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Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: The information requested was given by Lord Falconer on 24 July 2000 (Vol. 616, WA 15). Because of the small number of cars used by the Wales Office it is important to avoid giving information that might inadvertently lead to vehicles' identification when they are in use. Other departments may make their own assessment of the security risks facing individual Ministers but it is not the Government's policy to discuss the risks facing any individual Minister.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman): Together with ministerial colleagues from Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands, my right honourable friend, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Nick Brown) took part in discussions on the future direction of the common agricultural policy at a meeting on Capri hosted by the Italian Minister of Agricultural Policy, Mr Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio. These discussions carried forward the fruitful co-operation between Italy, Denmark, Sweden and UK which was a feature of the 1999 Agenda 2000 negotiations on the CAP. The Dutch Minister participated in the meeting for the first time in an observer capacity. Given the challenges of EU enlargement and the WTO trade negotiations to
Baroness Hayman: As part of the Modernising Government programme, my department is now beginning a formal review of the United Kingdom Register of Organic Food Standards (UKROFS), which is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Ministry. UKROFS exercises regulatory and supervisory responsibilities in relation to organic farming across the United Kingdom.
The first stage of the review is expected to cover the following issues: (a) The effectiveness of the present arrangements for discharging the national "competent authority" functions prescribed by Council Regulation (EEC) 2092/91 for regulating organic farming taking full account of:
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): Work brought by military units for repair at the ABRO workshop at Sennybridge is managed in accordance with a priority system set by Land Command that affords an agreed Urgency of Need to the job to be done. The degree of urgency determines the maximum length of time in which ABRO must turn round the equipment for repair. Typically, equipment must be turned round in the region of 20 to 30 days. As at 9 October 2000 there was no equipment in the repair process at Sennybridge that had exceeded the agreed turn-round time. The ABRO output Key Target in financial year 1999-2000, for the service provided to Land Command and to which the Sennybridge workshop contributes, is "to complete 95 per cent of District Load tasks within the priorities agreed with the customer." During that year Sennybridge achieved 98.9 per cent of tasks within the agreed turn-round times; a performance verified by internal audit. In the year to date achievement is running at 99.8 per cent.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Data Protection Act 1998 came into force in March this year. The Act implements the European Directive on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data, and on the free movement of such data. It also gives effect to the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the 1989 case Gaskin v the United Kingdom concerning the right of
Local authorities were warned of the Act's pending implementation in 1998 and formally advised to act in the meantime as if the Act were already in force so as to give data subjects access, where possible, to personal information held about them in social services files.
Under the Act, responsibility for the release of personal information held by social services departments continues to rest with local authorities. Local authorities also retain the discretion to refuse access. However, in such circumstances the Act gives people the right to appeal against the decision to the Data Protection Commissioner or the courts.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The National Health Service provides care and treatment for people with haemophilia at home and in hospital through a United Kingdom-wide network of haemophilia and comprehensive care centres. We are working closely with the Haemophilia Alliance, which includes the Haemophilia Society and the UK Haemophilia Centre Doctors Organisation, on the development of a national service specification for haemophilia aimed at improving care and services.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The NHS Cancer Plan published in September sets out new waiting targets for cancer treatment which will be implemented over the next five years. These will build on the two week outpatient waiting times standard that has been in place for all urgent breast cancer referrals from April 1999 and which is currently being rolled out for all urgent suspected cancer referrals.
By 2005 cancer patients will wait a maximum of one month from diagnosis to treatment and a maximum of two months from urgent general practitioner referral to treatment. Our ultimate goal is that no patient should wait longer than one month from an urgent referral for suspected cancer to the beginning of
There is no provision for a patient to recover from public funds the cost of having a biopsy done privately. The Government's priority remains the modernisation of the NHS so that patients receive a high quality clinically appropriate service when and where they need it by making maximum use of all appropriate facilities and developing new services if necessary.
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