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Deaths were selected using the final underlying cause of death.

Cancer: Screening

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to increase the proportion of people screened for early detection and diagnosis of cancers in (a) Hartlepool constituency and (b) the North-East region. [2274]

Mr Burstow: There are currently three national cancer screening programmes: breast, cervical and bowel. Primary care trusts (PCTs), including those in the North-East, are responsible for commissioning screening programmes and for managing local screening awareness initiatives.

In March 2009, the Department published "Reducing Cancer Inequality: Evidence, Progress and Making it Happen: a Report by the National Cancer Equality Initiative", which recommended that PCTs review local levels of screening coverage and uptake to consider whether further action is required. The report has already been placed in the Library.

Care Homes: Mentally Ill

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans there are for the future of Douglas House in Bournemouth. [2125]

Mr Burstow: The Department believes that people with learning disabilities have the right to lead their lives like any others, with the same opportunities and responsibilities and the right to be treated with the same dignity and respect. It is not appropriate for people with learning disabilities to live as inpatients in the national health service when they are not undergoing active assessment or treatment.

There is extensive research that community-based settings give better outcomes in terms of independence, inclusion and better health for people with learning disabilities. Investment is already underway in Bournemouth and we are seeing clear benefits from campus closure across the country.

Continuing Care

Miss Anne McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether patients other than those who are terminally ill qualify for continuing health care. [2941]

Mr Burstow: National health service continuing health is a package of care arranged and funded for individuals outside hospital who have ongoing health care needs. Anyone assessed as having a certain level of care needs, whose primary need is a health need, may receive continuing health care. It is not solely for those diagnosed with a terminal illness.

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Departmental Official Cars

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on the use by Ministers in his Department of cars allocated from (a) his Department's pool and (b) the Government car pool which are manufactured in the UK; whether Ministers in his Department are entitled to request the use of a car manufactured in the UK; and if he will make a statement. [2415]

Mr Simon Burns: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Mike Penning) on 14 June 2010, Official Report, columns 290-91W.

Dietary Supplements: EU Law

Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions he has had with the European Commission on maximum permitted dose levels for vitamins and minerals under the EU food supplements directive. [2671]

Anne Milton: The Food Standards Agency represents the United Kingdom in discussions with the European Commission on the setting of maximum permitted levels for vitamins and minerals in recommended daily doses of food supplements. The last working group meeting, a meeting of the 'Ad Hoc Working Group', which comprises eight member states including the UK, was held in April 2009.

Genetically Modified Organisms: Food

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he plans to develop a GM-free food labelling scheme similar to schemes in operation in Germany and Austria; and if he will make a statement. [2437]

Anne Milton: By law, genetically modified (GM) foods must be labelled so that consumers can exercise choice. There are no specific provisions in the legislation for "GM-free" labelling. However, the use of this term is subject to general legislation on food labelling, which requires claims to be truthful and not misleading to the consumer. The current legislation on GM food is harmonised at European Union level and is currently being reviewed by the European Commission. The Commission's report, which will include GM labelling, is due to be published in the summer and the Government have no plans to develop a national labelling scheme for GM-free food in the meantime.

Health Services: Rural Areas

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will take steps to increase the number of nurse-led clinics in villages; [2100]

(2) what steps he is taking to increase access to healthcare in rural areas. [2134]

Mr Simon Burns: "The Coalition: Our programme for government" document indicates this Government's intention to strengthen the power of general practitioners as patients' expert guides through the health system by enabling them to commission care on their behalf.

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The provision of nurse-led clinics is one of a number of ways in which access to health care can be improved in rural areas including villages. It is the role of commissioners to ensure provision meets local need, and to commission, where required, services such as nurse-led clinics. There are no national plans to implement an increase in nurse-led clinics in rural areas.

Health: Harlow

Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information his Department holds on levels of health inequality in Harlow constituency in each year from 1997 to 2009. [2009]

Anne Milton: The information is not available. However, a limited amount of inequality information within Harlow local authority can be found in the Harlow local health profile, produced by the Association of Public Health Observatories (APHO) and published on their website at:

Members: Correspondence

Mr Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to respond to the hon. Member for Basildon and Billericay's letter of 27 May 2010 on his constituent, Mrs Hazel Berry. [2684]

Mr Simon Burns: A reply was issued to the hon. Member on 15 June 2010.


Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of (a) NHS London and (b) other strategic health authorities in meeting patient need. [1895]

Mr Simon Burns: Strategic health authorities (SHAs) are accountable to the Secretary of State through the NHS chief executive. In addition to the routine performance management of SHAs, during 2009-10 the Department rolled out the SHA Assurance programme. SHA Assurance is designed to strengthen the accountability of SHAs as well as supporting them in their roles as leaders of the local national health service and driving improvements in quality across the health system.

