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Research: Finance

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he plans to take to increase research and development expenditure; what assessment he has made of the effect of research and development tax credits on research and development expenditure in the UK; and if he will make a statement. [300753]

Ian Pearson: Specific tax relief was introduced in 2000 for spending on research and development by companies which are small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Relief was extended to larger companies in 2002. Between 2003-04 and 2006-07 the amount of R and D expenditure supported increased by 10 per cent. a year, from £5.7 billion in 2003-04 to £7.6 billion in 2006-07, the latest year for which data are available. Since the introduction of the schemes, there have been over 36,000 claims for R and D tax relief, with over £3 billion of support claimed by innovative companies in the UK, supporting £32 billion of R and D expenditure in total.

Tax Allowances: Professional Organisations

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the tax revenues likely to be raised as a consequence of ending the charitable status and tax exemptions for which the professional accountancy bodies operating as recognised supervisory bodies under the Companies Act 2006 are eligible. [301503]

Ian Pearson: No estimates have been made. The professional accountancy bodies that are currently registered in the UK as recognised supervisory bodies do not have charitable status and thus do not qualify for charity-related tax exemptions.


Health Warnings: Super-Strength Lager

16. Martin Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will bring forward proposals to introduce health warnings on cans of super-strength lager. [300154]

Gillian Merron: We are working with industry to include units, drinking guidelines and pregnancy warnings on labels.

Where progress on industry's voluntary commitments is slow, we can expect to legislate.

Dementia: In-patients

17. David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations he has received on the standard of hospital care received by in-patients with dementia. [300155]

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Phil Hope: The Alzheimer's Society report on the quality of dementia care in hospitals is a timely reminder of the need for improvement of hospital care for people with dementia. The national dementia strategy recognises the need to transform hospital services for people with dementia and deliver a skilled and effective workforce in hospitals.

Hospital-Acquired Infections

18. Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of steps taken against hospital-acquired infections. [300156]

Ann Keen: The national health service is continuing to deliver sustained reductions in Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections and C. difficile infections. However, one preventable infection is one too many and we must do all we can to keep driving down all infections.

Community Hospitals

19. Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his policy on the provision of local community hospitals; and if he will make a statement. [300157]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The transforming community services programme is supporting primary care trusts (PCTs) to make local decisions about how they provide community services. We published guidance in January 2009 asking PCTs to assess their community estates in the light of their commissioning intentions, and produce estate strategies by April 2010.

NHS Dentistry

20. Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to increase the number of patients who have access to an NHS dentist. [300158]

Ann Keen: We have invested a record £2 billion in dentistry and set up a national access programme to help the NHS deliver its goal of access for all who seek it by 2011. We therefore expect access to continue to increase.

The latest data shows that access has grown for the fourth quarter running, with 721,000 more patients accessing NHS services in the 24 months ending June 2009 than compared to the 24 months ending June 2008. The next quarterly statistics will be published on 26 November.

Social Care Reform

21. Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has for the reform of social care. [300159]

Phil Hope: The Green Paper 'Shaping the Future of Care Together' set out a vision for a national care service that is fairer, simpler and more affordable-ensuring
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people get really good care wherever they live, and whatever they or their family needs. Following our extensive consultation which closed on 13 November, we will publish a White Paper in the new year.

Care Provision

22. Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to change the arrangements for the provision of care for the elderly and the disabled. [300160]

Phil Hope: Subject to parliamentary approval, the Personal Care at Home Bill will mean that older people and younger disabled adults will be better helped to live independently for longer in their own homes-something they tell us they want.

This is a major step towards the setting up of a national care service.

Organ Donation Education

23. Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families on the number of schools which have made use of the NHS Blood and Transplant Service's Give and Let Live organ donation education programme. [300161]

Ann Keen: 'Give and Let Live' is a free educational resource that helps young people decide if they want to give blood, donate bone marrow or join the NHS organ donor register.

The programme is available to all United Kingdom state and independent secondary schools.

The Secretary of State has many discussions with his Cabinet colleagues covering a variety of subjects and areas.

Moreover, departmental officials are in regular contact with their colleagues in the Department for Children, Schools and Families on all aspects of promoting to young people the importance of being a donor.


24. Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department has (a) conducted and (b) commissioned any recent research on the effects of the operation of incinerators on the health of local residents. [300162]

Gillian Merron: The Department is neither commissioning nor conducting any research in this area currently.

The Health Protection Agency has recently reviewed the latest research on the health effects of modern municipal waste incinerators. They concluded that, while it is not possible to rule out adverse health effects completely, any potential damage from modern, well-run and regulated incinerators is likely to be so small that it would be undetectable.

