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7 Jun 2010 : Column 48Wcontinued
Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether it remains his policy that fluoridation of the water supply in Totton and Southampton should not take place without the consent of a majority of the local population. 
Mr Simon Burns: Section 58 of the Water Act 2003 empowers strategic health authorities (SHAs) to contract with water undertakers to fluoridate a water supply after conducting public consultations. It is essential that any consultation gives people a real opportunity to make their views known and that those views are taken into account before a final decision is made.
The decision by South Central SHA to approve the fluoridation of water supplies to the Southampton area is the subject of a judicial review, which is likely to be heard in the autumn, and so due to the legal challenge the Department is unable to comment.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps he is taking to increase the accuracy of labelling of licensed homeopathic products; 
(2) if he will ensure that no further clinical trials of homeopathy are funded by the NHS; 
(3) what recent assessment he has made of the cost-effectiveness of homeopathic treatments funded by the NHS; 
(4) when the Government plan to respond to the Science and Technology Committee's Fourth Report of Session 2009-10, Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy, HC45. 
Anne Milton: The issues mentioned were all raised by the Science and Technology Committee's report Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy: The Government are currently considering the report, including the issues mentioned, and will respond in due course.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on the prescription of placebo treatments. 
Anne Milton: The issue mentioned was raised by the Science and Technology Committee's report "Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy". The Government are currently considering the report, including the issue mentioned, and will respond in due course.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department has issued on the prescribing of homeopathic treatments on the NHS. 
Anne Milton: The issue mentioned were all raised by the Science and Technology Committee's report "Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy". The Government are currently considering the report, including the issue mentioned, and will respond in due course.
Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will ensure that £464 million expenditure for the new hospital at Wynyard is maintained; 
(2) whether all funding for capital projects agreed by his Department since 1 January 2010 will be maintained. 
Mr Simon Burns: As with all significant spending commitments made between 1 January 2010 and the election on 6 May, the proposed new hospital scheme at Wynyard for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust will be subject to the Government's re-examination of such approvals to ensure they are consistent with the Government's priorities and good value for money.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the NHS spent on (a) pregnancy counselling, (b) abortions and (c) other counselling, including post-abortion counselling provided by Marie Stopes International in each of the last five years; and how many people received each such service in each such year. 
Anne Milton: This information is not collected centrally.
The cost to the national health service of abortions performed in NHS hospitals in 2008-09 was £82.1 million. This figure does not include abortions performed by independent sector organisations, such as Marie Stopes International, under contract to the NHS. In 2009, 60% of NHS funded abortions were performed under contract by the independent sector.
Mr Buckland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what (a) qualifications and (b) competencies are required of specialist child and adolescent mental health service staff working with children with autism and related mental health problems. 
Mr Burstow: Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services staff have a professional qualification in one of a number of disciplines, such as psychology, psychiatry, social work or education. Many will also hold post-professional awards in specific therapeutic approaches.
A properly qualified, trained and competent workforce is required to meet the complex needs of children with autism and related mental health problems.
Mr Buckland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish his Department's guidance to commissioners of child and adolescent mental health services of the services they are required to provide in respect of the availability of 24-hour care to meet urgent mental health needs in order to meet the criteria for (a) national indicator 51, proxy measure 3 and (b) vital signs indicator 12. 
Mr Burstow: The guidance to commissioners on completing the Vital Signs Monitoring Return asks:
"Are arrangements in place to ensure that 24 hour cover is available to meet the urgent mental health needs of children and young people and specialist mental health assessments undertaken within 24 hours or during the next working day where indicated?"
The guidance recognises that there will be a variety of ways of providing this provision. In most cases it will involve informing possible referral points such as accident and emergency departments, general practice out of hours services, police, of appropriate contact information for on call Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services specialist staff.
Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the effect, in cash terms, on (a) the budget for mental health services and (b) funding for mental health research, including joint work between his Department and the university sector of his Department's planned spending reductions; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Burstow: No such estimate has been made.
Decisions on spending on mental health services, in common with other areas of health spending, are made locally by primary care trusts and local authorities. The Department has no plans to reduce current expenditure on mental health research.
