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In 1988, the Macfarlane Trust was set up to administer a fund to assist people with haemophilia who had contracted HIV infection through contaminated blood

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products as a result of National Health Service treatment. In 2004, the Skipton Fund was established to administer an ex-gratia payment scheme for people infected with hepatitis C through contaminated blood or blood products following treatment on the NHS.

Health: Diethylstilbestrol

Baroness Tonge asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Diethylstilbestrol (DES) is an oestrogenic hormone formerly used in the treatment of threatened miscarriage.

In the United Kingdom in 1978 the Medical Research Council commissioned a study that assessed women, who were known to have been exposed to DES, and their offspring for significant health outcomes.

There is little good evidence of harm for women who received DES while pregnant. Some studies have found there to be a possible small increase in the risk of breast cancer but this has not been confirmed in other studies.

In 1971 an assessment of women in the United States of America with clear-cell adenocarcinoma of the vagina/cervix lead to the first association between the development of this condition and prenatal exposure to DES. This large epidemiological study is still ongoing and is examining various health outcomes in women who were exposed during pregnancy, in their children who were exposed in the uterus, and in their children's children.

Health: Dieticians

Baroness Barker asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Information about waiting times to see a National Health Service dietitian are not collected centrally.

Health: Incontinence

Baroness Tonge asked Her Majesty's Government:



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Information is not collected on the condition for which a prescription is issued.

Information on the total net ingredient cost of all dressings and incontinence appliances dispensed in the community in England is in the following table. These include dressings and appliances prescribed for reasons other than incontinence. Chemical reagents are not separately identifiable.

YearDressings Net ingredient cost £(000s)Incontinence appliances Net ingredient cost £(000s)

2002

123,620.6

34,309.4

2003

138,711.9

34,660.6

2004

151,354.8

35,490.8

2005

163,960.8

36,650.2

2006

168,590.3

38,747.8

Source: Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) system

Health: Overseas Visitors

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The department does not compile statistics on the numbers of overseas visitors treated under the NHS (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 1989, as amended, including those who travel to the United Kingdom specifically to use health services.

There are provisions for overseas visitors travel to the UK specifically for treatment with prior approval. Following rulings by the European Court of Justice, there are currently two procedures that cover patients travelling to another European economic area (EEA) member state for planned treatment (whether that be residents from other EEA states coming to the UK or vice versa)—the E112 route and the Article 49 route.

Recent data show that in 2006-07 there were approximately 735 E112 referrals to the National Health Service from other EEA countries.

Data on Article 49 referrals to the UK are held by primary care trusts and are not collected centrally.

The UK also has a number of bilateral agreements with other, non-EEA countries (mainly crown dependencies/overseas territories such as Isle of Man, Channel Islands, Gibraltar) under which they are entitled to refer cases to the UK. Recent data show that in 2006-07 these countries referred approximately 4260 cases to the UK.

Health: Untreatable Patients

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff asked Her Majesty's Government:



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Criminal justice legislation cannot be used when a person has not committed a crime. People with personality disorders can be treated under mental health legislation if treatment is appropriate and available for the individual in question.

Interception of Communications

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Chilcot Review on Intercept as Evidence considered this issue and concluded,

The review's conclusion on this issue was informed by the views of a number of senior judges and lawyers. These included the Attorney-General's Office, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Treasury Solicitor, Sir Igor Judge, Sir Brian Leverson, the Lord Chief Justice, Nigel Sweeney QC and Stephen Williamson QC.

Iraq: Cancer

Lord Rea asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Crawley: The Government are aware of reports of high rates of cancer and foetal abnormalities in recent years in Iraq. However, due to the security situation and consequent constraints on access by aid agencies to affected populations, there are currently no independent, reliable data on this.

The Department for International Development (DfID) does not currently regard an epidemiological study as a priority for our work in Iraq. We are focusing our efforts on meeting urgent humanitarian needs, including in the field of health. For example, we are supporting the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which is providing urgently needed medical supplies, such as war wounded kits to

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hospitals dealing with mass casualties, and improving health facilities (physical rehabilitation and training for staff). We are also supporting the United National High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), which is helping healthcare services in Syria and Jordan to cope with the influx of Iraqi refugees. As part of this support, Iraqis are receiving treatment for cancer in Syrian hospitals. The British Council and Department of Health are also building the capacity of the Iraqi health sector by training Iraqi doctors. So far 50 doctors have been trained and another 25 have been sent to the UK for two months.

Israel and Palestine: Gaza

Baroness Northover asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Crawley: In 2007-08 DfID has given £15.6 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency to provide essential services such as food, housing and education to Palestinian refugees in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the region. Refugees make up 70 per cent of Gaza's population. We have provided £15 million to the temporary international mechanism (TIM) since 2006. The TIM funds emergency fuel and electricity production, water and sanitation services for Gaza, as well as health services and allowances for Palestinian government workers in Gaza and the West Bank. We have also given £1 million to fund the International Committee of the Red Cross's (ICRC) emergency appeal for the West Bank and Gaza.

The UK Government have regularly raised the humanitarian situation in Gaza at senior level with the Government of Israel and with the Palestinian Authority. On 11 January the Secretary of State for International Development and the Foreign Secretary issued a Statement expressing deep concern at the growing humanitarian impact of restrictions by the Government of Israel on industrial diesel supplies to Gaza, particularly on the most vulnerable sections of the population. They welcomed Israel's recent decision to increase the supply of industrial diesel and continued to urge Israel to lift all restrictions on fuel with immediate effect. We will continue to monitor the humanitarian situation closely.

Baroness Northover asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Crawley: The UK pledged up to £243 million over three years at the Paris Conference. In order to meet the Palestinian Authority's urgent funding needs we are doubling our assistance from £30 million in 2007 to £62 million in 2008. This funding will benefit Gazans directly.



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The Paris Conference pledges from the 87 participant nations and international organisations will more than cover the $5.5 billion (£2.8 billion) financing gap identified by Palestinian Prime Minister Mr Fayyad. The Palestinian leadership is committed to helping Gazans benefit from the Paris pledges.

In addition the European Commission has recently secured a further €85 million (£65 million) to support the temporary international mechanism until the end of March 2008.

Obscene Publications

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Attorney-General (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) captures some information on the volume of prosecution of specific offences in its Offence Based Universe of the Compass Management Information System. These records have existed only since April 2004, following the full implementation of the Compass system.

The records show that there have been no offences contrary to the Children and Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act 1955 recorded since April 2004. The number of offences contrary to the Obscene Publications Acts 1959 and 1964 recorded between 1 April 2004 and 1 February 2008 are as follows:

Obscene Publications Act 1959 {2(l)}

441

Obscene Publications Act 1964 {2}

3

While the Offence Based Universe shows the nature of the offence at the outset of proceedings in magistrates' courts it provides no information on any subsequent modification to charges, nor does it provide any information on the outcome of proceedings.

Passports: Interviews

Lord Kilclooney asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The passport interview office in Armagh opened on 19 November 2007. The role of the office is to carry out passport interviews for first-time adult applicants.



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The future plans for this office are that it will remain open for passport interviews and it is anticipated that around 2000 of these interviews will be carried out in 2008.

Pitcairn Island: Tortoises

Lord Jones of Cheltenham asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: Preservation of rare species and the environment is a continuing concern of the Government. The Government have supported various environmental and conservation programmes on Pitcairn Island through our high commission in Wellington. However, the Government are not currently planning to discuss with the Government of New Zealand the relocation of additional giant tortoises on to Pitcairn Island.


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