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The Chief Dental Officer's letter acknowledged York's concerns about the quality of the research available and reiterated the department's commitment to a continuing programme of research to strengthen the evidence base on fluoridation.

Gambling

Question

Asked by Lord Hanningfield

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting (Lord Carter of Barnes): The Gambling Commission has advised that its data do not indicate whether those premises licensed between 1 September 2007 and 31 August 2008 were previously licensed under the old regime.

Guantanamo Bay

Question

Asked by Lord Judd

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): We continue to discuss with the US Government how best we can work with them to secure the closure of Guantanamo Bay.

The UK has already made a significant contribution to reducing the number of detainees, by taking back nine UK nationals and five former legal UK residents.

Our request for the release and return of the final former legal UK resident, Shaker Aamer, stands. We will continue to encourage our allies to assist in reducing the numbers of those detained; for instance, by accepting the transfer of detainees cleared for release.

We have shared our experience of accepting former detainees with our European partners and would gladly share this with Commonwealth Governments and others.

Health: Chiropody

Question

Asked by Lord Jones

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The National Health Service has seen unprecedented levels of investment and a period of expansion in the workforce since 1997. The number of chiropodists employed in the NHS has increased by 15.6 per cent since 1997, from 3,286 to 3,799 in 2007.

To help trusts develop their policy for access to foot care including chiropody, guidance is included in the national service frameworks for older people, diabetes, and long-term conditions, and the White Paper, Our Health, Our Care, Our Say: ANew Direction for Community Services.



18 Mar 2009 : Column WA42

An improved allied health professional (AHP) service offer, which includes chiropody, was announced by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Health in October 2008. This offer sets out the first steps needed to ensure AHPs are fully integrated into the wider Next Stage Review agenda, and includes mandating data collection; improving ease of access and promoting the benefits of self-referral to physiotherapy and encouraging local extension to other AHP services; and improving quality and empower patients. Aspects of this offer are included in the Operating Framework for the NHS in England 2009-10. A copy has already been placed in the Library.

It is for primary care trusts in partnership with local stakeholders, including practice based commissioners, local government and the public to take forward this work as appropriate in their local communities. We will support the implementation of the improved AHP service offer through the work of the Transforming Community Services Programme.

Foot care services for older people are being reviewed as part of the prevention package announced in May 2008. The purpose of the package is to raise awareness among older people of the existing core prevention services to which they are entitled and to support the service in making improvements in other key areas such as foot care. The package is due to be launched later this year.

Health: Hospitals

Question

Asked by Lord Jones

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): One hundred new hospital building schemes have begun construction and opened since 1998.

Health: International Aid

Questions

Asked by Baroness Northover

Lord Tunnicliffe: The economic and political mismanagement of Zimbabwe over the past few years has made it increasingly difficult to control the spread of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Health services have deteriorated significantly as trained health workers are unable to survive on meagre state salaries and vital medicines have been hard for the Government to source and distribute. Outreach services, which are essential to managing all three of these diseases, have

18 Mar 2009 : Column WA43

broken down as a result of failing maintenance of vehicles, poor salaries, and a shortage of fuel and supplies.

While the HIV prevalence rate has decreased to 15.6 per cent, the number of people requiring anti-retroviral medicines (ARVs) continues to rise. Currently, 132,000 people are able to access ARVs while about 340,000 require them. The UK is providing £24 million this year for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of critical health needs in Zimbabwe. This includes £10 million to respond to HIV and AIDS including support to ARVs, prevention and mitigation, £6 million for the procurement and distribution of vital medicines to treat all three diseases, £250,000 to support an emergency indoor spraying programme to avert a malaria epidemic this year and £5 million to address the particular needs of pregnant women and their newborns, including the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV. The Board of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has also approved a $500 million grant to Zimbabwe as part of its round 8 allocations. Around 5 per cent of this could be attributed to UK through core contributions to the Global Fund.

Asked by Baroness Northover

Lord Tunnicliffe: The Department for International Development (DfID) understands that monitoring progress in tuberculosis (TB) control is essential. DfID funds the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the STOP TB Partnership, which both lead on this.

Clear priorities for monitoring and evaluation have been identified by the WHO:

maintaining the annual documentation of global TB disease burden, TB control implementation, and financing for TB control;technical assistance to 10 countries that need to start implementing surveys of the prevalence of TB disease in 2009-2010, which are among a list of 21 global priority countries;regional workshops to conduct in-depth analysis of data from surveillance systems and surveys and to build capacity in monitoring and evaluation, particularly in Asia and Africa; andstrengthen the WHO secretariat of the Global Task Force on TB measurement, to ensure the necessary strategic and technical guidance to countries and coordination among international agencies.

Asked by Baroness Northover



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Lord Tunnicliffe: In 2007 the UK Government made an unprecedented long-term commitment of up to £1 billion between 2008-15, providing that the Global Fund is receiving good quality proposals, continuing to perform well, and is demonstrating sustainable impact. This was on top of the £359 million we had already given the fund between 2002 and 2008.

This additional contribution is broken down as follows. We have pledged £360 million over the 3 year replenishment period (2008-10), with £30 million of this subject to demand and results. This represents a 20 per cent increase on our previous level of commitment. Over and above this, we also pledged an additional amount of up to £640 million from 2011-15.

