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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is currently reviewing the hepatitis B immunisation programme. Its advice is expected later this year.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): When a non-resident junior doctor is required to stay in hospital overnight as part of their on-call duties, accommodation is provided free of charge.
Junior doctors who are required to stay overnight in hospital to work on a full shift are expected to be working continuously throughout the shift, with the exception of natural breaks, and sleeping accommodation is not normally necessary. However, rest accommodation is provided free of charge.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The department has no current plans to carry out an audit of the provision of pain services in England. The newly formed National Clinical Audit Advisory Group is considering topics for future audits, and we will bring this to its attention.
What progress has been made into provision of services for the treatment of pain since the recommendation of the Clinical Standards Advisory Services Group report on services for NHS patients with acute and chronic pain in 2000. [HL4756]
Lord Darzi of Denham: It is the responsibility of primary care trusts (PCTs) to commission services for people with pain, taking into account resources they have available, the needs of their wider population and available guidance on best practice. The quality of services should be monitored locally to ensure it is provided to meet the needs of the local population. The department is supporting commissioning through the recent publication of an 18-week pathway for the management and treatment of chronic pain. NHS Choices has also provided information that will raise the awareness of chronic pain and treatments.
As part of the NHS next stage review, which I lead, working groups of local clinicians in each strategic health authority have carried out a detailed review of clinical pathways across all areas of healthcare, and have identified what they believe to be the best models of care for local patients. The results have now been published and PCTs will now be responsible for working out in discussion with local partners, patients and the general public how best to commission the proposed improvements.
In the light of the review of the National Health Service by Lord Darzi of Denham and their commitment to reducing the burden of sexually transmitted infections on society and the National Health Service, what steps will they take to reduce the number of cases of genital warts, given the
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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The Government are committed to tackling sexually transmitted infections, including genital warts. This commitment was underlined in the next steps review, which identified sexual health as being one of six priority areas for primary care trusts to commission comprehensive well-being and prevention services to meet the needs of their local population.
Considerable progress has been made on the target to offer appointments within 48 hours at genito-urinary medicine services. The figures for March 2008 show that 98.9 per cent. of first attendees were offered an appointment within 48 hours, compared to only 45 per cent in 2005. Early access to services is very important to ensure rapid treatment which lowers the risk of onward transmission of infections.
In November 2006, the department launched the Condom Essential Wear campaign to tackle sexually transmitted infections and the behaviours that contribute to their spread. The campaign is picking up excellent recognition rates among the target audience.
In the light of the recent review of the National Health Service by Lord Darzi of Denham, whether they will extend the commitment to greater transparency to the review and recommendation process for vaccines. [HL4763]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The Joint Committee on Vaccine and Immunisation (JCVI) gives advice to Ministers on vaccines based on the best evidence reflecting current good practice and/or expert opinion. The process involves a robust, transparent, and systematic appraisal of all the available evidence from a wide range of sources. The JCVI is appointed by the Appointments Commission and is independent of the department.
Further to his Written Answers on 3 April (WA 198) and 29 April (WA 18), what priority is given to (a) the Public Sector Food Procurement Initiative; (b) farm assurance; (c) animal welfare; and (d) health and nutrition, when purchasing bacon; and whether the policy on purchasing bacon has been reviewed in the light of the change in value of the pound in relation to the euro. [HL4826]
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): The Refreshment Department follows House of Lords procurement policy which is based on value for money with due regard to propriety and regularity. Value for money is defined as the optimum combination
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The procurement of bacon is included in the three-year meat supplies framework contract which commenced in September 2006. The policy on purchasing bacon has been reviewed but no change has been made as Dutch bacon continues to represent better value for money per kilo than English bacon. Since January, Dutch bacon has increased in price by 18.4 per cent from £3.92 to £4.64 per kilo and English bacon has increased by 15.8 per cent from £6.33 to £7.33 per kilo.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): The table below shows the number of unoccupied dwellings in England, East of England and Essex in 2007.
|Area||Vacant Dwellings at 8 October 2007|
|Source: Council Tax Base (CTBI) returns|
Lord Davies of Oldham: Decisions on the percentage of each denomination of banknote ordered to be printed and put into circulation in Northern Ireland and Scotland by the seven commercial banks authorised to issue banknotes in those countries (four in Northern Ireland and three in Scotland) are entirely a matter for each of those banks, in the light of demand from their customers.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): Figures published by my department in June 2007 in the document Previouslydeveloped land that may be available for development: England 2006 show estimated totals for vacant and derelict land of 34,850ha (23,630ha with planning allocation or permission) in England; 3,570ha (3,270ha with planning allocation or permission) in the east of England, of which 1,070ha is located in Essex. Some of this land will have been cleared and be available for development, whereas other land would require varying degrees of treatment before development could take place.
These estimates are based on the National Land Use Database of Previously Developed Land (NLUD-PDL), managed by English Partnerships on behalf of my department, using annual figures supplied by local authorities covering (i) vacant and derelict land and also (ii) land currently in use with known potential for development. Information on the sites is available from the NLUD website at: www.nlud.org.uk.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): The Government received a submission from the United Kingdom Federation of Master Builders in response to the consultation paper, Eco-towns: Living a greener future. This stage of the consultation considered potential locations of eco-towns and how they might be delivered. The consultation closed on 30 June, and the Government will provide a statement on the responses received in due course. We will draw on these responses to inform the second stage of consultation on the draft sustainability appraisal and draft planning policy statement.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Prisoners found guilty of offences against prison discipline under the prison rules may receive any of a range of punishments including, in more serious cases, up to 42 additional days in custody, imposed by an independent adjudicator. Data on punishments imposed at adjudications are
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Lord Davies of Oldham: The Public Bodies Directory is published annually by the Cabinet Office. Copies can be downloaded from www.civiIservice.gov.uk/about/public/bodies.asp and have been placed in the Libraries of the House. The public bodies reports show that the total number of NDPBs sponsored by the UK Government has fallen by 3.5 per cent over the past 10 yearsfrom 857 in 1997 to 827 in 2007.
Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 19 June (WA 197), whether the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland will review its policy of destroying prosecution files after two years, 10 years or 20 years; whether they will ensure such files are assessed by independent professional archivists for their preservation value; and whether there is an index available to the public detailing historic prosecution case files retained by the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland. [HL4560]
The Attorney-General (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The current policy of file destruction operated by the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) was agreed with the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) and is in accordance with its guidance. The PPS has scheduled a review of its current policy with PRONI for summer 2008.
The retention of files of historical interest is governed by the Public Records Act 1958 and individual files are reviewed by PRONI professional staff before being accepted as public records. All files are reviewed prior to destruction in accordance with the provisions of the Act and with PRONI guidance.
There is currently no index available to the public detailing prosecution files of historic value currently in the possession of the PPS. This is a matter that will be reviewed by the PPS and PRONI as part of the forthcoming review.
Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 19 June (WA 196), how many difficult, complex or sensitive cases were referred to the Attorney-General by the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland in the past three years; and what areas they covered. [HL4561]
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