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Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Acrylamide has been found to occur in a wide range of home-cooked and processed foods, including chips and crisps. It has not been found in uncooked or boiled foods, and appears to be formed during cooking by methods such as frying and baking.
The Food Standards Agency is commissioning research and surveillance to ascertain the reason for, and extent of, acrylamide formation, but in the meantime has advised that on the basis of current evidence people should eat a balanced diet, including a variety of fruit and vegetables, and that as part of a balanced diet people should moderate their consumption of fried and fatty foods.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Five care trusts have so far been established, four in April 2002 and one on 1 October 2002. These were in April 2002, Bradford District Care Trust, Camden and Islington Mental Health and Social Care Trust, Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust, and Northumberland Care Trust; and in October 2002, Witham, Braintree and Halstead Care Trust.
Two further sites are planning to establish care trusts in April 2003 and one in October 2003. These are based in Sheffield, Sandwell and Bexley respectively. A further 13 sites have notified the department of their interest in setting up care trusts beyond 2003.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Figures for general and acute in-patient activity in National Health Service trusts in England will be available from Hospital Episodes Statistics 200102. These will be published shortly and made available on the department's website.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Regulation 5 of the Care Homes Regulations 2001 requires all care home providers to produce a service user's guide, within which there should be a standard form of contract for the provision of services and facilities by the registered provider to service users.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: This information is not available centrally. At 31 March 2001, 84 per cent of residential care home places for people aged 65 and over were in independent care homes in England.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Institute of Hearing Research is undertaking a research project on behalf of the Department of Health which we expect to report in early 2003. Once this report has been made available we will consider whether it is appropriate for the National Institute for Clinical Excellence to undertake any further work on this topic.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The process of modernisation has begun in all sites chosen for the second phase of the project. Site visits have been completed, equipment needs and additional funding determined and agreed. In addition, the vast majority have now received their equipment. Four of the second wave sites are now regularly prescribing digital hearing aids, and that number will be inceasing on a monthly basis. The Royal National Institute of Deaf People is co-ordinating the project on our behalf and expects the majority of the sites to be prescribing digital aids by the end of January 2003.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Training has been incorporated as an integral part of the process of modernising hearing aid services. Staff at each site will be trained to use the information technology and audiological equipment when they join the project. In addition, some National Health Service trusts have already provided training for their own staff and are already able to access the digital hearing aids contract without being part of the project.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The staffing and training requirements of a modernised hearing aid service providing digital hearing aids is being analysed as part of the Modernising Hearing Aid Services Project. The analysis of the project will be completed early in the new year. Provision for additional staff and training has been made in the funding allocations to each of the sites participating in the Modernising Hearing Aid Services Project. In addition, the Department of Health is carrying forward work on skill mix, recruitment and retention of staff in audiology departments.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The small pilot project involving high street retailers in the supply of National Health Service digital hearing aids in Shrewsbury and Leeds is not yet completed. However, preliminary results suggest that it can be worth while involving the private sector in the provision of NHS hearing aids.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The amount recharged by the National Health Service Pensions Agency to employers in England and Wales in respect of early retirements for the financial year 200102 was £1.56 million. Data for financial year 200203 are not yet available.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The number of finished consultant episodes (FCEs) with an operation and a primary diagnosis of osteoporosis (defined by ICD10 codes M80-M82) in National Health Service trusts in England was 1,579 in the quarter to 30 June 2001 and 1,687 in the quarter to 30 September 2001.
An FCE is defined as a period of patient care under one consultant in one healthcare provider. The figures do not represent the number of patients, as one person may have several episodes within the year.
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