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20 July 2007 : Column WA55

Written Answers

Friday 20 July 2007

Common Agricultural Policy: Single Farm Payment

Lord Stoddart of Swindon asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The position remains as in the earlier Answer referred to, except that the Commission has subsequently indicated that it will impose financial corrections amounting to some £50 million in relation to 2005 single payment scheme payments made between the end of the regulatory payment window on 30 June 2006 and 30 March 2007.

EU: Cross-border Transport Charges

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Common rules in respect of international transport within the Community, including charges for the use of transport infrastructure, are made under Article 71 of the treaty, under the transport title.

Health: Dentistry

Lord Colwyn asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The British Fluoridation Society (BFS) advises strategic health authorities (SHAs) and primary care trusts on the potential that the fluoridation of water offers for reducing inequalities in oral health in accordance with our policy that decisions on fluoridation schemes should be taken by SHAs, following local consultations. I understand that the BFS has identified a source of funding which should enable it to continue its core activities in 2007-08.

Lord Colwyn asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The department has previously estimated that some 2 million people in England would like to access National Health Service dental services but are unable to do so. The assessment was not made in a form that can be broken down to provide data at primary care trust (PCT) level. Under the dental reforms introduced in April 2006, PCTs are now responsible for assessing local needs and developing services to reflect those needs.

Health: Junior Doctors

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The delivery of support and training for appointable junior doctors who are unsuccessful is being run locally by deaneries and strategic health authorities. The department is confident that the commitment will be met.

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The delivery of the former Secretary of State’s employment commitment will be managed by the strategic health authorities (SHAs), which have been asked to produce plans for the delivery of the commitment. These plans will be performance-managed by the Modernising Medical Careers programme team in the department. The department is confident that SHAs will ensure that the commitment is met.

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The redress available is a matter for the unit of application in question as outlined in the existing complaints procedure which is on the Modernising Medical Careers website, available at This complaints procedure is currently under review.

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Baroness Finlay of Llandaff asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: All medical training application service applicants who are in substantive National Health Service employment on 31 July will continue to have employment while they progress through round 2. In the case of some applicants, this may involve moving to another trust.

Health: Neurodegenerative Conditions

Lord Browne of Belmont asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The Government have not made an assessment. Progressive neurological and intellectual deterioration (PNID) surveillance undertaken by the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit continues to work very well and is producing very valuable information about the conditions that lead to PNID in children. As a better understanding is obtained, commissioners will be able to shape services for those who need it.

Health: Out-of-Hours Doctors

Baroness Masham of Ilton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The Our Health, Our Care, Our Say White Paper on community services says that by 2008 everyone with both long-term health and social care needs will be offered an integrated care plan if they want one, and that by 2010 everyone with a long-term condition will be offered a care plan. These personalised and integrated care plans will detail care and services agreed, including end-of-life care preferences. The care plan should be available to all practitioners providing direct care to the individual, including out-of-hours doctors.

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Health: Radiotherapy

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: There have been no discussions with primary care trusts (PCTs) about commissioning radiotherapy in light of the National Radiotherapy Advisory Group (NRAG) report nor has any guidance been issued to PCTs.

Ministers have asked that the issues and recommendations in the NRAG report are considered as part of the Cancer Reform Strategy. The NRAG report was shared with the various strategy working groups so that they could consider and advise the National Cancer Director on the implications of these recommendations in more detail. Work on the Cancer Reform Strategy is still ongoing. The strategy is due to be published by the end of the year. However, as the report is not just about increasing radiotherapy capacity but also about improving current productivity from existing resources and reducing existing variation in current provision, it is important for the National Health Service locally to consider this report in parallel with the work on the Cancer Reform Strategy.

The National Cancer Director therefore shared the report with cancer networks on 11 May 2007 so that they could start to consider the local implications of what it is saying; for example, so that they could consider if they are meeting the needs of their local populations and if they can improve current productivity. In addition, PCT chief executives were informed that the report had been issued and that the National Cancer Director had sent it with a letter to cancer networks. This notification was done via the department's chief executive's bulletin, which alerts chief executives to publications, circulars and announcements from the department. It is e-mailed to NHS chief executives, including PCTs, as well as council chief executives and directors of social services. Issue 370 of the bulletin (18 to 24 May 2007) included details about the NRAG report.

House of Lords: Tea Room

Lord Dubs asked the Chairman of Committees:

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The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): My Written Statement of 29 March 2006 (WS 84) informed the House that the Administration and Works Committee had agreed that the large room in the south-east corner of the Palace previously occupied by the Lord Chancellor's private staff would be converted into a Writing Room with refreshment facilities. Work will take place this summer to create a larger Writing Room facility in the former Lord Chancellor's office next door and to reorganise the furniture in the corner room to provide an informal space for Members. The nearby kitchenette facilities will also be enhanced to enable the Refreshment Department to provide an afternoon tea service for Members upon the House's return in October.

Human Tissue and Embryos Bill (Draft)

Lord Selsdon asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): The Government set out their current thinking on the legislation they propose to introduce in the next Session of Parliament in The Governance of BritainThe Government's Draft Legislative Programme (Cm 7175). This was published as part of a wider package of reforms designed to ensure that the Government better engage with Parliament and the public. As such, it does not represent the Government's concluded view of the contents of the programme or of any specific Bill. The Joint Committee on the Human Tissue and Embryos Bill is specifically referred to in the document on the draft programme (pages 15 and 48). The Government look forward to the report of the Joint Committee and the contribution that it will make to the ongoing development of legislation in this area.

Immigration: Oakington Removal Centre

The Earl of Sandwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Oakington is leased by the Border and Immigration Agency (BIA) from English Partnerships. They are currently discussing revised lease arrangements that will keep Oakington open in the short term, but there is no long-term prospect, as the site is being redeveloped for housing.

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The contractor at Oakington, in liaison with the on-site BIA team, will continue to look at ways of improving the facilities and services for detainees. All immigration removal centres are subject to The Detention Centre Rules 2001, and these make provision for the regulation and management of removal centres. All contractors are subject to detailed contracts that are monitored rigorously by BIA staff.

The movement of detainees to and from airports at night is inevitable in certain circumstances. For example, detainees often arrive at ports late at night and are transferred from port holding rooms into centres, often arriving early in the morning. In addition, because many flights depart early in the morning, it is sometimes necessary to effect early collection in order that the persons can be taken to removal. It is recognised, however, that this activity needs to be undertaken as sensitively as possible and should be kept to a minimum, both for the sake of the individual concerned and to avoid disturbing other detainees. The movement of immigration detainees to and from courtrooms during the night should not occur, as courts are closed outside business hours.

NHS: Review

Earl Howe asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The terms of reference for the review are available in the Library and we will set out more detail on the work of the review in due course.

Terrorism: Deportations

Lord Willoughby de Broke asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Since July 2005, nine individuals considered to pose a threat to the United Kingdom’s national security have been deported. Eight were deported to Algeria and one to France.

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