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Illicit Trade: Advisory Panel Report

Baroness Gibson of Market Rasen asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Advisory Panel's report will be published on Monday 18 December, when copies will be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses.

Fisheries Control and Enforcement: International Co-operation

Lord Tomlinson asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman): There is extensive co-operation between enforcement authorities in the UK and those of other member states and third countries. Such co-operation is important to ensure the effective application of measures designed to conserve fish stocks. Examples of co-operation involving enforcement authorities in the UK over the last 12 months include:

    bilateral meetings with Irish and Norwegian authorities;

    joint enforcement operations with the Netherlands in the North Sea;

    participation of inspectors from other member states and Norway in UK enforcement training courses;

    participation in the International Conference on Monitoring, Control and Surveillance organised by the European Commission in Brussels;

    enforcement operations in waters covered by the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission;

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    the development of an operational protocol on satellite monitoring with France, Spain, Belgium and Ireland. Similar operational protocols are also being developed with other countries.

NHS: Delayed Discharge of Elderly Patients

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 21 November (H.L. Deb., col. 655), what is their estimate of the cost to the National Health Service of the delay in the discharge from National Health Service hospitals of patients over 75 who no longer need hospital care but who are unable to transfer to other more appropriate care.[HL25]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Patients who have their discharge from an acute hospital bed delayed may be awaiting transfer to other National Health Service care (such as intermediate care), transfer to a nursing or residential care home or for a package of care and support to allow them to return to their own home. In these circumstances it would be very difficult to quantify the precise costs to the NHS of all delayed discharges.

Patient Treatment: Withdrawal for Research Purposes

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the withdrawal of a treatment regime from patients in order to study the effect of that withdrawal is in accordance with ethical guidelines.[HL27]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The ethical acceptability of any research proposal involving patients should first be reviewed and approved by a research ethics committee before the study is undertaken. If the proposal is not approved by the research ethics committee, the study must not be carried out.

Lifespan NHS Trust: Discharge of Chiropody Patients

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the discharge of patients of the Lifespan National Health Service Trust on the ground of Xlow chiropodial need" was in accordance with ethical guidelines, taking into account that these patients were later readmitted following deterioration of their conditions.[HL28]

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Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Lifespan Healthcare NHS Trust reviewed 11,000 chiropody patients in 1997 and identified 5,600 patients as being in a low risk category.

These patients were subsequently discharged back to the care of their general practitioner after being

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given advice on how to return to the podiatry services if their condition should deteriorate. Of these, 620 patients have been readmitted following deterioration in their condition.

Future practice will be influenced by the findings from a current research project into tracking patients discharged from the chiropody and podiatry services.

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