The SHA Assurance panel visited NHS London and stakeholder organisations in the region during two days in January 2010. The panel's final report and recommendations relating to that assessment will-as with the panel reports for all SHAs visited-be published in due course through routine SHA Board papers, which will be available on their website.

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he plans to take to create an independent NHS board; and if he will make a statement. [1921]

Mr Simon Burns: The coalition agreement set out the Government's intention to establish an independent NHS board to allocate resources and provide commissioning guidelines.

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The NHS Board will drive improvements in the quality of patient care by ensuring commissioning decisions are made according to evidence-based quality standards. It will have autonomy to ensure that funding decisions are made on the basis of need and will support general practitioners to commission services on behalf of their patients.

We will provide more detail on our plans for establishing the NHS Board in due course.

Smoking: Health Services

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of receipts from hypothecated tobacco tax was ring-fenced for spending on the costs of NHS care for patients with smoking-related diseases in the latest period for which figures are available. [2102]

Danny Alexander: I have been asked to reply.

There is no formal mechanism to ring-fence tobacco receipts for spending on the NHS. It is funded out of the Consolidated Fund.


Mrs Siân C. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he plans to take under the Sunbeds (Regulation) Act 2010 to (a) prevent children and young people from using unstaffed sunbed salons and (b) ensure the provision of accurate health information on sunbeds; and when he plans to begin the consultation required by that Act. [2449]

Anne Milton: The Sunbeds (Regulation) Act 2010 (the Act) comes into force on 8 April 2011. The purpose of the Act is to prevent people under the age of 18 from using sunbeds on commercial premises, by making it an offence for sunbed operators to allow people under the age of 18 access to sunbeds on their premises.

At this time, no decision has been taken on the regulation making powers under the Act, or on any consultations required by the Act.

The Heath and Safety Executive (HSE) on 1 May 2009 provided revised guidance on their website for sunbed operators, along with information to provide to their customers on the risks to health of sunbed use. SunSmart, the national skin cancer prevention and sun protection campaign also provides information through its website and resources on the risks to health of sunbeds.

Tuberculosis: EU Action

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions he has had with his EU counterparts on measures to reduce the incidence of tuberculosis. [2558]

Anne Milton: The Department is a member of the Management Board of the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) and through this, contributes to the development of measures to reduce the incidence of tuberculosis (TB) across Europe. TB is a priority in ECDC's current work programme.

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ECDC is a European Union (EU) agency whose aim is to strengthen Europe's defences against infectious diseases. It was established in 2005 and is situated in Stockholm, Sweden. ECDC's mission is to identify, assess and communicate current and emerging threats to human health posed by infectious diseases.

In order to achieve this mission, ECDC works in partnership with national health protection bodies and experts across Europe to strengthen and develop continent-wide disease surveillance and early warning systems. ECDC pools Europe's health knowledge, to develop authoritative scientific opinions about the risks posed by current and emerging infectious diseases. TB is one of the ECDC's priority programmes.

The Department's Director of Health Protection is a member of the ECDC Management Board.

The Health Protection Agency contributes to formulation and implementation of the EU TB control policy through the European TB Programme Managers group co-ordinated by the ECDC.

Tuberculosis: West Midlands

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps he is taking to reduce the incidence of tuberculosis in (a) the West Midlands and (b) Coventry;[2555]

(2) how many cases of tuberculosis have been reported in (a) the West Midlands and (b) Coventry in each year since 2005; [2556]

(3) what his most recent estimate is of the incidence of tuberculosis in (a) the West Midlands and (b) Coventry; and if he will make a statement. [2557]

Anne Milton: It is up to individual primary care trusts (PCTs) to ensure they have adequate procedures in place to reduce the incidence of tuberculosis (TB) and work with the regional Health Protection Agency to handle any outbreaks that occur. However, as part of the regional strategy, 'Investing for Health', West Midlands Strategic Health Authority has led a piece of work looking at developing care pathways for four conditions, of which TB was one.

The national health service in Coventry is managing TB by:

The number of cases of TB reported in west midlands and Coventry since 2005 is shown in the following table:

West Midlands Region Coventry Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT)( 1)













(1) These data have been provided by Coventry PCT.
Data for 2009 are not yet available at local authority or PCT level.
Health Protection Agency

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Most recent estimate of incidence of TB in West Midlands and Coventry is shown in the following table:

Rate of tuberculosis in England, West Midlands and Coventry, 2008




West Midlands Region


Coventry Teaching PCT


1. Final 2009 data are not yet available
2. Data for Coventry are provided by the Coventry Teaching PCT
Health Protection Agency and Office for National Statistics mid-year estimates

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