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3 July 2008 : Column 1118W—continued


Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of the efficacy of the NHS-prescribed vaccine for the prevention of human papilloma virus infection in comparison with other vaccines considered for NHS use for the same purposes. [215478]

Dawn Primarolo: Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccines are highly effective at preventing the infection of susceptible women with the HPV types covered by the vaccine. In clinical trials, both Cervirix and Gardasil vaccines are over 99 per cent. effective at preventing pre-cancerous lesions associated with HPV types 16 or 18 in young
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women(1). Current studies suggest that protection is maintained for at least six years. Based on the immune responses, it is expected that protection will be extended further; long term follow-up studies are in place. Some other high-risk HPV types are closely related to those contained in the vaccines, and vaccination has been shown to provide some cross-protection against infection by these types(2). Gardasil is also 99 per cent, effective at preventing genital warts associated with vaccine types in young women(3).

Further information on the vaccine can be found in chapter 18a (human papillomavirus) of “Immunisation against infectious disease” (the Green Book). Copies of the publication have already been placed in the Library and are also available on the Department’s website at:

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions his Department has had with patient groups concerned with human papilloma virus infection on the availability of vaccines against infection to NHS patients. [215479]

Dawn Primarolo: Qualitative attitudinal research was conducted among young girls, their parents and health professionals in May and June 2007. Its purpose was to explore awareness and perceptions of human papilloma virus (HPV) and the vaccination that will protect against it.

The proposed advertising concepts and information materials were tested among 12 to 13-year-old girls and their mothers. This research took place between December 2007 and February of this year. As well as evaluating our planned communications work, these consultations gave us the opportunity to identify any more recent changes in attitudes and awareness levels.

Further consultations are planned before and after the introduction of the HPV vaccine.

Pharmacy

Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what discussions his Department has had with officials from the Welsh Assembly Government on the ongoing Departmental review of part IX of the Drug Tariff; and if he will make a statement; [215498]

(2) what measures have been taken to inform relevant Welsh stakeholders about the Departmental review of part IX of the Drug Tariff; and if he will make a statement; [215499]

(3) whether he has met the Secretary of State for Wales to discuss his Department’s review of part IX of the Drug Tariff; and if he will make a statement; [215500]

(4) which Welsh stakeholders have been contacted regarding the Departmental review of part IX of the Drug Tariff; and if he will make a statement. [215501]

Dawn Primarolo: The review of the arrangements under part IX of the Drug Tariff for the provision of stoma and incontinence appliances and related services in primary care relates to England only.


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However, health officials in the Welsh Assembly have been made aware of the review and have been monitoring its progress.

Pharmacy: Payments

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effect of payments to pharmacies to conduct medicines use reviews on the number of such reviews conducted. [214935]

Dawn Primarolo: The Government are aware of concerns regarding the payment mechanism for medicine use reviews (MURs) and that they are not being targeted to local needs. For this reason, the White Paper “Pharmacy in England: building on strengths—delivering the future” (Cm 7341), sets out the Government's belief that MUR services should be prioritised to meet health needs. Copies of this publication are available in the Library. The Government have asked NHS employers to discuss with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee a mechanism for delivering this, ensuring funding rewards health outcomes.

Secure Psychiatric Units: Smoking

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Government (1) have estimated how many mental health trusts made use of the support provided by the Tobacco Control Collaborative Centre to introduce the forthcoming smoking ban in psychiatric units; and whether the Government intend to review the effectiveness of this support once the ban comes into effect; [214975]

(2) what plans the Government have to measure the effect of the forthcoming smoking ban in in-patient psychiatric units on (a) the physical health and (b) the mental health of smokers being treated. [214976]

Dawn Primarolo: The Government commissioned the Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre (TCCC) to provide support to mental health service providers in the lead up to the implementation of the smoke free legislation in residential mental health units on 1 July 2008. The TCCC initially met with mental health trust chief executives in the summer of 2007.

The TCCC wrote to all foundation trusts, national health service trusts and independent providers asking about their smoke-free policies and inviting individual trusts to request additional support, such as visits. The TCCC has also worked with regional stop smoking leads to organise local workshops to address implementation issues. This initial contact was followed up by sending mental health providers smoke free resources, accompanied by a further offer of support to trusts on an individual basis. To date 24 mental health service providers have been visited.

The Government are not planning to do any specific research on the impact of the smoke-free legislation on the physical or mental health of mental health service users, but is committed to review the impact of the smoke-free law in its entirety within three years of implementation.


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Smoking

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of people aged (a) under 16, (b) 17 to 25, (c) 26 to 45, (d) 46 to 65 and (e) 66 years or over who smoke on a regular basis, broken down by sex; what proportion of the total population of each age group these figures represent; and what the equivalent figures were in (i) 2003 and (ii) 1998. [213918]

Dawn Primarolo: The information requested is not available in the exact format requested.

The latest information on the prevalence of smoking among adults aged 16 and over in Great Britain, by gender and age group, in 2006 is available from the
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“General Household Survey 2006: Smoking and drinking among adults, 2006”. This information is shown in the following table.

