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The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Warner: No such representations have been received from trade bodies representing these food industry sectors in relation to the effectiveness of low carbohydrate diets.

The Government and the Food Standards Agency place the interests of consumers first when scientific evidence and views from relevant stakeholders on particular policy issues are considered.

Patient and Public Involvement Forums

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Warner: The Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health announced at its first board meeting on 24 March 2003, that patients' forums would be known as patient and public involvement forums to help the public to understand what their role is.

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Warner: The Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health decided to rebrand patients' forums as patient and public involvement forums to help the public to understand their roles. There is no statutory bar to it doing this.

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Warner: Legislation establishes patients' forums as organisations that are independent of the National Health Service, government and the organisations that support them. The membership of patients' forums that will consist primarily of local patients will ensure that patients' forums act independently.

19 Nov 2003 : Column WA337

NHS Prescriptions

Lord Turnberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What proportion of all prescriptions in the National Health Service are subject to charges to patients.[HL5387]

Lord Warner: In England, for 2002, 14 per cent of prescriptions dispensed in the community either attracted a charge at the point of dispensing, or were for patients who had bought prepayment certificates.

General Practitioner Incomes: Rate for Young Patients

Baroness Gardner of Parkes asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why the Carr Hill formula, on which general practitioners' earnings will be based, rates young people at 0.5, so that general practitioners accepting young patients have a reduced income for each of these patients; and whether they are concerned that general practitioners will refuse to accept young people on their lists as a result.[HL5544]

Lord Warner: The formula for calculating global sum payments as part of the new contract for general medical services is based on evidence of the use of primary care by different age groups. The weight given to an age group reflects the average relative workload for practices in delivering primary care to that age group. The practices should receive fair payments for all the patients on their practice list so will not be disadvantaged for accepting young people on to their list.

19 Nov 2003 : Column WA338

National Poisons Information Service: Clinical Advice

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the information on which the clinical advice on lindane poisoning provided by the National Poisons Information Service was based in August 2000; and what were the sources of that information; and[HL5055]

    Whether they will conduct a review of the clinical advice given by the National Poisons Information Service for agrochemical and pesticide poisoning with an analysis of both agrochemical industry and independent (non-industry funded) scientific and medical research on which that advice is based.[HL5056]

Lord Warner: The National Poisons Information Services (NPIS) provides information on the management of acute poisoning to health professionals. Such advice is available by telephone or the NPIS clinical database TOXBASE (available free to National Health Service professionals online). The basis of the information provided is an expert professional review of the published literature (both clinical and non-clinical experimental data) using expert clinical toxicological judgement. All TOXBASE entries written since 1999 have been peer-reviewed by all NPIS centres. Advice on the management of lindane poisoning followed this approach.

There are currently no plans for a general review of the clinical advice given previously and any such review would only be considered if justified by the emergence of significant new relevant information.



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