HC Deb 25 March 2003 vol 402 cc190-1W
Dr. Gibson

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what dietary action he has recommended to reduce the occurrence of cancer in deprived communities; [101387]

(2) what action the Government is taking to encourage people to increase their fruit and vegetable consumption. [101388]

Ms Blears

The Government's 5-a-day programme, an NHS Plan commitment, aims to increase access to, and availability and consumption of, fruit and vegetables particularly in low income groups. The 5-a-day message includes the health benefits of eating at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables in helping to reduce the risk of some cancers. Resources bearing a new 5-a-day logo that explains the 5-a-day message and suggests ways of increasing fruit and vegetable intake are being distributed through primary care settings.

Following successful piloting of the 5-a-day local community initiatives by the Department, the New is providing £10 million to support another 66 initiatives based in primary care trusts (PCTs) in the most deprived areas of England. The 5-a-day handbook will help staff in PCTs and other organisations to establish community-wide approaches to increasing fruit and vegetable consumption. The New Opportunities Fund is also providing £42 million to support the National School Fruit Scheme, which will be fully operational by 2004, when it will entitle every child aged four to six in infant schools to a free piece of fruit each school day, as part of a national strategy to improve the diet of children. We are also working with industry to improve people's access to fruit and vegetables.

In addition, there are local initiatives to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, especially but not only in low income groups, in health action zones, sure start, healthy living centres and other PCTs.

1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
Chorley and South Ribble NHS Trust 1,980 2,100 2,170 2,200 1,960
Medical and dental staff 130 140 140 140 160
Qualified nursing, midwifery and health 'visiting staff 700 750 780 770 600
All other non-medical staff 1,150 1,210 1,260 1,300 1,200


Figures are rounded to the nearest ten


Department of Health non-medical work force census

Department of Health medical and dental workforce census

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