Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page



12 Nov 2010 : Column WA139



12 Nov 2010 : Column WA139

Written Answers

Friday 12 November 2010

Agriculture: Genetically Modified Crops

Question

Asked by Lord Powell of Bayswater

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): There is no mention of the term "nutrigenomic" in the medicines directive 2001/83. The decision as to whether a product falls within the definition of a medicinal product is made by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on a case-by-case basis using the definition of that term contained in Article 1 of the directive. The criteria that the MHRA takes into account are set out in their document Guidance Note 8: A Guide to What is a Medicinal Product. This can be found on the MHRA website at www.mhra.gov.uk/home/group/is-lic/documents/ publication/co007.pdf.

The criteria include all presentational material and available scientific evidence or information on any pharmacological, metabolic or immunological function of the ingredients. The approach that the MHRA takes is in line with the relevant judgments of the European Court.

Arts: Funding

Question

Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

Baroness Rawlings: Ministers and officials of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport meet representatives from the tourism industry on a regular basis. However, the spending review settlement for Arts Council England was not discussed with representatives of the tourism industry before it was announced.

By limiting cuts to the cultural core to 15 per cent over four years, and taking into account the separate but parallel increase in income for the arts good cause from the National Lottery, the department is confident that the arts can continue to make their valuable contribution to the visitor economy.



12 Nov 2010 : Column WA140

Autism

Questions

Asked by Baroness Pitkeathley

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The national consultation on the statutory guidance closed on 22 October 2010. We are currently in the process of analysing the response, which will inform the further development of the statutory guidance. Ministers will then consider a revised draft and take final decisions on content. We would not wish nor would it be appropriate to anticipate this process.

The Autism Act sets the publication date for the statutory guidance, which must be produced and published before 31 December 2010.

Asked by Lord Touhig

Earl Howe: In the preparation of draft guidance for consultation, account was taken of all available evidence, including the work and findings of the National Audit Office.

The national consultation on the statutory guidance closed on 22 October 2010. We are currently in the process of analysing the response, which will inform the further development of the statutory guidance. Ministers will then consider a revised draft and take final decisions on content. We would not wish nor would it be appropriate to anticipate this process.



12 Nov 2010 : Column WA141

Crime: Rape

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

Baroness Verma: The Department for International Development (DfID) directly supports the provision of non-discriminatory medical care to victims of rape in a range of countries, including those affected by conflict. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, the UK has made contributions totalling around £1 million to the Panzi hospital in Bukavu, which has a specialist unit to provide care for the victims of acts of sexual violence. In Sierra Leone, DfID funds referral centres that support large numbers of women-including girls under 15-who have been victims of sexual assault.

The UK Government do not promote abortion as a method of family planning, but we are committed to reducing maternal mortality in the developing world and one of the leading causes of maternal death is unsafe abortion. The World Health Organisation estimates that nearly 70,000 women die each year following unsafe abortion and we are committed to bringing this number down, including in situations of armed conflict.

Embryology

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has advised that no meeting of its Research Licence Committee was held on 14 September 2006.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool



12 Nov 2010 : Column WA142

Earl Howe: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that the web page cited does no more than provide information about the numbers of new sperm and egg donors registered in each year from 1992 to 2008.

Issues related to gamete donation will be discussed in a HFEA public consultation to be published in the new year. That consultation will include issues that may have an impact on the availability of donor-assisted conception treatment. The HFEA expects to reach a decision on the content of that consultation at its meeting in December.

On the question of why more women than men have donated gametes since 1997, the HFEA has advised that it has nothing further to add to my written reply of 13 October 2010 (Official Report, col. WA 73).

The Government have no view as to how a growing demand for eggs might relate to the demands of human cloning research. The nature of legislation in Spain or Australia on this issue is entirely a matter for those respective Governments.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Earl Howe: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has advised that the licence holder for research project R0179 at the Centre for Stem Cell Biology and Developmental Genetics at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (centre 0296) notified the authority on 11 August 2010 that no research was being undertaken pursuant to that licence. The licence was revoked by a licence committee that met on 15 September 2010. The reason given by the person responsible for the ending of the project was that the project could not continue due to lack of funding.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Earl Howe: There are no legal requirements preventing hospitals from informing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) clinics if any patient treated by that clinic has also been treated at the hospital for symptoms of severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), unless the patient has refused her consent to the information being given to the IVF clinic. There are no legal requirements for patients themselves to inform the clinic that carried out their IVF treatment whether they have been treated by another healthcare provider for symptoms of OHSS.

The National Patient Safety Agency operates a national reporting and learning service, which encourages and facilitates reporting of patient safety incidents.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Earl Howe: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has advised that its internal governance review report is expected to be available in the new year.



