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Lord Malloch-Brown: My Lords, the noble Lord knows that the experts are only nowin the next couple of monthsgoing to assemble to follow up on last years resolution, which was driven by the United Kingdom and supported by 150 countries, to establish an arms trade treaty. We shall be very involved in the work of that expert group and I
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Lord Judd: My Lords, I declare an interest as a former director of Oxfam and a continuing committed supporter. Does my noble friend agree that, as he has himself indicated, the real tragic dimension to this conflict is that the overwhelming majority of people who sufferwho are killed and maimedare civilians? Therefore, the urgency of action along the lines of a global arms trade treaty cannot be overestimated. Does he accept that there is a great deal of admiration from those involved for the leadership shown by the British Government on this issue but a great deal of disappointment that our United States allies are not as forthcoming in their support? What is being done to bring the United States on board?
Lord Malloch-Brown: My Lords, the advice of the noble Earl is well taken, and I shall stick to the facts. It is the case that the United States was the one country to vote against this resolution last December, and we continue to press the US to reconsider its position. We very much hope through the consultations around the drafting of the treaty that we will be able to bring the US on board. While others either voted with us or abstained, I regret to say that the objectors to the treaty are not limited to the United States; it was, as is often the case, just a bit more straightforward in making its position clear.
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: My Lords, a Europe-wide review of the efficacy and safety of methylphenidate began in June and it will consider the findings of the University at Buffalos report. Following the review, any necessary updates will be made to guidance for prescribers and the information provided for patients. The review will also inform the NICE guidance on the pharmacological and psychological interventions to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorderADHDwhich should be published in July 2008.
Baroness Greenfield: My Lords, I thank the Minister for her reply. However, does she think that the time might now be right for the Government to commission an inquiry into the causes of ADHD,
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Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: My Lords, I well understand the noble Baronesss concern about the apparent increase in ADHD. It is not clear whether the percentage of children with ADHD has increased in recent years or whether this reflects greater awareness of the condition. But the suggestion that there should be a wide-ranging review is certainly interesting, although it would of course go far wider than the Department of Healthit would have to be a cross-Government initiative. I will therefore take it back to my colleagues, who will discuss the suggestion with the noble Baroness. I assure her that we will pursue it.
The Earl of Listowel: My Lords, is the Minister aware of research linking ADHD with post-natal depression? Many parents do not realise that they are suffering from post-natal depression, making the role of health visitors essential in addressing it early. Can the Minister tell me or write to me about what she is doing to recruit young men and women into the health visiting profession to tackle this problem? I understand that it is an ageing professional group.
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: My Lords, I was unaware of the relationship between post-natal depression and ADHD, and will therefore write to the noble Earl. He makes a valid point about the importance of health visitors and the need for more. The Government are acutely aware of this, and I will get back to him with further details.
Baroness Barker: My Lords, ADHD was first described in 1902, but there is as yet no diagnostic test for it. Can the Minister say whether the Department of Health and the Department for Children, Families and Schools would fund research into a better diagnostic test for general practitioners?
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: My Lords, funding is always a difficult issue. However, I well understand the need for a diagnostic test, so I will also have to come back to this in writing. There is a range of options for dealing with ADHD, such as psychotherapies, drugs and all sorts of things. Clearly, the most important thing is to have a diagnosis so that we get the treatment right.
Lord McColl of Dulwich: My Lords, does the Minister recognise that it is difficult to assess the effect of drugs on behaviour, whereas it is much easier to assess the effect of a drug on, say, an infection? I am therefore sure that the Minister is right in not being too quick to draw conclusions from one bit of research in Buffalo.
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: My Lords, the noble Lord is absolutely right; that is one of the problems thus far. There is a lack of data on the impact that treatment has had on ADHD. It is perhaps not a recent phenomenon, but Ritalin, for example, has only been prescribed since 1988. Sadly, the long-term data are currently lacking.
Baroness Finlay of Llandaff: My Lords, do the Government have any data on the extent of abuse of methylphenidate, given press reports that students are using it to improve their concentration when coming up to exams and because its effects on the body are similar to that of cocaine and other amphetamines?
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: My Lords, I, too, have read the deeply disturbing press articles. We have no evidence that it is being prescribed wrongly in a great number of cases. It is clearly being prescribed wrongly in a certain number of cases, or the incidents would not happen, but the Government are aware of this and, I am sure, are taking appropriate action.
Lord Maginnis of Drumglass: My Lords, I declare an interest as the chair of the review of autism in Northern Ireland. Will the Minister extend her thinking beyond merely ADHD? Will she look at ASD where one finds that there is an abuse of Ritalin? One sometimes thinks it is an abuse through ignorance on the part of GPs who, since the Government have not produced a coherent and co-ordinated policy on autism, do not understand, so only behavioural problems are being tackled. There are also communication and sensory problems, and the objective must be to create transferable skills in autistic children.
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: My Lords, I pay tribute to the noble Lord for his work in the field of autism. I declare an interest as I am a past president of Autism Cymru, another excellent organisation. ASD is extremely important. I undertook to suggest to the department that the suggestion of the noble Baroness, Lady Greenfield, should be looked at further. I will also pass on the comments made by the noble Lord, but, in doing so, I give absolutely no undertakings on behalf of the Government.
Baroness Crawley: My Lords, on behalf of my noble friend Lord Adonis, I beg to introduce a Bill to make provision about the delivery of local authority social work services for children and young persons; to amend Parts II and III of the Children Act 1989; to make further provision about the functions of local authorities and others in relation to children and young persons; to make provision about the enforcement of care standards in relation to certain establishments or agencies connected with children; to make provision about the independent review of
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The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): My Lords, I beg to introduce a Bill to set a target for the year 2050 for the reduction of targeted greenhouse gas emissions; to provide for a system of carbon budgeting; to establish a committee on Climate Change; to confer powers to establish trading schemes for the purpose of limiting greenhouse gas emissions or encouraging activities that reduce such emissions or remove greenhouse gas from the atmosphere; to make provision about adaptation to climate change; to confer powers to make schemes for providing financial incentives to produce less domestic waste and to recycle more of what is produced; to amend the provisions of the Energy Act 2004 about renewable transport fuel obligations; to make other provisions about climate change; and for connected purposes. I beg to move that this Bill be now read a first time.
(a) every instrument (whether or not a statutory instrument), or draft of an instrument, which is laid before each House of Parliament and upon which proceedings may be, or might have been, taken in either House of Parliament under an Act of Parliament;
(4) The committee shall also consider such other general matters relating to the effective scrutiny of the merits of statutory instruments and arising from the performance of its functions under paragraphs (1) to (3) as the committee considers appropriate, except matters within the orders of reference of the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments.
(c) in respect of draft remedial orders and remedial orders, whether the special attention of the House should be drawn to them on any of the grounds specified in Standing Order 74 (Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments);
(a) in relation to any document containing proposals laid before the House under paragraph 3 of the said Schedule 2, its recommendation whether a draft order in the same terms as the proposals should be laid before the House; or
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