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Health: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

Baroness Greenfield asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The information requested is in the table. Data for 2000 are not available on a comparative basis.

YearTotal number of prescription items (000s)Estimated number of prescription items dispensed to children (000s)Estimated number of prescription items dispensed to adults (000s)

2001

12,085.1

150

12,000

2002

13,304.0

170

13,000

2003

13,816.9

170

14,000

2004

14,312.0

143

14,000

2005

14,746.1

130

15,000

Source: Prescription cost analysis (PCA) data from the prescription pricing division of the NHS Business Services Authority

Prescription cost analysis data cover all prescription items that were dispensed in the community in England. They do not include items dispensed in hospitals or private prescriptions.

Due to rounding, the sum of the components may not equal the total items.

Health: Voluntary and Community Sector Partnership Team

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): We have received a single representation from the National Information Forum appealing the department's rejection of its Section 64 grant application. Under the rules of the Section 64 grant scheme, we are unable to consider individual appeals and have invited the forum to apply again to future grant programmes.

We are responding directly to the National Information Forum to offer it detailed feedback on the reasons for our decision.



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Housing: Disabled People

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: While draft planning policy statement 14 does not have any specific policies for persons with severe mental and physical impairment, it is felt that their needs are largely addressed by policy HOU16 (House Extensions) in A Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland. This allows for house extensions to provide partially self-contained accommodation for elderly or dependent relatives. Draft PPS14 and its equality impact assessment have been subject to consultation and this issue will be reconsidered in the preparation of the final policy.

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: Policy HOU16 (House Extensions) allows for house extensions to provide partially self-contained accommodation for elderly or dependent relatives. Exclusive reliance is not placed on this policy as the Planning Service is required to assess planning applications fully against all relevant plans and policies. This issue has been raised in the consultation on draft PPS14 and will be reconsidered in the preparation of the final policy.

Israel: Nuclear Capability

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): We, along with the rest of the international community, are deeply concerned by Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1737, adopted by consensus on 23 December 2006, makes clear that

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Security Council members support a negotiated solution. We are working hard to achieve this. A spokesman for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs reaffirmed on 6 January that Israel too, “prefers this issue to be resolved through diplomatic channels”.

North/South Implementation Bodies

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Lord Rooker: Former civil servants of the Republic of Ireland employed in north/south implementation bodies are either (i) those who were designated and transferred on the basis and under the terms provided for in Part 7, paragraphs 3.2 and 3.3, of the international agreement done on 8 March 1999 establishing the bodies and the relevant enabling legislation (the British-Irish Agreement Act 1999 in the Republic of Ireland and the North/South Co-operation (Implementation Bodies) (Northern Ireland) Order 1999), or (ii) those who were recruited directly to the body and to whom the normal terms and conditions of the body, as approved by the NSMC, apply, as they would to any applicant who is employed through open competition. On this latter point, the relevant NSMC approval was given on 26 September 2000 and terms are attached in the following table.

Terms applying to direct recruits to bodies in Northern Ireland.

The terms (including remuneration) which apply to staff of the bodies are based on those pertaining within the civil services, north and south, depending on the jurisdiction where the post is located.

Key non-pay terms

Hours of work

Minimum of 42 hours (over a five-day week) for a full-time post including daily meal break of one hour

Annual leave

Maximum of 30 days (30 days as standard for chief executives)

Public and privilege holidays

12 days

Sick pay

Up to six months at full pay and six months at half pay subject to a ceiling of 12 months’ sick pay in any period of four years

Pension

North/south pension scheme

Maternity leave

18 weeks

Paternity leave

Minimum two days; maximum three days

Notice

Minimum five weeks; maximum 13 weeks

Age of retirement

Minimum normal pensionable age of 60; maximum retirement age of 65

Compensation for early termination of contract

Scheme being prepared by UK Government Actuary's Department on behalf of finance departments will be submitted to the NSMC for approval

Medical retirement

North/south pension scheme



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Obesity

Lord Trefgarne asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Lord Adonis): Childhood obesity is a serious issue, both in terms of the range of health problems it is associated with and the cost burden it places on the NHS and the UK economy.

To tackle this problem, the Government have set a public service agreement target,

This target is the joint responsibility of the Secretary of State for Health, the Secretary of State for Education and Skills and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

There is no single cause of obesity but at its core is an imbalance between calories in and calories out. As such, there is no one intervention for obesity and a wide variety of government programmes make a valuable contribution to tackling it. Joint cross-departmental programme management arrangements have been established to drive action to meet this target which will be delivered using a three-tiered approach:

universal programmes aimed at prevention;

early intervention for those at risk of being overweight/obese; and

targeted health interventions for those already obese.

The first tier comprises universal programmes aimed at reversing obesity trends and creating a positive environment for healthy eating and physical activity. Policy initiatives within this tier include the Healthy Schools programme, the “5 a Day” campaign, the Healthy Start scheme, the school fruit and vegetable scheme, statutory nutritional standards for food in schools, restrictions on the advertising and food promotion to children of foods high in fat, salt and sugar, increasing the amount of time pupils spend on high-quality PE and school sport, and encouraging walking and cycling to school through school travel plans and walking-bus schemes.

The second tier comprises early interventions targeted at groups of children (and their parents) at higher risk of being overweight and obese. For example, we will be working with school sports partnerships in areas of higher obesity prevalence to engage overweight/obese children in physical activity, and we have agreed in principle an objective with the School Food Trust to similarly target some of their activity.

The third tier comprises public health treatment interventions specifically aimed at helping obese children and families to lose weight and become healthier. We will be working with PCTs, local

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authorities, schools and other delivery partners to ensure that recommendations from the new clinical guidance on the treatment of obesity, published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in December last year, are developed and incorporated in our approach.

In the spring we will be launching a social marketing campaign aimed at influencing behaviour change in parents and encouraging them to build healthier lifestyles for their children and families.

Fundamental to the success of the programme will be the need to work in partnership with public bodies, the private sector, individuals and families (notably children and parents), and ensure obesity interventions are based on the best available evidence using an action-learning approach.

Obesity is now included as a performance management indicator within the performance management framework for PCTs, and we are encouraging local authorities to include measures to reduce childhood obesity in their local area agreements.

Police: Northern Ireland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The notifiable membership list is a matter for the chief constable. The list is renewable annually and does not currently specify Opus Dei.

Railways: Northern Ireland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: There has been no discussion with the Government of the Republic of Ireland about any proposal to extend the railway line from Coleraine to Londonderry to Letterkenny in Donegal.


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