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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Hayman): The National Blood Service is a vital part of the National Health Service and, as such, is expected to provide high quality, cost efficient services. Over the past year, following the report we commissioned from Professor Cash on the Liverpool Blood Centre, the NBS has been working to improve the quality of the services it provides to blood donors, clinicians and patients. But to achieve lasting improvement it also needs to modernise the management of the service, both nationally and locally, and to develop a clear strategic direction within which all parts of the service can operate. We have therefore approved proposals submitted by the National Blood Authority to effect these changes and to ensure a first-class future for the National Blood Service.
The existing three-zone structure into which the National Blood Service is currently organised will be replaced by a single integrated structure. This will improve the performance of the service by creating a greater sense of strategic direction, shared ownership of priorities with the wider NHS and clearer accountabilities. In addition, local services will be enhanced by the appointment of a blood centre head who will lead local service delivery to hospitals and patients.
Baroness Hayman: The Government fully recognise the importance of international action to secure the prohibition of human reproductive cloning. Currently, 24 out of the 40 Council of Europe Members have signed the Cloning Protocol to the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine. The United Kingdom was fully involved in the development of the protocol and fully supports the principle it enshrines.
However, a member state of the Council of Europe can only sign a protocol if it has previously signed the relevant convention. The United Kingdom has not at this time signed the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine. This is because the Government have been consulting on provisions in the convention, although these are entirely unrelated to cloning.
In addition, the Government have fully supported the Universal Declaration of the Human Genome and Human Rights which prohibits the reproductive cloning of human beings and which was agreed unanimously by the member states of Unesco in November 1997.
Baroness Hayman: We are aware of the commission recently set up by the Association of Community Health Councils for England and Wales (ACHCEW). We do not intend to submit evidence to the commission but we will be interested to consider and discuss the outcomes of its report with ACHCEW in due course.
Baroness Hayman: The Royal College of Physicians' clinical guidelines for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and the desktop guide for general practitioners and primary care teams are guidance. They offer advice on effectiveness to inform clinical decisions.
It is not possible to enforce guidelines or to tell clinicians what treatments they can or cannot provide. That does not mean, however, that we expect clinicians to ignore best practice where it is available.
The Department of Health highly recommends both documents as a basis for developing local osteoporosis strategies and where strategies already exist would expect them to be consistent with this guidance.
What research they have conducted or commissioned to ensure that products manufactured from blocks of chrysotile fibre encapsulated in a matrix of either cement or resin to not generate airborne chrysotile fibre under any possible conditions of use.[HL2184]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Whitty): It is firmly established that cutting, sawing or similar work that disturbs asbestos cement or resins can give rise to significant release of asbestos fibres.
The health of workers is protected by health and safety law that requires employers to avoid work with asbestos. Where this is unavoidable, employers must do all that they can to reduce workers' exposure to the lowest possible level.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The trustees of the national museums and galleries hold their collections in trust for the nation and are responsible for caring for those collections and ensuring public access. They operate at arm's length from government, so that the trustees may perform their statutory functions with freedom from day-to-day government intervention. At the same time, the trustees are subject to certain controls to ensure that the public funds they receive are properly spent on the purposes for which they are voted by Parliament. Under these arrangements the national museums and galleries benefit from the contribution of experienced and distinguished individuals who give their valuable time to determine the strategy and
Whether they will amend Section 89 of the Broadcasting Act 1996 so as to provide that any hearing at which a licence-holder makes representations to the Independent Television Commission under Section 89(2)(b) takes place in public; and[HL1946]
Whether they will seek to amend Section 89 of the Broadcasting Act 1996 so as to provide that in considering, under subsection (3), whether it is necessary in the public interest to revoke the licence in question, the Independent Television Commission should have regard to (a) the likelihood of crimes being committed or disorders arising as a result of the programmes mentioned in subsection (1)(a) of that section; (b) the availability of other broadcasts in the languages of the programmes mentioned in subsection (1)(a) of that section; and (c) the availability of other broadcasts from a similar ideological or cultural perspective to that holder of the licence.[HL2002]
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Government have no plans to amend Section 89 of the Broadcasting Act 1996. It is for the ITC to determine how it deals with representations about matters to do with the revocation of a licence. I understand that the ITC heard and considered representations from MED TV before reaching a decision and had advised MED TV in advance what representations would be allowed under its procedures. The ITC announced its decision on 23 April to revoke the broadcaster's licence.
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