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Mr. Hutton: Chiropodists are included within the NHS Plan target for 4,450 more therapists and other key professional staff entering training each year by 2004. Our latest forecast or meeting this target suggest an increase of more than a hundred places (34 per cent.) over current levels by 2004.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance he has issued to strategic health authorities and primary care trusts on the provision of chiropody services; and if he will make a statement. 
Jacqui Smith: No guidance has been issued to strategic health authorities or primary care trusts (PCTs) on provision of chiropody services. However, chiropody/ podiatry services are essential parts of the national service frameworks for older people and diabetes. The
23 May 2002 : Column 594W
Department has also launched a "National Primary and Care Trust programme (NatPaCT)" designed to support PCTs in delivering their key functions which will be:
securing the provision of high quality services, and
integrating health and social care locally.
Mr. Hutton: The analysis of data collected on the levels of reported violent incidents, together with data on the levels of reported accidents and sickness absence should be complete by the end of May. A copy will be placed in the Library.
23 May 2002 : Column 595W
In September 1999 the new opportunities fund (NOF) provided funding for the purchase of equipment in support of the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, which included 38 new and replacement MRI scanners. Of these, 30 have been delivered and are operational.
NOF announced further funding in November 2001 for 16 MRI scanners to be used for the diagnosis of stroke. 11 of these scanners will be additional and five will be replacement. All are due to be installed by the end of 2003.
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 21 May 2002]: Information received from flu co-ordinators show the uptake rates in those aged 65 years and over at 1 November and 1 December for each health authority as follows:
|November 2001||December 2001|
|Northern and Yorkshire|
|Calderdale and Kirklees||55.3||64.2|
|County Durham and Darlington||52.8||63.9|
|East Riding and Hull||42.5||67.3|
|Gateshead and South Tyneside||55.1||67.7|
|Newcastle and North Tyneside||57.0||66.7|
|East Sussex, Brighton/Hove||54.9||68.5|
|North and Mid-Hants||37.9||69.5|
|Portsmouth and South-east Hants||51.8||65.7|
|Southampton and South-west Hants||57.8||68.1|
|Bury and Rochdale||42.9||59.4|
|Salford and Trafford||51.2||64.5|
|St. Helen's and Knowsley||54.3||65.0|
|Wigan and Bolton||53.4||63.9|
|Barking and Havering||50.2||64.1|
|Bexley and Greenwich (Bromley)||49.2||60.0|
|Brent and Harrow||47.5||61.9|
|Camden and Islington||43.4||50.1|
|Ealing, Hammersmith, Hounslow||42.7||56.4|
|East London and City||47.0||56.5|
|Enfield and Haringey (Barnet)||50.1||65.6|
|Kensington, Chelsea, Westminster||35.7||46.9|
|Kingston and Richmond||50.3||61.5|
|Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham||38.4||47.5|
|Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth||46.7||60.6|
|Redbridge and Waltham Forest||50.7||63.3|
|South and West|
|Cornwall and Isles of Scilly||49.4||60.6|
|North and East Devon||55.6||66.5|
|South and West Devon||51.1||65.7|
23 May 2002 : Column 597W
Yvette Cooper: The Government do not recommend the use of separate vaccines to protect children against rubella, measles or mumps and are therefore unable to comment. We recommend that children are vaccinated with the combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, as the safest way for parents to protect their children against these potentially very serious diseases.
23 May 2002 : Column 598W
Yvette Cooper: The Medical Research Council (MRC)which receives most of its income via grant-in- aid from the office of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industryis the main Government agency that funds research into the causes of medical conditions. Their most recent review of the epidemiology and causes of autism, published in December last year, notes that autism seems likely to result from a range of causes but that the strongest evidence to date is for a major genetic component. The report states that several genes may interact to create susceptibility to the disorder. In relation to the combined MMR vaccine, it advises that the evidence does not support the proposed causal link between MMR and autism.
We have since announced the allocation of a further £2.5 million to the MRC for autism research. This will complement and add to the MRC's current support for research in this field. The MRC welcomes high quality applications for support in any scientific area which will further our understanding of autism, and especially those areas which were highlighted in the recent MRC review of autism: causes and epidemiology; this does not preclude research involving MMR.