Data on the prevalence of smoking among adults aged 16 and over in England, by gender and age group, for 1998, 2003 and 2005 are available in “Statistics on Smoking: England, 2007”, in table 2.2, on page 16. Data are given for those aged 16-19, 20-24, 25-34, 35-49, 50-59 and those aged 60 and over. Copies of this publication have been placed in the Library.

Information on the proportion of children aged 11 to 15 in England, who were regular smokers, by gender, for 1998, 2003 and 2006 is available in “Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England in 2006” in table 2.1, on page 38. Equivalent estimates of the number of regular smokers in 2006 among those aged 11 to 15 can be found on page 156, section 5.3. Copies of this publication are available in the Library.

Table 1: Prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults( 1) , by age and gender, 2006( 2) , Great Britain

All ages 16-19 20-24 25-34 35-49 50-59 60 and over

All adults (Percentage)

22

20

31

30

25

22

12

Men (Percentage)

23

20

33

33

26

23

13

Women (Percentage)

21

20

29

26

25

22

12

Weighted bases (Thousand)

All adults

42,639

2,573

2,819

6,660

12,027

6,914

11,646

Men

19,918

1,295

1,270

3,140

5,636

3,337

5,240

Women

22,721

1,278

1,548

3,520

6,392

3,577

6,406

Unweighted bases

All adults

16,682

815

883

2,373

4,583

2,887

5,141

Men

7,677

392

376

1,053

2,093

1,374

2,389

Women

9,005

423

507

1,320

2,490

1,513

2,752

(1) Aged 16 and over.
(2) Results for 2006 include longitudinal data.
Source:
General Household Survey 2006, Office for National Statistics.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people aged (a) under 16, (b) 17 to 25, (c) 26 to 45, (d) 46 to 65 and (e) 66 years and over have sought assistance from smoking cessation clinics in the latest period for which figures are available. [213919]

Dawn Primarolo: The latest data available on the number of people who set a quit date and those who successfully quit smoking at the four week follow up (based on self report) through the NHS Stop Smoking Services are for the period April 2007 to December 2007, which represents quarters 1, 2 and 3 of the 2007-08 period.

This information can be found in the “Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services in England April to December 2007” publication in table 2 on page 6, published on 16 April 2008. Data are available for under-18s, 18 to 34-year-olds, 35 to 44-year-olds, 45 to 59-year-olds and those aged 60 and over. Copies of this publication have been placed in the Library.

Smoking: Young People

Mr. Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to stop children and young people from smoking. [215394]

Dawn Primarolo: Reducing smoking among young people is a priority for the Government. Much has already been achieved in this area, including raising the age of sale of tobacco products, legislation to strengthen sanctions available against retailers who persistently sell tobacco to children and young people and smoking is addressed in the national curriculum and through the Healthy Schools Programme.

Protecting children and young people from smoking is one of four key aspects of the Department’s “Consultation on the future of tobacco control” published on 31 May 2008, copies of the consultation have already been placed in the Library. Responses to the consultation will inform the development of a new strategy on tobacco control, which will include action to continue to tackle the uptake of smoking by young people.

Wheelchairs

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to publish the new model for the delivery of wheelchair services; and what the reasons are for the time taken to publish the model. [212081]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: As you will be aware, the original intention was to look at community equipment and
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wheelchair services in parallel. This proved unfeasible due to the need to collate additional data to support any new model for wheelchair provision. The process of collation and analysis of a significant amount of data has now been completed. A decision on the most appropriate way forward, including when to publish the new model, will be taken by the autumn.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the outcomes have been of the mission in Helmand province in the areas of (a) drugs, (b) reconstruction, (c) winning hearts and minds and (d) pacification. [215448]

Dr. Howells [holding answer 2 July 2008]: The UK is providing coordinated military and civilian support to the Afghan government to improve security, governance and development opportunities on a district-by-district basis in Helmand.

We are supporting Afghan counter narcotics institutions to deliver the National Drug Control Strategy, with an emphasis in Helmand where poppy cultivation is concentrated. Following Musa Qala's recapture in December 2007, the Afghan authorities closed down the major drugs bazaar, closed opium processing labs, and seized several tons of opium, denying resources and opportunities to drugs traders and insurgents. Operations continue in collaboration with increasingly capable Afghan counter narcotics forces. In 2008, 2,590 hectares of poppy were eradicated in Helmand. Where security, governance and economic opportunities are improving, such as Lashkar Gah, farmers are growing less opium than they have done in previous years. We are continuing to support Afghan efforts in licit livelihoods and infrastructure. Following last year's record harvest, the UN Office for Drugs and Crime estimates that opium cultivation in Helmand is stabilising.

In Helmand 1,824 water supply and sanitation projects, funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), have been completed; over $200,000 in micro-finance loans has been distributed to local community businesses with a repayment rate up to March 2008 of 100 per cent., 50 kilometres of main highway was constructed or resurfaced in 2007 in Helmand through DFID funding; and the legal economy is growing at above the national rate. UK aid towards development work in Helmand includes £9 million of funding for quick-impact projects in 2007-08; a £30 million three-year commitment until 2009 to support agriculture and rural development; and funding for UN Habitat to work in Lashkar Gah on improving municipal services.


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