National health service spending is protected from the planned £6.2 billion cuts to Government spending in 2010-11. Decisions on NHS funding beyond 2010-11 will be made during the next spending review this autumn. Health spending is a priority for this Government and we have committed to increase the overall level of health funding in real terms during each year of the current Parliament. We will also identify NHS efficiency savings, which we will reinvest in frontline services.
Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he plans to take to maintain the level of funding of child and adolescent mental health services. 
Mr Burstow: Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) is funded locally by both the NHS and local authorities.
We have set out our intention to protect the national health service budget in line with inflation over the course of the next spending review, and NHS funding
for CAMHS is within this total. Funding for local government, including that provided for CAMHS will be determined as part of the spending review later this year.
Mr Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has evaluated on the effects on human health of use of mobile telephones for more than 30 minutes a day. 
Anne Milton: The Health Protection Agency keeps the relevant research publications under continual review through its Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (AGNIR), and provides advice to Government on health effects of electromagnetic fields from various sources including radiofrequency radiation from mobile phones.
AGNIR is currently conducting a further comprehensive review of the health risks from radiofrequency radiation, which will take into account findings from the recently published international Interphone study, which reported on mobile phone use and the risk of brain cancer. AGNIR is also considering other relevant research that has been published since its last review in 2003. AGNIR's new review is expected to be completed over the next 12-24 months. Further information is available at:
The independently managed Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) programme, jointly funded by Government and industry, has supported a number of studies into the possible health effects of radiofrequency technology, including two studies for the United Kingdom part of the Interphone project. The MTHR programme published its first report in September 2007. The report and details of these and ongoing studies can be found on the MTHR website at:
MTHR supports a long term cohort study on mobile phone use and health (COSMOS) which will capture information on patterns of mobile phone use, including call duration, and changes in the frequency of specific symptoms over time, such as headaches and sleep disorders, and also the risks of cancers, benign tumours, neurological and cerebrovascular diseases.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has for strategic health authorities. 
Mr Simon Burns: The coalition agreement made clear that the Government intend to establish a new independent NHS Commissioning Board, to allocate resources and provide commissioning guidelines.
The NHS Commissioning Board will combine functions currently provided by the Department and strategic health authorities (SHAs), and deliver these in a more streamlined way. The remit of SHAs will change: the NHS Commissioning Board will exercise its functions through regional offices that will report directly to the Chief Executive.
In the meantime, SHAs will continue to have a vital role in supporting the delivery of financial control and performance, and driving improvements in quality and productivity.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to introduce direct elections for members of the boards of primary care trusts. 
Mr Simon Burns: Proposals on elections to the boards of primary care trusts will be brought forward in due course.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the (a) mode, (b) class and (c) total cost of travel was of his recent visit to Afghanistan. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: On my recent visit to Afghanistan I travelled business class on a return BA commercial flight from London to Bahrain, the total cost of which was £1,839.63. From Bahrain I flew on a return RAF flight to Kabul.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the United Nations Population Fund in promoting non-coercive approaches to family planning in China since October 2009; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: It is a major priority for the UK Government to improve sexual and reproductive health and rights, including access to modern family planning methods and promoting women's choice, in the developing world.
The Department for International Development (DFID) is currently reviewing its bilateral and multilateral development assistance, including funding of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), to ensure effectiveness and value for money.
Mr Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what mechanisms he plans to use to review value for money in his Department's expenditure. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: We will fundamentally change the way in which we look at the value for money of aid, moving from a focus on inputs to what our money achieves, the outputs and outcomes we secure. We will gain maximum value for money for every pound through greater transparency, rigorous independent evaluation and an unremitting focus on results.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many (a) plasma and (b) LCD televisions there are in Ministerial offices in his Department. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: There is a total of two LCD televisions in ministerial offices in the Department for International Development (DFID). These were purchased in July 2007 and January 2010.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many full-time equivalent staff at each Civil Service grade are employed in the private office of each Minister in his Department. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: Details of full-time equivalent staff at each civil service grade working in each private office at the Department for International Development (DFID) are provided in the following table.
|DFID Minister||DFID grade||Equivalent traditional Civil Service grade||No. members of staff|
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