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Ann Keen: As a result of requests from local breast screening services, we intend to put in place a national framework contract for digital mammography X-ray equipment. This approach will enable standardised equipment to be purchased and the best value for money to be obtained, and will support local services with national expertise. We also intend to put in place the necessary development work to enable the digital images created by the new equipment to be stored electronically in the picture archiving and communications system currently in use for other diagnostic imaging services.
Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many trained health professionals have received training in giving breastfeeding advice; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of that training. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Department encourages the health professional bodies to continue to provide advice and resources to assist health professionals in gaining skills in breastfeeding advice. Responsibility for training of health professionals rests with the respective health professional bodies and the employing organisation.
At present, we are encouraging hospitals and community settings to adopt the United Nations Childrens Funds Baby Friendly Initiative, as evidence shows that the proportion of babies breastfed at birth increases by more than 10 per cent. on average over four years when hospitals implement the Baby Friendly standards. Part of this package includes training for midwives and health visitors to help mothers establish breastfeeding and to support them in the early weeks.
Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the likely effect on the level of cord blood collection of the new licensing procedure announced by the Human Tissue Authority on 30 April. 
Dawn Primarolo: While it is not possible to predict with accuracy the effect on levels of cord blood collection, the Human Tissue Authority has had discussions with organisations affected by the new procedures with a view to creating a regulatory framework that is flexible and proportionate and meets the requirements of the Regulations. The Department is currently carrying out a cord blood policy review which is due to report to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State in the autumn.
Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether new licensing procedures for cord blood collection will require the presence of a qualified phlebotomist at the collection of the blood as a condition of the issue of a licence. 
Dawn Primarolo: No. The Human Tissue Authoritys standards require that staff involved in procurement are trained and competent at the tasks they perform, and have procedures in place to protect the safety of donors.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the average distance that a person had to travel to see an NHS dentist in (a) Southend-on-Sea, (b) each constituency in Essex and (c) England (i) in each year since 1997 and (ii) at the latest date for which information is available. 
Ann Keen: The requested information is not available. It is for primary care trusts to commission local dental services to meet local needs. PCTs are expected to develop robust commissioning plans. These will include consideration of access to local dental services at the time and place that people want.
Mr. Olner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether the Food Standards Agency has secured agreement with the Government of Jersey to bring forward legislation to establish compliance with European legislation on food supplements and nutrition and health claims in accordance with protocol 3 of the Treaty of Accession; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) when he next plans to discuss with the Government of Jersey their obligations under protocol 3 of the Treaty of Accession to comply with European legislation on the free movement of trade in health products, with particular reference to the medicines legislation, the Food Supplements Directive and the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation. 
Dawn Primarolo: A meeting was held between officials of the Crown Dependencies and those of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and other interested United Kingdom Government Departments on 11 April 2008. At this meeting, officials representing the Government of Jersey indicated that a major update of food safety legislation was under way in Jersey and that both the Food Supplements Directive and the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation would be implemented as part of this exercise.
Officials of the Government of Jersey have undertaken to keep the FSA apprised of progress in updating Jersey food safety legislation and to work with companies on the island to address the issue of the sale of food supplements which are illegal in the UK.
There are no current plans for further discussions with the Government of Jersey on the Food Supplements Directive or the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency will be arranging discussions with the Government of Jersey on the implementation of the medicines directive in Jersey during the course of 2008.
Mr. Olner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has recently reviewed the medicine laws of Jersey to monitor compliance with European legislation under Protocol 3 of the Treaty of Accession. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) does not believe that the Medicines (Jersey) Law 1995 complies with European medicines legislation as the Jersey Law is based on the United Kingdom's Medicines Act of 1968. The MHRA will be discussing this matter with the Government of Jersey during 2008.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps are taken to manage interaction between patients referred to drug and alcohol services for addiction to prescription drugs and those referred for addiction to illegal drugs. 
