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Health: GP Special Interests

Baroness Masham of Ilton asked Her Majesty's Government:



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): We do not centrally monitor local referral patterns.

It is for local health commissioners, both primary care trusts and practice-based commissioners, to determine local services—including general practitioners with special interests services—which will best meet the needs of their local populations within the resources available to them, and to fund these services accordingly. The influence of community-based services on referrals to secondary care will be an important consideration in overall service planning at local level.

Referral numbers to secondary care in any one area will therefore be a result of the balance of local services designed to address local need.

Health: Prostate Cancer

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The paper published in the journal European Urology was a result of the Prostate Cancer in Ethnic Subgroups (PROCESS) study, which was undertaken at the University of Bristol and funded by the department. This study, which cost nearly £300,000, shows that black men are three times more likely to develop prostate cancer compared to white men, but that they do not have worse outcomes. The researchers who undertook the PROCESS study are now considering follow-up studies which will help advise how best to take this issue forward, and the department is discussing with them the most appropriate funding stream for this work.

The results of the PROCESS study were discussed by the prostate cancer advisory group, chaired by Professor Mike Richards, the national cancer director, and are being taken into account as we revise the prostate cancer risk management programme, which will be relaunched in summer 2008.

With specific reference to prostate cancer treatment for black men, the National Health Service cancer action team (CAT) has appointed an associate director of patient experience. This post is being funded by the National Audit Office. Responsibilities of the post will cover equality issues for cancer, including prostate cancer, as follows:

providing leadership on black and minority-ethnic (BME) group issues within the CAT;promoting the establishment of a forum of the key stakeholders working with BME communities and work with them to facilitate the sharing of good practice; and

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working with key stakeholders and selected cancer networks to develop best-practice guidance for cancer networks (including needs of local populations, awareness raising, information and support for patients, end-of-life care and promoting the implementation of guidance).

Inequalities in cancer are also being considered as part of the development of the new cancer reform strategy, which we hope to publish by the end of the year. An equality impact assessment will also be published alongside the strategy.

Immigration: Detention

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): If the Secretary of State wishes to contest an application for bail, he must file with the tribunal and serve on the applicant a written statement of his reasons for doing so.

This statement, known as the bail summary, will include the reasons why continued detention is considered to be appropriate.

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord West of Spithead: The information requested could only be obtained by the detailed examination of individual case records at disproportionate cost. The Borders and Immigration Agency makes every effort to avoid splitting families and does so only in exceptional cases.

The policy on splitting families can be found in Chapter 58.7.1 of the Operational Enforcement Manual (OEM), which is publicly available on the BIA website at: www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/oemsection e/44752?view=Binary.

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord West of Spithead: The welfare of children detained with their families is reviewed on a continuous basis. For example, at Yarl's Wood, where families with children are held for longer periods, arrangements include the initial screening and assessment on a family's arrival at the centre; a weekly meeting attended by the removal centre's staff, crèche and education staff, healthcare professionals and the social workers seconded to work in the centre to identify whether any child's

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welfare is a cause of concern; initial and further assessments by healthcare staff, social workers, counsellors or specialists at outside hospitals following referral; the formal reviews of a child's detention each week which consider all the assessments of a child's welfare; and the multidisciplinary staff review conducted on the case of every child whose detention may last longer than 28 days.

The variety of the different assessments and the fact that a child is often the subject of several means that it is possible neither to identify how many separate assessments have been made nor to attribute the release from detention to any one of them.

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord West of Spithead: The information requested could only be obtained by the detailed examination of individual case records at disproportionate cost.

Quarterly snapshots are published in the quarterly asylum bulletin, showing the number of people detained under Immigration Act powers on the last Saturday of each quarter. Statistics on the total number of persons recorded as being removed from the UK upon leaving detention each quarter are also published in the quarterly asylum bulletin.

Information on the number of persons detained is published in the quarterly asylum bulletin, available in the House Library and on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1. html.

