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15 July 2009 : Column 549W—continued

Swine Flu: Schools

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) schools and (b) special schools have been closed as a result of an outbreak of swine influenza. [286316]

Gillian Merron: Information provided to the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), initially by the Health Protection Agency and subsequently by Government offices, shows that a total of 100 schools, including six special schools, had closed by 9 July 2009. Of those schools, 93 had reopened by 9 July, leaving seven schools closed, including five special schools.

There is no statutory duty on schools to report their closure to DCSF, so this data is not necessarily complete.

Swine Flu: Teesside

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the NHS is taking to (a) assist those resident in Teesside who have been diagnosed with swine influenza and (b) prevent to further spread of swine influenza in Teesside. [285332]

Gillian Merron: The North East Strategic Health Authority (SHA) has advised that so far the North East has not experienced the high number of cases seen in other areas of the country.

Now that the management of swine flu has moved to the treatment phase, testing for confirmation of individual cases is no longer taking place, the Health Protection Agency will not have statistics about number of cases and where they are occurring.

In line with national and regional plans, Teesside's public health team is continuing, through effective communications to ensure the public is kept fully informed about swine flu, what to do if a person believes they
15 July 2009 : Column 550W
might have swine flu, and how to keep good hygiene to reduce the risk of further spread.

Tattooing: Plastic Surgery

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) men and (b) women (i) over 25 years old and (ii) 25 years old and under have had tattoos removed by the NHS in each year since 2000; and how many and what proportion were aged 25 years and under. [284410]

Gillian Merron: Information on the numbers of tattoo removal procedures carried out by the national health service requested is not collected centrally, as hospital episode statistics do not contain specific or diagnosis codes for tattoo removal.

Tattoo removal may be available on the NHS, according to local primary care trust policies, if a clinician considers that an individual patient's health requires it.


Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of his Department's Preventative Technology Grant (a) was spent on telecare in 2006-07 and (b) he estimates will be spent on telecare in 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. [286968]

Phil Hope: The £80 million Preventative Technology Grant was granted to local authorities with social care responsibilities to provide telecare services, however this funding was not ring-fenced. Specific details of how this money was used by individual local authorities was not gathered, however it is known that the number of new telecare and telehealth users have increased by over 200,000. Any residual Preventative Technology Grant money was allowed to be carried over into 2008-09 to help sustain momentum. No money has been recovered by the Department and local authorities are expected to have used grant funding for telecare purposes.

During the period of the grant over £80 million worth of business has been procured through the PASA Telecare National Framework Agreement.


Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 3 July 2009, Official Report, column 1021W, on vCJD, if he will publish the results of the evaluation of vCJD prototype assays; and if he will make a statement. [286480]

Gillian Merron: Evaluation of prototype variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease blood assays is ongoing, and interim results will not be issued at this stage. Results will eventually be published under the auspices of the CJD Resource Centre Oversight Committee.

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