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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): No steps have been taken centrally. It is for primary care trusts in partnership with local stakeholders, including practice-based commissioners, local government and the public to determine how best to use their funds to meet national and local priorities for improving health and to commission services accordingly. This process provides the means for addressing local needs within the health community including the provision of hydrotherapy.
What assessment they have made as to how single-line prescription items such as intermittent catheters will be affected by the proposed changes to service remuneration under the review of part IX of the Drug Tariff for the provision of stomach and incontinence appliances, and related services to NHS primary care. [HL2981]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The review of the arrangements under part IX of the Drug Tariff for the provision of stoma and incontinence appliances and related services in primary care is ongoing.
One of the aims of the review is to achieve clear transparency between what is reimbursed for items and what is paid for services (remuneration). Through a process of consultation, views have been sought on proposals that reflect this aim. In our assessment, single-line prescription items such as intermittent catheters should not be affected by the proposed changes to service remuneration.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Initiatives to tackle health inequalities will include schemes to address inequalities by people with a learning disability. We are currently promoting a primary care trust framework to support comprehensive health checks, health action planning and better access to health promotion services for people with learning disabilities and we are publishing guidance to the National Health Service on meeting the disability equality duty in relation to this group shortly.
Valuing People Now: From Progress to Transformation was published on 4 December 2007. The document builds on the vision set out in the White Paper Valuing People (2001) and proposes five priorities for delivery over the next three yearspersonalisation, health, employment and social inclusion, housing and ensuring change happens. Valuing People Now is key in driving forward the health agenda and tackling inequalities for people with learning disabilities. The consultation period ended on 28 March 2008.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The ongoing Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) programme is jointly funded by government and industry. This programme is managed by an independent committee which selects and monitors the research. MTHR published its first report in September 2007. The report can be found on the MTHR website at www.mthr.org.uk/.
MTHR studies found no epidemiological association between short-term mobile telephone use (less than 10 years) and cancers of the brain and nervous system. The report noted that the situation for longer exposure times is less clear and recommended work to assess whether exposure to mobile telephone radiofrequencies in the longer term increases the risk of developing brain and nervous system tumours. A cohort study to investigate a wide range of potential effects including brain cancer is under way at Imperial College, London.
Baroness Thornton: Information about the number of hospitals that have single-sex wards is not collected centrally. Guidance issued to the National Health Service requires the provision of single-sex accommodation, not wards, which can take a number of forms. NHS trusts may provide good segregation through single rooms, single-sex bays within a mixed ward, single-sex wards or combinations of these types.
Further to the Written Answers by Lord Darzi of Denham on 10 January (WA 219), which provisions of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 require that the identity of a clinic at which women are known to have been at risk from life-threatening complications should not be publicly disclosed; and how the interests of prospective patients are similarly protected in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. [HL3074]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): There are no provisions in either the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 or the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill that explicitly require that the identity of a clinic at which women are known to have been at risk from life-threatening complications should not be publicly disclosed. However, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has informed the department that it would regard the release of information that could lead to the identification of individual patients as contrary to the confidentiality provisions in Section 33(2)(a) of the Act.
In 2003 the HFEA introduced an incident alert reporting system. Taking an approach where the name of a clinic reporting an incident is not made public, the HFEA has worked with clinics to encourage greater reporting, particularly of lower risk incidents or those that are near misses. This is to ensure that lessons learnt from such events can be circulated to other clinics, so avoiding a repeat elsewhere in the sector.
Why the Immigration Tribunal Service did not deliver to the Home Office the appeal submission in the name of Nino Trollope in the case of the visa application for entry into the United Kingdom from Mrs Anna Zurabishvili. [HL2957]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): When an appeal against refusal of entry into the United Kingdom is lodged with the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (as opposed to being lodged with the embassy), the tribunal serves a copy on the embassy that dealt with the visa application, which is then responsible for instructing the Home Office presenting officers unit in the UK. The AIT served a copy of the appeal for Mrs Anna Zurabishvili on the British embassy, Tbilisi on 6 July 2007 and sent a duplicate copy by fax at the embassy's request on 22 November 2007.
Whether they or the European Union raised at the United Nations Human Rights Council in March section 5 of the Iranian draft penal code, which provides a mandatory death penalty for apostasy, in contravention of Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and, if so, with what results. [HL2923]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The UK and the EU are deeply concerned by provisions in Iran's draft penal code that would make the crimes of apostasy, heresy and witchcraft punishable by death and have spoken out publicly about this on several occasions. The EU presidency issued a declaration on behalf of the EU on 25 February 2008 expressing concern about the draft law and calling on Iran to ensure that any modifications to the penal code are consistent with the international human rights conventions to which Iran is a state party. The EU also expressed concerns about these amendments in a meeting with the Iranian authorities in early March and in a statement to the UN Human Rights Council on 13 March. My honourable friend the Minister for the Middle East, Kim Howells, called in the Iranian ambassador on 1 April to raise UK concerns about
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What processes are in place for the Ministry of Defence to learn from the experience of the St John and Red Cross Defence Medical Welfare Service in providing support to injured service personnel, in particular their support for those injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. [HL2789]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): Formal meetings between the Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) and MoD are held four times a year. The main purpose for these meetings is to monitor the contract which is in place between the MoD and DMWS. However these meetings also offer the opportunity for issues to be raised by both organisations and there is also close liaison in between meetings.
DMWS staffs are firmly embedded in all deployed field hospitals and are the primary welfare contact for the patients in those units. The DMWS is also contracted to provide welfare services to service personnel in hospitals in the UK, Germany and Cyprus. Welfare is also an integral part of a commanding officer's (CO) responsibility to those under their command, both staff and patients, and as such COs have a vested interest in maintaining close contact with their DMWS staff.
COs of field hospitals are invited to contribute to the contract monitoring process and further have the opportunity to reflect issues expressed by and with respect to the DMWS in their post-operational reports, all of which contribute to lessons learned from operational deployments. Additionally the COs of the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Ministry of Defence Hospital Units and representatives from the chains of command from Germany and Cyprus are invited to attend one of the quarterly meetings each year.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): UK forces in Basra may be asked to undertake military activities in support of Iraqi Security Force operations where coalition commanders judge such requests from the Iraqis to be militarily viable and appropriate. For example, UK forces have, as part of the coalition effort, provided fast jet, helicopter, logistic, medical, staff officer and
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