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26 Oct 2009 : Column 110W—continued

Psychiatry: Regulation

Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has received representations on the rejection by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy of the proposed statutory regulation of psychotherapy and counselling by the Health Professions Council. [295437]

Ann Keen: The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) has not made any direct representations but has copied officials into their response to the Health Professions Council's (HPC) consultation on its proposals for statutory regulation. We understand that BACP raised concerns about whether HPC are the most appropriate body to regulate psychotherapists and counsellors. The consultation closed on 16 October and HPC are expected to provide a report on the consultation and draw up final proposals by the end of this year.

Rare Conditions: Medical Treatments

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the impact of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's end-of-life criteria on patient access to treatments for rare conditions aimed at extending life; and if he will make a statement. [295041]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: We have made no such assessment. The application of the explicit end-of-life flexibilities to
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individual appraisals is a matter for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) as an independent body.

The application of this flexibility, along with patient access schemes, have resulted in positive NICE guidance on a number of treatments including Sutent for renal cell carcinoma and Revlimid for multiple myeloma.

Swine Flu

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will issue a public health warning on the risk of transmission of swine flu arising from kissing, including a two-cheek greeting; and if he will make a statement. [293219]

Gillian Merron: The Department will not be issuing a public health warning.

We have consistently advised that symptomatic people should stay at home while ill to avoid infecting others.

People can reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of spreading influenza by routinely adopting high standards of personal and respiratory hygiene.

Those who are not symptomatic should continue their normal activities.

To keep the public informed, in May this year, we ran a mass public health campaign with print, television and radio adverts. The adverts warned the public about swine flu and reminded people to practice good respiratory hand hygiene, that is, to cover their noses and mouths with tissues when they cough and sneeze and then throw the tissue away and wash their hands.

There will also be a further respiratory hand hygiene campaign beginning at the end of October and running through to February 2010.

Thalidomide Trust

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when Ministers in his Department last met trustees of the Thalidomide Trust. [295461]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: I met with the National Advisory Council to the Thalidomide Trust on 22 October 2009.

Treatment Centres and Hospitals

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the performance of (a) independent sector treatment centres and (b) NHS hospitals in undertaking emergency medical procedures. [294766]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Independent sector treatment centres (ISTCs) provide elective care, not emergency care.

ISTCs have procedures in place to respond to complications, including arrangements with a local national health service trust in case of an unforeseen emergency.

As part of performance monitoring of ISTCs there is a key performance indicator included in the contracts, which sets out the performance criteria on the transfer activity of patients. This activity is reviewed by the primary care trust (PCT) Commissioner at a Joint
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Service Review between the provider, commissioner and key stakeholders, undertaken quarterly to assess the performance of ISTCs.

PCTs commission and contract with NHS hospital trusts to provide emergency care services according to local needs. They are responsible for monitoring the performance of those trusts. The Department has set a national standard that patients should not wait more than four hours in accident and emergency departments from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge. National annual performance against the standard was 98.1 per cent. in 2008-09 and national performance in quarter 1 of 2009-10 was 98.6 per cent. 98 per cent. achievement against the standard is regarded as a success. The 2 per cent. margin allows some patients to remain longer in accident and emergency where there is a clinical need to do so.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Apprentices: Aerospace Industry

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many apprenticeships there are in (a) the aerospace industry and (b) those parts of the (i) Eurofighter and (ii) Airbus consortia operating in England. [290268]

Kevin Brennan: Information is not available to identify the total number of apprentices in the categories asked for. Data can only reliably be presented down to levels such as apprenticeship "frameworks" to which the aerospace industry would be a relatively small component in categories such as engineering and IT.

Information about companies providing apprenticeships is not currently available centrally. From 1 August 2009 we have begun to collect standardised data on the employer with whom the apprentice is placed. This is a new requirement of providers, primarily to assess trends in employer engagement by sector rather than to identify activity at the individual employer level where corporate structures, especially for large organisations, can make such analysis extremely difficult. We expect to review the quality and relevance of the data when sufficient volume of data are available and subject to confidentiality rules consider whether it can be published on a regular basis.


Mr. Kemp: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent estimate he has made of the number of people living in (a) the City of Sunderland and (b) England who have access to broadband internet at home. [293943]

Mr. Timms: This Department has not made a recent estimate of the number of homes with broadband access in Sunderland and does not have available information on broadband at home at nation level. Over 99 per cent. of all telephone exchanges in the UK are now broadband enabled, including those in the Sunderland area. Reception of reliable broadband may depend on factors such as distance from the exchange and other factors such as interference from home wiring.

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Broadband: Sussex

Mr. Soames: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to increase access to broadband coverage in (a) Mid Sussex constituency and (b) West Sussex. [295686]

Mr. Timms: We have recently set up the Network Design and Procurement Company as we pledged to do in the "Digital Britain" report. The company will be responsible for procuring the upgrade and replacement works to deliver the Universal Service Commitment (USC) for 2Mbps to virtually every community by 2012 and, in due course, the administration of the Next Generation Fund outlined in the "Digital Britain" White Paper.

On take-up of broadband and digital inclusion the Government have also appointed Martha Lane Fox as our digital inclusion champion. Her role will be to find ways of helping people without previous experience of computers to develop the skills needed to make use of the internet in order to take advantage of the benefits it offers.

