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Why the Haemophilia Society's Section 64 core grant has been reduced from £100,000 to £30,000; whether the reduction took account of deprivation in the community which the society exists to help; and at what ministerial level the decision was made. [HL4657]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The Haemophilia Society has received core funding under the Section 64 general scheme of grants for a number of years. In 2006-07, its grant was £100,000. In 2006, a decision was taken, in line with the established criteria for the Section 64 scheme, to taper the Section 64 grant to £30,000 over two years. The Haemophilia Society was informed of its future funding in 2006 in order to allow it to plan for this change.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Hepatitis B vaccine is currently offered to individuals at high risk of exposure to the virus or complications of the disease.
The issue of universal vaccination for Hepatitis B is currently under consideration by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, which provides independent expert advice to the Secretary of State.
What support the Department of Health will give the Department for International Development to ensure the development of new HIV prevention tools such as (a) microbicides; and (b) vaccines; and [HL4437]
What action the Department of Health is taking with the Department for International Development to respond to the prevalence of HIV, as set out in their strategy document, Achieving Universal Access. [HL4438]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The department is working with the Department for International Development to support implementation of Achieving Universal Access, copies of which are available in the Library, through its membership of the Whitehall working group on tackling AIDS in the developing world and the action set out in Achieving Universal Access. This includes implementation of the National Strategy for Sexual Health and HIV (currently being reviewed), the commitments set out in the forthcoming global health strategy and action taken by the department to strengthen the code of practice on recruitment of healthcare workers from overseas.
Further to the Answer by Baroness Thornton on 16 June (Official Report, House of Lords, col. 802) which stated that additional funding is provided to primary care trusts in areas where sickle cell disease is prevalent, what funding is provided; and to which primary care trusts; and [HL4415]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Revenue allocations are made to primary care trusts (PCTs) on the basis of the relative needs of their populations. The weighted capitation formula is used to determine PCTs' target shares of available resources, to enable them to commission similar levels of health services for populations in similar need.
The components of the formula are used to weight each PCT's crude population according to their relative need (age, and additional need) for healthcare and the unavoidable geographical differences in the cost of providing healthcare (the market forces factor).
Although there is no specific consideration made for sickle-cell-related disease in determining revenue allocations to PCTs, it will be picked up in the models of utilisation of healthcare in the need element of the formula. The formula used to inform the revenue allocations to PCTs in 2008-09 takes account of unmet need to support certain groups within the population, e.g. ethnic minorities groups, which may not receive healthcare services to the same level as others with similar health characteristics.
Once the department has made allocations to PCTs, it is for PCTs to determine how to use the funding allocated to them to commission the services they require to meet the healthcare needs of the local populations they serve. There is no ring-fenced allocation to PCTs to spend on sickle cell disease.
Instead, the approach the department takes is to be clear about the priorities for the NHS through the operating framework. It is then for the National Health Service to decide how best to achieve those outcomes in the light of local needs and circumstances, including the level of resources to invest.
Further to the Answer by Baroness Thornton on 16 June (Official Report, House of Lords, col. 801), what are the timescales for implementing the training programme in scanning for stroke risk in young patients with sickle cell disease; and [HL4417]
Further to the Answer by Baroness Thornton on 16 June (Official Report, House of Lords, cols. 8012), what are the timescales for the implementation of the nine regional managed clinical networks for sickle cell disease and thalassaemia. [HL4418]
Further to the Written Answer from Lord Darzi of Denham on 2 June (WA 14) concerning strategic health authorities which underspent on their non-medical education and training budgets for 200708, whether the information requested is now available. [HL4554]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Under current arrangements, strategic health authorities (SHAs) receive an indicative allocation of funding for the multi-professional education and training budget (MPET), of which the non-medical education and training (NMET) budget is a component, as part of a bundle of funding. SHAs are free to set budgets and vary expenditure between different priority areas within the bundle, subject to the achievement of necessary performance objectives. In some cases, SHAs may use local flexibility to vary MPET spend between financial years in line with local priorities.
|SHA||Over/Underspend on NMET budget £000's|
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Tunnicliffe on 30 June (WA 21) concerning late answering of Parliamentary Questions, what are the terms of reference of the internal review on communications into the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission; who is carrying out the review; and when it will be completed. [HL4596]
The review was to establish best practice for answering Parliamentary Questions relating to these bodies, and was carried out by Northern Ireland Office officials and endorsed by Ministers and the departmental board. It has now been completed, but procedures are reviewed on an ongoing basis.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The Government of Iran and Iranian authorities have stated publicly on several occasions that they would retaliate to any attack. We regularly consider the implications of such statements, including assessing feasibility and likelihood of a variety of potential Iranian responses to any attack, and the implications for UK interests.
We have, of course, made clear that we are fully committed to finding a diplomatic resolution to the international community's serious concerns about the behaviour of the Government of Iran, including their pursuit of a uranium enrichment programme in defiance of four UN Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs). The Government will continue to act in the UN, the EU and bilaterally to persuade Iran to comply with the demands of successive UNSCRs, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the international community.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): We maintain a regular dialogue with the Government of Israel and urge them
14 July 2008 : Column WA117
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): Several types of vessels will be available to accompany the new aircraft carriers in carrier strike groups, including frigates, destroyers and submarines. The numbers and types of vessels employed will depend on the operational circumstances. Our present shipbuilding programmes, which are delivering the new Type 45 destroyers, Astute class nuclear submarines and, in the longer term, the Future Surface Combatant, will ensure that strike groups centred on the new aircraft carriers will consist of modern and highly capable warships.
Lord Rooker: The Union flag is the official flag of Northern Ireland and is flown over the London offices of the Northern Ireland Office in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport entitled Protocol for Hoisting Flags on Government Buildings. This document can be found at: www.culture.gov.uk/flagflying/protocol.html.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Rooker on 3 March (WA 1567), on what occasions the Northern Ireland Office funds organisations which have not submitted a business case; and what cases there have been since 1998. [HL4272]
Lord Rooker: The Northern Ireland Office ensures that formal mechanisms are in place for all funding. Business cases are one of these formal mechanisms, but there are other agreed processes that may be used
14 July 2008 : Column WA118
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