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9 Oct 2008 : Column 759W—continued

Hepatitis: Finance

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department plans to spend in (a) the 2008-09 and (b) the 2009-10 financial year on improving GPs’ awareness of the risks of contracting the hepatitis C virus and its treatment. [225270]

Dawn Primarolo: The Department is currently developing its ongoing hepatitis C awareness campaign for healthcare professionals and the public for 2008-09 and beyond.

Health professionals in primary care, including general practitioners, will remain an important audience for the campaign so that they are equipped to provide patients with information and advice about hepatitis C and to offer testing where appropriate.

The Department will spend about £2.5 million (excluding VAT) on the entire campaign for 2008-09. Budgets for 2009-10 and beyond are yet to be confirmed.


Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many primary care trusts have allocated resources to tackle attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults. [224608]

Mr. Bradshaw: It is not possible to state how many primary care trusts have allocated resources to address the provision of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder for adults. This is because funding for primary care trusts to deliver health care, including mental health care, to their populations is allocated on the basis of a formula that takes account of a range of factors associated with population health need.

This formula does not take account of specific diagnostic categories such as attention deficit disorder and therefore we do not have specific information on the number of trusts that have allocated resources solely to address this disorder. Diagnosis and treatment are matters for
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local determination and primary care trusts are expected to adhere to recent National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance on the subject.

Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what process was followed in the appointment of the Chairman of the Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV; where the post was advertised; how many persons applied for the post; how many were short-listed for interview; whether consideration was given to a candidate's (a) political views and (b) views on abortion; how each was appraised; what criteria were adopted for each candidate; how many candidates were rejected; and if he will make a statement. [225713]

Dawn Primarolo: In appointing the chair and members of the Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV, the Department followed the guidance on appointments to public bodies, issued by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. This included recruiting an Independent Assessor, who was involved in all stages of the recruitment exercise. I agreed all appointments to the group.

The post was advertised in The Times, The Guardian, medical press and minority ethnic press. Three individuals applied for the post of chair and all were interviewed. All candidates for the chair were appraised using the same three criteria, which were:

We are unable to give information on political views or views on abortion, as such information would identify candidates.

Infectious Diseases: Vaccinations

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with the vaccine industry on public health priorities in addressing infectious diseases. [225698]

Dawn Primarolo: My right hon. Friend has had no meetings with the vaccine industry since his appointment in June 2007. The Department meets with the vaccine industry on an ad hoc basis and provides submissions to my office when needed.

Mental Health Services

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people medically recommended for treatment under sections 2 or 3 of the Mental Health Act 2007 could not be admitted to hospital due to shortage of beds during the last year for which figures are available, broken down by mental health trust area. [222500]

Phil Hope: This information is not collected centrally.

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 29 January 2008, Official Report, columns 345-6W, on the National User Forum
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on Mental Health, what discussions have taken place with service users on the replacement for the national service framework for mental health from 2009. [224891]

Phil Hope: Work on replacing the national service framework is being developed through the ‘New Horizons’ programme which began with a national event in November 2007. User and carer involvement is a key element.

An encouraging number of service user and carer representatives attended the four regional forums that have taken place and representatives have been invited to and are expected to attend the forum taking place in the east midlands later in October 2008.

‘New Horizons’ will also take full account of the visions set out recently by the 10 strategic health authorities as part of the Next Stage Review, and by various key stakeholders, such as the coalition that produced ‘A New Vision for Mental Health’. All of these have involved, and continue to involve, users and carers.

NHS: Dental Services

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were on waiting lists to register for an NHS dentist in (a) Ribble Valley constituency, (b) Lancashire and (c) England in each year since 2000. [225519]

Dawn Primarolo: The information requested is not collected centrally. It is for primary care trusts (PCTs) to determine how best to manage patients seeking national health service dental services.

However, increasing the number of patients seen within the NHS dental service is now a priority in the operating framework for the NHS in England 2008-09. We have supported this with an 11 per cent. uplift in overall dental allocations to PCTs from 1 April 2008. Copies of the operating framework have already been placed in the Library.

NHS: Eyesight

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people received corrective laser eye surgery on the NHS in (a) Ribble Valley constituency, (b) Lancashire and (c) England in each year since 2000. [225521]

Dawn Primarolo: Corrective laser eye surgery is not carried out routinely on the national health service other than for exceptional clinical reasons and these will be very rare. The Department does not collect data broken down by this specific group.

NHS: Finance

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the monies allocated to the reduction in the numbers of people with learning disabilities living in NHS campus-style accommodation will be distributed. [225423]

Phil Hope: To support the programme to close national health service campus-style services, £96 million in revenue grant and £175 million in capital grant was made available for three years; 2008-09, 2009-010 and 2010-11.

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The revenue grant has been targeted on local authorities (LAs) where campuses are currently or have previously been located to ensure that the money is used to help more people into appropriate supported accommodation. LAs were invited to bid for funding for the grant.

The LAs that applied for the grant and were successful in their bid, will have their grant monies paid as a single payment on 1 June of the financial year to which the payment relates, or as soon after that as reasonable practicable. The total allocations for the revenue grant were £14 million in 2008-09, £31 million in 2009-10 and £51 million in 2010-11.

