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Whether the impartiality of the guideline group on the recent Royal College of Gynaecology guidelines The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion is affected by the presence of three representatives affiliated to or otherwise associated with the abortion reform lobby group Voice of Choice.[HL1644]
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The impartiality of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists National evidence-based clinical guideline on the care of women requesting induced abortion was ensured by its production method. The guideline was prepared using an accepted methodology based upon a thorough and systematic literature search. The recommendations were graded according to the level of evidence, using a scheme recommended by the National Health Service Executive. There was also formal peer review of the document and appraisal by the Health Care Evaluation Unit at St George's Hospital, which has been commissioned by the NHS Executive to appraise such guidelines.
As researchers make headway and results in due course start to emerge from this study, they will at the same time need careful interpretation before any conclusions are published. Findings from the study will have to be subject to the normal processes of validation and peer review by the relevant scientific experts, including the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Insurance companies would be unable to introduce such a step, as no acceptable test currently exists for the demonstration of infection before the onset of clinical symptoms.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Local authorities are responsible for enforcing food hygiene legislation prohibiting from smoking persons working in food preparation areas of food businesses. Information on the number of prosecutions in this respect is not held centrally. However, prosecution is not usually the initial response to contraventions of food hygiene legislation.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The advice on the structure and content of regions' annual reports on commissioning specialised services has now been finalised and issued to regions. Copies have been placed in the Library.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Regional directors are accountable for regional commissioning specialised arrangements and as such are responsible for ensuring that their region's annual report on commissioning specialised services conforms with advice given on the structure and content of annual reports.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Regions have been asked to produce annual reports on the regional specialised commissioning arrangements. Individual regions' annual reports will be in the public domain and will be made available to local bodies including user organisations. Each region will be inviting comments on its annual report and as such there will be an opportunity for user organisations to comment on the structure and content of future annual reports.
What information is contained in the research on disallowed and sanctioned claimants for jobseeker's allowance mentioned by Baroness Hollis of Heigham on 17 March (HL Deb, col. 1917) on the means of subsistance available to claimants so disallowed or sanctioned.[HL1633]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): The research to which the noble Earl, Lord Russell, refers has been published in a report entitled Jobseeker's Allowance Evaluation: Qualitative Research on Disallowed and Sanctioned Claimants. Phase Two: After Jobseeker's Allowance. Among other issues, the research explores clients' strategies for, and experiences of, coping financially following a disallowance or sanction. These strategies include claiming JSA hardship payments, and/or reliance upon support from informal sources.
|Quarter RBD was imposed||Number of whole quarters RBD in place to date||Estimated duration of RBD (weeks)||Number of cases on 5% scan of Income Support Computer System||Number of cases (grossed up)||Average weekly amount of benefit not paid (£)||Estimated total benefit not paid up to QE Nov 99 (£,000)|
|All cases with RBD in place at Nov 99||35.6||685||13,700||20.32||9,937.7|
1. Figures produced using ASD 5 per cent scan of Income Support Computer System, which is run at the end of Feb, May, Aug and Nov each year. Grossed figures are, therefore, subject to a degree of sampling error.
2. Scan does not hold start date when RBD imposed for each case, so taken to be mid-point of quarter.
3. Analysis may miss a small number of cases where RBD in place for only a very short period between the end of successive quarters.
4. Average amount includes cases where the full RBD cannot be deducted.