|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Gillian Merron [holding answer 20 July 2009]: The Department included estimates of the cost of physical inactivity, to the wider economy of England, of £8.2 billion a year in "At least five a week-Evidence on the impact of physical activity and its relationship to health", published in 2004.
More recently, a study of the primary and secondary health care costs attributable to physical inactivity was commissioned and published an estimate of these costs for every primary care trust in England as an Annex to "Be active, be healthy-A plan for getting the nation moving", published in February 2009.
The number of national health service sight tests, by patient eligibility, in England in 2007-08 is available in Table B3 of Annex C of the "General Ophthalmic Services: Activity Statistics for England and Wales: Year Ending 31 March 2008" report.
Information is provided by primary care trust (PCT) and by strategic health authority (SHA) but is not available by parliamentary constituency. Information on the number of NHS sight tests by patient eligibility is only available at a local level from 2007-08.
The number of NHS sight tests, by patient eligibility, in England, from 1996-97 to 2007-08 is available in Table A3, Annex B of the same report. The NHS Information Centre for health and social care is due to publish information for 2008-09 on 19 August 2009.
From 1 April 1999, eligibility for an NHS sight test was extended to everyone aged 60 or over. Patients may qualify for an NHS sight test on more than one criterion. However, they would only be recorded against one criterion on the form. Patients are more likely to be recorded according to their clinical need rather than their age. For example, a patient aged over 60, with glaucoma is likely to be recorded in the glaucoma category only. The count by eligibility is therefore approximate. Patients may also have had more than one sight test in the specified time period.
Gillian Merron: The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has reviewed the Tower Hamlets annual monitoring returns and is satisfied that budgetary provision is being made by Tower Hamlets for chemical sampling, and that the council are fulfilling the responsibilities for sampling set out in the Statutory Food Law Code of Practice. FSA monitoring returns since 2006 for Tower Hamlets shows that sampling has been carried out for a range of issues including composition, contamination and labelling of food in addition to microbiological sampling. On this basis, discussions with Tower Hamlets on budgetary provision for the chemical analysis of food are considered unnecessary.
The Food Standards Agency believes that there are two main factors that have led to the decline in overall numbers of public analysts in
the United Kingdom. First, public analysts are retiring at a faster rate than they are being recruited; 60 per cent., of the current population are over 50 years and the rate for successful completion of the MChemA qualification is only one per year. Secondly, as the number of public analyst laboratories is falling there maybe less incentive for people to undertake the MChemA (which is a required qualification to become a public analysts and takes an average of six years to complete).
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons the Food Standards Agency's review of public analyst services has not been completed; when he expects it will be completed; and if he will make a statement. 
Gillian Merron: The Food Standards Agency (FSA) commenced a review of the public analyst service in 2007 (in consultation with the Association of Public Analysts) to address concerns over the decline in the public analyst service. Although the majority of the work on issues was completed in 2007, the refocusing of resources within the FSA resulted in a delay in carrying out a full public consultation.
The FSA is now putting together a stakeholder working group to look at reviewing and amending the Food Safety (Sampling and Qualifications) Regulations 1990 in order to enable suitably qualified people, other than those holding a Masters in Chemical Analysis, to become official food analysts. The FSA is making these proposals as part of requirements under European Union food and feed law to ensure that there are sufficient numbers of suitably qualified and experienced staff; and appropriate facilities and equipment to undertake official controls within the United Kingdom.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the performance of local authorities in monitoring food safety and enforcing food safety standards. 
Gillian Merron: The Food Standards Agency (FSA) assesses the performance of local authorities on food safety matters on an annual basis. The last assessment was done in February 2009, and the Board paper which makes up the assessment and shows the local authority enforcement activities can be found at:
Each year the FSA Board assesses local authority performance on food safety matters. The FSA Board examines data reports from monitoring and audit checks to assess local authority performance in enforcing food safety legislation. FSA powers to carry out these activities are set out in under the Food Standards Act 1999.
Where an individual local authority reports figures which are not considered to be acceptable, further inquiries are made of that authority, and the FSA will, if appropriate, use its powers formally to audit that authority's services.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department has not issued specific guidance on home visits for general practitioner (GPs) working during the out-of-hours period- 6.30 pm to 8 am on weekdays, and the whole of weekends and Bank Holidays. The decision to undertake a home visit is a matter of clinical judgment at any time.
patients will be guaranteed a GP consultation-including a home visit if there is a clinical need;
patients are treated by the clinician best equipped to meet their needs in the most appropriate location; and
services will be regularly audited to ensure that patients are receiving quality care.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Data on general practitioner (GP) practices' opening hours is not collected centrally, but under the nationally negotiated general medical services (GMS) contract, GP practices are responsible for delivering primary medical care services to their patients from 8am to 6:30pm Monday to Friday, except Good Friday, Christmas day or bank holidays. Practices can place information of their opening times for patients to access on the NHS Choices website.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost of implementing in full the recommendation of the Archer Inquiry into Contaminated Blood and Blood Products on compensation for haemophiliacs infected through contaminated blood products; and if he will make a statement. 
[holding answer 20 July 2009]: No estimate has been made of the cost of implementing in full the recommendation of the Archer Inquiry into
Contaminated Blood and Blood Products on compensation for haemophiliacs infected through contaminated blood products as Lord Archer's report did not quantify the levels of compensation he was recommending.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many haemophiliacs known to have been infected with HIV through contaminated blood products were alive on the latest date for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to respond to the results of his Department's consultation on proposals on eligibility of overseas visitors for free primary medical services; what the reasons are for the time taken to respond; and if he will place in the Library a copy of each of the unpublished consultation responses. 
Gillian Merron: A summary of the responses to the 2004 consultation Proposals to Exclude Overseas Visitors from Eligibility to Free NHS Primary Medical Services was published on 10 June and can be viewed at:
The complex issues raised in the complete responses to the 2004 consultation needed to feed into the joint Department of Health and Home Office review enforcing the rules: A new strategy to ensure and enforce compliance with our immigration laws.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will place in the Library a copy of each document in his Department's file INW0014/0030/0008/VO1 HF&E Bill 1990 Lords Consideration of Commons Amendments; and if he will make a statement; 
Gillian Merron: The Department does hold these files. It will take some time to review the information requested and we shall endeavour to do so within 20 working days, (the period of time that would apply had the hon. Member submitted the questions as Freedom of Information requests). I will write to the hon. Member in due course and place a copy of my letter in the Library.
Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hospital admissions of patients of each age group there were in Suffolk where the primary or secondary diagnosis was drug-related in each of the last five years. 
Gillian Merron: The number of total admissions to hospital in the Suffolk primary care trust area, which the primary or secondary diagnosis of the patient was drug related, broken down by age for 2003-04 to 2007-08 are shown in the following table.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|