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Lord Dixon-Smith had given notice of his intention to move, as an amendment to Amendment No. 22, Amendment No. 23:

""(1B) Where a waste collection authority which is not a waste disposal authority fails to discharge its duty under subsection (4A) of section 51 of this Act, and as a result the waste disposal authority receives a penalty, the Minister shall have a duty to transfer the penalty to the waste collection authority.""

The noble Lord said: My Lords, Amendment No. 23 was tabled to fulfil a lack which was pointed out to me at an earlier stage in the Bill when I was trying to deal with the problems of reducing transport. I was properly checked by the noble Lord, Lord Livsey, and the Minister because that amendment contained no means of enforcement.

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The Minister's amendments are very welcome and of course, if everybody plays the game straight, there will be no problem. However, if somebody slips, there is no mechanism for enforcement. If the allocating authority were minded to impose a penalty, it could do so only on the disposal authority, not on the collection authority that had caused the problem.

I am grateful to the Minister for raising this matter. If the allocating authority were minded to withhold any penalty that was due to the inaction or inappropriate action by a collection authority where the collection authority was not the disposal authority, that would remove the need to transfer the penalty. That is an option—it is not a fact. The Government are proposing that we have in place a system under which the Government—the "allocating authority"—could impose a penalty on a waste disposal authority because of the action or inaction of a third party. That is patently unjust.

This leaves me with a personal dilemma about whether to press the amendment, bearing in mind the time and our practice on a Thursday. Given that we now have a joint waste strategy between the waste disposal and the waste collection authorities, as well as some of the other things that have happened today, perhaps we can let it go. But it may be necessary for someone in another place to return to this issue and make sure that the matter is quite clear. On the whole, it is not particularly nice to leave doors open which are better closed or not to open doors when they are closed. In the circumstances, however, I shall not move the amendment.

[Amendment No. 23, as an amendment to Amendment No. 22, not moved.]

On Question, Amendment No. 22 agreed to.

Clause 35 [Commencement]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 24:

    Page 21, line 36, after "17" insert ", (Directions to waste collection authorities in England)"

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 36 [Extent]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 25:

    Page 22, line 27, leave out ", 29 and 30" and insert "and 29 to (Directions to waste collection authorities in England)"

On Question, amendment agreed to.

An amendment (privilege) made.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, I beg to move that the Bill do now pass.

Moved, That the Bill do now pass.—(Lord Whitty.)

On Question, Bill passed, and sent to the Commons.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn during pleasure.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

[The Sitting was suspended from 1.31 to 3 p.m.]

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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Personal Statement

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, with the leave of the House, I wish to make a personal statement. In the debate on pensions yesterday, the noble Lord, Lord Jenkin of Roding, said that I gave,

    "the figure for stakeholder pensions sold as 1½ million".

He went on to say:

    "I hope that the Minister"—

that is, my noble friend Lady Hollis—

    "will therefore recognise that her colleague"—

that is, me—

    "misled the House by a factor of 20 per cent".—[Official Report, 5/3/03; col. 859.]

This is what happened. My briefing said that the figure was 1.15 million. I said, and I quote from the tape:

    "There are 335,000 employers involved with stakeholder pensions. A hundred"—

and I hesitated—

    "one and a half million stakeholder pensions have been sold".

I clearly mis-spoke. I apologise unreservedly to the House for that error, but I hope that the House will acquit me of any intention to mislead.


3.1 p.m.

Baroness Gould of Potternewton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What action they intend to take following the review of the management of patients with epilepsy by the University Hospitals of Leicester National Health Service Trust.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): My Lords, we have commissioned an independent review of this issue which is due to be published in the spring. We will consider its findings very carefully alongside the local clinical review to decide what further action may be needed.

Baroness Gould of Potternewton: My Lords, in asking my Question, I must declare an interest as president of Epilepsy Action. I welcome the fact that such a review is taking place. However, can my noble friend indicate whether, perhaps as a result of the review, the Department of Health will undertake further investigation into whether there is a prevalence of misdiagnosis in other hospitals? I make the point particularly because of the shortage of epilepsy-trained neurologists. I wonder what action is being taken and what resources are being provided to improve the situation.

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: My Lords, I should like first to congratulate my noble friend on the

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announcement today of her appointment as chair of the Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV. She is right to suggest that there are lessons to be learned nationally from what happened in Leicester. It is a fact that there are problems in diagnosing epilepsy by doctors. We intend that the treatment and care of people with epilepsy will be part of the National Service Framework on Long-Term Conditions. My noble friend's point on diagnosis will indeed be covered in that national service framework.

Baroness Barker: My Lords, according to the CSAG report, epilepsy misdiagnosis in children may occur in up to 40 per cent of cases in this country. In view of that, what steps will the Government take to require strategic health authorities to provide specialist epilepsy neurological services and training to other paediatric staff?

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: My Lords, as I believe I have already mentioned, the National Service Framework on Long-Term Conditions will be extremely helpful in assisting the NHS to ensure that it has the right kind of services and deals with some of the diagnosis problems to which the noble Baroness referred. In the past two weeks, we have published an action plan on epilepsy which involves provision of support and information. We are also referring to NICE the question of drug treatment for epilepsy. On the workforce issue, we have had an increase in the number of consultants within the paediatric specialty and a small increase in the number of consultants within paediatric neurology. Within the specialist interest nursing profession, we are again seeing an increase in the number of epilepsy nurses. I recognise that more needs to be done, but I believe that we have set the framework in which to tackle these important issues.

Earl Howe: My Lords, I declare an interest as president of the National Society for Epilepsy. Is the Minister aware of the disappointment expressed by many bodies in the world of epilepsy care that the amount of money earmarked in the Government's action plan for the 380,000 people in this country who have epilepsy is a mere £1.2 million? How far does he believe that that sort of money will go among so many epilepsy patients?

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: My Lords, the point about the specific funding announcement is that £1.2 million is for the non-NHS modernisation agency project, which will help to improve the quality and access to neurology services, and that £288,000 is going to the National Society for Epilepsy to improve information and support for people with epilepsy and their families. It is a relatively small amount of resource. However, we are moving away from the earmarking of funds nationally towards placing as much money as possible at the local level, and it will be for local primary care trusts to decide how to spend that money. I accept that in doing that we have a responsibility to ensure that there is enough guidance for primary care trusts so that they do indeed spend the

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resources in this important area. That is the purpose of the action plan, the national service framework and the referral to NICE in relation to epilepsy drugs.

Lord Skelmersdale: My Lords, will the noble Lord confirm that research into epilepsy, and indeed any other long-term illness, has nothing to do with primary care trusts? Can he say how much money the Government are spending on research in this particular area?

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: My Lords, much of the research in this area will be funded through the Medical Research Council. The latest figures that I have are for 2000–01, when the MRC spent about £3 million in this area. However, the council also spends larger sums on basic research on nerve function and damage, and that should also be effective. In addition, one of our R&D programmes is sponsoring a project on a randomised control trial of longer-term clinical outcomes and the cost-effectiveness of standard and new anti-epileptic drugs. That is being funded at a cost of about £1.3 million.

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