Dawn Primarolo: The majority of specialist drug treatment services only treat those whose primary drug of addiction is an illicit drug, such as crack or heroin, and do not routinely treat individuals who are primarily addicted to prescription drugs.
However, people with illicit drug problems often misuse a variety of drugs, including prescription drugs. In cases like this, the specialist drug treatment service will treat both the illicit drug use and the prescription drug use.
A range of guidance is available to specialist drug treatment services, including the joint Department of Health and National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse guidelines, Drug Misuse and Dependence: UK Guidelines on Clinical Management, published in September 2007, which can be found on the Department's website at
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department (a) has taken and (b) plans to take on the issue of guidance to healthcare professionals on the treatment of cases arising from female genital mutilation. 
Dawn Primarolo: Working Together to Safeguard Children published in April 2006, the main inter-agency guide to safeguarding the welfare of children, includes advice on safeguarding children who may have been or are in danger of being victims of this crime. Copies of this publication are available in the Library.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much of the £42 million he announced in February for health authorities to consult on fluoridation has been spent; which health authorities have applied for funding; and for how much in each case. 
Ann Keen: Up to £43 million will be available from centrally managed national health service capital funds over the three years 2008-09 to 2010-11 to assist strategic health authorities (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. Funding for public consultations needs to be agreed locally between the responsible SHA and participating primary care trusts, drawing upon their local NHS budgets. No public consultation on any new fluoridation scheme has yet been conducted. The following bids have been received so far for support with the cost of upgrading and refurbishment of the plant used in existing fluoridation schemes: West Midlands SHA has requested £1.35 million, East Midlands SHA £1.3 million, and North West SHA £250,000.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what services currently offered by existing GP practices in Hemel Hempstead will also be offered by the polyclinic proposed to be sited there; and if he will make a statement. 
We have asked primary care trusts to include requirements for core general practitioner services within their specifications for the new GP-led health centres. PCTs are being encouraged to develop locally appropriate other services that would bring together a wide range of community-based services, determined by local need. West Hertfordshire PCT held a consultation within West Hertfordshire from 26 March to 26 May 2008. All consultation outcomes will be considered before finalisation of the West Hertfordshire PCT scheme.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations his Department has received on the provision of incentives for the diagnosis and treatment of peripheral arterial disease in primary care. 
Ann Keen: The Department has engaged in discussions with Target PAD about ways to support adoption of best practice in identifying and treating patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) as part of a national overall strategy for vascular diseases.
The Department is currently developing the programme of vascular assessment originally announced by the Prime Minister in January, and outlined in Putting Prevention First, which is due to be rolled out from 2009-10. Copies of this publication are available in the Library. The programme is aimed at assessing and modifying risk factors for vascular disease. These are common to the whole range of vascular diseases, including PAD.
We expect the combination of vascular risk assessments and existing Quality and Outcome Framework registers for vascular diseases to identify the majority of people with PAD or at significant risk of developing it.
In addition, the Department has offered to work with Target PAD to develop a national specification for primary care trusts to commission local enhanced services in relation to PAD or for its treatment.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he has (a) taken and (b) plans to take to improve diagnosis rates of hepatitis C; what representations he has received on this issue since June 2007; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: Hepatitis C: Action Plan for England (2004) sets out a national framework for the national health service and other key stakeholders to strengthen efforts to tackle hepatitis C, including by increased diagnosis. Copies of this publication are available in the Library.
Since then the Department has funded the hepatitis C awareness campaign, which has contributed to increased hepatitis C testing, diagnosis and treatment. The campaign, for healthcare professionals and the public, uses a range of methods of communication, including:
information leaflets for healthcare professionals and the public;
press, radio and bus advertising;
a hepatitis C awareness website;
a freephone information line; and
an innovative touring photography exhibition in partnership with local national health service organisations and other stakeholders.
Since June 2007, the Department has received approximately 10 representations on this issue from hon. Members in their own right or on behalf of constituents, members of the public and the voluntary sector.
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