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Obesity

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Following publication of the Government's Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food, the Department of Health is leading on developing a cross-government food and health action plan. It will pull together all of the issues on diet and nutrition—of direct relevance to the prevention and management of obesity.

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The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has already issued national guidance on the anti-obesity drugs orlistat and sibutramine, treatment with which should be accompanied by appropriate advice on diet, activity and behavioural strategies. NICE has also recently issued guidance on surgery to aid weight reduction for people with morbid obesity.

The Department of Health has also published a National Quality Assurance Framework for exercise referral systems, offering guidance to primary care and fitness professionals who work together to offer tailored exercise and physical activity programmes to patients.

The Department of Health has supported the development of a recently published guidance for professionals in primary care on weight management in children and adolescents, produced by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and National Obesity Forum. We are also funding research on family-based treatment for obese children, which will include resources for health professionals.

Other wider initiatives include the evidence-based five-a-day handbook to support staff in primary care trusts and other organisations to establish community-wide initiatives to increase fruit and vegetable consumption. The Health Development Agency is also providing a report setting out the evidence base for the prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity and the maintenance of weight loss.

NHS: Clinical Negligence Expenditure

Viscount Goschen asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What has been the annual cost to the National Health Service of insuring against personal injury claims over the past five years.[HL1421]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The National Audit Office summarised accounts for all clinical negligence expenditure over the last five years, which includes personal injury costs, are as follows:

YearIn Year Expenditure
1996–97£235 million
1997–98£144 million
1998–99£221 million
1999–2000£373 million
2000–01£415 million

Culture Media Production

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How they plan to stabilise culture media production in the Public Health Laboratory Service after the creation of the health protection agency. [HL1423]

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Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: We intend that the Public Health Laboratory Service will continue to be responsible for culture media production and supply after the health protection agency is created.

The arrangements for this function, which are still under discussion, will ensure a continued supply of culture media so as to support the continued United Kingdom Accreditation Service accreditation status of the current PHLS laboratories which it supplies.

Community Care (Delayed Discharges etc.) Bill: Regulatory Impact Assessment

Baroness Noakes asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In the light of the statement in paragraph 58 of the explanatory notes to the Community Care (Delayed Discharges etc.) Bill where on the Department of Health's website may the regulatory impact assessment for the Bill be found; and [HL1441]

    Whether they will place a copy of the regulatory impact assessment for the Community Care (Delayed Discharges etc.) Bill in the Library of the House. [HL1442]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The regulatory impact assessment for the Community Care (Delayed Discharges etc) Bill can now be found on the delayed discharge page of the departmental website. It was previously located in the section for past consultations as an attachment to the consultation on the Bill. A copy of this document has also been placed in the Library.

NHS Trusts: Annual Accounts

Baroness Noakes asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 27 January (WA 133), whether the Department of Health holds copies of the annual audited accounts of National Health Service trusts for 2001–02 and (a) if so, why they will not place copies in the Library of the House; or (b) if not, how the Department of Health prepares summarised accounts of the National Health Service in accordance with Section 98 of the National Health Service Act 1977. [HL1443]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Department of Health does not routinely hold printed or electronic copies of audited annual accounts of National Health Service trusts.

The department receives electronic submissions of audited summarisation schedules from all trusts, which are loaded in a database and used to prepare the summarised accounts.

Annual accounts can be obtained directly from trusts, and, as it would entail the production of approximately 14,000 pages, it is not intended to place copies in the Library.

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National Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, as part of the proposed national alcohol harm reduction strategy, they will take steps to reduce the amount of alcohol consumed at social events hosted by public-sector organisations.[HL1478]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath The Government are committed to implementing the national alcohol harm reduction strategy by 2004. The strategy will be prepared by the Strategy Unit in the Cabinet Office, which will consider a wide range of of issues, including the impact of alcohol misuse in a range of differing workplace environments. The strategy will be published in summer 2003.

Irish and Ulster-Scots Interests

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal on 7 January (WA 171) concerning the Linguistic Diversity Branch of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL), on what projects or conferences DCAL has co-operated with the University of Ulster which would increase awareness of Ulster-Scots heritage and language.[HL1161]

The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Williams of Mostyn): I refer the noble Lord to the Answer I gave to Question HL1120 on 6 February 2003. (WA 43).

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal on 7 January (WA171) concerning the Linguistic Diversity Branch of the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure (DCAL), on what projects or conferences DCAL has co-operated with Queen's University, Belfast, which would increase awareness of the Irish language.[HL1162]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: I refer the noble Lord to my Answer I gave to Question HL1121 on 6 February 2003. (WA 43).

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal on 7 January 2003 (WA 171), upon which projects or conferences the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure has co-operated with the Placenames Project of Northern Ireland which would increase awareness of Ulster-Scots heritage and language.[HL1182]

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal on 7 January 2003 (WA171), on what projects or conferences the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure has co-operated with the Placenames Project of Northern Ireland which would increase awareness of the Irish language.[HL1241]

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Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Northern Ireland Place-Names Project Advisory Board/Steering Committee holds three meetings each year. Representatives from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) attended the meetings held on 4 April 2001, 24 September 2001, 27 March 2002 and, most recently, 14 October 2002.

In January 2002 the Celebrating Ulster's Townland's exhibition was on display in DCAL's reception. The exhibition was put together by the Northern Ireland Place-names Project.

The meetings and the exhibition have provided the opportunity to promote awareness of Irish and Ulster-Scots interests in relation to placenames and signage issues.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When the Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure was notified about the proposed appointments of four-and-a-half staff for the Ulster Scots Agency; and whether there has been any delay to these appointments.[HL1183]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: I refer the noble Lord to my previous Answers on 20 January 2003 (WA 81) and 11 December 2002 (WA 37).

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal on 7 January (WA 171), on what projects or conferences the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure has co-operated with the European Centre for Minority Issues which would increase awareness of Ulster-Scots heritage and language.[HL1240]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: I refer the noble Lord to the Answer given to Question HL 1119 on 6 February 2003 (WA 43).


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