§ Gillian Merron
To ask the Secretary of State for Health since the publication of the national standards for GP exercise referral schemes in April 2001, how many exercise referral programmes have been offered by(a) GPs, (b) primary care nurses and (c) registered fitness professionals in each health authority in the UK. 
§ Yvette Cooper
The National Quality Assurance Framework published last year aims to improve the quality of existing schemes and help the development of new ones. The Department does not keep a national register of practices which offer these schemes. However, details of existing schemes are held locally by health authorities or local authorities.
The National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease requires that all NHS bodies will have agreed and be contributing to the delivery of a local programme of effective policies on increasing physical activity by April 2002. Exercise referral schemes can form an element in the delivery of these programmes. These schemes also contribute to the achievement of milestones relating to the prevention and treatment of coronary heart disease within primary care, and cardiac rehabilitation.