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Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much her Department spent on nationally produced (a) consultation documents and (b) public information leaflets in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Between 1 October 2004 and 31 December 2006, the Department published 1,529 documents including command papers, information leaflets, guidance documentation and national health service staff bulletins. The cost of producing these including design, typesetting, editorial and print services totalled £17,003,082an average of £11,120 per title.
There is currently no mechanism for identifying which of these are specifically consultation documents or information leaflets and the Department has no central record for printed publications produced prior to 1 October 2004. To attempt to gather this information would incur disproportionate cost.
|(1 )Year to date figure (April 2006 to January 2007)|
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was paid in bonuses to staff in her Department in (a) 1997-98, (b) 1998-99, (c) 1999-2000, (d) 2000-01 and (e) 2002-03; and how many staff qualified for bonuses in each year. 
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were away on sick leave from her Department for more than (a) three months, (b) six months, (c) nine months and (d) one year in each of the last five years. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
The number of people who were away on sick leave for more then three months, six
months, nine months and one year, in each of the last five years is detailed as follows:
Figures for 2002 are not available.
As the analysis for 2006 figures was carried out until the end of December 2006, absences of over three months but continuing beyond 31 December 2006 are recorded against 2006, even though they will finish in 2007 or later and will finally be recorded against the year in which they end. As such the 2006 figures are artificially inflated.
Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment she has made of the recently published consultation paper from the Government of Guernsey on the regulation of medicines; what response she plans to make to that consultation; and if she will press the Guernsey authorities to end the trade in marketing unlicensed medicines to UK mainland consumers; 
(2) what resources the (a) Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and (b) Food Standards Agency have available to deploy in relation to the export to UK mainland consumers of unlicensed medicines and illegal food supplements by companies based in the Channel Islands; and what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of the level of enforcement action by those agencies. 
Caroline Flint: The legislation administered by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, an Executive agency of the Department, does not apply to the Channel Islands. The Islands have their own legislative assemblies. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is currently considering the consultation paper from the Government of Guernsey and no response has yet been formulated. The deadline for comments is 10 April 2007. The consultation will be used as part of the ongoing dialogue between the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and the Guernsey authorities to control the marketing of illegal products.
Reports of illegal medicinal products made to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency are investigated by the Medicines Borderline Section and/or the Enforcement and Intelligence Unit depending on the type of offence and regardless of the country of origin. These activities are reviewed through the agencys management structure. If the company is outside the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agencys jurisdiction, it is referred to the relevant regulatory authority.
I am advised by the Food Standards Agency that local authorities have responsibility for enforcing the requirements of food law and have resources to control all foods. The Food Standards Agency does not maintain a central record of such resources. The Food Standards Agency assesses the adequacy of local authority controls through its audit programme.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment she has made of changes in health inequality between people in each income decile since 1996-97; what targets she has set in relation to reducing health outcome inequalities; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: There are no recent assessments of changes in health inequality between people by income decile since 1996-97. The information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Health inequalities are unacceptable and tackling them is a top priority for the Government. We have established the most comprehensive programme ever in this country to address them, including a range of challenging targets.
|Departmental public service agreement (PSA) targets, Spending Review (SR) 2002|
|Departmental PSA targets, SR2004|
Substantially reduce mortality rates by 2010. From heart disease and stroke and related diseases by at least 40 per cent. in people under 75, with a 40 per cent. reduction in the inequalities gap between the fifth of areas with the worst health and deprivation indicators (the Spearhead Group) and the population as a whole
From cancer by at least 20 per cent. in people under 75 with at least a reduction in the inequalities gap of at least 6 per cent. between the fifth of areas with the worst health and deprivation indicators (the Spearhead Group) and the population as a whole
Halting the year-on-year rise in obesity among children under 11 by 2010, in the context of a broader strategy to tackle obesity in the population as a whole (joint target with the Department for Education and Skills and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport).
Obesity: prevalence of obesity as defined by National BMI percentile classification for children aged between two and 10 years (inclusive) measured through the Health Survey for England. Baseline year is weighted average for three-year period 2002-04
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 5 March 2007]: In April 2003 the NHS Security Management Service (NHS SMS) was created and assumed responsibility for tackling violence against national health service staff, together with all other security related issues in the NHS in England. A comprehensive strategy has been implemented detailing both preventative and re-active action to be taken to tackle this problem both nationally and locally.
Guidance has been issued to every health body in England setting out the support that should be offered at a local level, including arranging for counselling services if required, to staff that have experienced violence and abuse.
The NHS SMS have formed a legal protection unit (LPU) which advises health bodies on the appropriate action to take against alleged offenders. The LPU also considers private prosecutions on behalf of those who have been assaulted where the prosecuting authorities have declined to take action, and the circumstances are such that action is appropriate. This includes seeking redress.
Caroline Flint: Most competence for action in the field of public health remains with the member states, but the European Union has the responsibility, set out in the treaty, to undertake certain actions which complement the work done by member states.
Article 152 of the EC treaty covers public health. It states that a high level of human health protection shall be ensured in the definition and implementation of all community policies and activities; and that community action should be directed towards improving public health, preventing human illness and diseases, and obviating sources of danger to human health and complement national policies. The article also encourages co-operation between the community and member states on public health.
In practice, EU work on public health often focuses on facilitating the exchange of information, knowledge and best practice among member states and covers
many issues, from the general (eg health inequalities) to the specific (eg, action on alcohol use). Article 152(4) also sets out specific areas, e.g. standards for quality and safety for blood, in which legislative measures can be adopted by the Commission in this field. EU legislation that has a beneficial effect on public health has also been adopted on the basis of other parts of the treaty (eg, tobacco packaging legislation, based on Article 95 which relates to the internal market).
Ms Rosie Winterton: On 1 April 2003, the responsibility for health services in the publicly run prisons in England was transferred from HM Prison Service to the national health service. Funding was transferred to the NHS in stages, and this transfer process completed on schedule in April 2006. The responsibility for commissioning prison health services in the publicly-run prisons in England has therefore been fully devolved to national health service primary care trusts.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many specialist hepatitis C virus nurses worked in England in each of the last 10 years; how many such nurses are working in each strategic health authority; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Naysmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what expert advice was taken by her Department prior to its classification of incontinence products in the consultation document on Arrangements for the remuneration of services relating to appliances under Part IX of the Drug Tariff. 
Caroline Flint: The classification of incontinence products was not included in the consultation paper related to arrangements for the remuneration of services relating to appliances within Part IX of the Drug Tariff but in a companion paper: arrangements for the reimbursement pricing of stoma and incontinence appliances under Part IX of the Drug Tariff.
To address the challenge of classifying some 5,800 items, advice was taken from four independent experts. The experts were selected based on their experience and breadth of knowledge and each is currently practising. Furthermore, to ensure objectivity, the Department selected individuals who are not sponsored by a
manufacturer. However, each has contacts within industry and knowledge of the latest products being introduced to the market.
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