In addition, there is a three-stage bidding process in place for LAs and primary care trusts to bid for capital funding. Stages 1 and 2 of this programme have been completed and a total of £48 million over two years (2007-08 and 2008-09) has been allocated to help up to 700 people with a learning disability move to alternative accommodation in the community. An expert panel assessed the joint bids to decide on the allocations; this panel included a person with learning disabilities and a family carer.

Pregnant Women: Alcoholic Drinks

Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps his Department plans to take to improve public awareness of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder; [224697]

(2) if he will (a) make foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) a core subject in training for new doctors and other medical professionals and (b) design and implement a catch-up training programme on FASD for medical professionals already in practice, with particular reference to (i) general practitioners, (ii) midwives, (iii) mental health workers and (iv) those working in paediatrics; [224698]

(3) if he will list the steps his Department plans to take to increase awareness of the dangers of drinking during pregnancy; [224699]

(4) if he will take steps to improve the awareness of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) amongst (a) LEA members, (b) local authority members and (c) others responsible for decisions on the allocation of public funds in order to ensure appropriate future provision of funds to deal with FASD. [224700]

Dawn Primarolo: In early 2007, the four United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers considered the need for consistent advice across the UK on pregnancy and drinking alcohol. Following this, the Department's advice on drinking before and during pregnancy was revised and published in May 2007.

In March 2008, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published advice for health professionals on the treatment and care of women during pregnancy. This includes advice on drinking alcohol.

The Department's advice is that pregnant women and women trying to conceive should avoid drinking alcohol and that, if they choose to drink, to minimise risk to the baby, they should not drink more than one to two units of alcohol once or twice a week and should not get drunk.

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The NICE guidelines emphasise the importance of avoiding alcohol completely during the first three months of pregnancy, the key time for organ and nervous system development.

The Department is working with the alcohol industry to include information about drinking when pregnant on alcohol labels. This voluntary agreement with the alcohol industry, announced in May 2007, is to include unit content and daily guideline information on labels. The Department expects that advice to women to avoid alcohol if they are pregnant or trying to conceive should also be included on most alcohol labels by the end of 2008.

In May 2008, we launched a campaign to raise awareness of the public's knowledge of units of alcohol and how they relate to today's drinks and servings—this included communication to highlight the updated pregnancy advice around alcohol consumption.

On 22 July 2008, the Department launched the Government's alcohol consultation, asking for the views of the public and key stakeholders on what action the Government should take in response to the rising levels of alcohol health harm and crime and disorder. One of the questions that the consultation asks is whether the alcohol industry should have to include information on alcohol unit content and health on the labelling of alcohol products.

We are working with the International Centre for Drug Policy to influence the development of the undergraduate medical curriculum and embed substance misuse, including a specific module on alcohol identification and brief advice, within the curriculum. This includes working with the Deans of the 24 English Medical Schools, who are all independent and set their own curriculum. The aims for undergraduate medical students are that:

In spring 2008, we announced funding to develop the implementation of the curriculum and the training of new doctors, including, as a core priority, ensuring that future doctors will be able to recognise, assess and understand the management of alcohol misuse and its associated health and social problems, and the funding of co-ordinators in medical schools, whose roles include working with curriculum developers to ensure that the guidance is implemented and to facilitate integration of the guidance into their curricula.

Guidance, issued in April 2007, has been developed to define the aims and core learning outcomes in substance misuse, which medical students should achieve during the undergraduate stage of their basic medical education.

The guidance goes on to say specifically that on graduation students should be able to advise women on the effects of substance use, including alcohol, and the impact on foetal and maternal health. Concerning specific diseases, students should be able to describe the effects on pregnancy and on the newborn of misuse or dependence on alcohol, tobacco or illicit drugs.

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Currently, there are no plans to design a “catch-up training programme” on foetal alcohol spectrum disorder for those medical professionals already in practice.


Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the food manufacturing industry on the salt content of packaged foods. [225517]

Dawn Primarolo: The “Healthy Weight Healthy Lives Strategy” published in January (copies of which have already been placed in the Library) sets out as one of its key aims, a plan to “finalise a Healthy Food Code of Good practice , in partnership with the food and drink industry, and other relevant stakeholders”. This code challenges the whole industry to adopt practices to reduce levels of saturated fat, sugar and salt in processed foods among other measures.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has had no recent discussions with the food industry on salt reduction.

Skin Piercing

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were admitted to hospital as a result of medical problems resulting from body piercing in the last 12 months. [225723]

Dawn Primarolo: The information requested is not collected centrally.

The Health Protection Agency has investigated the prevalence of cosmetic body piercing in the general population in England aged 16 years and over and associated complications. This research indicates that most complications associated with body piercing appear to be minor and self-limiting such as local, minor wound infections and that serious complications requiring hospital admission are rare—affecting less than 1 per cent. of those aged 16 to 24 having a piercing, the group in which piercing is most common.

This research was published in the British Medical Journal ( BMJ) on 13 June 2008 and is available on the BMJ’s website at:

Copies have also been placed in the Library.

Smoking: Counselling

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been paid to stop-smoking counsellors in the last 12 months. [224723]

Dawn Primarolo: The information requested is not collected centrally.

The latest data on overall expenditure on stop smoking services by the national health service were published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre in ‘Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services: England, April 2007 to March 2008’. A copy has been placed in the Library.

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