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Mr. Hoon: I certainly share my hon. Friend's concern about the impact of such an announcement on the individuals who stand to lose their jobs and on the families affected. Let me emphasise that the Government, through the Department of Trade and Industry and other Departments, have a range of measures available for retraining and re-employment. I agree, however, that such multinational companies have a responsibility to assist their former employees in finding new jobs.
Michael Gove (Surrey Heath) (Con): Will the Leader of the House be kind enough to make space in Government time for a debate on centralisation in the national health service? Many of my constituents are deeply concerned that a centre of excellence in my constituencythe upper gastro-intestinal cancer unit in Frimley Park hospitalmay close in order to be merged with the cancer services at the Royal Surrey hospital in Guildford. As a result, we may lose consultants, the goodwill of patients, personalised health care and a tradition of excellence. Is not it a great pity that when we get welcome extra resources into the national health service we find that, as a consequence of a failure adequately to reform, we lose consultants instead of bureaucrats and busy-bodies in the Department of Health?
Mr. Hoon: Notwithstanding the hon. Gentleman's observations, I can assure him that dedicated civil servants are working in the Department of Health trying to ensure precisely that facilities such as those that he so well describes continue to be available not only to his constituents but to all our constituents across the country. There has always been a necessary tension between providing that range of facilities locally, at a distance that our constituents can readily take advantage of, as against concentrating specialist services so that the highest standards of medical practice can be followed. It is an extremely difficult dilemma. Nevertheless, I believe that the concentration of specialist facilities providing those very high standards, with the latest research and technology, means that our constituents can enjoy the best services.
Martin Linton (Battersea) (Lab):
May we have a debate before the recess on antisocial behaviour, because this is the time of year when the problems of gangs of young people abusing and intimidating residents can get worse? A debate would give us the
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chance not only to praise the work of the four save the neighbourhood teams that are already doing an excellent job in my constituency but to hear when the Home Office will be able to fulfil its promise of a neighbourhood policing team in every community. In areas in my constituency, notably East hill, Balham and Northcote, a more visible policing presence is still urgently needed.
Mr. Hoon: My hon. Friend is right to raise an issue that, if my constituency mailbag and surgeries are anything to go by, is raised with all Members of this House on an all too regular basis. The Government have recognised the problem of antisocial behaviour and continue to put extra resources into policing and the provision of community support officers and neighbourhood wardens, all of whom are dedicated to dealing with the problem. However, I anticipate that more action will have to be taken, because the problem is not going away. In due course, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Skills will make proposals as to how we can provide extra services to support young people. That is the heart of the problem and a matter that we need to address urgently.
David T.C. Davies (Monmouth) (Con): The Leader of the House may be aware that the Department of Health is in possession of a report into allegations that the British Pregnancy Advisory Service helped to facilitate illegal abortions in Spain. Will he ask the Secretary of State for Health to come to this House to make a statement on why she refuses to release that report, despite a request under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and why she refuses to accept any further written questions about when she will release the report or even read it?
Mr. Hoon: I was not aware of the report. I am sure that my right hon. Friend will give careful consideration to any recommendations in, or implications of, the report and will inform the hon. Gentleman as and when appropriate.
Mr. Rob Wilson (Reading, East) (Con): Will the Leader of the House arrange for the Secretary of State for Health to come to the House and talk to us about the dangerous lack of allergy consultants in the United Kingdom? In my constituency, several children cannot even see a consultant. The best parents can be offered is paying £150 to a GP specialist. That is not good enough. The report of the Select Committee on Health stated that there should be 40 more allergy consultants in the UK as soon as possible.
I am sure that hon. Members would not want the time that they suggest that my right hon. Friend should spend at the Dispatch Box answering their questions on those important issues to detract from her huge responsibilities to continue to improve the national health service. I remind the hon. Gentleman that, every four weeks, there are questions to health Ministers. There are a good number of health Ministers and I am sure that they would be delighted to deal with such important questions on those occasions.
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Secretary Tessa Jowell, supported by the Prime Minister, Mr. Secretary Prescott, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Secretary Straw, Mr. Secretary Darling, Mr. Secretary Clarke, Mr. Secretary Hain, Secretary Alan Johnson and Mr. Richard Caborn, presented a Bill to make provision in connection with the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games that are to take place in London in the year 2012; to amend the Olympic Symbol etc. (Protection) Act 1995; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time on Monday 18 July, and to be printed. Explanatory notes to be printed [Bill 45].
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