The UK is the second largest bilateral donor on HIV/AIDS and on health worldwide. Support to the Global Fund is one of the important channels for the Department for International Development's (DfID) support to the three diseases and wider health systems. In June 2008, the UK announced an additional £6 billion on health systems and services by 2015, over and above our support to the Global Fund.

Asked by Baroness Northover

Lord Tunnicliffe: The Gleneagles summit in 2005 ensured international development went to the top of the global agenda. The G8 has made significant commitments to promote international development and accelerate progress on health related targets since then. In 2007, the G8 pledged US$60 billion for health initiatives including funding to help tackle tuberculosis, and there has been significant progress on treating HIV, providing immunisation against polio and supplying bed nets to protect against malaria.

However, huge challenges remain. As with previous summits, the UK Government will continue to work through all available channels in the lead up to the G8 summit in Italy to ensure development remains a high priority for the leaders' agenda. The UK remains strongly committed to reducing death and suffering from tuberculosis, and will encourage other G8 partners to ensure that tuberculosis is addressed as part of the comprehensive package of G8 measures. This should enable developing countries to make faster progress towards the millennium development goal targets.

Health: Pharmaceutical Services

Question

Asked by Lord Jones



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The White Paper, Pharmacy in England: Building on Strengths—Delivering the Future, published in April 2008, set out the Government's future vision for developing quality pharmaceutical services to patients and consumers through pharmacies in England.

Good progress is being made in implementing the White Paper to achieve this vision.

House of Lords: Publications

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): House of Lords publications are available on the internet in HTML and (in most cases) PDF format. Their structure is normally straightforward and suitable for text-reading software.

In addition, for internal purposes and certain external publications, the House of Lords administration has adopted visual identity guidelines which will be introduced in April. These guidelines encourage offices and departments to observe the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) guidelines, which are similar to the British Dyslexia Association guidelines.

Human Rights

Questions

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): In 2008 the total number of applications against the United Kingdom in the European Court of Human Rights which were declared inadmissible or struck out and judgments which found no violation against the United Kingdom was 1,246. In the same year there were 27 judgments finding at least one violation against the United Kingdom. The equivalent figures for the previous four years are set out below:

2007: 410/19

2006: 971/10

2005: 732/15

2004: 721/19.



18 Mar 2009 : Column WA46

These statistics are available from the annual reports of the European Court of Human Rights which can be found on the court's website at www.echr.coe.int/ECHR/EN/Header/Reports+and+Statistics/Reports/Annual+surveys+of+activity/.

The 2008 statistics are taken from the provisional version of the court's 2008 annual report.

Further information about judgments, including details of the subject matter, is available from the court's annual reports which can be found on the court's website at www.echr.coe.int/ECHR/EN/Header/Reports+and+Statistics/Reports/Annual+Reports/.

A list of cases in respect of which the United Kingdom has requested a referral to the court's Grand Chamber is not available. But from 1 January 2004 to 10 March 2008 the Grand Chamber delivered judgments in 14 United Kingdom cases. Details of all the judgments are available at the court's website at http://cmiskp.echr.coe.int/tkp197/search.asp?sessionid =20467014&skin=hudoc-en.

Decisions on whether and how to defend applications and whether to seek a referral of a judgment to the Grand Chamber are made on a case-by-case basis.

Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): As I explained in my response to the noble Lord on 24 February (Official Report, col. WA50), Article 57 of the European Convention on Human Rights does not permit reservations of a general character, and Article 19 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties does not permit reservations which are incompatible with the object and purpose of the treaty in question. The Fourth Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights has a much more specific focus than the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Ratification of the Fourth Protocol would require significant reservations to two of its four substantive articles. The Government do not consider it appropriate to ratify the Fourth Protocol with such significant reservations to such a large proportion of its substantive provisions. However, the Government will continue to keep this position under review.

Asked by Lord Hylton



18 Mar 2009 : Column WA47

Lord Malloch-Brown: The Government have, on several occasions, expressed their view on the Durban Review Conference, the follow-up to the 2001 World Conference Against Racism. We want the conference to forge a collective will to fight against racism in all its forms, in all countries in the world.

However, the Government remain deeply concerned about the draft outcome document.

The UK is still engaged in the Durban Review process and we will keep our position under review. We hope that there is still time to return the focus of preparations to reviewing work undertaken to combat racism and implement the 2001 Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, thus enhancing the prospect of a consensus outcome. But a change in this direction will be required for any outcome document to gain our support.

We will continue to engage with European partners in preparation for this conference.

Immigration

Question

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Since the phasing out of embarkation controls in 1994 no Government have ever been able to produce an accurate figure for the number of people who are in the country illegally. By its very nature it is impossible to quantify accurately and that remains the case.

As part of the Government's 10-point plan for delivery, by 2010 more than 95 per cent of non-EEA foreign nationals will be counted in and out of the country, rising to 100 per cent by 2014. This is part of a sweeping programme of border protection which also includes the global rollout of fingerprint visas, watch-list checks for all travellers before they arrive or depart from the UK and ID cards for foreign nationals.

The Government's plans, set out in Enforcing the Deal published on 19 June 2008, set a clear goal to target and remove the most harmful people first, working with local authorities and enforcement agencies to shut down the privileges of the UK to those breaking the rules.


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