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25 Feb 2003 : Column 502W—continued

Acute Trusts

Mr. Lyons: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people from outside the UK were treated in acute trusts in 2001–02. [97985]

Mr. Hutton: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Food Advertising

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on the advertising of fatty and other foods carrying health risks to the under-fives. [96829]

Ms Blears: The Food Standards Agency has met with consumers, enforcement authorities and industry to discuss the development of best practice guidance on the promotion, including advertising, of foods to children. It has also commissioned a review of research into the effects of promotional activity on children's eating behaviour, and will decide how best to take this matter forward when the results are available.

Current Government action to tackle children's diets and ensure that they have the opportunity to develop healthy lifestyles includes the National School Fruit Scheme, which will provide all four to six-year-olds with a free piece of fruit each school day. There is also considerable work in schools to help children develop healthy lifestyles.

Agenda for Change

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the new NHS foundation trusts will set their pay within the limits spelt out in Agenda for Change. [97304]

Ms Blears [Holding answer 13 February 2003]: The Government will ensure National Health Service foundation trusts are implementing Agenda for Change, if agreed, on establishment. Once established, they will be able to continue to benefit from wider agreements but will also have the additional flexibility and freedom to ensure the necessary mix of skills to provide the best standards of care to patients.

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Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the use of arnica as a natural herbal remedy. [97517]

Ms Blears: There is a wide variety of remedies containing arnica which have either a marketing authorisation, or a homoeopathic registration or a product licence of right in the United Kingdom. In addition, remedies containing arnica may be sold as unlicensed herbal remedies under section 12 of the Medicines Act 1968. The products with a marketing authorisation are indicated for external use for the relief of bruising, muscle pain, muscle stiffness and sprains. Where the homoeopathic products have an indication this is generally for bruising and trauma.

Barnet Hospital

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps are being taken to reduce (a) waiting times and (b) cancelled operations for elective surgery at Barnet Hospital; and if he will make a statement. [98935]

Mr. Hutton: The National Health Service is working to reduce waiting times so that by the end of March 2003, the maximum waiting time for an inpatient appointment will be cut to 12 months.

Barnet and Chase Farm Hospital NHS Trust is working with the Modernisation Agency to reduce cancelled operations by improving theatre utilisation, planning and scheduling.

Behavioural Difficulties

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of children with educational and behavioural difficulties in (a) Haltemprice and Howden and (b) England. [93842]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested is currently not collected centrally.

There is currently no requirement for schools to submit information in the Annual Schools' Census on the nature of such pupils' disability or learning difficulty. However, in June 2001, the Department carried out pilot study involving a sample of 200 mainstream and special schools to assess whether it would be possible to collect data from schools on a broad range of types of Special Educational Needs (SEN). From January 2004 the Department is planning to ask schools and local education authorities to provide this information.

The available information on the total number of pupils with SEN in Haltemprice and Howden parliamentary constituency and in England is shown in the table.

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Maintained schools: Number of pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN)—as at January 2002

EnglandHaltemprice and Howden(46)
Pupils with statements of SEN
SEN pupils without statement

(46) Parliamentary constituency.

(47) Maintained special schools. Excludes dually registered pupils.

(48) Excludes General Hospital Schools. Data for pupils with SEN without statement are not collected from these schools.


Annual Schools' Census

Beta Interferon

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress is being made on increasing the availability of beta interferon for MS sufferers in York and North Yorkshire. [95200]

Jacqui Smith: The York multiple sclerosis service has begun implementing the beta interferon risk sharing scheme within the existing neurology facilities. To date four patients have been assessed and three have been accepted onto the scheme.

Plans are also in place for the recruitment of an additional consultant neurologist for this service which will enable the York service to be able to fully implement the scheme.

Blood Donations

Mr. Havard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when his Department will announce the results of its inquiry into whether recipients of blood are to be prevented from donating blood tissue or organs for transplant. [95571]

Ms Blears: The Government's Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Blood and Tissues (MSBT) has considered whether all blood transfusion recipients should be excluded from donating blood and has advised that this policy would have a damaging impact on blood supplies. There are therefore no plans to introduce this measure although we will continue to keep it under review. MSBT is continuing to consider possible further measures to reduce the theoretical risk of vCJD through blood transfusion.

In October 2001, the CJD Incidents Panel recommended in its consultation paper "Management of possible exposure to CJD through medical procedures" ( that people who received blood from donors with vCJD should be informed of their potential exposure and advised not to give blood or donate organs and tissues and that special precautions might be needed if they

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require surgery. The panel recommended that no one should be given this information until proper counselling and back-up facilities were made available.

A decision on whether to implement the Incidents Panel's recommendations has not been made. The issue is currently with the four United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers to agree a common approach.

Cancelled Operations

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many operations were cancelled less than two days before the due date, broken down by strategic health authority, in each of the last 12 months; [97828]

Mr. Hutton: Quarterly data are collected on the number of operations cancelled by the hospital for non-clinical reasons at the last minute (i.e. on the day patients are due to arrive or after arrival in hospital or on the day of their operation) and on the day of surgery. These data are available at strategic health authority level in the Library and on the Department's website at requests.htm. Data from strategic health authorities were first collected from Quarter 1 of 2002–03.


Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure that teenagers diagnosed with cancer gain appropriate access to medical treatment and care; and if he will make a statement on the number of hospitals which provide dedicated care facilities for teenagers suffering from cancer. [96943]

Ms Blears: We are taking action to meet the specific needs of teenagers with cancer. We are providing funding through the national cancer research network to enable more teenage cancer patients to enter trials of the latest treatments. In addition we are looking at how teenagers can participate in the design of health services centred around their particular needs. This is being addressed through the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health. The contribution of patients will also be reflected in the forthcoming national service framework for children, young people and maternity services which will drive up standards of care in all health and social care settings for all children and young people. We hope to publish the first module on hospital services shortly. The national service framework will also inform guidance the National Institute for Clinical Excellence is developing on children's and adolescent cancers.

We do not hold details of all services centrally but are aware of at least eight units dedicated to teenage cancer patients in the national health service.

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which hospitals have wards specialising exclusively in cancer in teenagers. [97804]

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Ms Blears: We do not hold details of all services centrally but we are aware of eight units dedicated to teenage cancer patients in the following National Health Service trusts:

Middlesex Hospital, University College Hospitals NHS Trust, London;

University College Hospital, University College Hospitals NHS Trust, London;

Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust;

Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Manchester;

Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust;

St James's University Hospital. Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust;

Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust;

Alder Hey Hospital, Royal Liverpool Children's NHS Trust.

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