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Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to publish a consultation document on national standards for residential services for adults with disabilities and special needs. 
Jacqui Smith: Draft national minimum standards for care homes for younger adults were issued for consultation on 29 June 2001. The Department is looking again at the national minimum standards for younger adults and adult placements in the light of the comments that have been received during the consultation process. The standards will be published in due course following completion of the review process.
Jacqui Smith: The diagnosis and treatment of heart disease may take place within primary, secondary or tertiary health care services. For those patients who require drug therapy to treat their condition, treatment will follow directly on from diagnosis. Patients requiring treatment in hospital who are not diagnosed as an emergency requiring immediate admission will go on a waiting list for in-patient treatment. The average median waiting times, from the date of a decision to admit a
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patient for treatment for heart disease to the admission date, for the last four years for which data are available, are in the table.
|Year||Median waiting time in days|
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the expenditure per capita was on pharmaceuticals in each of the OECD countries for the most recent year for which figures are available. 
|Country||Last available year||Expenditure per capita|
1. The table displays figures for the "total expenditure on pharmaceuticals and other medical non-durables", comprising "pharmaceuticals such as medicinal preparations, branded and generic medicines, drugs, patent medicines, serums, vaccines, vitamins and minerals and oral contraceptives plus a wide range of medical non-durables such as bandages, elasticated stockings, incontinence articles, condoms and other mechanical contraceptive devices".
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Jacqui Smith: The Department obtains advice on the possible health implications of exposure to electromagnetic fields, including those associated with power lines, from the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB). The board of NRPB has set up an independent advisory group on non-ionising radiation (AGNIR)
Mr. Stevenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the conclusions of the California Health Department report on the possible health risks associated with power frequency electric and magnetic fields published in April 2001. 
Jacqui Smith: The Department obtains advice on the possible health implications of exposure to electromagnetic fields, including those associated with power lines, from the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB). The NRPB's independent advisory group on non-ionising radiation was set up:
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This view has been supported by a similar opinion expressed in a recent review of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields and cancer by the International Agency for Research in Cancer, which classified extremely low frequency magnetic fields as "possibly carcinogenic" on the basis of the statistical association noted for children.
The advisory group discussed the report from the California Department of Health Sciences on possible risks from exposure to power frequency electromagnetic fields at its meeting on 30 October 2001. The group has commented that they know of no further scientific evidence published since their most recent report that would alter their opinion regarding evidence concerning exposure to power frequency electromagnetic fields and the risks of cancer as set out in their published reviews. They noted, however, that the California report also examined the possible effects of power frequency electromagnetic fields on a number of other diseases. NRPB is shortly to publish a review by the advisory group on electromagnetic fields and neurodegenerative diseases.
Mr. Pollard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what Government initiatives there are to recruit and retain qualified nursing staff for special care baby units; whether there is funding available to recruit and train such staff; what his guidance is on the criteria for closing special care baby units; and if he will make a statement. 
Jacqui Smith: In the first year of the NHS Plan period, the number of nurses employed in the national health service increased by 6,310. We are committed to increasing the number of nurses and are increasing training places, encouraging former staff to return, and increasing international recruitment. The NHS is also changing to become a modern flexible employer.
It is for local health communities to decide on the pattern of service provision, including services provided by special care baby units, taking into account the needs of local people, evidence of effectiveness and available resources. The maternity and neonatal work force working group that we set up earlier this year will make recommendations on work force issues and models for configuring maternity services. Its work will feed into the development of the forthcoming national service framework for children and maternity services.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the effect on NHS mental health services of restrictions imposed by councils on the number of placements to be made by social services in nursing or residential homes; and if he will make a statement. 
Jacqui Smith: There has been no specific assessment of the effect on national health service mental health services of restrictions that any local authorities may have chosen to impose on the number of placements to be made by social services in nursing or residential homes. Most people with mental health problems are able to live in the
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community, and many of those people who are admitted to hospital with mental health problems are able to return to their own homes, or to families, on discharge.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which (a) voluntary and (b) independent sector groups have been involved in the planning and implementation of the national service framework for mental health. 
Jacqui Smith: Many representatives of charitable and voluntary organisations, including representatives of service user and carer groups, were involved in helping to develop the national service framework for mental health through the external reference group and many continue to be involved in implementation, either through project work led by the Department and/or the mental health taskforce.
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