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Smallpox Vaccine

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he was informed, at the time of signing the contract with Powderject, that (a) the manufacturing would be sub-contracted to a further company and (b) it would be undertaken outside the UK. [54659]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 8 May 2002]: Yes. The Department knew in advance of awarding the contract that PowderJect would not be the direct manufacturer and that the vaccine would be manufactured in Germany by PowderJect's partner company, Bavarian Nordic.

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Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons the Powderject contract for smallpox vaccines was handled as a matter of national security; and if he will make a statement. [54655]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 8 May 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for North Durham (Mr. Jones) on 15 May 2002, Official Report, column 727.

Public Appointments

Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action is being taken to encourage disabled people to stand for public appointments. [56147]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 13 May 2002]: The Government are committed to encouraging people from all sections of society to participate in public life, particularly those from under-represented groups. Specific goals and objectives to increase the number of disabled candidates appointed to public bodies which come under the auspices of the Department were included in 'Public Bodies: Opening up Public Appointments 2002–2005' a copy of which is in the Library.

Mental Health (Young People)

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he last met the Secretary of State for the Home Department to discuss child and adolescent mental health services for young offenders; and if he will make a statement on future mental health provision for young offenders. [56322]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 14 May 2002]: Ministers last met to discuss child and adolescent mental health services at a bi-lateral ministerial meeting on 6 February. The main focus of provision is the ongoing programme to improve the availability and quality of child and adolescent mental health services in accordance with the national development strategy, backed by £85 million of targeted funding, 1999- 2002. The aim is for all local services to be able to respond appropriately to the range of mental health demands from young people, including those arising within the youth justice system, for example through the work of youth offending teams. Good progress is also being made to provide (by means of conversion of an existing facility) a new 24-bedded unit for young people with severe mental health problems requiring treatment in conditions of security. This is part of new arrangements for the national commissioning of adolescent forensic mental health services, including also central revenue support for the two existing national health service units and the assessment of further requirements for secure places. Mental health provision for young offenders will also be considered under the relevant strand of the planned children's national service framework on which work has recently started.

Folic Acid

Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the Food Standards Agency will report its findings on the results of mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid. [57822]

Ms Blears [holding answer 21 May 2002]: The Food Standards Agency Board considered the issue of folic acid and the prevention of disease at their open meeting on

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9 May 2002. A note of the discussion has been placed on the agency website at www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/ pdfs/paperfsa020601.pdf.

The agency will shortly write to UK health ministers with advice arising from the discussion.

Psychiatric Care

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to encourage people to train in psychiatric care. [59573]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 24 May 2002]: The mental health care group work force team has set up a sub-group on recruitment and retention. The purpose of the sub-group is to encourage more people to work in mental health.

We also encourage medical staff to develop more rounded experience, and include an element of psychiatry in their training. Psychiatry is already a core part of the training of trainee doctors. The requirements for the new social work qualification, being introduced in 2003, requires students to undertake specific learning and assessment in a number of key areas including mental health.

Ashford and St. Peter's Hospitals NHS Trust

Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much extra funding will be made available to the Ashford and St. Peter's Hospitals NHS Trust to enable it to implement its franchise plan; [66491]

Ms Blears [holding answer 2 July 2002]: The franchise plan for Ashford and St. Peter's Hospitals National Health Service Trust does not make any commitment to extra staff and beds. The plan makes proposals for improving recruitment at the trust to ensure existing vacancies are filled. It also states that a review of the provision of services between the two sites will take place to ensure resources are used effectively.

No additional funding will be provided centrally to the trust to implement the plan.

Ashford (Middlesex) Hospital

Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when Ashford (Middlesex) Hospital accident and emergency department was downgraded to an emergency department. [66489]

Ms Blears [holding answer 2 July 2002]: The merger of Ashford and St. Peter's hospitals in 1998 to create the Ashford and St. Peter's hospitals national health service trust provided an opportunity to review clinical service provision between the two hospitals. This was necessary to ensure the safe delivery of services in the light of internal and external priorities, such as junior doctors' hours, increasing sub-specialisation and clinical governance. For this reason the decision was taken, after public consultation, to treat all surgical and trauma emergencies at St. Peter's hospital and maintain an emergency unit at Ashford hospital. This came into effect on 2 October 2000.

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Teenage Pregnancy

Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the teenage pregnancy rate in Burnley was at the latest date for which figures are available. [65545]

Ruth Kelly: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

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Letter from John Pullinger to Mr. Pike, dated 3 July 2002: