organisations. As at 31 January 2008 there were 7,104 people waiting at the West Hertfordshire primary care
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trust, which serves the Hemel Hempstead area, compared to 9,247 people waiting at the end of January 2007.

Watford Hospital: Private Finance Initiative

Mr. Gauke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made on the private finance initiative redevelopment of Watford General Hospital; and if he will make a statement. [197658]

Mr. Bradshaw: The prospective £280 million private finance initiative scheme being undertaken by West Hertfordshire Hospital NHS Trust is tied to the wider redevelopment plan for Watford town centre and the football stadium. The trust is presently working on the options appraisal for their outline business case.

Written Questions: Government Responses

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to answer Questions 188518 and 188519 on aortic aneurysms, tabled on 20 February 2008. [197389]

Ann Keen: Answers will be issued shortly. I regret the delay in replying which is due to an administrative error.

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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 31 March 2008

Innovation, Universities and Skills

Adult Education

Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many adults completed (a) part-time and (b) full-time level 3 courses in each year since 2001. [195310]

Bill Rammell: The following table shows the number of full level 3 achievements by adults in Further Education, Work-based Learning and Train to Gain for each year since 2002/03, the earliest year for which information is available. Breakdowns by full- and part-time are not readily available.

2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06

Further Education





Work-Based Learning





Train to Gain






Learning and Skills Council

Chevening Scholarship Programme

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what discussions he has held with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on the changes in funding for the Chevening and Commonwealth scholarship programmes. [196622]

Bill Rammell: I have had no discussions with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on this issue. The FCO will be managing a consultation process with other Government Departments and business to inform the implementation of these changes and DIUS officials will participate in that exercise.

Departmental Domestic Visits

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what visits he made to (a) Harrogate International Centre, (b) International Conference Centre, Birmingham, (c) Manchester Central, (d) Scottish Exhibitional and Conference Centre, Glasgow, (e) Edinburgh International Conference Centre, (f) Bournemouth International Conference Centre, (g) the Brighton Centre, Brighton, (h) the Riviera Centre, Torquay, (i) Queen Elizabeth Centre, London, (j) Excel Conference Centre, Docklands, London, and (k) Business Design Centre, Islington, London, in the period 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2007; and what events he attended at each. [197151]

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Mr. Denham: I have visited the following venues:

Date Centre Reason

8 November 2007

Queen Elizabeth Centre, London

To attend the Technology Strategy Board

22 November 2007

International Conference Centre, Birmingham

To attend the Association of Colleagues conference

Departmental Manpower

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many (a) men and (b) women of each Civil Service grade are employed by his Department. [172728]

Bill Rammell: The Department employs 784 staff in a wide variety of roles. It was formed as part of the 28 June 2007 machinery of government changes, taking in staff from the former Department for Education and Skills and Department of Trade and Industry. The following table sets out the numbers and proportions of men and women now employed in each of the general salary bands (percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number):

Grade (a) men Proportion men (percentage) (b) women Proportion women (percentage) Total

Administrative Assistant






Administrative Officer






Executive Officer (EO) and equivalents






Higher Executive Officer (HEO) and equivalents






Senior Executive Officer (SEO) and equivalents






Grade 7 and equivalents






Grade 6






Senior Civil Service (SCS)






Special Adviser






DIUS Total






Education: Prisons

Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many and what proportion of the hours of education provided in prisons in 2005-06 were in a structured classroom setting. [196636]

Bill Rammell: The information requested in not collected centrally. Proposals for developing offender learning delivery arrangements were published in September 2007 in “Developing the Offenders’ Learning and Skills Service: The Prospectus”. The Prospectus described an intention to expand the provision of learning in prison settings outside a traditional classroom environment. In particular, the Prospectus outlined an intention to deliver more learning in production workshops, prison industries and other regime activities such as catering and horticulture
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where, although learning is not the primary purpose of the activity, it is possible to acquire and put into practise new skills.

English Language: Further Education

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what proportion of courses for qualifications in English for speakers of other languages were taught in further education colleges in the last 12 months. [195658]

Bill Rammell: The information is not readily available and can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

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