Iraq: Child Malnutrition

The Earl of Sandwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for International Development (Baroness Vadera): There are no fully reliable or up-to-date figures on child malnutrition in Iraq. The latest joint UNICEF-Government of Iraq multiple indicator cluster survey was published in March 2007. It reported a fall in malnutrition rates since 2000. The proportion of children who were too thin for their age had fallen from 5.9 per cent in 2000 to 4.8 per cent in 2006. The proportion of children too short for their

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age or underweight had fallen from 22.1 per cent to 21.4 per cent and 15.9 per cent to 7.6 per cent respectively.

The Government of Iraq have primary responsibility for ensuring the welfare of their own citizens, including children. However, the UN, led by UNICEF, continues to support the Iraqi Government to improve nutrition rates through infant feeding campaigns, the provision of medical supplies and other support. DfID is supporting humanitarian agencies providing emergency relief, including food assistance, to children and other vulnerable groups. Since 2003, DfID has committed over £130 million in humanitarian assistance, of which £15 million has been for this year alone.

Motor Insurers' Bureau

Viscount Simon asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: All claims made to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau are dealt with in accordance with current liability law. We are satisfied that the correct procedures are being operated by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau.

Police: Pensions

Baroness Greengross asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: We are committed to an effective British Transport Police and recognise that quality officers are vital.

We are working with colleagues to determine what, if any, changes to the current interchange arrangements between the BTP and Home Department forces may be needed. This work is at an early stage.

Police: Terrorist Incidents

Lord Dear asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): The security services, and special forces, are subject to health and safety legislation, as are the police. However, the criminal enforcement provisions of this legislation do not apply to the former as Crown bodies.

The Government have no current plans to change the application of health and safety legislation to the police or other security forces.

Roads: Level Crossings and Bridges

Lord Bradshaw asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The British Transport Police assists Network Rail with prosecutions using the evidence gathered from enforcement cameras where they are installed at level crossings. For instance, the dedicated camera enforcement unit in the north-east has initiated more than 380 prosecutions so far this year.

Roads: Motorway Lanes Closures

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The report by the Defence Research Agency used a computer model and estimated a range of delay costs for blocking one lane of a three-lane motorway for 65 minutes of £29 to £18,528. This range is for traffic flow rates of between 1,000 and 2,000 vehicles per lane per hour respectively.

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Highways Agency does not have flat-rate costs for motorway closures. Instead, a cost must be determined on a case-by-case basis, as it is highly dependent on factors local to the individual stretches of motorway, including duration and time of closure. Such a cost would be in the order of £5,000 to £10,000 per lane per hour and is made up of two parts; the actual cost of the traffic management measures deployed, and the delay and changes in vehicle-operating costs to road users.

Smarter Choices

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Our most recent estimate of the carbon dioxide (CO2) saving from smarter choices and travel planning is for an annual reduction in road transport CO2 of about 0.5 per cent in 2025, or about 0.5 million tonnes of CO2.

The Government are developing the evidence base further to inform future forecasts and decision-making. For example, earlier this year the smarter travel towns initiative reported very encouraging results, showing an increase of over 10 per cent in walking, cycling and public transport use among the targeted population and a commensurate decrease in car use. The final results from the sustainable travel towns will be available in 2009.

Taxation: Alcohol Duty

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: The total duty receipts of alcohol products (cider, beer, wine and spirits) can be found in the HM Revenue and Customs Beer and Cider Bulletin, Wine of Fresh Grapes or Made Wine Bulletin and Spirits Bulletin, which are available from the HM Revenue and Customs website addresses at:

www.uktradeinfo.co.uk/index.cfm?task=bullbeerwww.uktradeinfo.co.uk/index.cfm?task=bullfresh www.uktradeinfo.co.uk/index.cfm?task=bullmade wine www.uktradeinfo.co. uk/index.cfm?task=bullspirits.
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