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25. Dr. Naysmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent consideration he has given to the establishment of a national programme for the co-ordination of services to prevent and control tuberculosis. [300163]

Gillian Merron: The responsibility for provision of tuberculosis (TB) control services rests with local commissioners. In 2004, the Department published a TB Action Plan for NHS professionals, managers and commissioners, which is aimed at improving early TB detection and completion of treatment. In 2007, the Department launched a TB Toolkit for commissioners to secure the best TB services to meet local needs.


Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate his Department has made of the number of repeat abortions undertaken in relation to females aged (a) 11, (b) 12, (c) 13, (d) 14, (e) 15, (f) 16, (g) 17, (h) 18, (i) 19, (j) 20, (k) 21, (l) 22, (m) 23, (n) 24, (o) between 25 and 29, (p) between 30 and 34 and (q) 35 years and over in each primary care trust area in each year since 2000. [300861]

Gillian Merron: This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Ambulance Services: Hornsey

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library a copy of the data held by his Department on the time taken for people in Hornsey and Wood Green constituency to get to hospital under blue light conditions in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. [300534]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: This information is not held centrally.

The Department does not require ambulance trusts to submit data on times from collecting a patient to arriving at premises providing national health service health care. The data that the Department does collect on ambulance response times is published on an annual basis in the statistical bulletin, Ambulance services, England.

Ambulance Services: Standards

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his latest estimate is of the average (a) target and (b) actual ambulance response time to 999 calls in (i) urban and (ii) rural areas; and if he will make a statement. [300288]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department no longer classifies ambulance trusts as urban or rural, and therefore performance data is no longer reported against these categories.

All ambulance trusts are required to meet the same national response time standards irrespective of location. Category A calls (those presenting conditions that may be immediately life threatening) should be responded to within eight minutes in 75 per cent. of cases and Category
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B calls (those conditions that are serious but not immediately life threatening) should be responded to within 19 minutes in 95 per cent. of cases.


Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many primary care trusts (a) provided information on inflammatory arthritis to GPs in the last 12 months and (b) plan to provide such information in the next 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [301115]

Ann Keen: Information on how many primary care trusts provide information on rheumatoid arthritis to general practitioners (GPs) is not recorded centrally.

Information on inflammatory arthritis is available to health professionals, including GPs, through national health service evidence and Map of Medicine.

The Department has also published a good practice commissioning pathway for inflammatory arthritis which supports clinicians in identifying cases of rheumatoid arthritis and ensuring that they are set on the right pathway of care. This describes key symptoms, for example where patients should be referred for urgent treatment.

Cancer: Mentally Ill

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cancer specialists have received training on the provisions of the Mental Capacity Act 2005; and if he will make a statement. [301414]

Phil Hope: As part of the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA), the Department made funding available to the health and social care economy for training purposes. In addition, the Department funded a range of training materials and booklets on the MCA. These included materials to be used by trainers in face to face training, e-learning materials and the booklets in the Making Decisions series.

All were made available to the national health service. In addition, the Department encouraged primary care trusts (PCTs) to use the resources they received for implementation to fund a MCA co-ordinator. Many have done so and MCA co-ordinators have been active in developing local training plans and commissioning and arranging training.

The number of cancer specialists who have made use of the training is not held centrally; arranging training is a local issue. Training opportunities continue and we know that cancer specialists have been making referrals to Independent Mental Capacity Advocates, which is an indication they are aware of the MCA.

Carbon Monoxide: Poisoning

Tom Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will ensure that facilities to monitor blood carbon monoxide levels through breath analysis are available in every general practitioner's surgery; [301365]

(2) what proportion of NHS patients recorded as tired all the time are monitored for carbon monoxide poisoning. [301370]

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Gillian Merron: This information is not recorded. Tiredness is a possible symptom of a range of medical conditions.

Monitoring of carbon monoxide levels by breath analysis is often available in general practitioner's (GPs) surgeries for use in smoking cessation clinics. Where they are not available in GP surgeries, they are available in the many community locations served by the NHS Local Stop Smoking Service.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Research

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent research his Department has evaluated on the causes of myalgic encephalomyelitis. [301252]

Ann Keen: None.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is one of the main agencies through which the Government support medical and clinical research. The MRC is an independent body which receives its grant-in-aid from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) continues to be a strategic priority area for funding and the MRC remains committed to supporting scientific research into all aspects of CFS/ME including evaluations of treatments and studies into the biological basis of the condition.

In 2008 a new Expert Group was set up by the MRC to consider how best to encourage new high-quality research into CFS/ME and to bring researchers from associated areas into the field. The Expert Group has met twice, in December 2008 and March 2009.

In addition, the MRC recently held a CFS/ME workshop and a note of the discussions will be published on the MRC website in due course.

Dementia: Research

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the Medical Research Council and National Institute for Health Research (Department of Health) spent on dementia research in 2008-09. [300340]

Gillian Merron: Combined Medical Research Council and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) expenditure on dementia research in 2008-09 amounted to some £29.9 million. The NIHR component includes the cost of the dementia and neurodegenerative diseases research network.

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