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Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what national guidelines are in place on the provision of free podiatry services for older people; and if he will make a statement; 
Dawn Primarolo: All national health service podiatry services are provided free of charge on the basis of assessed clinical need. It is for primary care trusts (PCTs) in partnership with local stakeholders, including practice based commissioners, local government and the public to determine how best to use their funds to meet national and local priorities for improving health and to commission services accordingly.
Guidance for access to foot care is included in the national service frameworks for older people, diabetes, and long-term conditions, and the White Paper, Our health, our care, our say: a new direction for community services.
Foot care services for older people are being reviewed as part of the prevention package announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health (Alan Johnson) in May. The purpose of the package is to raise awareness among older people, of the existing core prevention services to which they are entitled and to support the service in making improvements in other key areas such as foot care. The package is due to be launched in spring 2009.
Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 16 July 2008, Official Report, column 523W, on chiropody, whether he plans to set consistent minimum standards for NHS chiropody provision across regions. 
Dawn Primarolo: There are no plans to set minimum standards for the provision of chiropody services centrally. Access to chiropody services is a matter for primary care trusts based on the assessed needs of their local population. To help trusts develop their policy for access to foot care, guidance is included in the national service frameworks for older people, diabetes, and long-term conditions, and the White Paper, Our health, our care, our say: a new direction for community services.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will commission further epidemiological studies into common factors among those who have contracted variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) if he will hold discussions with his counterparts in the devolved administrations on epidemiological studies of possible sources of rogue prions in the 1980s and 1990s that caused variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The National CJD Surveillance Unit (NCJDSU) currently considers the epidemiology of all new cases in the United Kingdom, against the background of on-going studies examining risk factors for vCJD. Findings are regularly published in peer reviewed journals and the NCJDSU Annual Report.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) deaths from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) and (b) new diagnoses of vCJD there have been since the period covered by the press release placed on his Departments website on vCJD statistics in October 2007; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children were diagnosed with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) after being born to mothers with vCJD in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 11 March 2008, Official Report, column 256W, on blood transfusions,
how many infected tonsils so far analysed were from V-V or M-V genotypes; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what records he holds on the number of UK citizens who lived overseas who died from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in the last 10 years. 
Dawn Primarolo: There have been three known cases of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) in which the onset of disease occurred whilst the patient was living in the United Kingdom, but who died overseas. The National CJD Surveillance Unit includes these cases in the figures for the UK, because they lived in the UK at the time of the onset of their illness.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what checks have been made by his Department following the Chief Dental Officers advice that certain instruments used in endodontic work should only be used once as a precaution against the spread of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease to ensure that such instruments are not being used more than once; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: Feedback from primary care trusts and dental practices supported by evidence from suppliers of dental equipment, which shows that there has been an increase in sales of single use instruments, suggests that the guidance is being observed. To corroborate these findings we are to undertake a National Dental Decontamination Survey to provide data on current practice on decontamination, including use of single use instruments, in dental practices. We intend that the survey should comprise a postal questionnaire to a sample of practices followed up by visits to at least 100 practices.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when his Department last issued a press release with monthly vCJD statistics; when he next expects to update the figures on his Departments website; what the reasons are for the time taken to release vCJD statistics; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The final monthly press release of vCJD statistics was issued on 2 October 2007. The Department is no longer issuing these statistics because it duplicates the official statistics published by the National CJD Surveillance Unit. The Departments website now refers users directly to the NCJDSU website at http://www.cjd.ed.ac.uk/, which contains the latest statistics, which are updated on a monthly basis.
Ann Keen: Roll-out of the national NHS bowel cancer screening programme began in April 2006, with the first invitations sent out in July 2006. Full national implementation is expected by December 2009.
Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which primary care trusts have yet to be included in the NHS bowel cancer screening programme for 60 to 69 year olds; and when he expects the programme to be rolled out in each primary care trust. 
Dawn Primarolo: We are continuing to roll out the NHS bowel cancer screening programme and expect it to be fully implemented by December 2009. The following table lists the remaining primary care trusts where bowel cancer screening will commence in the final roll-out.
|Strategic health authority||Primary care trust|
Ann Keen: As the NHS bowel cancer screening programme has not yet been rolled out fully across the country, we have yet to identify any specific problems with uptake. We expect the programme to be fully implemented by December 2009.
When the bowel cancer screening programme is fully operational, we will be in a position to identify whether there are any issues surrounding uptake in any particular groups, including black and minority ethnic and deprived groups. If any health inequalities in bowel cancer screening are identified, it will be for those primary care trusts with low uptake levels to develop targeted programmes to tackle them.
A booklet entitled Bowel Cancer Screening: The Facts, which provides information about bowel cancer and sets out the benefits and risks of participating in the screening programme, is sent out with each invitation. A copy has been placed in the Library. This has been translated into a number of languages. It is important to note that no screening method is perfect and anyone invited to be screened for cancer must be aware of both the potential benefits and harms of being screened and be able to make an informed decision on whether or not to take part.
In December 2007, the Cancer Reform Strategy established the National Awareness and Early Detection Initiative, led by the National Cancer Director. The initiative will improve cancer symptom awareness amongst members of the public and healthcare professionals, and will encourage people with symptoms to seek medical help earlier than they do now. It will work with NHS Cancer Screening programmes on key messages and awareness programmes to improve screening uptake, particularly in deprived groups.
Mr. Bradshaw: Full national roll out of the NHS bowel cancer screening programme is expected by December 2009. The following table shows the projected estimate of the size of the eligible population for bowel cancer screening (men and women aged 60 to 69) by regional screening hub once the programme has been fully rolled out across the country.
|Sex||Southern||Eastern||North East||London||Midlands and North West||Total|
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