HC Deb 16 July 2002 vol 389 cc208-9W
Mr. Bruce George

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans he has to fund a nationally co-ordinated sun awareness programme for the United Kingdom; [67769]

(2) whether he plans to launch a follow-up campaign to the sun know how campaign; [67768]

(3) how much money has been allocated annually to sun awareness campaigns since April 2000; [67767]

(4) what the cost was of the Health Education Authority's sun know how campaign from April 1999 to April 2000; [67765]

(5) how much the Government have invested in sun awareness campaigns in each year since 1995. [67766]

Ms Blears

The health education authority (HEA) was originally commissioned by the Department in 1996 to provide sun awareness information. The HEA then developed the "Sun Know How" campaign up until the HEA's functions were moved to the health development agency and health promotion England in March 2000. As the "Sun Know How" messages had been successful, existing HEA promotional material continued to be made available but on a smaller scale. The success of the campaign was acknowledged and it was recognised that a new approach was needed.

From 2001 work has been undertaken towards a co-ordinated programme of work to counter skin cancer. A collaboration group was formed by the departmental funded national radiological protection board (NRPB) with other key organisations such as Cancer Research (UK), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the British Association of Dermatology (BAD). Various initiatives are taking place to raise awareness of sun safety and information is available from NHS Direct. On 14 March a new website, www.doh.gov.uk/sunsafe, providing sun safety advice, was launched. We are also collaborating with other key stakeholders this year in ensuring that a range of sun safety advice is publicly available. For example, the Department funds the Meteorological Office ultra violet index for radio, television and newspaper forecasters. The NRPB is currently running a sunsense campaign and the HSE is targeting outdoor workers in their advertising campaign.

We have no current plans to launch an equivalent to the "Sun Know How" campaign as run by the then HEA.

The HEA's campaign launched in 1996–97 anticipated spending £1.5 million over three years to 1998–99. Detailed figures on the final spend by year by the HEA are not available.

In 1999–2000 spending on the "Sun Know How" campaign by the HEA was £543,000. Since then, spending on sun awareness by the Department in 2000–01 was £50,000, and in 2001–02 was £126,000.

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