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4 Mar 2003 : Column 993W—continued

Primary Care Trusts

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the income per capita of the population is for primary care trusts in (a) Wiltshire, (b) Hampshire and (c) Berkshire. [97801]

Ms Blears: The funding per weighted head of population of primary care trusts (PCTs) is shown in the table, is calculated using the cash funding made by the Department of Health, and health authorities to those PCTs. PCTs also receive small quantities of miscellaneous income for fees and charges and this has not been included in the table.

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From April 2003, PCTs will be funded directly by the Department of Health.

Health authority areaFunding per head (£)
South Wiltshire977.01
West Wiltshire837.39
East Hampshire754.66
Mid Hampshire859.55
New Forest766.20
North Hampshire860.08
Portsmouth City632.39
Isle of Wight704.03
Newbury and Community694.65
Wokingham 756.00


Populations derived from weighted capitation formula used for 2003–04 to2005–06 PCT revenue allocations, ie GP lists reconciled to mid 2001 Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates and weighted for age, need and cost.


Primary Care Trusts audited summarisation schedules 2001–02.

Public Health Laboratories

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the additional resources to be provided when NHS trusts receive laboratories from the public health laboratory service will match the additional costs, including those services provided previously through the PHLS network and central facilities. [95868]

Ms Blears: Resources are being transferred from the Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) to national health service trusts commensurate with the additional costs for providing the services they will be responsible for with effect from 1 April. This includes the direct costs of the laboratories and an appropriate apportionment of PHLS' centrally financed overhead.

Queen Alexandra Hospital

Mr. Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the approved affordability is of the private finance initiative at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham; [98628]

Ms Blears: I am advised that the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Strategic Health Authority and stakeholder primary care trusts reviewed the affordability in 2002.

The estimated capital cost of the scheme was confirmed as £173 million. The revenue consequences of the development of the Queen Alexandra Hospital site amounted to £44 million per annum.

Approval to the original proposed scheme was re-confirmed.

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Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the recent research published by the European Commission on Radiation Risk and the implications for human health. [100400]

Ms Blears: The European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR) maintains that the scientific evidence for the harmful effects of ionising radiation accumulated by the international scientific community over several decades is flawed and risks are being under-estimated significantly. This hypothesis, originally proposed by Dr. Chris Busby, founder of the special interest group "Green Audit", is currently being considered in detail by the Committee Examining Radiation Risks from Internal Emitters (CERRIE). This Committee was set up by the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) and their conclusions will be published in due course. Dr. Busby is a member of CERRIE.

ECRR is not a formal scientific advisory committee to the European Commission or to the European Parliament. Its report 1 is published by the Green Audit. Dr. Busby is the secretary of ECRR.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the health implications arising from the operation of the nuclear industry. [100402]

Ms Blears: The independent Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) was set up in 1985 to advise Government on such matters. COMARE has carried out a series of investigations into alleged increases of cancer around several nuclear installations in Great Britain and has published seven reports and a variety of statements.

It is currently awaiting the results of a national study of childhood cancer in Great Britain, including all cases from the 1960s onwards. This study will include data on over 33,000 cases of childhood cancer and will address the question of whether there is a real association between British nuclear installations and the incidence of those cancer cases. This will be the subject of a major COMARE report, which it hopes to complete this year. The Department of Health and the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs has also asked COMARE to review the latest data on the risks from internal radiation emitters and advise on any further research that may be required. To help them to do this they have set up the Committee Examining Radiation Risks from Internal Emitters (CERRIE). This group is also hoping to report in 2003. Furthermore, Government have asked the small area statistics unit to draw up a protocol for a study of the incidence of adult cancers in the areas around British nuclear installations.

Since 1986, the Department of Health and its predecessor, the Department of Health and Social Security, has administered the Radiological Protection Research Programme. The objective of this programme is to identify the research which is needed to inform policy development in the area of low level radiation

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exposure (both ionising and non-ionising), its effects, and the need to quantify the risk to public health and to implement appropriate preventative measures. The programme has funded many individual research projects designed to examine these aspects of radiation exposure.


Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department plans to give to its employees on actions to take on No Smoking Day. [98840]

Ms Blears: The Department sees No Smoking Day as an important opportunity to actively encourage those employees who smoke to quit. In the run-up to 12 March, the staff magazine Link is carrying an article on smoking which includes information about support available to smokers. The article publicises the national health service smoking helpline (0800 169 0169) and the core care welfare service (0800 652 3304) which are both available to employees who want to give up smoking. In addition, No Smoking Day posters and displays will be placed in the Department.

The Department already gives employees who wish to attend cessation groups reasonable time off to do so and reimburses the prescription cost of one week's supply of nicotine replacement therapy. In addition, the Department is piloting an on-site smoking cessation group for London-based staff. This has been scheduled to follow No Smoking Day, in the hope that it will attract employees who have set a quit date. The group will run from every Thursday from 20 March from 4.00–5.00 pm for seven weeks in the same format as NHS groups. Subject to the success of this pilot, this may be extended to other areas of the Department.

Social Care Grants

Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the grants funded by his Department for social care for which individuals may apply; how much funding was made in the last financial year; how many awards were made; and what their administrative costs were. [99949]

Jacqui Smith: There are no grants funded by the Department for social care for which individuals may apply.


Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when (a) he, (b) the head of the tuberculosis unit of the Public Health Laboratory Service and (c) senior officials from his Department last met NHS trust executives of areas with recorded rates of tuberculosis higher than the national average. [100507]

Ms Blears: Departmental officials met with national key stakeholders, including the Public Health Laboratory Service, on 30 September in London and 25 October in Leeds to review the strategic national plan to deal with tuberculosis in all areas.

Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements are made to inoculate NHS staff against TB. [98627]

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Ms Blears: Guidance entitled "Recommendations for the Prevention and Control of Tuberculosis at Local Level June 1996" documents the occupational health policy for national health service staff and tuberculosis:

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