Business: Government Assistance

Lorely Burt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many applications have been (a) received and (b) granted for funding from the £100 million Government support scheme made available for small and medium-sized enterprises in Budget 2009 to improve their energy efficiency. [295081]

Joan Ruddock: I have been asked to reply.

After applying the Barnett formula, £83.9 million of the £100 million funding announced at Budget 2009 was allocated to the Carbon Trust by Department of Energy and Climate Change for loans to SMEs in England in 2009-10 and 2010-11.

The Carbon Trust informs me that they have received 746 applications for this funding, of which 623 have been approved. This amounts to £18.1 million in loan commitments in England since April, more than double the volume of loans offered at this point in the last financial year.

Business: Leeds

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many businesses in Leeds North West have gone into administration in each year since 1997. [294254]

Ian Lucas: Statistics covering administrations are not currently available at sub-national level within England and Wales.


Lynne Jones: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills for what reason the letter sent from Lord Davies of Abersoch to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak dated 12 October 2009, ref JB/148761, was printed
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on only one side of paper; if he will make it his Department's policy to use two-sided printing for its correspondence; and whether he has made an estimate of the potential effects on his Department's level of paper use consequent on the implementation of such a policy. [294771]

Mr. McFadden: The vast majority of printers in use on the BIS estate are provided by our IT supplier as part of overall desktop services and the main infrastructure contract covering this provision has been in place for 10 years. Many of the printers supplied to the Department will be 'user configurable', as is the choice of which particular printer to use.

The Department is very conscious of the fact that the 'cost of print' offers many opportunities for efficiencies, both in the level of paper used and the corresponding cost of toners used. Aside from cost, there are also carbon footprint issues that can be addressed and the Department is fully committed to seeking efficiencies in both. As such, we already have a commitment to make more efficient use of printers. Staff are encouraged to use the double-sided printing option wherever possible and not to use colour printers as their default printer when colour is not required. Similarly, we encourage all staff to make better use of the Department's internal reprographics services where this is appropriate to ensure that both printing and copying are undertaken in the most efficient way.

Going forward, the Department will be looking at options to audit our overall cost of print, ways in which printers are deployed across the estate, and the types that are used, so that we are better able to mandate particular usage.

Departmental Internet

Justine Greening: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate his Department has made of the cost of maintaining and updating its Twitter account; and how many staff are responsible for updating the account. [292050]

Mr. McFadden: The estimated costs of staff time in maintaining and updating the @bisgovuk Twitter account are £3,175 a year. The task is the shared responsibility of the Department's Digital Communications team as part of their overall range of duties and the total effort is estimated as half an hour per day. No staff are assigned to Twitter work specifically.

Digital Technology: Finance

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what progress has been made towards establishment of an independently produced guiding technical arbitration on the cost of 900 spectrum refarming paid for by an industry fund. [293758]

Ian Lucas [holding answer 16 October 2009]: This work is now complete. The Independent Spectrum Broker has submitted his final report and this will be published as part of a consultation on a direction to the independent regulator, Ofcom, shortly.

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Employment: EC Law

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions (a) the Secretary of State and (b) the Minister for Employment Relations have had with the Prime Minister on the date for implementation of the EU Agency Workers Directive. [294851]

Mr. McFadden: My noble Friend the Secretary of State and I discuss a range of employment issues with the Prime Minister from time to time. The Prime Minister has made clear his commitment to legislate on the implementation of the Agency Workers Directive in the current Parliament.

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills when he plans to publish a response to his Department's consultation paper of May 2009 on the implementation of the EU Agency Workers Directive. [294853]

Mr. McFadden: The Government's response, which included a consultation on draft regulations, was published on 15 October; copies have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Energy: Electronic Equipment

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to (a) discourage manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment from making devices which can only function if left switched on permanently and (b) require such manufacturers to provide information to prospective purchasers on the energy consumption of their products. [295059]

Dan Norris: I have been asked to reply.

The G8 summit in Gleneagles in June 2005 undertook to promote the International Energy Agency's "One Watt" initiative as part of a package of measures designed to reduce carbon emissions in the home. The UK remains fully committed to this and played a major role in bringing into force the EU Ecodesign requirements for standby and off power mode for electrical and electronic household and office equipment. This Regulation comes into force on 7 January 2010.

The Government work through the EU to agree energy labels for individual products under the Energy Labelling Framework Directive. The Directive is currently being amended to increase the scope in line with the recently revised Ecodesign Directive to include energy related products, and non-domestic as well as domestic products. The Energy Labelling Directive requires manufacturers to provide labels, and for retailers to display them to enable consumers to make informed choices about the relative energy efficiency of products covered by implementing measures. Further, in the UK the Energy Saving Trust endorses the best products in class through its Energy Saving Recommended logo.

European Fighter Aircraft

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate has been made of the number of jobs which will be (a) maintained and (b) created as a consequence of Tranche 3 Typhoon project. [293220]

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Ian Lucas: The Department's analysis is that a minimum of 8,600 jobs should be directly sustained in the UK by the commitment to Tranche 3 of the Eurofighter Typhoon procurement.

Export Credit Guarantees: Leeds

John Battle: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many companies in Leeds West constituency have taken up support from the Export Credits Guarantee Scheme in each year since 2001; and if he will make a statement. [294019]

Ian Lucas: There have been no companies who have taken up support directly from ECGD since 2001 from the Leeds West Constituency. ECGD may have supported some companies that were subcontractors but this information is unknown to us.

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