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Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) with reference to the answer of 29 October 2007, Official Report, column 1016W, on the elderly: malnutrition, for how long the monitoring of the Nutrition Action Plan by the Nutrition Action Plan Delivery Board will be ongoing; 
(2) what the timetable for publication is of the first progress report from the Nutrition Action Plan Delivery board; how many progress reports the Board plans to produce in (a) 2008 and (b) 2009; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Terms of Reference for the Nutrition Action Plan Delivery Board state that the monitoring of the Nutrition Action Plan will exist during the course of 2008 in order to oversee implementation of the document.
The Terms of Reference for the Nutrition Action Plan Delivery Board state that the chair of the board will publish two reports this year. The first of these
reports will be published in summer and one by December 2008. The Department will review whether to extend their existence beyond December 2008 upon consideration of their end of year report and any implications from that progress update.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 3 March 2008, Official Report, columns 2097-98W, on the elderly: nutrition, when he expects to publish the minutes of the Nutrition Action Plan Delivery Boards meeting of 12 February; if he will place in the Library a copy of the agenda of the meeting of the Board of 12 February; and if he will make it his policy to place in the Library copies of the (a) agendas and (b) minutes of all meetings held by (i) the Board and (ii) the Boards sub-groups. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The minutes of the 12 February 2008 meeting of the Nutrition Action Plan Delivery Board have been placed in the Library. This includes the agenda and verbal updates on progress from the boards five subgroups as noted during the course of the meeting.
The 12 February was the first meeting of its kind. Subsequent meetings were held on 29 April and 10 June. The minutes of subsequent meetings will also be placed in the Library once they become available.
Ann Keen: Under section 90A of the Water Industry Act 1991, strategic health authorities (SHAs) are required to monitor the effects of fluoridation schemes on the health of persons living in the fluoridated area and publish reports containing an analysis of the effects on health at four-yearly intervals. The West Midland Public Health Observatory is leading on the compilation of a set of standard indicators which can be used by SHAs in fulfilling this responsibility. This approach would use information on concentrations of fluoride in drinking water and intakes from dietary studies to estimate ingestion of fluoride. We understand that in compiling proposals the observatory is considering whether thyroid disease could be monitored using such routine data sources.
A review Water fluoridation and health undertaken by the Medical Research Council of the need for research on the effects of fluoridation and published in 2002 ascribed a low priority to further research on thyroid disorders. We will consider the need for further research on thyroid disorders in the light of any recommendations which may be made by the observatory.
It is for strategic health authorities (SHAs) to decide whether to undertake consultations on proposals for new fluoridation schemes. We understand that the North West SHA has been working with the primary
care trusts in the area to assess cost, benefits and technical options, but has not yet decided whether to proceed to a consultation.
Ann Keen: Funding for the investigation, public consultation, installation and operation of any fluoridation scheme would be agreed locally between the responsible strategic health authority (SHA) and participating primary care trusts, drawing upon their local national health service budgets, and the relevant water company. In addition, the Government announced in February 2008 that up to £43 million would be available from centrally managed NHS capital funds over the three years 2008-09 to 2010-11 to assist SHAs with the capital cost of establishing new fluoridation schemes which have been supported by local communities, or refurbishing plant to maintain existing fluoridation schemes.
|Population in each SHA|
|SHA||Population (thousand)||Percentage of England|
1. Provisional 2006 mid-year, resident population estimates, which are the latest available.
2. The figures for SHAs may not sum exactly to the England total due to individual rounding of each SHA figure.
3. The populations for which the SHAs are responsible may differ marginally from the figures supplied. SHAs will be responsible for patients resident in other SHAs who are registered with general practitioner practises in their own areas.
Office for National Statistics website
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when his Department plans to issue the consultation on investment in access and clinical services referred to in its press release of 4 May 2008, entitled Strengthening Family Doctor Services, ref 2008/053. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 9 June 2008]: A detailed written proposal is currently being prepared to implement the Doctors' and Dentists Pay Review Body recommendations for general practitioners. The intention is that this should be with the British Medical Association's General Practices Committee as soon as possible. This will also enable changes that need to be made to the Statement of Financial Entitlements to introduce the new enhanced patient services set out in the press release of 4 May 2008.
Ann Keen: Since the beginning of November 2007, the Department is aware of 17 letters relating to health care chaplaincy and spiritual care. We have received representation from the representative bodies of the nine principal world faiths in relation to central funding for chaplaincy workforce development. We have also received representation from the Multi-Faith Group for Healthcare Chaplaincy on issues arising from the completion of the Caring for the Spirit programme led by NHS Yorkshire and Humber.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many premature babies died as a result of early birth each week on average in the most recent period for which figures are available; and what steps he plans to take to reduce infant mortality among prematurely born babies. 
The Office for National Statistics produced a report, Introducing data on gestation specific infant mortality among babies born in 2005 in England and Wales which details death rates of babies born in 2005, broken down by gestation rate.
The recent report Perinatal Mortality 2006 - England, Wales and Northern Ireland published by the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health (CEMACH)
in April 2008, found a continuing decline in the overall neonatal mortality rate and in the stillbirth, perinatal and neonatal mortality rates in multiple pregnancies.
Tackling health inequalities in infant mortality, including among prematurely born babies, remains an important government priority as reaffirmed in the publication Health Inequalities: Progress and Next Steps published on 9 June.
Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate his Department has made of the number of (a) emergency hospital admissions and (b) inpatient bed days that could be saved by improving the rate of early diagnosis for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 
Hospital Episode Statistics, ICD10 codes J40-J44 inclusive, ungrossed data
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many children were admitted to neonatal units in each of the last five years, broken down by (a) age of the child and (b) health authority; 
(2) how many children admitted to neonatal units died within (a) 24 hours, (b) two days, (c) three days and (d) seven days in each of the last five years; and how many survived and were discharged. 
Ann Keen: There are a range of measures to reduce the risk of sharps injuries, including the safe handling and disposal of sharps, the provision of medical devices that incorporate sharps protection and the wearing of protective clothing.
The Department's Code of Practice for the Prevention and Control of Healthcare Associated Infections, revised in January 2008, places a duty on national health service bodies to ensure that health care workers are protected from exposure to communicable infections during the course of the their work, and that all staff are suitably educated in the prevention and control of health care associated infections. Copies have been placed in the Library and are also available on the Department's website at:
Information on the number and outcomes of needlestick injuries to national health service staff in each trust is not collected centrally. However, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) collects information on surveillance of significant occupational exposures to blood-borne viruses in health care workers in the United Kingdom; its latest report is available on the HPA's website at:
Mr. Gummer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidelines his Department provides to primary care trusts to ensure the provision of accurate information in documents they publish for public consultations; 
(2) what steps he takes to ensure that primary care trusts make accurate figures available to members of the public when embarking on consultations for major changes in the services provided by hospitals. 
Ann Keen: The Department does not provide guidance on the accuracy of information contained in public consultations undertaken by primary care trusts but expects that best endeavours are made to ensure information shared is up-to-date, accurate and validated.
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