Health Questions: 23rd October 2012

Annette Brooke (Mid Dorset and North Poole) (LD)
T2. What steps is the Department taking to tackle the growing incidence of drug-resistant cases of TB, which increased by more than a quarter in the past year? [124160]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Anna Soubry)
We are funding TB Alert to raise public and professional awareness of TB. We also expect the NHS organisations and their partners to ensure early detection, treatment completion and co-ordinated action to prevent and control TB. The Health Protection Agency maintains diligent monitoring of all types of TB and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence also includes specific guidance on treatment and rapid contact tracing of people in contact with any type of drug-resistant TB.

Nick de Bois (Enfield North) (Con)
T6. As breast cancer action month comes to an end, recent research by Breast Cancer Campaign has shown that 76% of women would like more information about breast cancer signs and symptoms. What steps are the Government taking to encourage early diagnosis of breast cancer? [124165]

Anna Soubry
Achieving early diagnosis of symptomatic cancer is key to our ambition to save an additional 5,000 lives a year by 2014-15. As I explained in an earlier answer, we are providing more than £450 million in funding over the spending review period to support ​early diagnosis. From January to mid March 2013, we will be running a regional pilot of our previously tested local campaign on breast cancer symptoms in women over 70. We are targeting those women because that is an area where, unfortunately, survival rates are particularly poor.

John Stevenson (Carlisle) (Con)
T9. The food labelling consultation closed in August. Could the Minister indicate when the Government response is likely to be issued and confirm that the Government will not bring in unnecessary burdens on the food industry over and above those set out in European regulation? [124168]

Anna Soubry
This is an area that is important to the Government’s work. At this stage it is important to make sure that we do not over-regulate but that we work with industry and manufacturers. The four Governments across the United Kingdom will shortly issue a statement about front-of-pack nutrition labelling, and we expect to publish the formal response to this year’s consultation within the next few weeks.

Justin Tomlinson (North Swindon) (Con)
What specific consideration is being given to matching the annual growth funding uplift to actual changes in population? That is essential to my constituency, which has high population growth.

Anna Soubry
It is my understanding that that is already part of the formula, but my hon. Friend makes a good point, and I am sure that he joins me in wanting to make sure that the formulas are fair, so that we reduce health inequalities. I am happy to discuss the issue with him further.