12 Nov 2010 : Column WA144

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Earl Howe: There are no legal requirements for the monitoring of the long-term health of children described as "saviour siblings"-that is, those children born from embryos selected following pre-implantation tissue typing in order to help an older sibling with a serious medical condition. However, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's (HFEA) code of practice requires clinics offering pre-implantation tissue typing to have arrangements in place for inviting patients and their families to take part in long-term follow-up studies

The HFEA has advised that it does not hold follow-up information on these children.

Gaza

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

Baroness Verma: We believe that the most effective way of bringing construction materials into Gaza in the quantities required, without benefiting Hamas or disregarding Israel's legitimate security concerns, is via the land crossings between Israel and Gaza. To that end, we will continue to press Israel to implement in full the measures announced in June to relax movement and access restrictions on Gaza and to ensure that the full entry of materials for UN reconstruction projects is approved expeditiously.

Health: Ophthalmology

Question

Asked by Lord Wills

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The department has proposed an extended list of "never events" and is currently undertaking an open engagement exercise to seek comments on the proposals and to consider suggestions for additional events to include in this list.



12 Nov 2010 : Column WA145

A copy of the proposals has been placed in the Library and is available at www.dh.gov.uk/en/publicationsandstatistics/publications/publicationspolicyandguidance/dh_120247.

The engagement process will run until 19 November 2010, following which the Government will consider all suggestions for amendments and additions to the "never event" list. We will publish an expanded list of "never events" in due course.

Health: Tuberculosis

Question

Asked by Baroness Masham of Ilton

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The National Health Service in London is working with the department to consider the future provision of tuberculosis services for homeless and other hard-to-reach groups, taking into account the current evaluation of the find and treat service by the Health Protection Agency.

Human Rights

Questions

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): As I indicated in my Written Answer of 14 June (col. WA 72), the Government have no plans to propose amendments to the rights protected by the European Convention on Human Rights. The Government similarly have no plans to propose amendments to the rights protected by other principal human rights treaties.

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord McNally: Three United Kingdom statutory bodies are accredited as national human rights institutions: the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Scottish Human Rights Commission. They have all attended meetings of the International Co-ordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions in the past five years.



12 Nov 2010 : Column WA146

Indonesia

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

Baroness Verma: The Government of Indonesia have confirmed that they have the capacity to deal with the effects of the earthquake and tsunami that struck west Sumatra on 25 October 2010. They have not requested assistance for relief efforts from the international community. We are monitoring developments closely and are in contact with the Government of Indonesia. We stand ready to assist if necessary.

Medical Students: Non-EU Nationals

Questions

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The number of the 2,812 medical practitioners admitted to the United Kingdom from non-European Economic Area countries in 2009 who have become general practitioners is not available centrally. The latest data available from the Higher Education Funding Council for England show that in the 2008-09 academic year there were 5,684 medical graduates in England.

Asked by Lord Laird

Earl Howe: The Home Office records details on the certificate of sponsorships issued. The requested data on speciality and geographic areas recorded of the 2,812 medical practitioners admitted to the United Kingdom have been placed in the Library. Data cannot be broken down by sponsor, as this would contravene data protection.

Overseas Aid

Question

Asked by Lord Pearson of Rannoch



12 Nov 2010 : Column WA147

Baroness Verma: In 2009, total UK official development assistance (ODA) was £7,356 million, of which £4,902 million (67 per cent) was paid directly by the UK and £2,454 million (33 per cent) was paid through multilateral channels. Of the multilateral ODA, £1,244 million was attributable to expenditure through the EU, which is equivalent to 17 per cent of overall ODA.

Pensions

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): It is a matter for Lord Hutton of Furness to decide what evidence he considers is appropriate to inform his review of public service pensions.

South East: Urban Growth

Question

Asked by Lord Rooker

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): The delivery of locally planned housing growth is a matter for local authorities. We will, however, continue

12 Nov 2010 : Column WA148

to support areas that continue to pursue locally determined levels of growth through, for example, the new homes bonus and a range of other incentives and policies as set out in the Local Growth White Paper.

Sport: Gambling

Question

Asked by Lord Pendry

Baroness Garden of Frognal: A consultation on the regulatory future of remote gambling in Great Britain closed on 18 June 2010. Since then, Ministers at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have been examining the issues and identifying possible solutions. They hope to be able to make an announcement in due course.

St Helena: Airport

Question

Asked by Lord Ashcroft

Baroness Verma: In his Written Statement to the House on 22 July 2010, the Secretary of State for International Development set out four conditions for the approval of the airport on St Helena. Good progress is being made in addressing these conditions. My right honourable friend will make a further announcement once we are satisfied that the conditions can be met.


Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page