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Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent on vitamin D supplements for (a) children aged between six months and four years and (b) pregnant and breastfeeding women in 2008-09. 
Dawn Primarolo: Vitamin supplements, which include vitamin D, are provided free to Healthy Start beneficiaries. In the first three quarters of 2008-09 the cost of supplements provided through the scheme was in the region of £20,000. Data for the final quarter are not yet available. Vitamins can also be prescribed by general practitioners, and national health service prescriptions are free for pregnant women, new mothers and all children. Data as to the numbers and cost of supplements containing vitamin D prescribed in this way are not collected centrally.
Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent estimate he has made of the cost of providing vitamin D supplements to all (a) pregnant and breastfeeding women and (b) young children between the ages of six months and four years. 
Dawn Primarolo: Vitamin supplements containing vitamin D are available to beneficiaries of the Healthy Start Scheme. We have estimated that the annual cost of providing these vitamins universally across England would be as follows: £24 million for children from age six months until the fourth birthday and £4 million for women from 10 weeks of pregnancy until baby is one-year-old.
Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether rheumatoid arthritis is considered to be a long-term condition for the purposes of the review of prescription charges led by Sir Ian Gilmore; and if he will take steps to exempt patients diagnosed with that condition from prescription charges; 
(2) whether systemic lupus erythematosus is considered to be a long-term condition for the purposes of the review of prescription charges led by Sir Ian Gilmore; and if he will take steps to exempt patients diagnosed with that condition from prescription charges. 
Dawn Primarolo: We have asked the president of the Royal College of Physicians (Professor Ian Gilmore) to carry out a review that will consider how to implement the commitment to exempt patients with long-term conditions from prescription charges. The review is in progress and is due to make its recommendations to departmental Ministers in summer 2009. The review is engaging widely with stakeholders to seek the views of patients, the public, patient representative bodies, clinicians and health care organisations.
Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will estimate the number of patients with rheumatoid arthritis who were (a) exempt from and (b) unable to pay prescription charges in the last five years; 
Dawn Primarolo: The Department does not hold the information to answer these questions. Data are not held on the number of people with a particular medical condition, prescribed or dispensed a particular medication or the purpose for which the medication was prescribed.
Mrs. Riordan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of (a) the number of people with cancer who will be exempted from prescription charges from April 2009 and (b) the cost to the NHS of exempting cancer patients from prescription charges in the 12-month period from April 2009. 
Dawn Primarolo: Up to 150,000 patients already diagnosed with cancer are expected to benefit from exemption from prescription charges. The expected reduction in prescription charge income as a result of the exemption for cancer patients is estimated to be around £15 million per year.
(2) what estimate he has made of the number of people who received treatment for (a) pressure sores and (b) infected pressure sores which developed during a hospital stay in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 11 December 2008, Official Report, column 237W, on respite care, what percentage of the £150 million each primary care trust will receive, according to the weighted capitation formula. 
Phil Hope: The £150 million is part of overall primary care trust (PCT) revenue allocations. The 2008-09 PCT allocations represent a £74.2 billion investment in the national health service, which is increasing by a further £8.6 billion over 2009-10 and 2010-11. These overall allocations are not broken down into funding for individual policies by PCT. There is not a weighted capitation formula specific to respite care that would allow needs to be accurately identified at the local level. Rather it is for PCTs to decide their priorities for investment locally, taking into account both local priorities and the NHS operating framework.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many blind people there are in the constituencies of (a) Pendle, (b) Burnley, (c) Ribble Valley, (d) Blackburn, (e) Hyndburn and (g) Rossendale and Darwen. 
Phil Hope: Data on the number of blind people are not collected centrally by constituency, but are available for councils with adult social services responsibilities and government office regions. The register is voluntary and so cannot be thought of as providing a definitive measure.
The constituencies of Pendle, Burnley, Ribble Valley, Hyndburn and Rossendale all fall within the boundaries of Lancashire county council. The other two constituencies requested, Blackburn and Darwen, fall within the boundaries of Blackburn with Darwen borough council.
Ann Keen: Secretary of State Directions on the allocation of organs from deceased donors place patients into two categoriesGroup 1 and Group 2. A person in Group 2 cannot receive an organ if there is a clinically suitable person in Group 1. Group 1 includes persons ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom who qualify for national health service treatment under the NHS Act and must be treated the same as UK nationals resident in the in the UK, persons entitled under reciprocal health agreements to medical treatment in the UK, and persons entitled under bilateral reciprocal health agreements. Over the period April 1998 to March 2008, 315 people recorded as resident outside the UK (excluding the Republic of Ireland) and categorised as in Group 1 had transplants, 301 from deceased donors and 14 from living donors.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS trusts in England are able to measure the blood pressure of a four limb deficient individual experiencing the negative health effects of thalidomide use. 
11. Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has received on the performance of the Quartet's Special Envoy to the Middle East. 
Bill Rammell: While we have not received formal representations, we judge that the Quartet Representative and his office continue to make a very valuable contribution to improving the situation on the ground and to helping to realise our common vision of two states, Israel and Palestine, living in peace, prosperity and security side by side.
This figure is £2 million greater than the figure given in the answers of 17 March 2009, Official Report, column 1002W, and 18 March 2009, Official Report, column 1186-87W. The increase is due to an additional £1.75 million for changes in the build design of the venue, and £250,000 for tented immigration at airports to allow delegations through border control quickly. These amounts were not included in the previous estimate.
13. Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his EU counterparts on the agenda for the forthcoming G20 summit. 
Caroline Flint: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary met counterparts at the Informal and Spring European Councils on 1 and 20 March 2009, and at the General Affairs and External Relations Council on 22 March 2009. Separately, he spoke with his Polish colleague Radoslav Sikorksi and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner. I have also discussed the summit with my EU counterparts in Hungary, Sweden, France and Germany.
14. Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his EU counterparts on priorities for the forthcoming EU-US summit. 
Caroline Flint: In preparing for the summit, EU-Transatlantic relations have most recently been discussed at the General Affairs and External Relations Council on 16 March 2009 and at the Gymnich, 27-28 March 2009.
17. Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he had in the most recent General Affairs Council on the contribution of the European Council's European Economic Recovery Plan to employment in the environmental sector. 
Caroline Flint: On 16 March 2009, I attended the General Affairs and External Relations Council which discussed the proposal to invest €5 billion including on a number of carbon capture and storage and energy interconnection projects, ahead of final agreement at the spring European Council. This investment will help boost green jobs and lock-in low carbon infrastructure.
21. Phil Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had in the most recent General Affairs Council on EU policy on carbon capture and storage technology. 
Caroline Flint: On 16 March 2009 I attended the General Affairs Council, which, among other items, discussed proposals to invest €1 billion on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects as part of the European Recovery Plan. This prepared the agreement reached at Spring European Council on 19 to 20 March 2009. Under this agreement €180 million will be available for four CCS projects proposed in the UK.
Bill Rammell: I fully support President Obamas recent message to the people and Government of Iran and welcome his commitment to direct engagement and a relationship based on mutual respect if Iran is willing to do the same. I believe that this offers a real opportunity for Iran to work constructively with the international community to restore confidence in its nuclear intentions and to contribute to peace and stability across the middle east. I also believe that that would offer a solid basis for the UK and Iran to resolve our bilateral differences. I urge Irans leaders to respond positively to the opportunity before them.
19. Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the political situation in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. 
20. Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the political situation in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: Afghanistan remains one of the UK's top foreign policy priorities. The key political focus for Afghanistan in 2009 is the Presidential and Provincial Council elections which will take place on 20 August. We are actively working in support of the Afghans, the UN and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisations International Security Assistance Force to help ensure these elections are successful. Voter registration has been successfully completed with over three million names added to the existing register.
Caroline Flint: All countries in the Western Balkans remain committed to the goal of EU membership and to the process of political and economic reform required within the framework of the EU's Stabilisation and Association Process. The UK and its EU partners welcome this continuing commitment and remain actively engaged in support of this process, which is essential for the stability and prosperity of the region.
Bill Rammell: We have become increasingly concerned about the humanitarian situation in northern Sri Lanka, particularly the fate of the many civilians caught in the conflict area. We have made repeated calls for both sides to agree an urgent humanitarian ceasefire to allow civilians to leave the conflict area safely and for increased humanitarian supplies to be brought in. Lasting peace can only come about through a political solution that fully takes into account the legitimate concerns of all communities in Sri Lanka.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions have been held with the US administration on (a) combating the Taliban and (b) troop levels in Afghanistan since January 2009. 
Bill Rammell: The UK has regular discussions with the US administration on these issues at all levels of Government, including frequent high-level meetings. My right hon. Friends the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary and the Defence Secretary all discussed Afghanistan during their recent visits to Washington on 1-3 March 2009, 18 and 17 March 2009 respectively.
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